3 roads to Azure Virtual Desktop – Part 1Rob Metcalf
In this series of articles we’ll look at three of the Azure Virtual Desktop migrations we’ve delivered to our clients, exploring the different reasons organisations are turning to the platform and the business benefits being realised as a result.
1: Unifying the technology stack
One cloud to rule them all
For businesses already using Microsoft Azure and M365, a big draw of Azure Virtual Desktop is the opportunity to streamline and simplify the technology stack under one provider. This was the case for an investment company that approached Atech after experiencing frustrations around technology integration and managing multiple clouds.
Chief among their integration challenges was being able to use their preferred security tools. Due to the confidential nature of the financial data the company handles, security is paramount. Employing Zero Trust policies and strict access controls is important to the business, however they had found with their existing solution they were unable to take advantage of some of the M365 security features they wished to employ. Switching to AVD meant that they could more easily utilise their preferred security tools, because Microsoft’s technology stack has been built with integration at the heart. On top of that, being able to integrate tools within the virtual desktop means that the business can be confident users are working securely from any location or device.
Aligning the technology stack under one provider wasn’t just about integrations. By migrating to AVD, the company stood to benefit from cost optimisation on licensing because they were already using Azure cloud solutions. For subscribers to Microsoft 365 and enterprise versions of Windows, desktop instances are available for each user at no extra charge. It’s a really compelling reason to consider streamlining infrastructure and desktop delivery.
A step-by-step approach
Migrating the whole business at once can feel like a big step and it’s understandable that businesses may want to test the technology before going all in. What is great about AVD is that you don’t have to move all your users at the same time.
Our client was in exactly this position. We’re continuing to work with them on a proof of concept project in stages, to determine whether AVD is the best solution for them.
The IT engineering and development team had already been using a virtual desktop solution. As ‘power users’ in the business, the flexibility to scale compute according to needs provided huge benefits. So when it came to testing the waters with AVD, this part of the business was the obvious choice.
As well as the security tools the business wanted to use, the IT team had been experiencing difficulties with integrating software development tools with their existing solution. Part of the proof of concept project was to determine whether these would integrate more easily with AVD. The client has been pleased to discover that functionality has significantly improved with AVD, improving productivity and allowing engineers to use the tools they want.