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Azure Virtual Desktop pricing

Access a secure remote virtual desktop and app experience, delivered on Azure

Azure Virtual Desktop pricing includes two parts:

  1. User access rights:
    • License entitlement: There is no additional cost if you have an eligible Windows, Microsoft 365, or Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access License (CAL).
    • Per user access pricing: We have introduced a new option for monthly per user pricing for access to Azure Virtual Desktop for external users only.

    Find more details below.

  2. Azure infrastructure costs

    In addition to user access, you will need an Azure account to deploy and manage your virtualization environment. These are the Azure components generally required to host an Azure Virtual Desktop deployment.

    • Virtual machines
    • Storage

      • Operating system (OS) storage
      • Data disk (personal desktop only)
      • User profile storage
    • Networking

    Azure Virtual Desktop virtual machines (VMs) are charged at Linux compute rate for Windows 10 single-session, Windows 10 multi-session and Windows Server, including Citrix cloud and VMWare Horizon cloud on Azure. To optimize infrastructure costs, you can take advantage of one-year or three-year Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, which can save you up to 72 percent versus pay-as-you-go pricing.

    Learn how to apply your license to a deployment at the Virtual Desktop documentation.

Pricing overview

New pricing options for remote app streaming to external users

We recently announced a new monthly per user access pricing option for organisations to use Azure Virtual Desktop to deliver apps from the cloud to external (non-employee) users. For example, this would enable software vendors to deliver their app as a SaaS solution that can be accessed by their customers. In addition to the monthly user price for Azure Virtual Desktop, organisations also pay for Azure infrastructure services based on usage. Learn more on how to get started with remote app streaming.

Try it now during our promotional period

We are pleased to offer a special promotion with no charge to access Azure Virtual Desktop for streaming applications to external users. This promotion is effective from 14th July, 2021, to 31st Dec, 2021. For additional pricing details, please read the product documentation page and FAQ below.

Virtual Desktops

Type Description Eligibility/requirement
User Access Rights
BYOL for Windows 10/Windows 7 Access Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 7 Enterprise desktops at no additional cost if you have an eligible Windows or Microsoft 365 licence.
  • You are eligible to access Windows 10 and Windows 7 with Azure Virtual Desktop if you have one of the following per user licences*:
    Microsoft 365 E3/E5
  • Microsoft 365 A3/A5/Student Use Benefits
  • Microsoft 365 F3
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium**
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
  • Windows 10 Education A3/A5
  • Windows 10 VDA per user
BYOL for Windows Server Access desktops powered by Windows Server Remote Desktop Services desktops at no additional cost if you are an eligible Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access Licence (CAL) customer. You are eligible to access Windows Server 2012 R2 and newer desktops if you have a per-user or per-device RDS CAL licence with active Software Assurance (SA).
Per user access pricing for external users Access Windows 10/Windows 7 desktops for a monthly price for external users only. Pay a monthly per user fee to access Azure Virtual Desktop for external users
  • Promotional pricing – enjoy access to Azure Virtual Desktop for no charge until 31st Dec, 2021
Azure infrastructure
Pay as you go or Reserved Instance Azure infrastructure is required to deploy Azure Virtual Desktop
  • Virtual machines
  • Storage

    • Operating system (OS) storage
    • Data disk (personal desktop only)
    • User profile storage
  • Networking

Learn more on the Azure pricing calculator. Examples listed below to help you get started.

Remote app streaming

Type Description Eligibility/requirement
User Access Rights
BYOL for Windows 10/Windows 7 Access Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 7 Enterprise desktops at no additional cost if you have an eligible Windows or Microsoft 365 licence.
  • You are eligible to access Windows 10 and Windows 7 with Azure Virtual Desktop if you have one of the following per user licences*:
    Microsoft 365 E3/E5
  • Microsoft 365 A3/A5/Student Use Benefits
  • Microsoft 365 F3
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium**
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
  • Windows 10 Education A3/A5
  • Windows 10 VDA per user
BYOL for Windows Server Access desktops powered by Windows Server Remote Desktop Services desktops at no additional cost if you are an eligible Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access Licence (CAL) customer. You are eligible to access Windows Server 2012 R2 and newer desktops if you have a per-user or per-device RDS CAL licence with active Software Assurance (SA).
Per user access pricing for external users Access and stream compatible apps for a monthly price for external users only Pay a monthly per user fee to access Azure Virtual Desktop
  • Promotional pricing – enjoy access to Azure Virtual Desktop for no charge until 31st Dec, 2021
Azure infrastructure
Pay as you go or Reserved Instance Azure infrastructure is required to deploy Azure Virtual Desktop
  • Virtual machines
  • Storage

    • Operating system (OS) storage
    • Data disk (personal desktop only)
    • User profile storage
  • Networking

Learn more on the Azure pricing calculator. Examples listed below to help you get started.

* Customers can access Azure Virtual Desktop from their non-Windows Pro endpoints if they have a Microsoft 365 E3/E5/F3/Business/ A3/A5/Student Use Benefits or Windows 10 VDA per user licence.

** Microsoft 365 Business Premium was previously named Microsoft 365 Business prior to 21st April 2020.

How to estimate Azure infrastructure costs

Below you will find examples of how to choose the right components for compute, storage and networking to help estimate pricing. To optimise infrastructure costs, you can take advantage of one-year or three-year Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, which can save you up to 72 percent versus pay-as-you-go pricing. Reserved Virtual Machine Instances are flexible and can easily be exchanged or returned.

If you require Windows 7 virtual desktops, we also offer free Extended Security Updates until January 2023—to support legacy apps while you transition to Windows 10.

Single-session (personal desktop) example scenarios

Example workloads Number of users in scenario Type of user vCPUs RAM
Graphics Workstation 100 Engineers and graphic designers with 3D modeling, simulations and CAD workloads. Users spend 5-6 hours a day requiring workstation capability. 12 112 GB
Microsoft Office 1000 Standard knowledge workers making use of Microsoft Office products. Users work 8-10 hour days. 2 4 GB

Multi-session Desktop example scenarios

Sample use cases for multiple users sharing a pooled (non-persistent) virtual desktop

Example workloads Number of users in scenario Type of user User density
Microsoft Office 1000 Standard knowledge workers making use of Microsoft Office products. 24/7 RI is used to avoid need for management of virtual machines. 2 per vCPU
Call center/data entry 1000 Call center users with low intensity workloads, primarily engaged in data entry. Users operate in three 8-hour shifts, making a 24/7 RI instance the most cost effective option. 6 per vCPU

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Additional resources

Azure Virtual Desktop details

Learn more about Azure Virtual Desktop features and capabilities.

Pricing calculator

Estimate your expected monthly costs for using any combination of Azure products.

SLA

Review the Service Level Agreement for this product.

Documentation

Review technical tutorials, videos and more Azure Virtual Desktop resources.

Frequently asked questions

  • For most applications, multi-session provides the greatest flexibility and cost savings by sharing the desktop infrastructure, preserving the state of your OS image by operating in a pooled environment and allowing user data and settings to be saved and accessed using FSLogix.

    Single-session (Personal desktops) are typically chosen for (a) users that require administrative rights to modify the operating system and want those changes to be retained if the VM is restarted and (b) users which run applications that are not compatible with multi-session.

    For determining user density and VM specifications, please consult the guidelines for remote desktop workloads. Please note that your needs will vary and after you set up your virtual machines, you should continually monitor their actual usage and adjust their size accordingly.

  • For multi-session scenarios, the concurrency of your users will impact the total number of VMs that you will need for your workload. This refers to the share of users that log-in to the VM at the same time. For example, a 24/7 call center with three shifts would have a 33% concurrency of usage, so you would need fewer VMs to support those users than if they were all operating at the same time. For most business operating with standard business hours, a concurrency of 0.9 should be a good starting point. Depending on concurrency, VM type and desired user density, deployments with few users may experience some incremental per user cost if VMs are not fully utilised.
  • Application streaming is a way to run your apps in Azure and stream it to a remote device. This allows the app to run in the cloud near other apps and data, creating a low latency/high performance user experience from virtually anywhere on any device.
  • Any organisation wanting to stream applications to external users (non-employees). Employees should be covered by eligible Windows/M365/Windows Server licences instead.

    1. What costs are involved in streaming remote applications to my customers?

      Please read the product documentation page.

    2. Is there a limit on how many apps you can stream per user?

      You can stream any number of apps for that specific user for the monthly price.

    3. How am I billed for application streaming?

      During the promo period, you will not be charged for access to your apps by external users. After the promo period ends, you will automatically get billed for every user on a monthly basis.

    4. How does the application streaming promotion work?

      During the promo period, you will not be charged for access to your apps by external users. After the promo period ends, you will automatically get billed for every user on a monthly basis.

  • You are eligible to access FSLogix Profile Container, Office 365 Container, Application Masking and Java Redirection tools if you have one of the following licences:

    1. Microsoft 365 E3/E5
    2. Microsoft 365 A3/A5/Student Use Benefits
    3. Microsoft 365 F3
    4. Microsoft 365 Business Premium**
    5. Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
    6. Windows 10 Education A3/A5
    7. Windows 10 VDA per user
    8. Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access Licence (CAL)
    9. Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Subscriber Access Licence (SAL)
    10. Azure Virtual Desktop per-user access licence

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