What are Session Hosts?
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In this course, you will learn about host pools and session hosts in Azure Virtual Desktop.

Learning Objectives

  • Deploy and configure host pools and session hosts
  • Set up autoscaling for Azure Virtual Desktop
  • Understand Azure Virtual Desktop limits
  • Set high availability options for Azure Virtual Desktop
  • Use Azure Virtual Desktop session host join options
  • Automate Azure Virtual Desktop

Intended Audience

This course is for anyone planning to take the Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty exam and anyone interested in learning how to deploy an AVD environment.


To get the most out of this course, you should have an administrator-level understanding of Azure Virtual Machines, Azure high availability solutions, Windows management join options, ARM templates, PowerShell, and the Azure CLI.


Now, I know we've talked about it several times, but what exactly is a Session Host?

An Azure Virtual Desktop Session Host is a standard Azure virtual machine of any type and any size that has been deployed in the cloud. Then, the AVD Bootloader agent and the AVD agent get installed, registering the VM to the Host Pool as a new Session Host. This means that the Session Host is a role that's added to a VM and not the VM itself. And since the Session Host role can be added to any virtual machine type, you can use the VM skew that best suits your needs and user personas. Maybe you need something like a massive CPU, you can pick an L series VM. Or maybe you need graphics power, and you can pick an N series skew. You can even take advantage of other VM's advanced features, like ephemeral disk, or trusted launch, and also Gen2 virtual machines.


About the Author

Dean Cefola is a Principal Azure Engineer at Microsoft and has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. Dean has been supporting Azure Virtual Desktop from the beginning and is the Microsoft FastTrack Global Leader for AVD.