Transitioning to a Remote World
In 2020, Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop) experienced incredible growth as organizations attempted to stand up remote working operations. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, business continuity plans did not account for entire workforces to go remote for so long.
With such high pressure getting a minimal viable product (MVP), it was more realistic to ensure employees could perform their core job functions – even if not as efficiently as they would like – with plans to address limitations after remote operations were in place. This was difficult even those who had great remote access solutions from Citrix, VMware, Software2, Parallels, and Microsoft. These organizations had to rapidly provision new hardware, buy extra software licenses, integrate communication and productivity tools, and more to effectively scale with increased demand.
Regardless of where companies stood on remote work a year ago, the consensus appears to be that it is here to stay – at least in some capacity.
It’s Time to Embrace a Long-Term Work-From-Home Strategy
Modernizing application delivery is a critical to helping employees be as productive as possible. A common challenge with many MVPs is they did not include premium licensed third-party products for those with a need or preference for them, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro DC or Foxit PhantomPDF. With products like SnagIt, which need to be delivered directly to a user’s virtual or published desktop rather than as a published application to be effective, teams were unable to get fulfil their primary responsibilities.
A quick uniform solution with dynamic delivery can enable you to handle these requests without a need for creating new desktop pools or frequently opening images. Regarding cloud solutions, the massive increase in storage consumption by forcing apps into your image can also drive-up related costs. This is something we can explore more later in the future. For now, let’s focus on the primary barrier to maximum efficiency when using Windows Virtual Desktop: application compatibility.
The Application Compatibility Challenge
While not as significant as prior Windows operating system (OS) migrations, many organizations migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 still have applications running on a subset of Windows 7 desktops to maintain older but critical applications. When on-premises this was still an inconvenience, but with AVD remoting back to these desktops can introduce additional complexity – particularly if desktops get inadvertently shutdown and Wake-on-LAN is blocked for security purposes.
At a recent WVD UK User Group event, Jim Moyle stated that uptake for Windows 10 multi-session has been wide. This can present another application compatibility challenge. How can you get apps that do not currently work in multi-session environments to work on Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session (formerly Windows 10 Enterprise for Virtual Desktops)?
While barriers to Windows 10 were not as high as prior releases, application compatibility issues have become more frequent with Microsoft’s increase in security hardening on the OS. Windows 10 rolls out significant updates much more frequently than its predecessors, which IT teams are required to support. If an application is critical to even a handful of your employees and it breaks with a Windows 10 upgrade, you will be forced to halt and potentially roll back your upgrades in Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD).
You need a solution that can:
- Migrate ALL your apps from Windows 7 to Windows 10 regardless of their original OS
- Standardize on Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session
- Ensure evergreen solutions continue to deliver apps in a safe manner after each upgrade (or at least that vulnerabilities can quickly be remediated and update on your new OS)
The Solution: Cloudpaging
Created by a world-class team of inventors, Cloudpaging is designed to ensure application compatibility with Microsoft AVD, regardless of your existing Windows OS. Its unique disposition layers enable us to support more applications than any other application delivery solution; making it easy to integrate to other products in your environment so you don’t have to bounce back-and-forth between solutions for various tasks. This also includes for PowerShell to automate both package creation and delivery to align with your custom automation and integration endeavors, including Cloudpaging as part of your continuous integration (CI) strategy.
Whether you have a stubborn application you cannot get up-and-running on Windows 10 or you are trying to standardize on Windows 10 enterprise multi-session, Cloudpaging can help. It is designed to run these applications on a per-user basis and addresses each app’s perceived requirements for writing to particular machine directories or resources.
Integration to Azure Active Directory, Domain Services, Azure Files, and SFLogix streamlines the deployment of your AVD workloads, empowering you to deliver applications as if they were natively installed on your machine. Delivery can be on-demand, just-in-time, or on an event.
Better yet, Numecent builds upon the robust security and compliance offerings of Microsoft AVD. Incorporating Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit with a symmetric key and Cipher Feedback mode, you gain iron-clad security for all data in-flight regardless of application’s original OS.
We are excited to be a Microsoft Gold partner, helping customers modernize application delivery and realize the full Azure Virtual Desktop experience.
Reach out to us and we will be happy to discuss your application compatibility needs and/or provide a product demonstration.