How to prepare for AVD deployment: Host Pool

How to prepare for AVD deployment: Host Pool

In the previous posts of the series we have talked about the master image, how to configure FSLogix user profiles and a series of previous elements to deploy in the infrastructure but in this post we are going to talk about the Azure component in charge of offering the service: the Host Pools.

It has only been necessary to reach 2023 to talk about this

What is a Host Pool?


The Host Pool is a set of one or more identical virtual machines built from the same base image, which are in the Azure Virtual Desktop environment. Application, workspace and session host pools are associated with each other so that users can interact with each other as they would on a physical desktop getting a consistent user experience under the same image.

A Host Pool is usually created for specific use cases that can be defined at a personal level where they are assigned to individual users, or in a grouped manner so that session hosts can accept connections from any authorized user to a group of applications that are within the same environment. In this way, you can have a host pool designed to work with it specifically in one department of the company and another for users who require it individually at any given time.


Creation of a Host pool: Aspects to consider

Unlike the previous items the Host Pool deployment is done entirely from Azure and has only one requirement: The existence of a domain (Active Directory or Azure Active Directory) to join the machines and the credentials of an account with the ability to join machines to the domain. That's all.

Setting it up is easy. Setting it up is another story.

Although the creation of a Host Pool is simple, this does not mean that it is not necessary to have clear ideas before starting to create one. Next, let's consider the different sections to be configured:

Basic level:

  • Application type: This is where you decide whether to deploy desktops on demand or only a specific application.
  • Pool host type: This decision will determine whether the session hosts are permanently assigned to a user (personal) or whether they will be pooled based on availability (pooled).
  • Load balancing algorithm (only if no staff is chosen): This function establishes the logic according to which the Host Pool allocates users. It can distribute equally among the machines (breadth-first) or wait to consume all the sessions on one machine before moving on to the next (depth-first).
  • Session Limit: The maximum number of sessions that each host will admit within the Host Pool.

Virtual machines: 

Here you determine the virtual machine size and number of machines in the pool along with the domain credentials. It is a fairly straightforward step but there are a couple of points that are very relevant:

  • Machine size: It is key in a virtual desktop deployment that we have correctly estimated the machine size and confirmed that users will have sufficient resources at their disposal when they start working in the environment.
  • Machine image: Here is the image we prepared in one of the previous posts of the series.

Work area:

The different application groups (either remote apps or the remote desktop) are registered in it. The application groups are the elements to which the users will have access.

In the next post we will discuss the management of user access to the different applications and how to add applications to the workspace.

You didn't think I had forgotten about this, did you?

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