Tag Archives: Microsoft

Mindmap – Part 2 – Managing Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)

21 Jan

This blog post is in continuation of my part 1 – Mindmap – Part 1 – Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) – Quick start guide to virtual desktop/applications | AskAresh where we look at deploying the AVD solution. In this post, I want to share my learnings with you all around the management and #Day2 aspects of AVD. We shall take a look into the following topics:

  • Mind map – Managing Azure Virtual Desktop
    • Scale Out – Add extra Host (VM) to the Host Pools
    • Lifecycle – Update your Master Image – Shared Image Gallery aka Azure compute galleries
    • Drain the old Session Host VM
    • Automatically Power ON the Session host Virtual Machines
    • Monitoring Azure Virtual Desktop

Mindmap for Managing Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)

I have managed to document all the high-level steps involved in managing the AVD on an ongoing basis. The idea here is that the mindmap acts as an excellent visual representation of what to do during ongoing maintenance activities. You can figure out in advance the requirements/steps and pre-requisites.

Disclaimer – This guide is a get you started guide, and the production management may vary. Please make sure you always reference Microsoft documentation. Here is the PDF version if you would like to download and zoom in (Don’t stress your eyes!) –

I hope you will find this helpful information on your Managing Azure Virtual Desktop journey. Please let me know if I have missed any steps in the mindmap, and I will be happy to update the post.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Mindmap – Part 1 – Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) – Quick start guide to virtual desktop/applications

1 Nov

I have been learning Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) from the awesome book DaaS – The Complete Guide: A Step-by-Step Guide on deploying Desktop-as-a-Service solutions from Microsoft, Nutanix, Citrix, VMware, Accops. I want to share my learnings with you all, and in this post, we shall take a look into the following topics:

  • Mind map for Azure Virtual Desktop – Getting started
    • Getting started with Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)
    • Deployment – Pre-requisites for AVD
    • Master Images – (Windows 10 Multi-Session, Windows 10 1909 Enterprise or Windows Server 2019 DC)
    • Template and Shared Image Gallery
    • Host Pools
    • Application Groups
    • Workspaces
    • Windows Desktop Client
  • Quick Start Links

Mindmap for Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) – Getting started

Managed to put together a mindmap on the AVD getting started from zero to a working desktop or application. The idea here is the mindmap acts as an excellent visual representation of what to do during pre-requisites, deployment and you can figure out in advance the requirements/steps and pre-requisites.

Azure Virtual Desktop

Disclaimer – This guide is a get you started guide, and the production settings and configuration might be different. Please make sure you change the settings appropriate for production workloads. Here is the PDF version if you would like to download and zoom in (Don’t stress your eyes!) –

Change log

  • The Mindmap was last updated on 21st Jan 2022 with lots of changes!

The intention here is to get you quickly started on Azure Virtual Desktop Solution:

DescriptionLinks
Azure Virtual Desktop OverviewWhat is Azure Virtual Desktop? – Azure | Microsoft Docs
Azure Virtual Desktop technical (ARM-based model) deployment walkthrough. (Christiaan Brinkhoff)Azure Virtual Desktop technical (ARM-based model) deployment walkthrough. It covers all you need to know and beyond! | christiaanbrinkhoff.com – Sharing Cloud and Virtualization Knowledge
AVD Zero to Hero (YouTube – I am IT Geek)Series 5: Episode 1 – AVD Zero to Hero Introduction – YouTube (Playlist)
AVD PowerShellAzure Virtual Desktop PowerShell – Azure | Microsoft Docs
AVD PricingAzure Virtual Desktop | Microsoft Azure

I hope you will find this helpful information on your Azure Virtual Desktop journey. Please let me know if I have missed any steps in the mindmap, or reference links, and I will be happy to update the post.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Explorer.exe keeps crashing every 3 seconds in Windows 10

19 Oct

It was patch Tuesday time, and we were implementing the Windows 10 1909 Oct October 12, 2021—KB5006667 (OS Build 18363.1854) patch to our base images which are used for VMware Horizon VDI. During our validations, we started noticing the strange behaviour of Explorer.exe crashing and desktop becoming completely unusable.

Update 16th Nov 2021 – The explorer.exe crashing issue is now resolved in November 9, 2021—KB5007189 (OS Build 18362.1916) (microsoft.com)

Issue

The Windows explorer.exe keeps crashing within the virtual desktop of Windows 10 1909. The virtual desktop is entirely unusable. The only way to see the Event Viewer or anything is by using Horizon Client – Options – Send Ctrl + Alt + Del command within the virtual desktop and then opening up the Task Manager.

Cause

Provided by Microsoft – The explorer is trying to update feeds content, and there is a NULL value due to this bug that is causing explorer to crash.

Resolution

We tried performing various steps of un-install and re-installing the patch etc.. However, nothing worked, and we ended up working with Microsoft and seemed like it was a known issue, and they provided us with the following fix:

Option 1 – Registry – Disable News and Interest

Open regedit.exe on the golden image or

 Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Feeds\
 REG_DWORD name: ShellFeedsTaskbarViewMode
 Value: 2

Option 2 – GPO – Disable News and Interest

To access the policy for news and interests on the taskbar, on a device that has installed Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2) – v2.0 ADMX file Feeds.admx is newly added, and we can retrieve it from the below .admx file:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > News and interests > News and interests on the taskbar > Select Disabled

Note – I suspect this fix might be applicable to other Windows 10 versions.

I hope you will find these steps helpful to resolve explorer.exe crashing issue and don’t have to go down the path of troubleshooting the issue.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari



Mindmap – Azure VMware Solution – Guidance on Deployment and Networking

12 Oct

I have been trying out the Azure VMware Solution (AVS) on the VMware HOL and going through the techzone documentation. In this post, we shall take a look into these topics:

  • Mindmap – Steps for AVS Deployment and Networking
  • Quick Start Links
  • Optional – Deploy AVS via Azure Resource Manager Templates

Mindmap for AVS Deployment/Networking

Managed to put together a mindmap on the AVS deployment and networking steps of the service. The idea here is the mindmap acts like an excellent visual representation of what to do during deployment and you can figure out in advance the requirements/steps and pre-requisites.

Azure VMware Solution

Here is the PDF version if you would like to download and zoom-in

Quick Start Links

The intention here is to get you quickly started on Azure VMware Solution:

DescriptionLinks
AVS TechzoneAzure VMware Solution | VMware
AVS Hands-on LabAzure VMware Solution Hands-on Labs | VMware
AVS PricingPricing – Azure VMware Solution | Microsoft Azure
AVS (Microsoft Doco)Azure VMware Solution documentation – Azure VMware Solution | Microsoft Docs
AVS Logical DiagramAzure VMware Solution Logical Design
Useful Links

Optional – Deploying AVS using Azure Resource Manager

We can also deploy the AVS solution via PowerShell and using the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template. The advantage here is you have slightly more advanced options that are not available via the GUI. (E.g. You can set the desired password for vCenter and NSX)

{
  "type": "Microsoft.AVS/privateClouds",
  "apiVersion": "2021-06-01",
  "name": "AE-1-AVS-01",
  "location": "Australia East",
  "tags": {
    "Billing": "IT",
    "Department": "IT"
  },
  "sku": {
    "name": "AV36"
  },
  "properties": {
    "circuit": {},
    "identitySources": [
      {
        "alias": "string",
        "baseGroupDN": "string",
        "baseUserDN": "string",
        "domain": "string",
        "name": "string",
        "password": "string",
        "primaryServer": "string",
        "secondaryServer": "string",
        "ssl": "string",
        "username": "string"
      }
    ],
    "internet": "string",
    "managementCluster": {
      "clusterSize": "3"
    },
    "networkBlock": "10.19.0.0/22",
    "nsxtPassword": "yourchoicepassword",
    "vcenterPassword": "yourchoicepassword"
  }
}

I hope you will find this helpful information on your AVS journey. Please let me know if I have missed any steps in the mindmap or reference links and I will be happy to update the post.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari