Before you can deploy your first Azure Virtual Desktop virtual machines (VMs), there are some prerequisite steps to take care of in the Azure portal. You also need to connect to your existing directory service. We'll discuss the steps you'll need to do to get your environment ready for Azure Virtual Desktop.

The following video gives you an overview of the steps involved. But note that some of the specific steps to prepare for Azure Virtual Desktop are simplified since the video was created. You no longer need to:

  • Assign the Azure Virtual Desktop tenant creator role. You use the Global Administrator role to provision the Azure Virtual Desktop service and an organizational ID to join the VMs to the domain.
  • Authorize Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Active Directory access. Instead, you register the Azure Virtual Desktop provider with the subscription.

We'll cover those changes and the key points from the video in the following units.

If you've ever provisioned a large-scale Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment, you'll be familiar with the components, complexity, and time required to get everything up and running, as well as the operational steps needed to right-size the infrastructure. With Azure Virtual Desktop, deployment is much faster and easier, since most steps go away - the RDS infrastructure roles are now managed Platform as a Service (PaaS) components that you don't need to provision or manage. This new architecture helps simplify both initial setup and day-to-day operations. You only need to manage OS images, apps, users, and the scale of the environment, not the physical hardware.

That said, there are still a few prerequisites you should be aware of – especially if you've historically run everything in your datacenters.

Learning objectives

At the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Describe the steps involved and resources you need to prepare for Azure Virtual Desktop deployment.


  • An Azure account with an active subscription
  • Familiarity with server and client management concepts and tools
  • Familiarity with Windows virtualization technologies, like Remote Desktop Services