My last blog post about WVD created a huge discussion on Twitter and in less than a couple days already reached close to 1,500 views and for the Twitter specialists out there, over 6,500 impressions with a healthy 17% engagement rate.

All that was written in that post was based off what we knew from Microsoft Ignite and further interactions on Twitter with several people, Scott Manchester included. If you do not know Scott, he is the Group Manager for RDS within Microsoft.

Of course given the fire that was out due to that post, he read it and a couple days later replied to my tweet with the following:

And right after, he replied to someone else’s question:

With that in mind, what did we learn and what can we deduct from all this?

  • Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) seems to be what RDS (or more precisely RDmi) will be called moving forward. So it is more like a brand name for an umbrella of solutions running under it. That includes Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2019 (with the RDSH role we assume) and any desktop OS from Windows 7 (assumed to be SP1) to the latest Windows 10 build, with or without its new multi-user capabilities enabled.
  • If you decide you do need Windows 10 with multi-user capabilities, you can have it, as long as that machine is running on Azure.
  • Why did I mention RDmi (what stands for ‘Remote Desktop Modern Infrastructure)? If you do not know what RDmi is, the short version is, it was supposed to be an Azure service that replaces all the RDS components (except RDSH). With RDmi, the control plane (brokering, web access, gateway) runs as a service on Azure. Then, on all the machines you want to make available to your users, you load an ‘agent’, similar to what the Parallels Agent or the Citrix VDA does. Based on Scott’s reply, it seems that WVD will be that. All the control plane made available on Azure. You then load this ‘VDA’ on any machine you have either on-premises or in the cloud. As he does not mention anything regarding physical vs virtual machines or even which clouds, I have to assume that you could even load the ‘VDA’ on a physical box (server or desktop OS) and even on VMs running on different clouds (i.e. AWS). The only exception to this, as per his second reply, seems to be Windows 10. If multi-user, it has to run on Azure. Otherwise, as long as you bring your own licenses AND reach the minimum number required, it seems that you could host Windows 10 single-user on AWS, with the control plane on Azure.

I think this is exactly what WVD is and what it means for everyone trying to understand the mess created given the information relayed during Ignite and the lack of information thereafter. As I mentioned to Scott on Twitter, the key thing is proper communication with the industry and their own customers. After all they are not Mickey-Mouse software house, even though sometimes it appears to be the case.

So resuming:

  • WVD seems to be a much bigger thing, an umbrella for all what we know today as RDS (RDSH or VDI).
  • Its control plane will be potentially an Azure thing, with no need anymore for the traditional RDS roles (broker/web access/gateway).
  • If you need Windows 10 multi-user, you need Azure.

Keep in mind this is what we know as of February 2019 and as I am no longer an MVP I may be completely wrong. On top of that, as before, there is nothing that prevents Scott from going on Twitter and posting that I am insane and that WVD will run on any cloud and on-premises as well. And support Windows XP as long as you pay huge amounts to Microsoft.

Until then, take all this with a grain of salt. A bag actually.