Microsoft Virtual Desktop (MVD) provides remote-working solutions that enable companies to operate efficiently in the post-pandemic world.
London firms looking to adopt a hybrid workplace will be able to seamlessly scale virtualisation requirements and reap the benefits of cloud computing offered by Microsoft Azure.
During the 2020 lockdowns, we found that a lot of companies had poor remote working setups. This was to be expected given companies were forced into a situation with zero time for proper planning and considered execution.
As a result, people working from remote desktops were connecting to their office computers which had to be left on. This created all kind of problems for IT teams – including managing directors having to drive to the office to reconnect remote workers when their computers crashed. True story.
Microsoft Virtual Desktop enables employees to access files from any location on any device. And they don’t have to connect to their office computer to access business directories.
Everything is stored in the cloud, making MVD an invaluable asset for remote working and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) schemes.
If you’re already subscribing to Microsoft 365 or Windows Enterprise, take advantage of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop. MVD is available at no extra cost.
Why is Microsoft Virtual Desktop the Solution for London-Based Businesses?
With more people taking the Covid-19 vaccines, the UK is returning to normal. However, the general consensus in London is that the majority of firms will adopt hybrid working models. The hybrid workplace will be the new normal.
Employees want the freedom to work from home but also want the option to spend part of the working week in the office to build relationships and collaborate with work colleagues. A hybrid workplace delivers the best of both worlds.
However, without the right technologies in place, IT teams will continue to experience the same issues with remote workers that occurred during the lockdown.
Okay, you may not have to drive multiple miles to the office and reset a desktop computer, but productivity will be stymied by typical remote working issues that could be avoided if you adopt cloud-computing solutions.
MVD is a comprehensive cloud-based solution that accommodates multiple devices and applications. It’s also compatible with the Mac, iOS and Android operating systems.
Because virtual desktops are run on cloud servers rather than hardware in your on-site premises, they provide users with the autonomy and convenience to access files whilst maintaining high levels of cybersecurity. All you have to do is set up Microsoft’s Virtual Machines.
Portals can be created for users from a Microsoft Azure account. Although Microsoft’s setup procedure will probably be familiar to you, the cloud setup process can be a little tricky if you don’t have previous experience with remote servers.
For a richer user experience and heightened security measure, it is vitally important that MVD and Azure are set up correctly. Incorrect cloud configuration is one of the leading causes of data breaches.
To avoid the risk of a data breach and persistent IT problems caused by incorrect cloud configuration, speak with one of our IT solution experts in London. Our rock-solid systems deliver 99.999% availability.
What is Windows Azure?
MVD is going to be huge for companies that engage in remote working practices and BYOD – especially as it ties in so well with Azure and Microsoft 365.
Windows Azure is a comprehensive cloud-based platform as a service (PasS) solution designed to help make IT management smoother and reduce overheads associated with large IT teams.
The Azure Portal gives you access to various on-demand services and applications within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem including Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive and many others.
The extensive set of services accessible through Microsoft Azure enables London businesses to facilitate the building, hosting and management of applications without the expense associated with maintaining onsite resources.
Windows Azure is designed to support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft platforms so you can basically click a link from any of your own devices, and connect to a secure virtual desktop in the cloud with all your data, apps and security on it. There is no need to invest in new hardware and is relatively easy for experienced IT solution specialists to set up and manage.
Advantages of Windows Virtual Desktop
With hybrid working expected to be a solution that helps London’s travel-weary commuters increase productivity, establish work-life balance and enhance their personal wellbeing, the cloud is an integral step in the evolution of the digital transformation.
MVD provides companies with unrivalled flexibility without the expense of countless software installations. With 85% of UK firms implementing BYOD in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, IT managers need remote working solutions that safeguard confidential data from hackers.
Microsoft Azure has several built-in advanced security features that manage portions of the services automatically. By migrating your data and applications to the cloud, it makes sense to take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud solutions and migrate your desktops to remote servers as well.
Centralisation increases performance potential and makes it easier for employees to collaborate even when they are in separate locations. As an additional bonus, you benefit from the power, security, and scalability of Azure that traditional virtualisation products cannot match.
Lower Running Costs
Migrating to the cloud gives you a greater return on your investment over the long term. There is less reliance on expensive on-site servers, and you only need to purchase one software license.
Microsoft resellers can set up virtual machine configurations and replicate a computer environment in a matter of clicks. Our IT support team in London will ensure a smooth customer experience and minimise human error.
Cloud computing also delivers more uptime than traditional IT infrastructures. Data is also backed up more often in the cloud which dramatically reduces the risk of losing work that has already been input into the system.
Eliminates Storage Issues
MVD supports a full range of applications and operating systems as well as dedicated and multi-session modes. Each user is set up with a virtual desktop and the settings are customised accordingly for each user.
The benefits of this are that all the applications, logins and permissions are available to individual users regardless of where they are or which device they are using to access your IT network.
Whilst traditional virtual desktops also provide the same solutions, cloud-based virtual machine solutions have superior storage options. There is more space for less cost and custom images (predefined security settings, configurations settings, applications, and software etc) easier to manage.
If you want to enhance security, MVD enables you to take advantage of “non-persistent” virtual machines. This also uses less storage space.
Virtual desktops can become complicated when multiple users are accessing your IT network across a variety of devices. The operating system on some devices is not compatible with VMware.
When this is the case, IT teams have to troubleshoot issues by customising the settings on every device that will be used to access your IT network. Can you imagine how time-consuming this would be for companies with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of employees?
In addition, you would also have to update each operating system with the latest security patch or update for each operating system.
MVD is compatible with Windows, iOS, Mac OS and Android, so becomes a centralised solution for dynamic updates. Employees will not have to update their operating systems on their own.
IT personnel only need to perform the update once. With the virtual desktop secured there is no need to update each and every personal device. This is clearly a huge benefit to companies that deploy BYOD policies.
Decreased Security Risks
Cybersecurity is a growing threat. Work from home and BYOD policies heightens the risk of a data breach. According to statistics published by the government, almost half the business in the UK has suffered a data breach in the last year.
Installing effective measures to protect data from hackers is not an option; it’s an obligation. GDPR requires businesses to protect the personal data of EU citizens. Failing to do so could result in hefty penalties.
A virtual environment plays a significant role in helping to make your business’ IT network secure. With data stored in a centralised system, you are able to protect data much more efficiently than you can on employee devices. You make the rules to access the network.
MVD and Microsoft Azure boast several security controls that tighten networks security. Azure has built-in Firewalls together with security features including ExpressRoute and virtual private network.
It should be noted that the responsibility for security updates lies with Microsoft’s customers – you, in other words. Alternatively, you can partner with our managed IT support team in London to perform securing monitoring and patch management updates on your behalf.
Enhanced Disaster Recovery
One of the key areas in which cloud-computing solutions plays are significant role in disaster recovery. Because your data is stored in the cloud rather than on-premises or on personal computers, there is little to no risk of losing data.
Virtualisation is the only solution for disaster recovery, but it is the easiest option. Data is recorded instantly so even if an employee lost their device or damaged their laptop before backing up their day’s work, nothing will be lost.
Requirements for Implementing Microsoft Virtual Desktop
Before you implement MVD, the following requirements should be fulfilled:
- MVD is available at no extra cost for subscribers to any of the Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 7 Enterprise services. You, therefore, need a Microsoft 365 Enterprise or Business Premium license to access Azure Active Directory.
- The Azure Active Directory (AAD) tenant is the infrastructure that supports MVD. This is where your users will work from so if you haven’t already created an Azure account, that will be your first step.
- The credentials that are registered in AAD gives users secure access to the Azure Portal where you are able to allocate resources to various virtual machines whereby access is permitted by your employees.
You can use your on-premise AAD to do this providing the Active Directory is connected to AAD. MVD does not support B2B or MSA accounts. The UPN (User Principal Name) you use to subscribe to MVD must also be present in the Active Directory you intend to deploy your virtual machines.
Whilst virtual desktops don’t completely eliminate the need for IT administration, the reliance on IT personnel is reduced considerably. However, it is important to remember that resources are managed differently when they are stored in the cloud compared to how they are managed in on-premise servers.
Ideally, your IT team will be familiar with Windows software and cloud configuration. If not, we highly recommend outsourcing your virtualisation strategy to dependable cloud service providers such as our specialists at MicroPro London.
IT Support Services in London
MVD is a cost-effective solution to host all your company applications and documents in the cloud. It’s arguably a more accessible option than other virtualised environments – which is why Microsoft 365 is the most used and trusted suite of business tools in the world.
Whilst migrating your business IT network to the cloud brings greater opportunities, it also poses greater challenges for IT departments. The increased risk of a data breach and lost productivity are common issues faced by IT teams that lack the experience of configuring cloud applications.
The safest option is to take advantage of IT support specialists that have years of experience working with cloud services – and in particular, Microsoft Azure.
Our professional IT support team in London can implement Microsoft Virtual Desktop for you quickly and easily. In addition to ensuring your MVD is set up correctly, our expertise will ensure we save you time, money, frustration and worry if anything does go wrong.
For more information about implementing an MVD, or to enquire about our other IT services that can help your hybrid work model and BYOD policy work smoothly, contact a friendly and knowledgeable member of our team.