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Calculating and Recommending a Configuration for Performance Requirements

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An important aspect of any Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) environment is ensuring it is designed to not only meet best practices standards but also meet your organization’s requirements. To get the most out of this cloud-hosted service, it is important to use the correct features and components that make up the AVD environment which will, in turn, give a much better experience for your users. 

This course will help you design and plan your Azure Virtual Desktop environment and allow you to understand how it integrates with other Azure services. It covers understanding network and sizing requirements, recommending the correct identity and access management (IAM) solution to integrate with AVD, the operating system (OS) options that support AVD, and a closer look at the different host pool types with use cases they fit into.

Learning Objectives

  • Assessing existing physical and virtual desktop environments
  • Assessing network capacity and speed requirements for Azure Virtual Desktop
  • Recommending an operating system for an Azure Virtual Desktop implementation
  • Planning and configuring name resolution for Active Directory (AD) and Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS)
  • Planning host pools architecture
  • Recommending resource groups, subscriptions, and management groups
  • Configuring a location for the Azure Virtual Desktop metadata
  • Calculating and recommending a configuration for performance requirements

Intended Audience

This course is intended for people who want to become an Azure Virtual Desktop Specialist and/or are preparing to take the AZ-140 exam.


If you wish to get the most out of this course, it is recommended that you should have a good understanding of Azure Administration, however, this is not essential.


Welcome to this module on calculating and recommending a configuration for performance requirements. In this module, we'll cover the following topics: we will look at understanding the different workloads in Azure Virtual Desktop; we will then take a closer look at virtual machine size guidelines, including: multi-session recommendations for virtual machine sizing, single-session recommendations for virtual machine sizing, general recommendations for virtual machine sizing. Let's start by looking at the different workloads available with Azure Virtual Desktop.

First, we have light workloads. When we say light workloads, we are talking about users who do basic data entry and use applications such as database apps and command-line apps. Next, we have medium workloads. With this type of workload, we are thinking more in the line of marketing people who use data entry applications, like Microsoft Word. We then move into heavy workloads. And these type of workloads are ideal for content creators who utilize broader Microsoft apps, such as PowerPoint and Outlook. The final workload we need to consider is power workloads. This type of workload suits 3D model makers who use applications such as Adobe products or CAD applications.

Now we understand the different types of Azure Virtual Desktop workloads, let's take a look at some of the sizing recommendations. We start with some multi-session recommendations you need to be aware of for the exam. Microsoft recommends between 4 and 24 vCPUs for the standard or large environments. All virtual machines should have a minimum of at least two cores when dealing with standard or large environments.

Finally, it is recommended not to exceed 32 cores for any single virtual machine in an Azure Virtual Desktop environment. If we look at single-session recommendations, Microsoft recommends a minimum of 4 vCPUs per session host. For more accurate sizing however, they recommend you reach out to the app-specific vendor and liaise with them to understand more detailed recommendations.

In the final part of this module, we are going to discuss some general recommendations for virtual machine sizing with Azure Virtual Desktop. Microsoft recommends using Premium SSDs for any managed disks for better performance. If you are using the more power workload type, which is suited to graphics-intensive applications, then virtual machines with GPUs are the best fit. The last recommendation is to use the B-series burstable virtual machines for users who do not always utilize the maximum amount of CPU they are provisioned.

About the Author

Shabaz Darr is a Senior Infrastructure Specialist at Netcompany based in the UK. He has 15 years plus experience working in the IT industry, 7 of those he has spent working with Microsoft Cloud Technologies in general, with a focus on MEM and IaaS. Shabaz is a Microsoft MVP in Enterprise Mobility with certifications in Azure Administration and Azure Virtual Desktop. During his time working with Microsoft Cloud, Shabaz has helped multiple public and private sector clients in the UK with designing and implementing secure Azure Virtual Desktop environments.