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01: PolicyPak & WVD (Windows Virtual Desktop) Getting Started

Before you RUN with PolicyPak & WVD, here's a walk around our internal test lab, so you can see how PolicyPak + WVD followup videos will fit in.

Hi. This is Jeremy Moskowitz, former 15-year Group Policy MVP and Founder of PolicyPak Software. This video is sort of a walk before you run video with PolicyPak and Windows Virtual Desktop.

I want you to understand my test lab so you can understand what I’m going to be doing in future videos. Just to set the stage here, this is my “Virtual machines” playground here. I’m using Windows Virtual Desktop to host a variety of machines. I have two that are there for full desktop experience. That’s these guys: “w10-wvd-0” and “w10-wvd-1.” I’ve got two that are available for the just slinging of applications experience (“appl-wvd-0” and “appl-wvd-1”). I also have an equivalent of my on-prem domain controller called “2016DC-0.”

You can see those are represented here. Here’s my good old-fashioned on-prem domain controller. I can see I’ve got “Active Directory Users and Computers” in my Group Policy management console here. I’ve got my “East Sales Desktops,” “East Sales Laptops,” and “East Sales Users.”

None of my Windows Virtual Desktop stuff is in there. Those computers are here hanging out in “WVD.” There they are in WVD land. But of course in real life, I’m going to have some real desktops and laptops and so on. And in fact, I do. I have this computer called “COMPUTER10.” I’ll talk about him in a second.

But these “WVD” computers that are joined to my on-prem AD, here they are. Here’s “w10-wvd-0” and “w10-wvd-1.” These are my full desktop experience machines. Here’s my application machines for just slinging applications, “appl-wvd-0” and “appl-wvd-1,” as well. These machines are pretty much set up exactly the same way but, again, two are there for slinging full desktops and two are there for slinging applications.

But there’s one little magic thing I needed to do in addition to putting the applications I wanted on like “Google Chrome” and “Firefox” and “TreeSizeFree” and a couple of other things I wanted to do here. The extra little magic moving part is the “PolicyPak Client-Side Extension.” “PolicyPak Client-Side Extension” needs to be installed inside your Windows Virtual Desktop machines, and that’s what makes the PolicyPak magic go. That’s important to set the stage for the remaining of the videos.

The other thing that I wanted to point out is, like I said, in my Active Directory land, not just my Windows Virtual Desktops, I also have, like I said, real machines hanging out there. I have real users and real laptops. So I need to represent what that’s going to look like for the remaining of these videos. That is what this machine is all about. This machine is going to represent your laptop or laptops out in the field.

You know what? It’s a good idea to put the PolicyPak Client-Side Extension on those machines as well, so let’s go ahead and do that right now. Normally, you would do this through SCCM or Intune or however you get software deployed to your machine. But I’m going to do it by hand just to make things go a little bit faster here.

I’m going to go ahead and install as my admin here. There we go. This is going to install the client-side extension. But again, you would normally roll this out however you normally install software. Once this is on the machine, this is the moving part that does magic on your laptops out in the field.

Now remember, just to make things a little bit faster I’ve already done this exact same step for all my Windows Virtual Desktops that are running out in Azure in WVD land. Let’s go ahead and let this finish up here. Okay, and that’s it.

Now the last thing we need to do, this comes from Microsoft. This is the “Remote Desktop” application. Once again, you would install this using whatever tool or tooling you want. I’m just going to be installing it by hand here just to keep things simple. This is the same thing that Microsoft gives everybody. The very first time you run it, this is what gives you the ability as a standard user to then actually connect to your Remote Desktop items.

So let’s go ahead and see what happens after we launch it the first time. So here is “Remote Desktop.” If I’ve got it straight, the first time I log on here I’m going to have to give it some credentials. I’m going to go ahead and hit “Subscribe.” “We’re finding our resources associated with the requested feed” and so on.

I’m going to log on as “eastsalesuser1@fabrikam4000.com.” That’s the name of my domain. And there’s my password there. Okay, we’ll go ahead and we’re good to go. As soon as we see this, we should be up and rolling and we should be able to see Windows Virtual Desktop items. “You’re all set!” There we go.

There’s Virtual Desktop doing it’s thing, getting all the items here. Here we are. We’re off to the races. Now in future videos, maybe I’ll have some other items that are listed here that could be different. But you can see we’re off to the races.

If I were to click on “Firefox” here, this is getting the first time it needs to “Remember me” here. But after this, you can see that we’re connecting to Windows Virtual Desktop. You can see underneath the hood the way it works that you actually fully log on, and then it slings just the application. Or if I wanted to, I could click into a full desktop.

I just want to get this thing started just to show you I’ve got Windows Virtual Desktop working successfully before I move on to magic tricks using PolicyPak. So far in this video, no PolicyPak involved.

The other thing while we’re waiting for this to cook is that you should also see that the applications should be here hanging out automatically in the left side of the Start Menu. That’s going to be important for us to talk about really in our first video when we get there.

Okay, here we are. This is the Firefox. You see it’s going to ask for “Default Browser” and all sorts of items. You can see Windows Virtual Desktop doing its thing. We know it’s a Windows Virtual Desktop app with that little right bracket-left bracket thing. So we know that’s definitely coming from Windows Virtual Desktop, and we’re off to the races.

So again, for this first video, no PolicyPak involved. Just wanted to get it staged and set up and off and running so we’re all set. But just to recap, we’ve got Windows Virtual Desktop all up and running. We have our on-prem “Domain Controllers” ready to go.

We’ve got our Windows Virtual Desktop machines hanging out here in the “WVD” OU folder. We have our real desktops and laptops hanging out in another folder. In mine it’s called “East Sales Desktops” and “East Sales Laptops.” I’ve got my “East Sales Users” ready to go.

I’ve got each of my Windows Virtual Desktops ready to sling applications and full desktop experiences once my real laptop—this is my real laptop here as you can see—is connecting over to my Remote Desktop session and getting my applications and my full desktops using Windows Virtual Desktop.

Okay, that’s it for this video. In the next video, you’ll see lots of magic tricks using PolicyPak and Windows Virtual Desktop.

Thank you very much for watching, and talk to you soon.

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  • 18-Nov-2020
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