Why a Windows Server 2019 VDI should be Hybrid Azure AD joined

What is Hybrid Azure AD Join ?

Let’s just start with the official definition from the Microsoft documentation:

Hybrid Azure AD Join: Joined to on-premises AD and Azure AD requiring organizational account to sign in to the device.

This means that after the device is Hybrid Azure AD joined, it behaves the same as any other computer connected to Active Directory.

Sign in with an Active Directory account is required.
User credentials are verified against an Active Directory domain controller.
Group Policy objects for users & computers read from the domain controller are applied automatically.

Hybrid Azure AD Join

After the Active Directory connection process is complete, additional steps are performed asynchronously in the background to register the device in Azure AD as well.

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Install Teams & OneDrive in Citrix (Machine-Based)

In the past months, I have had to deploy Microsoft Teams and OneDrive from the Office365 portfolio in Citrix environments, in addition to the standard office applications in numerous projects.

Microsoft Teams

The standard installation, that the user can perform through the Office365 portal, is a user-based installation. In a Citrix environment, this is only recommended for desktop operating systems (pooled or personal desktop).

A user-based installation can be detected very quickly in the User Profile, since data is then located under AppData\Local\Microsoft\Teams.

Teams User Based Install

This type of installation in a worker with server operating system has many disadvantages:

  • No control over the installed version
  • Several different versions possible on the same worker
  • Complete data (~1 GB) is stored in the user profile
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FSLogix Container (Office/Profile) in Citrix Environments

Recently, I have been involved more and more in projects where Office365 is to be fully implemented in Citrix environments. This means that the customer not only needs the standard Office applications Outlook, Excel and Word, but also wants to use teams and OneDrive.

But this is exactly where we, without additional software, have big problems in non-persistent desktop environments. For example with our profiles (Team Installer stores its data in the profile) or so that the data is downloaded from the Internet every time (excluding OneDrive Sync data in the profile).

However, we have recently been in the fortunate position of being able to use FSLogix “free of charge” for this purpose, if we meet the following requirements:

  • Microsoft 365 E3/E5
  • Microsoft 365 A3/A5/ Student Use Benefits
  • Microsoft 365 F1/F3
  • Microsoft 365 Business
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
  • Windows 10 Education A3/A5
  • Windows 10 VDA per user
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access License (CAL)
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Subscriber Access License (SAL)
Profile Container Multiple Sessions FSLogix
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