Written by: Daniel Haurey on 05/17/21

Create Windows Virtual Desktop

Let’s get this out of the way, first: If you don’t consider yourself particularly tech savvy, you should probably call for tech help before deploying Windows 365 Cloud PCs.

For all of the simplicity of running Windows 365 Cloud PC from the user side, the reality is that, from the admin side, getting set up is a fairly technical process.

With that said, we’re here to help.

Whether you want to create a Windows 365 Cloud PC yourself, or you’re simply curious about how the process works, this article will provide you with the information you’re looking for.

At a high level, there are two fundamental steps:

  1. Create a host pool in Windows 365 Cloud PC
  2. Create and manage app groups

Microsoft will also prompt you to set up security protocols and service alerts for your Windows 365 Cloud PC. You should (in general) follow their prompting, but we won’t cover that here, because it’s not a fundamental part of actually creating a virtual desktop.

Finally, note that, for the purposes of this process, we’re assuming that you have an active Azure account and are able to log in via the Azure portal.

Okay – let’s dive in.

1. Create a host pool in Windows 365 Cloud PC.

As Microsoft explains, “Host pools are a collection of one or more identical virtual machines (VMs) within Virtual Desktop environments.” During this step, you’re defining the computing power that users will access when they log into their remote desktops.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Sign into the Azure portal.
  2. In the search bar of the portal, enter “Windows 365 Cloud PC”.
  3. Click “Create a host pool” (it’s a big, friendly blue button).
  4. Enter host pool details, including fields like name, location, and resource group. If you’ve created virtual machines before, many of the default options should work.
  5. If you haven’t, you’ll need to create a resource group. This will involve selecting or creating an image (a file containing a boot loader, an operating system, and a root file system that enables a virtual machine instance). More on that here.
  6. Click the “Next: Virtual Machines” button to adjust the configuration of your VMs. This involves confirming the number of instances you’ll need, picking an operating system, providing a name for your host pool, and picking security protocols.
  7. Click “Review + create” to create your host pool.

Once your host pool is set up, it’s time to move on to application groups.

2. Create and manage app groups and add users.

Application groups allow users to access apps – Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and so on – from their virtual machines. The applications you publish to a group will be available from users’ “Start” menus.

Because you’re starting your app group from within the host pool you just created, your new app group will be automatically added to your host pool. Here’s how to define it:

  1. On the “Application group type” field, select “RemoteApp”.
  2. Select “Next: Assignments”.
  3. Add the users you want to be able to access this app group using the option to “Add Azure AD users or user groups”. You can search by name or email address to find the users or groups you’d like to add. Once you’ve finished adding users, hit the “Select” button.
  4. Choose the “Next: Applications” button and then the option to “Add applications”.
  5. Choose “Start menu” as the “Application source”, then select the application you’d like to add from the dropdown below it. You can choose a different display name for the application if you’d like (this is what users will see on access).
  6. You can also add applications from a specific file path by selecting the “File path” option instead of the “Start menu” option.
  7. Repeat the previous steps for any application you’d like to add to your application group.
  8. When you’re finished adding apps, select “Next: Workspace” and register your app group to an existing workspace.

And that’s it – you’ve now created your Windows 365 Cloud PC in Azure. Users will be able to access it via the Microsoft Remote Desktop app (for more on that, check out our previous article).

Looking for help in deploying Windows 365 Cloud PC for your business?

Admittedly, the above process is fairly complex (and we haven’t dealt with the limitless nuances to optimizing your deployment, either).

If you’re intimidated by the idea of setting up a virtual environment on Azure, don’t worry – you don’t have to go it alone. Give us a call and we’ll ensure your deployment goes the way it should.

At Exigent, we have the technical background to help you smoothly deploy the frontend and the backend of your Windows 365 Cloud PC solution; we’ve been helping New York and New Jersey businesses to meet the demands of their fussiest Microsoft Windows power users since 1997, and our staff has over 200 years of cumulative experience in implementing and supporting Microsoft technologies.

When you’re ready for implementation, we can provide white-glove support to make the process quick and seamless, ensuring users are educated and environments are properly configured.

Ready to skip the technical headaches and create your Azure Virtual Desktop solution? Let’s talk.