Microsoft Teams on VDI

In this post I like to make some notes on news regarding Microsoft Teams in virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI).

In general, Microsoft Teams is partially supported in VDI under certain circumstances, e.g. disabling different media workloads via Teams Policies. (Cp. “Teams for Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure”)

However, this will cause that an user cannot use Teams on a non-VDI-client with all features because the Teams Policies are applied to a Teams User and not a device or do not dynamically check if the client is on a VDI or not.

As you might know from Skype for Business times, you can run Skype for Business with all workloads on VDI by using on Citrix HDX. This bypasses media workloads and offloads it from the VDI, i.e. the media flow can flow directly towards Teams instead of traversing the VDI infrastructure. This helps to offer a much better performance and user experience instead of “squeezing” all the media traffic via the VDI and finally causing an unsatisfactory user experience.

Citrix provides good news in the below docs on how Teams traffic via Citrix VDI can be optimized via its Citrix Workspace app and the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA). For more I recommend to read the details in “Optimization for Microsoft Teams”. It includes also a more detail drawing showing how the media workloads will directly flow to the Microsoft Teams backend and not via the VDI.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I think that these are good news for many companies out there which rely on VDI and want to do more with Microsoft Teams. Now there is a option for media workload support within VDI. So, implementation and adoption of Teams with its media capabilities can now proceed in (Citrix) VDI environments in a support way. Of course, as usual, plan, ensure that the (technical) requirements are meet and test it thoroughly before rolling it out. At last but not at least, don’t forget communication to users and options for user training etc.

Update May 2020

Microsoft soon supports Microsoft Teams on Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop #WVD. This brings media optimization for Microsoft Teams to keep audio and video locally for calls and meetings. For more details see “Use Microsoft Teams on Windows Virtual desktop”.

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