Azure Virtual Desktop, Nerdio Manager Enterprise, Infrastructure as Code (IaC), Azure Landing Zone, GitHub Actions.
One of Australia’s largest telecommunication companies and operates a number of leading mobile and internet brands.
The client provides mobile, internet, business and fixed network solutions to consumers, small and medium businesses, government, corporate enterprises and wholesale customers. They also offer a comprehensive portfolio of fixed and mobile products in the Australian telecommunications market.
The client operates a mobile network with over 5,000 sites covering more than 20 million Australians, and is one of Australia’s largest fixed voice and data networks and a 5G mobile network that is currently being rolled out.
As the COVID-19 global pandemic struck, it increased remote working requirements for the organisation as a whole and highlighted several risks:
To address the risks, the client engaged Azenix in March 2022 to deliver a viable global support solution for geographically dispersed employees. Azenix has a proven track record of delivering enterprise-scale Azure Landing Zones for AVD and implementing the best virtual desktop experience through our acceleration framework for AVD and Nerdio.
Azenix worked extensively with the client’s Windows System Administration team to determine the use cases and right components of Azure to support the AVD deployment. We converted the outcomes of the assessment into actionable items for the design process.
Using our AVD Acceleration Framework, we combined best practice with our extensive multi-industry experience to deliver a design that meets the client’s requirements. Terraform was used to implement the AVD solution to ensure deployments are efficient and repeatable. During the build phase, the team demonstrated our commitment to delivering outcomes and expertise in order to help the client’s own networking teams establish their first on-premise connectivity to Azure cloud.
The client listed the following key business requirements of the AVD solution
Our AVD solution was tailored to meet the security, user experience and compute costs reduction needs of the business. User sign-in to AVD is fast as a result of the containerization of user profiles by using FSLogix. At sign-in, the user profile container is dynamically attached to the AVD environment. The user profile is immediately available and appears in the system exactly like a native user profile.
The solution provides centralised security management for user's desktops with Azure Active Directory which also makes it easy to enable different forms of multi-factor authentication to secure user sign-ins. AVD improved remote desktop security by using reverse connect technology, which is a more secure connection type than the Remote Desktop Protocol.
Nerdio Manager is integrated with the client’s AVD environment to simplify AVD management. Windows administrators can use Nerdio’s scripted, automated functions to deploy and manage virtual desktop workloads. Multi-session hosts allow multiple concurrent users to share a single VM which significantly reduces long-term operational costs without compromising on user experience.
Users can connect to their published Windows desktop and applications using the AVD HTML5 web client which provides the best user experience. The client now has the flexibility to host VMs near apps and services that connect to their datacenter so that users can stay productive and have an excellent user experience.
Data and apps are separated from the user’s laptop and run on a remote server in the client’s controlled and secured AVD environment. Administrators have the tools to automate VM deployments, manage VM updates and provide disaster recovery minimising the ongoing management overhead of the solution (about 4 operational resources). Azure monitor is in place for monitoring and alerts on critical Azure resources e.g. Express Route. This provides a single interface to identify issues for administrators and the client can integrate this into its change management system for additional efficiency.
The client wisely invested in building a robust Virtual Desktop solution with Azenix, as they are prolific users of Microsoft’s portfolio of products such as Windows, Microsoft 365 and Active Directory. Azenix designed an enterprise-scale landing zone architecture that enabled AVD to be set up and easily maintained with the ability to facilitate additional workloads in the future. Virtual desktops can be assigned to users within minutes (a reduction of deployment time by 50%). By combining the powerful AVD functionalities with an exceptional Nerdio manager, the business has significantly reduced operational costs and overhead.