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Nerdio Manager for Enterprise Version 2.0 – ARM (Spring Update) Object Model, Sepago Integration, & More

Today, we are releasing Version 2.0 of Nerdio Manager for Enterprise.  There are several major enhancements and exciting new functionality in this release.  We’ll delve into some of them here but be sure to watch our YouTube Channel for demos of new features as they are released.

AVD Spring Update – ARM Object Model

In version 2.0, Nerdio Manager for Enterprise now supports the Fall 2019 Release (non-ARM) object model, Spring 2020 Update (ARM) object model and a hybrid mode.

As with everything in Nerdio Manager, we made the process of switching to ARM mode or hybrid mode very easy and intuitive.  One of three modes can be selected on the SETTINGS page.

  • “Fall 2019 Release – non-ARM” – in this mode, AVD TENANTS menu is visible and all functionality uses the non-ARM object model.
  • “Spring 2020 Update – ARM” – in this mode, WORKSPACES menu is visible and all functionality uses the new ARM object model.
  • “Hybrid – ARM and non-ARM” – in this mode, both WORKSPACES and AVD TENANTS menus are visible and both object models can be utilized at the same time.

In the near future, while in Hybrid mode, you will be able to migrate an existing non-ARM deployment to the new ARM object model non-disruptively.  You’ll be able to migrate the entire deployment or individual host pools and select whether to copy or move existing user assignments. 

There are three things you’ll notice when you enable the ARM object model in Nerdio Manager:

  1. It is now possible to assign users AND groups to host pools. You will see groups listed on the Manage assignments page (previously called Manage users).
  2. What used to be called “AVD Tenants” in non-ARM mode is now called “Workspaces” and these objects can be placed in different Azure geographies. (As of this writing, only US locations are available, but others are coming later this year.)
  3. Objects created in Nerdio Manager for Enterprise are visible and manageable in the Azure portal (and vice versa). You can now see Workspaces, Host Pools, and App Groups in the Azure portal.

All other functionality that Nerdio Manager for Enterprise users have come to love and rely on in the non-ARM model is still available in ARM mode.  Desktop images, auto-scaling, role-based access controls, etc. work exactly as they used to.

Sepago Azure Monitor Integration

Visibility into AVD environments, both in real-time and historically, is a key component of operationalizing Windows Virtual Desktop in production environments.  Knowing what is going on inside of the user sessions, what the end-user experience is like, how much infrastructure is being consumed at a given time, what users’ work hours look like and many such questions were difficult to answer – until now!

Nerdio has partnered with sepago and integrated their Azure Log Analytics based monitoring tool for AVD right into the Nerdio Manager.  It is now possible to automate the deployment of Log Analytics workspace, custom AVD workbooks (i.e. visualizations and reports), and the installation of the sepago Azure monitor agent on each newly created session host VM.

Sepago Azure monitor is enabled on the SETTINGS page in Nerdio Manager for Enterprise.  It can deploy a new Log Analytics workspace or leverage an existing one.

Once enabled, the sepago agent that collects all telemetry data will be automatically installed on any newly deployed or re-imaged session host VM.  These settings can be controlled globally (as defaults) or customized on a per host pool basis.

Finally, custom dashboards and reports can be defined and linked directly in the Nerdio Manager navigation menu and made available to all Nerdio Manager users.  As new Workbooks are created, they can be linked and made available to others automatically.  Nerdio Manager will not only deploy the Log Analytics workspace but will also manage the access on this resource as new users are added to Nerdio Manager.  As new users are added, they will be automatically entitled to see the sepago Log Analytics workbooks depending on their role.

Want to learn more about the new sepago integration into Nerdio Manager for Enterprise? 

CLICK HERE FOR PART 1: ENABLING THE INTEGRATION

CLICK HERE FOR PART 2: CREATING & LINKING DASHBOARDS 

Dynamic Host Pool Cost Estimation

Several other enhancements are also included in the Version 2.0 release of Nerdio Manager for Enterprise.  With this and future releases, we are adding more visibility into the costs associated with deploying and operating a AVD environment. This starts with estimating the minimum and maximum compute and storage costs of a host pool and then measuring the actual cost and auto-scale savings over time.  In Version 2.0, you will see a new table on the Manage auto-scale screen that shows the estimated minimum and maximum costs of a selected configuration.

Our mission with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise is to empower IT Professionals to operationalize large AVD environments in a cost effective and secure manner.  Stay tuned for many more exciting features coming soon.

Learn more about Nerdio Manager for Enterprise and start your free 30-day trial today.

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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