Creating a WVD host pool in the Azure console

Before you launch into creating host pools in Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), you’ll need to do some preparations. I’ve detailed those previously here:

What you need for Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

Once you have all that in place, navigate to Windows Virtual Desktop in your portal and you should see the following screen.

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A host pool is the container in which the virtual machines hosting your desktops and apps will live in. You’ll need at least one of these before you configure anything else

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Select Host pools from the menu on the left.

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If you have no host pools as yet you can select the Create host pool button at the bottom of the page as shown or you can select the Add button at the top of the page.

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Step one will be to nominate a Resource group for your pool, as well as a Name for your host pool. You’ll then need to select a Location for the pool metadata to live. Note, at this time, these locations are in the US but will expand in the future.

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You have a number of options to select from when it comes to Host pool type. Typically, you are going to select the type as Pooled, rather than Personal. This will allow multiple users to share multiple hosts that you create.

You then need to determine Max session limit, which is the maximum number of users your hosts can have. The number you place here will depend on the size of your configuration. The suggestion is to keep it low initially as adding additional hosts is easy when required.

A few suggestions here. I’d suggest you keep all of your WVD infrastructure in the same Azure Resource group and in the same region. To be able to deploy hosts onto the VNet you have already created prior to this, things will need to be in the same region. The location of the metadata configured in this screen is not that important, but where you put your pool and hosts does matter. So, keep it all together in the same Resource group and region I suggest.

Press the Next: Virtual machines button at the bottom of the page to continue.

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Here, you can add hosts (VMs) to you pool at the time you create your pool if you wish. You can always add hosts later, so to reduce complexity here, leave this set as No and select the Next: Workspaces button at the bottom of the page to continue.

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You can also create a Workspace at the same time you create your pool. Think of a Workspace as a way to group virtual hosts and apps together. You can always add Workspaces later, so to reduce complexity, leave this set as No and select Next: Tags button at the bottom of the page to continue.

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Azure tags are a great way to easily categorise Azure resources to help with things like billing and management. Here you can use pre-existing tags or create new tags.

When complete, select the Next: Review + create button at the bottom of the page to continue.

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Your selections will then undergo validation as shown above.

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If the validation passes, you should see the Create button at the bottom of the page. if you get an error here it maybe because the total number of cores exceeds the quota for the tenant as I detailed here:

Watch the core limit in your Azure tenant

Press the Create to complete the process.

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You should then see a deployment screen as shown above and short time later you will see that the process has completed successfully.

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If you return to your WVD console and look in Host pools you should now see the pool you just created as shown above.

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If you select the Host pool name you should see the details of that pool as shown above.

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If you look in the Application groups option from the menu on the left, you’ll see that a default Desktop application group (<Pool name?-DAG) has been created but has no users assigned as yet. You’ll see no RemoteApp application groups have been created as yet.

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If you look in Session hosts, you see that nothing in here as yet either. We’ll be added hosts to this pool in the next step in a following article.

Remember, this host pool creation process is part of the Spring 2020 update to WVD. You can also create host pools with PowerShell, which I’ll cover in an upcoming article. However, you now have a container in which you can start adding virtual hosts.

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