COVID-19: Work and Learn from Home Options (#2 in a Series)
Many of you have noted that on-premises hosted workloads have become the most significant barriers to working from home. Large enterprise customers have been able to more quickly adapt an effective WFH strategy thanks to an aggressive approach to hybrid cloud (the percentage of investments in the cloud versus on-premises). As a result, we’re seeing customers setting more aggressive and aspirational plans going forward – instead of a 30-50% cloud/70%-50% on-premises goal in 10 years, they now have a goal of 60% cloud/40% on-premises in just 5 years.
In our last post we discussed the advantages of a “bolt-on” strategy, which is appropriate if you have many complex workloads leveraging multiple control planes that are not always integrated. But what if you have a significant number of investments and expertise in Microsoft’s strategy?
Microsoft has developed a broad set of hybrid cloud solutions which can be fully extended into their Azure cloud to deliver secure remote access to all applications and data. Subscribers to Microsoft’s 365 for enterprise, education, or government are already qualified to use Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktop – a fast, easy, reliable WFH solution that delivers a complete Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
Most VDI solutions (especially cloud hosted VDI solutions) require a desktop instance per user. This 1:1 requirement creates additional management effort and licensing costs. Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is a cloud hosted VDI solution that allows users, employees, or students to access their desktop/apps/labs from anywhere, any device at any time. The solution is very powerful, efficient, and fast to deploy. Unlike other VDI solutions, WVD leverages many of the existing capabilities, policies, and licensing that customers have already purchased. If you are already using Group Policy or Azure AD (part of Office 365), then you already know how to manage WVD.
In addition to the hard cost savings of leveraging existing entitlements (software licensing) and the soft cost savings of leveraging existing capabilities, WVD further accelerates the cost savings. WVD users can have their personalized desktop while sharing a single desktop instance because of the way Microsoft distributes the components that make up that individual desktop experience (services, data, applications and persona) across their Azure Cloud services. As a result, consumers of WVD can expect around 25 users per desktop instance (substantially saving both time and money).