Azure Virtual Desktop Classic EOL: What’s Changing and Why

In a surprising move, Microsoft has announced the deprecation of the classic edition of its Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) platform, leaving customers with a three-year window to transition to the new offering. This decision marks a significant shift in Microsoft’s DaaS strategy and raises questions about the future of cloud-based desktop solutions. Let’s understand more about this transition.

Understanding the Azure Virtual Desktop landscape

Microsoft’s approach to Azure Virtual Desktop has long been perplexing for users. The company has offered two products with the same name, each with varying levels of integration with Azure. The classic AVD service has stood apart with its separate management GUI and lack of integration with the Azure Resource Manager (ARM), Microsoft’s primary deployment and management service for its cloud infrastructure.

The successor to the AVD classic is the Azure Virtual Desktop. This renaming strategy might seem familiar if you recall Microsoft’s decision to rename Azure Active Directory as Entra while keeping Active Directory’s name for on-premises directories.

The ‘why’ behind the change

Microsoft’s decision to deprecate the AVD classic has left many wondering about its reasoning. While the official statement highlights the lack of integration with Azure, some speculate it might be related to infrastructure streamlining. AVD classic may have been running on an isolated infrastructure pod, complicating Microsoft’s operational processes. By retiring this legacy service, Microsoft could achieve a more streamlined and efficient infrastructure, which could benefit users in the long run.

A closer look at the changes

One of the key differences between AVD classic and the new AVD is their use of ARM – Azure Resource Manager, not the processor architecture (just in case you were wondering, given Microsoft’s offerings for Windows on Arm). This architectural shift signifies Microsoft’s commitment to aligning its DaaS solutions with its broader Azure ecosystem.

To add more complexity, there’s also Windows 365 Cloud PCs, another Microsoft DaaS offering. While Windows 365 Cloud PCs primarily run on AVD, they abstract away some of the intricacies and are sold at a fixed price rather than consumption-based pricing. These Cloud PCs are designed for user management, offering a more flexible approach than the locked-down experience of traditional AVD tailored for enterprise use.

Navigating the transition

Microsoft isn’t leaving its customers in the dark during this transition. Moving from AVD classic to the new AVD can be automated, and the company has provided detailed guidelines for both automated and manual migrations. This proactive approach minimizes disruptions for users and organizations making the switch.

Microsoft’s decision to retire Azure Virtual Desktop classic is a significant move that aligns with the company’s broader cloud and Azure-focused strategy. The clock is ticking for users of Azure Virtual Desktop Classic. The final deadline is September 30, 2026, after which only AVD will be supported. While this change may bring about short-term challenges, it promises a more integrated and streamlined experience for Azure users in the future.

Streamline your AVD transition with Apps4Rent

Transitioning to the new Azure Virtual Desktop might seem like a daunting task, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. Make your transition to the new Azure Virtual Desktop a breeze by partnering with Apps4Rent, your trusted Microsoft Solutions Partner. With our extensive industry experience, we specialize in digital and app innovation on Azure. We are here to help you streamline the transition, empowering your organization to fully harness the potential of Microsoft’s cloud solutions. Book a consultation today to start your transition journey.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is Azure Virtual Desktop Classic?

    Azure Virtual Desktop Classic is the older version of Microsoft’s cloud-based desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solution. It’s being deprecated in favor of the new Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) to align with Azure’s broader ecosystem.

  2. How can I transition from Azure Virtual Desktop Classic to the new AVD?

    Microsoft provides automated and manual migration guidelines to ease the transition for users and organizations.

  3. What is the deadline for transitioning from AVD Classic to AVD?

    The final deadline for transitioning to AVD is September 30, 2026. After this date, only AVD will be supported.

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