Azure Virtual Desktop Now Supports End Users Joined via Azure Active Directory

Azure Virtual Desktop host pools can now be joined to the Azure Active Directory service, Microsoft announced on Wednesday.

This capability lets organizations using the Azure Virtual Desktop virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) service support so-called "cloud-only users." In other words, the devices of these users don't need to be tied to on-premises Active Directory implementations, but can be purely joined to Azure AD.

While it may seem like Azure Virtual Desktop should already have this capability, it was described on Wednesday as being "new":

This new configuration allows you to provide access to cloud-only users (created in Azure AD and not synchronized from an on-prem directory) which wasn't possible before. For certain scenarios, this will help eliminate the need for a domain controller, help reduce cost, and streamline your deployment.

The announcement described the ability to leverage Azure AD with the Azure Virtual Desktop service as "a major milestone."

Other new Azure Virtual Desktop perks to come include "support for FSLogix profiles, single sign-on, additional credential types like FIDO2, and Azure Files for cloud users," the announcement indicated. The timing wasn't indicated.

In August, Microsoft indicated that Windows 11 had reached the preview stage for Azure Virtual Desktop. Windows 11 will have a multisession option (multiple desktop connections per single virtual machine) for the Azure Virtual Desktop service. However, some of Windows 11's high-end graphics capabilities could require having "an Azure VM with the right GPU support," Microsoft indicated, although details weren't provided.

Azure Virtual Desktop administrators are supposed to get the Windows 11 preview from the Azure Marketplace, according to Stefan Georgiev, a senior program manager on the Microsoft's RDS and Windows Virtual Desktop team. Georgiev described the steps to test Windows 11 on the Azure Virtual Desktop service, which can be found in the August announcement's comments section.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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