This blog was originally posted by Microsoft MVP Theresa Miller to her blog, 24×7 IT Connection.
Organizations are migrating their desktops to the cloud as a long-term future state and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a common implementation choice. Technology migrations can be complex to plan and execute on. Today let’s look more closely at some common AVD use case scenarios and then dive into the top 4 best practices for a successful migration to AVD.
Why Migrate to Azure Virtual Desktop?
In my experience, organizational onboarding and desktop deployment is a process that requires a lot of planning and work. Also, the employee onboarding and offboarding process is more frequent in certain verticals such as in the education system where students attending changes often. Flexibility of desktop deployment can be key and is a critical consideration for moving to virtualized desktops in the cloud.
Additionally, deploying to any cloud can be cost effective if planned properly. It can also simplify scaling of infrastructure-based resources to the desktop providing enterprises the deployment flexibility often-times needed, and Azure Virtual Desktop is a common choice for enterprises.
Migrating to Azure Virtual Desktop Best Practices
If you are considering or already committed to migrating your desktops to Azure Virtual Desktop, it’s important to have the best practices to your migration top of mind. With that, let’s look at my top 4 best practice for your migration to AVD.
- Put together a plan: Migrating desktops to Azure should be done with a plan. Have a list of all of the important action items that you need to accomplish leading up to migration. This should include desktop configurations, resource allocation and cost planning, proper monitoring, backup and recovery planning, how to actually migrate, testing strategies and more. Migrating your desktops whether you deploy 1 or 10,000 will require planning. The plan size may vary but make sure you have one.
- Include Business Users from the Beginning: In order for your deployment to be successful it’s important to work with a team that includes a subset of key business users. They know the applications that need to run on your virtual desktops the best, and have a firsthand experience with workflows, peripherals and application performance needs. Business users can also be critical to final validation of the desktop configuration. If you want a successful project business users must be involved, because they are your key stakeholders.
- Test and monitor everything: Every step of your technology journey in the process should include monitoring and testing. In fact, it would be prudent to have several phases of testing. There could be challenges during the migration journey that could be impacted with a change as small a windows update. Monitoring can help identify which change has the impact, and your consistent testing done in phases will ensure migration success.
- Migrate and finalize testing: Once you have your migration tools ready, tested, and migration is underway; it’s important to test again after migration. Testing is strongly encouraged once again, because in my experiences something as small as an update can impede a migration process and cause failures. Testing after migration, closes the loop and ensures your users’ desktops will be available to the business users when they need them.
There is a perception that all work in the cloud should be easy and can be done overnight. While migrating your desktop to AVD will likely be done relatively quickly, be sure it’s one with a plan, with your business user stakeholders, and has proper monitoring and testing to ensure the most seamless migration possible.