I’ve seen a few examples of distributing a set of teams backgrounds to users in MEM, mostly they seemed a little overly complex, especially in targetting all local users and/or packaging the script into an application. I wanted to:
Deploy using MEM PS script in user context
Avoid access controls on the storage location of the backgrounds
Simplify the creation of required Azure resources
Have a simple update procedure
Here’s my take, first autocreate a blob storage location using my template:
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;
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
existingDiskNames: if redeploy = true, supply the list of disk names of the persist VM’s you just deleted.
vmNumberOfInstances: the number of VM’s you want to have (including existing VM’s)
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.
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).
In Windows Virtual Desktop (ARM version), applications are part of application groups, which in turn get nested under Workspaces.
In an ‘Infra As Code’ world these should be deployed through ARM templates (or Az Cli/Ps scripts). I had a long wrestle with ARM today getting applications assigned to workspaces ONLY if they weren’t already assigned.
Azure throws a friendly 400 error if you try to add an app that already exists, and interestingly, the ARM ‘contains’ function fails to properly evaluate WVD Workspace members when in a nested template.
So, I had to resort to some trickery by converting it to a string. For anyone else wanting to incrementally attach application groups to workspaces, feel free to copy/clone my template 🙂