By Kurt Mackie and Azure Security News
Microsoft announced last week that the ability to use Azure Monitor to monitor Windows Virtual Desktop environments is now at the “general availability” commercial-release stage.
Windows Virtual Desktop is Microsoft’s virtual desktop infrastructure service, commercially launched in September 2019. It houses the operating systems (Windows 7 and Windows 10) and apps on Microsoft’s servers for remote access by end users. While Windows Virtual Desktop lets organizations have a more centralized management control over Windows apps and devices, which can even be thin-client devices, it possibly comes with complexities.
However, an “insights” capability in Azure Monitor at least promises better monitoring of Window Virtual Desktop service health.
“With Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop, you can find and troubleshoot problems in the deployment, view the status and health of host pools, diagnose user feedback and understand resource utilization,” Microsoft’s announcement indicated.
The new Azure Monitor capability brings improved data collection. Cost estimates are said to be better optimized. The user interface for Windows Virtual Desktop setups is said to be easier, including when setting up virtual machines and Windows Event Logs. Warnings now appear at the top of the Host Diagnostics page, as well.
Microsoft warned preview users of the Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop solution that they will have to go through some manual configuration steps in order to optimally switch to the general availability release version. Those steps are needed to “help reduce your Azure Monitor Log Analytics cost,” Microsoft explained in this March 25 announcement.
The use of Azure Monitor comes with its own complex cost structure, which is outlined at this Microsoft pricing page. Organizations pay for what they use, but there are various charges associated with Azure Monitor use, which are broken down in detail on the pricing page.
Organizations using Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop will need to have an Azure Log Analytics account for the data storage aspects.
“To start, we recommend you choose the pay-as-you-go model and adjust as you scale your deployment and take in more data,” Microsoft indicated in this document on Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop regarding the Log Analytics account that’s needed.
Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop doesn’t appear to support complex virtual desktop infrastructure environments right now.
“Windows Virtual Desktop currently only supports monitoring one subscription, resource group, and host pool at a time,” Microsoft’s document explained in a note.
To use Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop, organizations will need to be using “the latest release of Windows Virtual Desktop that’s compatible with Azure Resource Manager,” the document indicated, without naming the version. Organizations also need a Log Analytics workspace where data collection is enabled for Windows Virtual Desktop diagnostics and performance. Some read-access permissions also need to be turned on.
Microsoft also recommends using “Windows Events Logs from your Windows Virtual desktop session hosts” with Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop.