Whether you’re running your virtual machine on Remote Desktop Services or Windows Virtual Desktop, different types of workloads require different session host virtual machine (VM) configurations. For the best possible experience, scale your deployment depending on your users’ needs.
The following table lists the maximum suggested number of users per virtual central processing unit (vCPU) and the minimum VM configuration for each workload.
These recommendations are based on Remote Desktop workloads
The following table describes each workload. “Example users” are the types of users that might find each workload most helpful. “Example apps” are the kinds of apps that work best for each workload.
For VM sizing recommendations for single-session scenarios, we recommend at least two physical CPU cores per VM (typically four vCPUs with hyperthreading). If you need more specific VM sizing recommendations for single-session scenarios, ask the software vendors specific to your workload. VM sizing for single-session VMs will likely align with physical device guidelines.
The consumption cost for Azure resources supporting WVD session hosts VMs will depend on many factors such as:
- Average number of users per vCPU (e.g. 3 users per vCPU)
- Average GB of RAM per user (e.g. 1GB RAM per user)
- Azure VM family (e.g. B, Dsv3, Esv3, NVv2)
- Type of storage used by each VM (e.g. Premium SSD, Standard SSD, Standard HDD)
- OS disk capacity of each VM (e.g. 128GB, 256GB, 1TB)
- Amount of data transferred out of Azure per user (e.g. 25GB/month)
- Other infrastructure services such as backup, replication, VPN, etc.
- Reserved Instance use (e.g. pay-as-you-go, 1-year or 3-year reservations)
What about GPUs?
Windows Virtual Desktop – supports graphics acceleration, check out for more information Choose your graphics rendering technology. Azure has other graphics acceleration deployment options and multiple available GPU VM sizes. Learn about these at GPU optimized virtual machines sizes – especially the new Nv4 virtual machines enhanced by a AMD EPIC CPU/GPU are interesting to test due to the fact it supports GPU-P and Premium SSD. More info here.
General virtual machine recommendations
- We recommend you use Premium SSD storage in your OS disk for production workloads that require a service level agreement (SLA).
- B-series burstable VMs are a good choice for users who don’t always need maximum CPU performance.
- Graphics processing units (GPUs) are a good choice for users who regularly use graphics-intensive programs for video rendering, 3D design, and simulations.
- Azure has several graphics acceleration deployment options and multiple available GPU VM sizes. Learn more at GPU optimized virtual machine sizes.
- For VM requirements to run the operating system, see Windows 10 computer specifications and system requirements.
Test your workload
Finally, we recommend you use simulation tools to test your deployment with both stress tests and real-life usage simulations. Make sure your system is responsive and resilient enough to meet user needs, and remember to vary the load size to avoid surprises.