Note: The Windows Virtual Desktop spring update is based on ARM and the previous functionality of the service in the Azure Portal was non-ARM so pre-existing information will need to be migrated into the console using tools that we (Microsoft) will be releasing shortly.

New Azure Portal – Dashboard

The new landing page for Windows Virtual Desktop in the Azure portal looks like this. It’s very slick and steps are dramatically simplified. Previous steps such as consent, and PowerShell creation of the tenant are all gone!

This portal makes it easier to manage and automate your Windows Virtual Desktop environment.

Differences between WVD non-ARM and ARM

The new Management portal integration is completely build on ARM, which means that permissions can be managed via role-based access control (RBAC). All the deployment objects of WVD e.g. host pools, workspaces etc are objects within your Azure subscription.

See below the most important differences and changes of WVD non-ARM current and ARM future also called the 2020 spring release!

FeatureNon-ARM basedARM based
App publishingIndividual userAzure AD user group and Individual user
Admin access controlWVD custom rolesAzure RBAC and custom roles
PowerShell moduleSeparate PowerShell moduleIntegrated with AZ PowerShell module
Management UISeparate management web GUIIntegrated into Azure portal
Monitoring UIPowerShell and separate monitoring web GUIIntegrated with Azure portal (Log Analytics)
Service metadata storage US onlySelect geography for storage
Consent for reading Azure ADMandatoryNot Applicable

High-level component architecture

Differences from a more high-level component architecture.

One important name change is the switch from tenant to Workspace.

User session management

With the new ARM-based – spring update release of Windows Virtual Desktop being available. We also have the option to do more user session troubleshooting directly from the Azure Portal. The users menu option gives us the option to search for users, see their active sessions, application assignment, and send them messaging during maintenance work.

User session management

This allows helpdesk employees to do some first line of support for Windows Virtual Desktop from the Azure Portal.

Custom RDP Settings (via the portal)

Previously in the non-ARM version of Windows Virtual Desktop, you had to activate RDP settings via PowerShell. In the new ARM-based model it’s possible to do this directly from the Azure Portal menu (GUI).

Custom RDP Settings (via the portal)

New PowerShell Modules

As part of this release, WVD now also integrates into the AZ PowerShell module. Command are now with e.g. Get-AzWvdDesktop instead of Get-RDSDesktop. 

New PowerShell Modules

This leaves up to still create all the Windows Virtual Desktop components completely automated via PoSH. ARM templates for doing the Workspace (tenant), host pools and application group deployments automated are coming soon. More information can be found here.


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