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Storage Considerations for Windows Virtual Desktop

One of the pillars of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is the technology behind profile container technology, referred to as FSLogix. Upon login, the FSLogix profile container is connected to the computing environment so the profile is readily available.

This then raises the question on the ideal locations to host the repository of profiles generated FSLogix usage. Aspects to consider:

  • Space usage: FSLogix Profile Containers and Office Containers are dynamic files that will grow to a maximum default size of 30 GB.
  • IOPS operation per user session: The table below illustrates the projected IO footprint per user session.
Resource Requirement
Steady state IOPS 10
/sign-out IOPS 50
  • Latency: The storage for FSLogix profiles should reside within the same region as the associated WVD pool of VMs.
While this is a rapidly developing technology, and there are many options which can be explored (such as Azure NetApp Files), here we explore the usage of Azure storage accounts. There are two options:

  1. Premium file shares are backed by solid-state drives (SSDs) and are deployed in the FileStorage storage account type. With the existing disk subsystem, this kind of storage accounts supports 100,000 IOPS.
    1. Using the IO footprint noted before this would be at a ceiling of 2,000 users.
    2. It should also be noted that this tier has a built-in bursting mechanism that gives you three times more IOPs for the first 60 minutes of a session.
  2. Standard file shares are backed by hard disk drives (HDDs) and are deployed in the general-purpose version 2 (GPv2) storage account type. Standard file shares provide reliable performance for IO workloads capped at 20,000 IOPS.
    1. Using the IO footprint noted before this would be a ceiling of 400 users.

Another great aspect of leveraging storage accounts for FSLogix is there are now means to allow Active Directory authentication to access Azure file shares. This ultimately provides a robust platform where users can leverage their AD credentials and access their cloud profile hosted on an Azure storage account. With the storage account sized properly and located in the same region, users can experience an expedient logon into the WVD environments. Access to the FSLogix Profile Containers storage account can further be enhanced and locked down by private endpoints.

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