Add remoteapp to WVD hostpool using an ARM template

As I couldn’t find anyone who had written about adding a RemoteApp to a Windows Virtual Desktop hostpool (existing) in an existing Workspace, I figured I’d share my template.

  • It automatically creates an application group if it doesn’t exist yet
  • It takes into account existing applications if the application group already exists
  • The group has to be a remoteapp group, not a desktop group
  • This template is idempotent
  • This template can authorize any existing principal you specify
  • It creates 1 or more remoteapps in the group specified
  • It automatically manages the link to an existing hostpool/workspace

Exchange Hybrid lockdown to O365 IP’s only

With the recent Exchange vulnerabilities comes a moment to reflect on further ways to reduce the attach surface of Exchange Servers.

Many organizations still host an Exchange Server solely to maintain a hybrid connectivity link to Office 365. The server therefore has to be publicly accessible, but only to Microsoft. Often this is not the case.

If you don’t have a professional firewall to restrict traffic to only that coming from Microsoft, you can also do so at the IIS level. Microsoft publishes a list of IP’s they use here:

We can then take that source address data and add each IP in it to an Allow entry at the global level in IIS using PowerShell:

$allRanges = @("fe80::946:a60c:3d5:ec11%3","","::1")
$o365IPs = Invoke-RestMethod -Method GET -UseBasicParsing -Uri "" 
$o365IPs | % {$_.ips | %{if($allRanges -notcontains $_){$allRanges += $_}}}
$allRanges | % {
        $payLoad = @{ipAddress=$_.Split("/")[0];allowed="true";subnetMask=$(([ipaddress]([double]4294967296-(1-shl32-$($_.Split("/")[1])))).IPAddressToString);}
        $payLoad = @{ipAddress=$_;allowed="true";}
    try{$null = Add-WebConfigurationProperty  -Filter 'system.webServer/security/ipSecurity' -PSPath "IIS:\" -Name "." -Value $payLoad -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue}catch{$Null}

Finally, set IIS’s IP Address and Domain restriction mode to Deny:

note: you can add additional ranges to $allRanges as needed for internal management, monitoring etc.

Incremental WVD deployments or redeploying persistent WVD hosts

When you add hosts to a WVD hostpool, and want to do so programmatically, this can be done by seperately deploying new hosts.

Redeploying an existing host manually is easy if it isn’t persistent, but if the disk should be retained, you’ll want to disconnect and reconnect it. This would require a lot of scripting (or third party tools).

As I wanted to keep our WVD solution contained to a single ARM template, some creativity was needed. For example, when deploying a new host that has a newer version of a gallery image, ARM would normally complain that the existing hosts don’t have the correct image version and it can’t change that for you since it is a read-only property (imageReference). Another example would be to move the VM between availability zones.

Linked WVD ARM template solves all these issues, but has a couple of important parameters to be aware of if you’re going to use it;

  1. redeploy: set to true in a scenario where you want to upgrade existing hosts, e.g. from a different VM type, or want to redeploy to another availability Zone. It will use the provided list of disk names to create new VM’s based on these existing disks
  2. existingDiskNames: if redeploy = true, supply the list of disk names of the persist VM’s you just deleted.
  3. vmNumberOfInstances: the number of VM’s you want to have (including existing VM’s)
  4. existingNumberOfInstances: the number of VM’s already present in the hostpool when running this arm template.
    #3 and #4 should be the same if redeploy = true, the template does not support redeploying and expanding the hostpool in the same deployment, this should be done in order.

After redeploying hosts, make sure to reconnect the users as they were assigned before you deleted them.

Download the ARM template here from GIT:

Enable WVD diagnostics for Azure Monitor using ARM Templates

Now that Azure Monitor has support for Windows Virtual Desktop, I wanted to enable this for all WVD workspaces, host pools and application groups.

Christiaan beautifully described how to do this through the Azure Portal, but of course, in an enterprise environment we don’t click around, we define everything as Code!

This example ARM template will enable the Diagnostics setting for the hostpool, workspace and application group vectors. To get data from VM’s (hosts), use your preferred method (plenty of examples exist already and depend on your setup).

After applying / including / redeploying this ARM template in your WVD environment, you’ll be able to see metrics coming in to the Azure Monitor Insights dashboard for WVD 🙂

Self scheduling cleanup job for MEM kiosk machines

Normally I’d recommend using the Unified Write Filter in Windows 10 to keep Kiosk machines in a semi-decent state.

For a customer that did not have this luxury, I wrote a tiny self-scheduling PowerShell script that will run as SYSTEM and clean up any of the specified folders in any of the user profiles on the machine.

This example can be used for many purposes to drop a script and maintain a scheduled task. Redeploying it will overwrite the dropped script and scheduled task as per the new config.

Git link or direct code here:

#Module name:      Invoke-wipeSpecifiedProfileFolders
#Author:           Jos Lieben
#Author Blog:
#Date:             18-12-2020
#License:          Free to use and modify non-commercially, leave headers intact. For commercial use, contact me
#Purpose:          Delete all files in the specified folder names in all user profiles on the machine, self-installs as a scheduled task
#Setup:            Deploy to machines, in system context
#Requirements:     Windows 10 build 1803 or higher

$folderWipeList = "Downloads,Network Shortcuts,Temp,Documents" #comma seperated list of folders to wipe

$desiredScriptFolder = Join-Path $env:ProgramData -ChildPath ""
$desiredScriptPath = Join-Path $desiredScriptFolder -ChildPath "Invoke-wipeSpecifiedProfileFolders.ps1"
    New-Item -Path $desiredScriptFolder -Type Directory -Force
Start-Transcript -Path (Join-Path $desiredScriptFolder -ChildPath "\folderWiperInstaller.log")

Write-Output "Configuring scheduled task..."

$taskname = "Invoke-wipeSpecifiedProfileFolders"
$taskdescription = "Delete all files in the specified folder names in all user profiles on the machine"
$action = New-ScheduledTaskAction -Execute 'Powershell.exe' -Argument "-NoProfile -WindowStyle Hidden -NonInteractive -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -File `"$desiredScriptPath`""
$triggers =  @()
$triggers += (New-ScheduledTaskTrigger -AtStartup)
$triggers += (New-ScheduledTaskTrigger -Daily -At 23:00)
$settings = New-ScheduledTaskSettingsSet -ExecutionTimeLimit (New-TimeSpan -Minutes 5) -RestartCount 3 -RestartInterval (New-TimeSpan -Minutes 1)
$task = Register-ScheduledTask -Action $action -Trigger $triggers -TaskName $taskname -Description $taskdescription -Settings $settings -User "System" -Force -RunLevel Highest

Write-Output "task info: "
Write-Output $task

Write-Output "Writing script file to local disk..."

$scriptContent = "
Start-Transcript -Path (Join-Path $desiredScriptFolder -ChildPath `"\folderWiper.log`")
`$folderWipeList = `"$folderwipeList`"
`$folderWipeList = `$folderwipeList.Split(`",`")
Get-ChildItem 'HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList' | ForEach-Object {
    `$rootPath =  `$_.GetValue('ProfileImagePath') 
    Write-Output `"Parsing folders in `$rootPath`"
    `$childItems = `$Null
    `$childItems = Get-ChildItem -Path `$rootPath -Directory -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -Recurse -Force | where{`$folderWipeList -contains `$_.BaseName}
    	foreach(`$folder in `$childItems){
    		Write-Output `"Wiping matched folder: `$(`$folder.FullName)`"
    		Get-ChildItem -Path `$folder.FullName -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Remove-Item -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -Recurse -Confirm:`$False


Set-Content -Value $scriptContent -Path $desiredScriptPath -Force -Confirm:$False

Write-Output "Starting script as task for the first time..."

Start-ScheduledTask -InputObject $task

Write-Output "Install script has finished running"


Microsoft 365, Azure, Automation & Code