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With a 44% increase in remote work over the last five years, it’s safe to say that working remotely is more than just a trend – it’s here to stay. One of the driving factors in this shift has been advancements in cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructures, or VDIs. Since Microsoft announced the release of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) to general availability, it has emerged as a power player in the VDI game.

What is Windows Virtual Desktop?

WVD is a desktop and application virtualization service that allows users to securely connect to their desktop from anywhere, at any time. Hosted on Azure, it’s the only VDI that delivers simplified management, multi-session Windows 10 and more. It also provides the best Windows and Office user experience, giving users the tools and environments they’re familiar with.

WVD offers:

  1. Flexibility: Users can securely connect to their desktop anywhere with internet access, remaining productive whether they’re working remotely, in the field or on-site.
  2. Personalization: Employee’s access to tools and resources can differ by roles and location. With WVD, customization is simple to set up through the Azure portal.
  3. Security: Backed by the security of Azure, WVD allows you to easily assign roles, grant permissions and manage secure sign-on through Azure AD.

What’s the Difference Between WVD and Remote Desktop Services (RDS)?

You may be getting asked this question a lot by customers. If the RDS is hosted on Azure, both solutions offer similar functionalities in terms of security, personalization and scalability. There are some key differences you’ll want to be aware of, mainly:

  1. Licensing: WVD is included with Windows 10 subscriptions, including Microsoft 365 and Windows 10 Enterprise. If your customer already owns a Windows 10 subscription license, WVD is going to be the better solution for them.
  2. Management: With WVD, infrastructure is hosted as a PaaS in Azure. Microsoft maintains the management plane and other PaaS services like Active Directory and Azure Files you can leverage to make the environment easy to manage.
  3. End-User Experience: WVD provides a full Windows 10 experience and is optimized for Office 365 ProPlus, meaning users will experience faster load times and improved performance of their productivity apps.

You can take a more in-depth look at the differences between the two solutions here.

Getting Started with WVD

With more businesses offering remote working options for their employees, WVD isn’t a technology you can afford to ignore. But where do you get started? We’ve compiled some great resources and tools to help you get up to speed quickly.

  1. Tech Data’s WVD Video Library

Tech Data’s team of systems engineers put together this Windows Virtual Desktop Quick Start Guide.* This series of six short videos take you through the steps of deploying a WVD so that you can get familiar with the technical side of deployment. Watch it here.

  1. WVD Learning Path

Microsoft’s WVD learning path is a series of four modules that can help you prepare, deploy and optimize WVD environments. At just under two hours, this path is a great way to get up to build your knowledge base quickly. Check it out.

  1. Tech Data’s WVD Click-to-Run Solution

Our WVD Click-to-Run Solution enables resellers to deploy a ready to use WVD environment in Microsoft Azure within minutes. Tech Data pre-configures the environment based on your specifications. To learn more, contact our team of specialists.

  1. Nerdio for Azure

Nerdio for Azure allows resellers to get started with WVD in just 60 seconds and deploy a desktop within a few hours. They’ve teamed up with Microsoft to offer three months free of Nerdio for Azure when you deploy your first WVD. Learn more here.

Tech Data’s team of Azure specialists are here to answer your WVD questions. Contact us at Microsoft@techdata.com or call 1-800-247-8931 ext. 5545006.

*Videos are for WVD V1. Microsoft released WVD Spring Update (V2) in GA shortly after this article was published. Keep checking the Tech Data blog for more WVD content!

Kayla Border is a Vendor Marketing Manager on the Microsoft Cloud team at Tech Data, where she develops go-to-market strategies for Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365. Kayla is passionate about content and the role it plays in today’s customer journey. A graduate of Ohio University, Kayla has worked in a variety of industries, including professional sports and print advertising. When she’s not working, Kayla can be found with her nose in a book, planning her next travel adventure or spending time with her partner, Kirk, and their two cats.