Previously known as Windows Virtual Desktop, Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is an excellent cloud based remote working solution that has been optimised for delivering Office 365 applications.  A fully managed solution, AVD is a Microsoft Technology that’s built within Azure to acts as a more efficient, productive, and secure virtualized platform than competitors.

With AVD, users can perform their day-to-day work just as they could if they were working from a traditional desktop or laptop. However, instead of needing specified equipment, they require only an internet connection. From there, they can work within the cloud with their access to AVD being established from an installed application or from a web browser.


AVD is a fully virtualized desktop experience, but you can also provide access to individual applications. These will load in the same way as if they are running directly from your workstation – handy if there’s ever an occasion for a user not to have full desktop access.

What are the key benefits?

AVD offers extensive benefits for companies in Dubai and other emirates, including:

Is it secure?

Absolutely. AVD Security uses reverse connect technology, eliminating the need to open inbound ports directly into it and thus reducing the risk of attack. You can fully utilise and control this environment with Azure AD Security Services via Azure MFA and/or Conditional Access.

In addition, AVD has role-based access control, minimising the risk of incorrect access being assigned. User sessions can also be isolated, both in single and multisession environments (single allowing for only one connection at any one time; multisession providing concurrent interactive sessions). This permits single users or whole departments to connect to a specific AVD, adding another layer of security.

How can I choose between AVD and my existing infrastructure?

Many UAE businesses find themselves at a crossroads when their longstanding physical servers or operating systems approach the end of their life span or when they face the need to purchase additional hardware to meet server resource demand as their company grows.

AVD can provide much needed relief in these instances. With a consolidated management style alongside the ability to integrate almost all existing functionality and add new users as required, AVD also provides full feature and native support features for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and HTML5. What’s more, its quick and easy scalability and option to add new users means you no longer have to worry about costly purchase orders when your United Arab Emirates business expands. The ease of implementation and the longevity of the solution means it should be a strong contender in your considerations.

What operating systems and licences can I use for Azure Virtual Desktop?

Operating systemUser access rights
Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session
Windows 11 Enterprise
Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session, version 1909 and later
Windows 10 Enterprise, version 1909 and later
Windows 7 Enterprise
Licence entitlement:
Microsoft 365 E3, E5, A3, A5, F3, Business Premium, Student Use Benefit
Windows Enterprise E3, E5
Windows VDA E3, E5
Windows Education A3, A5
External users can use per-user access pricing instead of licence entitlement.
Windows Server 2022
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2
Licence entitlement:
Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access Licence (CAL) with Software Assurance (per-user or per-device), or RDS User Subscription Licences.
Per-user access pricing is not available for Windows Server operating systems.

Please note:
Azure Virtual Desktop doesn’t support 32-bit operating systems.
Windows 7 doesn’t support any VHD or VHDX-based profile solutions which are hosted on managed Azure Storage due to a sector size limitation.

What are Host Pools?

A Host Pool is a collection of virtual machines serving the users as session hosts, whereby each machine in the pool has the same OS and configuration. There are two types. A personal Host Pool means individual users have their own session host, whereas a pooled Host Pool allows multiple users to log in to any session host within the pool.

What are App Groups?

A logical group including applications installed in host pool’s sessions hosts. A remote app group is one where users can launch published apps without launching a full desktop. A desktop app group is one where users have full desktop access.

I’m ready to sign up – what do I need before deploying Azure Virtual Desktop?

There are multiple prerequisites, many of which you will already have, before you can fully utilise AVD, including:

We also recommend that you can answer the following:

Although not a prerequisite, we similarly recommend that your AVD device be on the same subnet to the virtual network in Azure AD, which should be configured to the same region as your AVD device. Finally, you must join the device to your Azure AD, but not via Azure AD-join. If you’d like guidance on any of the points above, Cloud Technologies based in Dubai and operating throughout the UAE, is here to help. Now that you’re ready to redefine your desktop experience and step into the modern world of cloud-based solutions, get in touch with one of our experts today!