What is Azure Virtual Desktop or AVD?

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) was formerly known as Windows Virtual Desktop or WVD. Microsoft renamed it earlier this year. Essentially, as described by Microsoft, “AVD is a desktop and application virtualization service that runs in the cloud”. At the risk of stating the obvious, it is an Azure cloud-based service.

Here are some of the things running AVD can do:

  • Set up a multi-session Windows 10 deployment that provides full Windows 10 scalability
  • Virtualize M365 applications which are optimized to run in multi-user virtual scenarios
  • The ability to run Windows 7 virtual desktops with free Extended Security Updates
  • Bring existing Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and Windows Server desktops and applications to any computer
  • Virtualize both desktops and applications
  • Manage Windows 10, Windows Server, and Windows 7 desktops and applications with a unified management experience

The above is a very technical way of explaining what AVD can do for businesses. To summarize this service’s capabilities in laymen’s terms, AVD enables businesses to have an effective remote working solution providing employees the ability to work from anywhere and on any device while making deployment and management of desktops easier.

Benefits for your business

1. Increased Flexibility and Productivity

The ability for employees to access their desktop from anywhere and on any device as long as there is an internet connection increases productivity. Accessing the tools they need to complete their work is easy and straightforward.

Another plus is that since the desktop is in the cloud, there is an added disaster recovery factor. Again, the desktop is accessible from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection so employees will be able to maintain productivity levels much more easily.

2. Cost

Since the desktops are in the cloud, there is no need for servers and other infrastructure that would be required for an on-premise solution. The cost savings are realized from not having to purchase the hardware, software and maintenance expenses.

3. Security

First, since the desktop is the cloud, it reduces the risk losing data should the device being used be stolen or lost.

Second, Microsoft invests an estimated $1 billion in security on a yearly bases and Microsoft Azure and Azure Virtual Desktop services reap the benefits of these investments. They provide built-in identity management, backup and database security and are constantly improving the security toolset they make available.

In addition, with hybrid work environments becoming the norm, businesses are more exposed to threats since employees are accessing their applications from different places that may not be as secure as the office environment. Finding a solution that helps reduce the security risks is a big consideration. AVD may be the right option.

Having said that, we do recommend that businesses assess their needs against what is provided by Microsoft to identify gaps and ensure their security and compliance requirements are being met.


AVD may not be the right solution for every business but it is worth exploring to see if it is a fit for your business. MicroAge can help you determine if it is right for your business. Contact us to learn more.

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With a growing Network of independently owned locations (currently at 41) from coast-to-coast, MicroAge is Canada’s leading IT solutions and service provider focused mainly on small and midmarket businesses.

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