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Scripted Actions: Things Are Evolving (Fast) & We Want To Hear From You!

Scripted Actions have been part of Nerdio Manager for AVD for a couple of months now and the feedback that we have been getting is nothing but positive. The predefined scripts we have added, which are easy to change and reuse (clone), together with the option to upload your own Scripted Actions building out your library both turned out to be very popular.

Recently, we added the option to run code outside of your virtual machines (though still tied to the VM), directly in Azure enables you to deploy and build different types of Azure resources. This is accomplished with Azure Automation Runbooks and can leverage both AzureRM and Az PowerShell modules. Not too long from now, we are getting ready to take it to the next level.

It gets even better

As part of version 2.9.0 of Nerdio Manager for Enterprise we will be adding a third option to the mix: 

Global Azure runbooks scripted actions. A New type of scripted action designed to run in the context of the Nerdio Manager application in the Azure environment without being tied to a specific VM. Scripted actions can now run as Windows scripts and Azure runbooks based on VM triggered events (e.g. VM start, stop, create, delete, update, etc.) or in an Azure subscription according to a schedule or run once on demand.

As of next week, we will have:

  1. Windows scripts – VM specific runs inside OS (desktop images, session hosts)
  2. Azure runbooks (VM) – VM specific runs inside OS (desktop images, session hosts)
  3. Azure runbooks (global) – not VM specific within Azure

The global Azure runbooks can be run directly from the SCRIPTED ACTIONS page or scheduled to run on a recurrence. 

We are also adding new VM events to trigger scripted action execution. Scripted actions can be attached to host pool VM events: VM start, VM stop, VM create, and VM delete.  For example, an Antivirus agent can be installed and registered on VM create and un-registered on VM delete or a monitoring agent can be installed on VM start and removed on VM stop.

What’s not to like?!

Enter third parties

As a next step (we have multiple planned), we will be adding an additional building block on top of the ones we already have, enabling any third-party service or application that supports programmatic access. But it doesn’t stop there. Where it gets even more interesting is when third parties can start to build their own integrations, baking themselves into WVD leveraging Nerdio Manager for WVD as a platform. We will offer the tools and building blocks to do just that – API included, which we have released a few months ago. Unfortunately, I cannot share any more details at this time, but it’s going to be good, we promise.

Eventually, there could be an entire community effort around plugging anything and everything into WVD.

We are looking for input from YOU!

While the above is being worked on as we speak, we want to involve as many of you (the community) as we possibly can. In short, we are looking for scripts that add potential value to Windows Virtual Desktop to be made available through our Scripted Actions library. You will get full credits, of course. We might alter your script(s) slightly according to our standards, though you will always be able to review before we publish.

PowerShell scripts can be combined with chocolatey, for example the Evergreen PowerShell module, to name another, or anything else you can think of in this pace.

Please let us know if you would like to be involved and in what way.

You can do so by emailing either Neil McLoughlin at nmcloughlin@getnerdio.com or myself (Bas van Kaam) at bvankaam@getnerdio.com and we will make sure to reply ASAP.

We are looking forward to your submission(s).

As always, if you have any questions or any other comments or suggestions on how we can make things even better, please do let us know as well. Remember, we’re just getting started. More to come (very) soon!

Bas van Kaam

Nerdio Field CTO, EMEA

AVD MANAGEMENT

Multi-Cloud and On-Premises Deployment with Azure Stack HCI (Coming Soon)

Deploy Azure Virtual Desktop in Azure and extend the session host VM placement to on-premises and other cloud using Azure Stack HCI. Nerdio Manager automates deployment of session hosts, AVD agent installation, and full integration into the AVD deployment in Azure.

Create a brand new Azure Virtual Desktop environment or allow Nerdio Manager to discover an existing deployment, connecting to existing resources, and manage them.

Deploy Nerdio Manager from Azure Marketplace and configure a new AVD environment with an easy to follow, step-by-step configuration wizard. First group of users can access their AVD desktop in less than 2 hours.

Service providers, system integrators, and consultants can leverage Nerdio Manager’s scripted AVD deployment template. Create complete environments with desktop images, host pools, and auto-scaling in minutes.

Create and manage AVD environments that span Azure regions and subscriptions. Quickly link Vnets and resource groups and manage AVD deployments world-wide from unified portal.

Link multiple Azure tenants under the same Nerdio Manager instance and manage AVD deployments that span Azure AD tenants. User identities and session host VMs can run in separate tenants for maximum flexibilty and security.

Deploy and manage AVD environments that span across sovereign Azure Clouds. Cross-sovereign cloud support allows identity (e.g. users and groups) to be in one Azure Cloud, while session host VMs are in another Azure Cloud.

Management of workspaces, host pools, app groups, RemoteApps & custom RDP settings

Administer every aspect of AVD with Nerdio Manager including workspaces, host pools, application groups, RemoteApp publishing, RDP properties, session time limits, FSLogix, and much, much more. Every Azure service that AVD relies on can be managed with Nerdio Manager.

Deploy and manage AVD session host VMs. Hosts can be created manually or with auto-scaling, deleted on-demand or on a schedule, re-imaged to apply updates, run a scripted action, resized, put into or taken out of drain mode, and more.

Manage user sessions across the entire AVD environment, within a workspace, host pool or on a single host. Monitor session status, disconnect or log off the user, shadow or remote control to provide support, or send user an on-screen message.

End users have the ability to log into Nerdio Manager with their Azure AD credentials and manage their own session, restart their desktop VM, or start a session host if none are started in a host pool. (Ability to resize and re-image own desktop is coming soon.)

Create, link, and manage Azure Files shares including AD domain join. Synchronize Azure Files permissions with host pools, configure quotas, and enable SMB multi-channel. Manage file lock handles and configure Azure Files auto-scaling to increase quota as needed.

Create, link, and manage Azure NetApp Files accounts, capacity pools and volumes. Configure provisioned volume size, monitor usage, and use auto-scaling to automatically adjust volume and capacity pool size to accommodate the needed capacity and latency requirements.

FSLogix configuration can be complex and overwheling, but not with Nerdio Manager. Create one or more FSLogix profiles with all the needed options, point at one or more Azure Files, Azure NetApp Files, or server locations and select from VHDLocations, CloudCache and Azure Blob storage modes.

Multiple identity source profiles can be set up and used automatically on different host pools. Active Directory, Azure AD DS, and Native Azure AD are all supported. Choose the appropriate directory profile when adding a host pool and all VMs will automatically join this directory when being created.

Create a copy of a host pool with all of its settings: auto-scale config, app groups and RemoteApps, MSIX AppAttach, user/group assignments, VM deployment settings, etc. Save time by creating host pool “templates” that can be cloned to any Workspace, Azure region or subscription instead of starting from scratch.

Apply user session time limits at host pool level. Automatically log off disconnected sessions, limit the duration of idle sessions, control empty RemoteApp session behavior and more.

Assign Azure AD users to personal desktops to ensure the user will log into a pre-configured VM. Un-assign personal desktops from users who leave the organization and re-use these VMs for new users.

Pre-configure custom Azure tags for all Azure resources associated with each host pool. Tags can be used for charge-back and cost allocation by host pool.

When creating session hosts using NV-series VMs NVIDIA and AMD GPU drivers are automatically installed.

Move existing host pools from Fall 2019 (Classic) object model to Spring 2020 (ARM) object model. Choose to whether to move or copy user assignments. Existing session hosts are automatically migrated or new ones can be created in the ARM host pool.

Automatically enable and configure AVD integration with Azure monitor. Zero configuration required. Azure Monitor Insights for AVD can be used instead of or in conjunction with Sepago Monitor.

AVD personal desktops to Windows 365 Cloud PC migration (Coming Soon)

Migrate users from AVD personal desktops to Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PCs using an existing image and user assignment. (Coming soon)

WINDOWS 365 ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT

Cloud PC License Usage Optimization (Coming Soon)

Cloud PC device lifecycle management

Cloud PC user group assignment

Intune primary user management on Cloud PCs

Migrate AVD personal desktops to Cloud PCs (Coming Soon)

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