Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)

Overview

Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a cloud-based VDI platform hosted by Microsoft Azure. With AVD, organizations can empower their workforce with remote access to essential resources through a centralized and efficient platform. Login Enterprise and all of its components can be deployed in Microsoft Azure, including the Virtual Appliance and Launchers in support of testing AVD.

This document will guide you in using Login Enterprise to test AVD via a Login Enterprise custom connector that lets the virtual user to connect through the AVD brokering service. This testing approach is beneficial for Continuous Testing, Load Testing, and App Compatibility Testing with Login Enterprise.

Infrastructure requirements

  • AVD Host Pool: Ensure you have configured an AVD Host Pool with at least one session host.
  • Virtual Appliance: You will need a Login Enterprise Virtual Appliance. You can opt for the Azure deployment. For more information, see Deploying VHD to Azure.
  • Launcher: You will need at least one Login Enterprise Launcher. These instructions are tailored for a Windows 10 Azure Marketplace image, specifically Win10 Pro 21H2. Please note that utilizing other Windows images for the launcher may necessitate additional configuration.
  • Test User Accounts: Prepare test user accounts in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) or Azure Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) with appropriate access permissions to the AVD resources.

Software prerequisites installed on Launcher

  • Login Enterprise Launcher Software: You will need to download it from your virtual appliance.
  • Login Enterprise Universal Web Connector (UWC) Software: You will need to download it from your virtual appliance.
  • Login Enterprise UWC Connection Scripts: For example, AVD, AVD with MFA, Windows 365, NetScaler, Citrix Cloud, etc. If you would like access to these scripts, please contact our support team at support@loginvsi.com.
  • AVD Remote Desktop Client: To download one, see Connect to Azure Virtual Desktop with the Remote Desktop client for Windows.

Building a UWC Launcher for AVD

1. Download the UWC and Launcher packages. For this:
a. Log in to your Login Enterprise Virtual Appliance with the launcher machine.
b. In the Sidebar menu, navigate to Configuration > Launchers.

Frame 30.png

c. In Launchers, scroll down and find Download Launcher Setup and Download Universal Web Connector (UWC).

d. Click Download file on the right next to each.

Frame 97.png

e. Once downloaded, extract zip files to separate folders.

f. Start the installation by running the Setup.msi file, following the prompts. Make sure to install both the Launcher and the UWC on the machine designated to be the launcher (this can be Windows Server or Windows 10+).

2. Install the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client and ensure to select the option Install for all users of this machine during the installation process. For more details, see Connect to Azure Virtual Desktop with the Remote Desktop client for Windows.

Frame 98 (1).png

3. After installing the Remote Desktop Client program, ensure that you can manually connect to a Desktop Session from the Client using a virtual user account. Take note of the resource name you wish to connect to, as it will be used in the custom command line. In the example below you can see a resource named W10NVDesktop.

Frame 99.png

4. Locate the UWC connection scripts provided by the support team, and if necessary, unblock them (found by right-clicking on the zip file and selecting Properties) Next, unzip the files and place them in a directory named 'Scripts' within the Universal Web Connector directory. For example, “C:\Program Files\Login VSI\Universal Web Connector\Scripts”.

Frame 104.png

Setting up the AVD Remote Desktop Client Сustom Сonnector for Load Tests

The instructions below will also work for Continuous Tests and Application Tests.

Creating a Load Test

1. In the Login Enterprise sidebar menu, navigate to Configuration > Manage tests, and select Load tests. For more information on how to create a Load Test, see Сreating a Load Test.

Frame 100.png

Configuring Custom Connector settings

2. In Сonnector, select Custom Connector. For more information on configuring custom connectors, see Custom Connector.

3. In Host, specify the connection server. This should be the standard Microsoft AVD gateway URL or https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/arm/webclient/index.html

4. In Resource, define the resource name visible to end users. This should be the resource you intend to connect to (e.g., W10NVDesktop) and it will be used by the script.

5. In the Connection command line, provide the command line executed on the Launcher machine to initiate a session. For example:

"C:\Program Files\Login VSI\Universal Web Connector\UniversalWebConnector.exe" --url "{host}" --scripts-path "C:\Program Files\Login VSI\Universal Web Connector\Scripts\AVD" --resource "{resource}" --username "{username}@{domain}" --password "{password}"

You can use one of the following methods to specify the username parameter. Modify the command line accordingly.

a. Using the {username}@{domain} variables:

b. Using the {email} variable:

The variable values you will be able to pass from the Login Enterprise Virtual Appliance to the customer connection command line are {host} and {resource} from the test configuration, and {username}, {password}, {domain}, {email}. {custom1} from the user account configuration. For more information on accounts and account groups, see Accounts. For more information about Load Testing, see Load Testing.

6. In Accounts and Launchers, select the account and launcher groups you want to test with. This will specify the user accounts and launchers available for this specific testing configuration.

Now you’re ready to run your first Test. To learn how to start, e.g. a Load Test, see Starting a Load Test.

Best practices

Creating a Test with the AVD UWC Connector

We recommend initially setting up the AVD UWC Connector on a single Login Enterprise Launcher machine to ensure compatibility with your solution configuration. Once the functionality is validated, you can replicate this deployment by cloning the launchers, manually building them, or automating the process with PowerShell scripts.

This AVD web connector script will be executed by the Launcher service for each virtual user session.

The scalability of the Launcher depends on the workload. Typically, you can launch approximately 20 sessions on a 4 vCPU launcher instance with no graphical or GPU-related workload, equating to around 5 sessions per vCPU. However, if the workload involves video or HD video, scalability may decrease, allowing for approximately 2 sessions per vCPU.

Ensure you're aware of the time required to establish a session, which typically ranges from 45 to 60 seconds in a standard configuration. If faster session launches are required, consider adding more launchers to the environment.

For more information on the Login Enterprise Launchers, see Launchers.

AVD Remote Desktop Client (msrdc.exe) Web Connector

Before running your first test from the Login Enterprise, we recommend testing your connector using PowerShell ISE on the Launcher machine. For this:

a. On the launcher machine, open a PowerShell ISE window. Copy the custom command script from the blue box below, paste it into the PowerShell window, and replace the following variables with their literal values: $resource, $username, $password, and $scriptpath. In most configurations, the $url variable below is standard and does not need to be changed.

$url = 'https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/arm/webclient/index.html'
$resource = 'MyDesktop'
$username = 'username@mydomain.com'

$password = 'mypassword'
$scriptPath = "C:\Program Files\Login VSI\Universal Web Connector\Scripts\AVD"

& "C:\Program Files\Login VSI\Universal Web Connector\UniversalWebConnector.exe" --url "$url" --scripts-path "$scriptpath" --resource "$resource" --username "$username" --password "$password"


Frame 103.png

b. Test the custom script to ensure its functionality by clicking the play button or pressing [F5] in PowerShell ISE.

c. If the script doesn't work as expected, you can make adjustments as necessary. Be sure to update the custom connector command line in the Login Enterprise accordingly.

Now that you know that your command line string works, and you have created your test, run the Load Test. For this, in the Login Enterprise sidebar menu, navigate to Configuration > Manage Tests > Load Tests. For more information, see Starting a Load Test.

3. Configure your launcher to start automatically upon login by placing it in the common Startup folder.

4. Configure the launcher to automatically log in as an administrator, simplifying the process of resetting launchers by rebooting. You can use the Autologon Sysinternals tool for this.

If you have any questions regarding the configuration of your environment for custom web connectors or any general inquiries, please don't hesitate to reach out to our support team at support@loginvsi.com

Additional resources