Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI
With Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, you can deploy session hosts for Azure Virtual Desktop where you need them. If you already have an existing on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment, Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI can improve your experience. If you're already using Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure, you can extend your deployment to your on-premises infrastructure to better meet your performance or data locality needs.
Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI isn't an Azure Arc-enabled service. As such, it's not supported as a standalone service outside of Azure, in a multicloud environment, or on Azure Arc-enabled servers besides Azure Stack HCI virtual machines as described in this article.
With Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, you can:
Improve performance for Azure Virtual Desktop users in areas with poor connectivity to the Azure public cloud by giving them session hosts closer to their location.
Meet data locality requirements by keeping app and user data on-premises. For more information, see Data locations for Azure Virtual Desktop.
Improve access to legacy on-premises apps and data sources by keeping desktops and apps in the same location.
Reduce cost and improve user experience with Windows 10 and Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session, which allows multiple concurrent interactive sessions.
Simplify your VDI deployment and management compared to traditional on-premises VDI solutions by using the Azure portal.
Achieve the best performance by using RDP Shortpath for low-latency user access.
Deploy the latest fully patched images quickly and easily using Azure Marketplace images.
Supported deployment configurations
Once you're cluster is ready, you can use the following 64-bit operating system images for your session hosts that are in support:
- Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session
- Windows 11 Enterprise
- Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session
- Windows 10 Enterprise
- Windows Server 2022
- Windows Server 2019
To use session hosts on Azure Stack HCI with Azure Virtual Desktop, you also need to:
License and activate the virtual machines. For activating Windows 10 and Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session, and Windows Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition, use Azure verification for VMs. For all other OS images (such as Windows 10 and Windows 11 Enterprise, and other editions of Windows Server), you should continue to use existing activation methods. For more information, see Activate Windows Server VMs on Azure Stack HCI.
Install the Azure Connected Machine agent on the virtual machines so they can communicate with Azure Instance Metadata Service, which is a required endpoint for Azure Virtual Desktop. The Azure Connected Machine agent is automatically installed when you add session hosts using the Azure portal as part of the process to Deploy Azure Virtual Desktop or Add session hosts to a host pool.
Finally, users can connect using the same Remote Desktop clients as Azure Virtual Desktop.
Licensing and pricing
To run Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI, you need to make sure you're licensed correctly and be aware of the pricing model. There are three components that affect how much it costs to run Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI:
User access rights. The same licenses that grant access to Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure also apply to Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI. Learn more at Azure Virtual Desktop pricing.
Infrastructure costs. Learn more at Azure Stack HCI pricing.
Hybrid service fee. This fee requires you to pay for each active virtual CPU (vCPU) for your Azure Virtual Desktop session hosts running on Azure Stack HCI. This fee becomes active once the preview period ends.
There are different classifications of data for Azure Virtual Desktop, such as customer input, customer data, diagnostic data, and service-generated data. With Azure Stack HCI, you can choose to store user data on-premises when you deploy session host virtual machines (VMs) and associated services such as file servers. However, some customer data, diagnostic data, and service-generated data is still stored in Azure. For more information on how Azure Virtual Desktop stores different kinds of data, see Data locations for Azure Virtual Desktop.
Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI has the following limitations:
You can't use some Azure Virtual Desktop features when session hosts running on Azure Stack HCI, such as:
Each host pool must only contain session hosts on Azure or on Azure Stack HCI. You can't mix session hosts on Azure and on Azure Stack HCI in the same host pool.
Azure Stack HCI supports many types of hardware and on-premises networking capabilities, so performance and user density might vary compared to session hosts running on Azure. Azure Virtual Desktop's virtual machine sizing guidelines are broad, so you should use them for initial performance estimates and monitor after deployment.
To learn how to deploy Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, see Deploy Azure Virtual Desktop.