For more than a decade now, Microsoft have been innovating and bringing Cloud technology into the mainstream of business; and they have taken a big step forward in this by taking their flagship operating system, Windows, up into the Cloud.
Microsoft has for a long time been one of the leading providers of business and work oriented software in the world. Many businesses use their products, including TechQuarters, an IT support provider from London. The IT support in London that businesses receive from TechQuarters is largely enabled due to the Modern Workplace solutions that Microsoft pioneered. The migration of Microsoft’s products and services over to the Cloud has had significant implications on the way many organizations operate. A good example of this is the shift towards remote and hybrid working.
Since the onset of Covid-19, a lot of businesses have gotten rid of their offices, or else downsized and embraced hybrid working practices that enabled employees to work more flexibly. Microsoft 365 played a big role in helping businesses around the world do this.
One of Microsoft’s newer services, Windows 365 is a Cloud-native solution designed to make remote and hybrid working even easier for businesses. It is the latest desktop-as-a-serviceto be launched by the company – the previous being Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). Much like AVD, Windows 365 was built in Microsoft Azure. There are a number of differences between the two DaaS solutions. Including the architecture, the pricing, how they are deployed, and how users are onboarded.
To start with, let’s look at Azure Virtual Desktop, Microsoft’s first DaaS solution. This is a solution that has been around for a few years now (at least with regards to the tech world). It was launched in September 2019 under the name “Windows Virtual Desktop”, and re-launched in 2021 with the new name, Azure Virtual Desktop.
AVD is a solution that is geared towards Cloud Architects, and businesses who have experience working in the Azure Cloud Architecture – for example, the Managed IT Services London provider TechQuarters provides incorporates Microsoft Azure services in a number of ways – such as with their Cloud Migration services.
The key difference between AVD and Windows 365 is AVD uses session hosts (a type of virtual machine) that can be either persistent or non-persistent, and can be configured as either a set of applications, or a full desktop experience. Session hosts can also be configured as dedicated personal desktops, or pooled desktops.
The main take away with Azure Virtual Desktop is that it is a much more flexible solution that can be configured and managed in many different ways, and for that reason, it is a more complicated solution that requires expertise specific to the Azure Cloud platform.
Windows 365 uses a slightly different type of technology within the Azure Cloud Architecture. It is known as Windows Cloud PC, and it is a virtualization technology used to create persistent virtual desktop experiences that have very specific compute resources assigned to them – for example, a Cloud PC in Windows 365 might be designated one CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of hard drive storage. Unlike AVD, which can be configured in almost as many ways as the user can imagine, Windows 365 offers just 12 different configurations of Cloud PC.
Additionally, unlike AVD, a Windows Cloud PC is always a dedicated personal desktop that is assigned to an individual user. In order for a business to setup a Cloud PC, one simply needs to select the compute resources – e.g. two CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB hard drive – and then select your payment plan. Then, within an hour or so, the Cloud PC will have been configured, and the login will be sent to you in an email.
Who is Windows 365 Right for?
With two different desktop-as-a-service solutions available from Microsoft, it might seem confusing as to which is better. The truth is that neither solution is better than the other, but one might be more suitable than the other, depending on the organization.
As has been described already, Azure Virtual Desktop is much more flexible and configurable. You could say that AVD is much more granular – the amount of data that users have to contend with when setting things up is much more detailed. This might be what some businesses are looking for, if they happen to have a lot of experience with the Cloud, VMs, and the Azure platform.
On the other hand, there were a great many businesses who felt as though they were unprepared for hybrid and remote working when it was forced upon them due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the last 2 years, more businesses than ever have opened up to the idea of desktop-as-a-service, but many do not know the first thing about DaaS architecture, and so there was (and still is) a significant demand for an intuitive, easy-to-use DaaS solution that any business, regardless of their technical expertise, can use. It is these types of businesses that Windows 365 is a perfect solution for.