Windows VMs

Windows VMs


Read below how you can connect to the VM from different Operating Systems (OS, e.g. Windows, MacOS, Linux).

An Azure virtual machine (VM) gives you the flexibility of virtualization without having to buy and maintain the physical hardware that runs it. You can compare it with a laptop on loan in the cloud. The myDRE platform supports Windows VMs (Windows Server 2019 Gen 1) and Linux VMs (CentOS 7.5, Ubuntu 20 and Ubuntu 22). This article describes how you can start, connect to and stop Windows VMs. There are two ways of connecting to a Windows VM: via RDP or via Azure Bastion. 

Your Workspace may include one or multiple Windows VMs.  You can connect to Windows VMs with two concurrent users. When you connect with more, you won't be allowed in.

Within the Windows VMs, the Workspace's data fileshare (Z:) and Inbox (I:) are by default visible from the VM. 

How to start, connect to and stop a Windows VM (via RDP)

These instructions assume you are using a Windows computer. If not, you need to ensure that you can open .rdp-files:
  1. MacOS: Download and install Microsoft Remote Desktop for free from the App Store. Next, make sure this program is always used to open .rdp files.
  2. Linux: Make sure you have the latest version of Remmina installed.
  3. Android: Download and install Microsoft Remote Desktop from the play store.
Some organisations do not allow traffic over port 3389, which is necessary for RDP connections. These organisations might opt for using Microsoft Azure Bastion which allows RDP-over-https (opening the VM in a browser tab) without the necessity of having port 3389 open. For more information, please contact your local Support Team member via a ticket. If you want to connect to a Windows VM via Bastion, skip to the How to start, connect to and stop a Windows VM (via Azure Bastion) section.
  1. Enter your Workspace by clicking anywhere on the Workspace tile (for example on the arrow).

  1. Windows VMs display the characteristic Windows logo. Moreover, details such as the template, VM type including cores and RAM and the shutdown time are displayed. More details and actions can be found under the three dots. Be aware that these actions might differ depending on your role in the Workspace.

  1. If the VM is off, it has the status Deallocated
  2. To turn the VM on, click on the purple Start button. The Start button will be faded green and indicate Starting..., while the status indicator Deallocated changes to In progress. This can take up to 30 seconds.

  1. The VM is on when the status indicator indicates Running. The Start button has changed to an orange Stop button and a green Connect button is displayed.

  1. Click on the Connect button to download the .rdp file. 
  2. Open the .rdp file and log in with your myDRE credentials.
    1. Be aware that the screenshots are taken from a MacBookThis might look a little bit different if you're opening the .rdp file on a Windows or Linux computer.

  1. In the next prompt, click on Yes/Continue.
  2. After some loading time, a new screen with a connection to the desktop of the VM should appear. You can now use the VM. 

  1. Once you are done with your work, you can press the Windows logo/start menu on the bottom left and click on the power button > Disconnect
  2. If the VM is not going to be used for some time by you or someone else, you can stop the VM by clicking on the orange Stop button. The VM is off when the status is on DeallocatedRemember: VMs are pay-as-you-go, so cost-wise it is a good decision to stop the VM if not in use.

A maximum of two concurrent workspace members can connect to the same VM concurrently.
If a third person tries to connect, they will be asked which user to kick out.
Concurrent users share the same resources, e.g. performance is better with fewer concurrent users.
A Workspace can host a total of 11 VMs. If you require more than 11 VMs please contact us.

Use all your monitors/screens

Please read our  Multi Monitor Support article. We have a .bat script and a .ps1 script available for those who want to automate the multiple monitor setting when connecting. This does not work for a Bastion session.

How to start, connect to and stop a Windows VM (via Azure Bastion)

  1. Starting the Windows VM is the same process as described above.
  2. Instead of clicking on Connect (once the VM is on Running), click on the arrow next to the Connect button > Connect via Bastion.

  1. A new screen with instructions will appear:

  1. Please read the instructions. Once you're ready to go click on the Connect to VM using bastion button. This button will take you to the Azure Portal. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, we are unable to provide a more direct way to use Azure Bastion until Microsoft makes this available.
  2. The Azure Portal might ask you to authenticate. Log in with your credentials.
  3. You will land at the following page:

  1. At the top, select Bastion instead of RDP.

  1. Click on Use Bastion.

  1. Log in with your credentials and tick the box Open in new browser tabMake sure that your browser allows this if it is not set by default. Click on Connect.
  2. A new tab in your browser will open with connection to the desktop of your VM. 
  3. Disconnecting and stopping the VM follows the same process as when you connect via RDP.

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