The latest technology news week 23-2023

Here’s the weekly latest technology news from Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), Windows 365, and VMware. The main focus is based on Cloud and End User Computing (EUC) technology.

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)

  • Nerdio Modeler for Azure Virtual Desktop. Modeler prompts for a handful of inputs and produces an easy-to-understand cost analysis, including auto-scale savings. You can now estimate precisely how much your AVD environment will cost in total and per-user instead of waiting for the Azure bill. Link
  • Remote Desktop Client 1.2.4331. A new Remote Desktop Client is released with improvements and fixes. Link
  • How to Manage Windows 10 & Windows 11 Multi-session Hosts Using Microsoft Intune. Link
  • AVD – SSO and Passwordless Authentication. At the moment AVD requires multiple login prompts. Microsoft has in preview Single Sign-On. This blog explains how to configure the SSO feature. Link

Windows 365

  • How to configure Windows 365 boot. Link
  • What’s new in Windows 365 Enterprise? The latest enhancements of Windows 365. Link
  • Introducing Windows 365 frontline. Link


  • Windows Defender for servers. It is now possible to onboard servers (Windows and Linux) to Defender for Servers without Arc. Link
  • New Azure Landing Zone Terraform module. We have adopted a more modular approach and we hope we have addressed key tasks, such as the ability to fully customize the management group hierarchy. Link
  • Azure Enterprise Scale whats new? See the monthly updates of the Enterprise Scale/Azure Landing Zones. Link
  • Deploy (Azure) Network-as-Code as a champ. Link


  • The Antivirus and folder exclusions are modified for FSLogix containers. There is no need to exclude the drivers and executables anymore (*.sys and *.exe). Link


  • VMware vSphere Certificate Management document. This document explains the different VMCA certificate management modes. Link
  • VMware Horizon Deployment Guide for Healthcare. This document describes testing configurations and best practices for integrating VMware Horizon with a variety of healthcare software products. Link
  • VMware Horizon on Azure VMware Solution (AVS) installation. Link
  • vExpert 2023 Second Half Apps Are Open. Link


  • NetScaler Automation Toolkit. NetScaler Automation Toolkit contains all the NetScaler tools to be used for making NetScaler part of DevOps and automation pipelines. Link


  • KeePass 2.54 released. Fixes a bug that leaked the cleartext master password. Link
  • How to launch the command prompt and PowerShell from MS Paint. Link

Optimize the Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) golden image automatically

For Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) there is an Optimization Tool available called Virtual Desktop Optimization Tool (VDOT). With this tool/script you optimize the following categories within an Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD):

    • Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app cleanup
    • Optional Features cleanup
    • Local policy settings
    • System services
    • Scheduled tasks
    • Apply Windows (and other) updates
    • Automatic Windows traces
    • Windows Defender optimization
    • Client network performance tuning by registry settings
    • Additional settings from the “Windows Restricted Traffic Limited Functionality Baseline” guidance.
    • Disk cleanup

Optimizing the AVD Golden Image will improve the User Experience, so it is highly recommended to use it. Vendors such as VMware (VMware OS Optimization Tool) and Citrix (Citrix Optimizer Tool) use their own tools for optimizing their Golden Images.

To optimize an AVD image you must do some things manually before you run the Virtual Desktop Optimization Tool (VDOT). I created a PowerShell script that downloads the latest VDOT and optimizes the AVD image automatically.

The PowerShell script below does the following:

  • Create a folder on the AVD  VM called c:\optimize
  • Download the latest Virtual Desktop Optimization Tool
  • Expand the Virtual Desktop Optimization Tool  zip file to the c:\optimize folder
  • Remove the VDOT Archive file
  • Download a modified apppackages.json file. The default apppackages.json file will enable all the APPX packages.
  • Copy the apppackages.json file to the configuration folder for each build
  • Unblock all the downloaded files
  • Execute the Virtual Desktop Optimization Tool
  • Remove the c:\optimize folder
  • Reboot the AVD host
        Virtual Desktop Optimalization Tool (VDOT)
        Download the Virtual Desktop Optimalization Tool (VDOT), creates a folder called optimize and runs VDOT tool.
        The VDOT tool determines OS version at run-time
        Version:        1.0
        Author:         Ivo Beerens
        Creation Date:  25-02-2022
        Plattform:      Azure VIrtual Desktop (AVD)
                        25-05-2022      1.0 - Initial script development

        Script needs to be run with PowerShell elevated

# Variables
$verbosePreference = 'Continue'
$vdot = '' 
$apppackages = ''
$vdot_location = 'c:\Optimize' 
$vdot_location_zip = 'c:\Optimize\'
$apppackages_location = 'C:\Optimize\AppxPackages.json'

# Enable TLS 1.2
[Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12

# Clear screen

# Create Folder
$checkdir = Test-Path -Path $vdot_location
if ($checkdir -eq $false){
    Write-Verbose "Creating '$vdot_location' folder"
    New-Item -Path 'c:\' -Name 'Optimize' -ItemType 'directory' | Out-Null
else {
    Write-Verbose "Folder '$vdot_location' already exists."

# Download VDOT
Write-Verbose "Dowmload VDOT" 
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $vdot -OutFile $vdot_location_zip

# Expand Archive
Write-Verbose "Expand Archive" 
Expand-Archive $vdot_location_zip -DestinationPath $vdot_location -Verbose -Force

# Remove Archive
Write-Verbose "Remove Archive" 
Remove-Item $vdot_location_zip

# Download AppPackages
Write-Verbose "Dowmload Apppackages.json APPX file" 
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $apppackages -OutFile $apppackages_location

# Copy the AppPackage file to all versions
Write-Verbose "Copy Apppackages.json to all configurationfiles folders" 
Copy-Item $apppackages_location -Destination 'C:\Optimize\Virtual-Desktop-Optimization-Tool-main\1909\ConfigurationFiles\AppxPackages.json'
Copy-Item $apppackages_location -Destination 'C:\Optimize\Virtual-Desktop-Optimization-Tool-main\2004\ConfigurationFiles\AppxPackages.json'
Copy-Item $apppackages_location -Destination 'C:\Optimize\Virtual-Desktop-Optimization-Tool-main\2009\ConfigurationFiles\AppxPackages.json'

# Unblock all files
Write-Verbose "Unblock all files" 
dir $vdot_location -Recurse | Unblock-File

# Change folder to VDOT
Write-Verbose "Change folder to VDOT location" 
$vdot_folder = $vdot_location + '\Virtual-Desktop-Optimization-Tool-main' 
cd $vdot_folder

Write-Verbose "Run VDOT" 
Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope Process -Force
.\Windows_VDOT.ps1 -Verbose -AcceptEULA

# Sleep 5 seconds
sleep 5

# Remove folder
Write-Verbose "Remove Optimize folder" 
cd \
Remove-Item $vdot_location -Recurse -Force

# Restart AVD Golden image
Restart-Computer -Force

You can use this script in your AVD Golden Image building process. The Virtual Desktop Optimization Tool (VDOT) changes a lot of settings so be sure to test your image very carefully. The script can be found on my GitHub, link.

Resources to prepare for the AZ-140 Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) exam

I’m preparing for the AZ-140 Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) exam.

Update: June 10, 2021, the exam is out of beta and Generally Available (Link).

The following resources I’m using for studying for the exam:

Create a free Azure account to get some hands-on lab experience

The Azure Academy did a great job and created  a series of AZ-140 study guides on YouTube:

Travis Roberts has created a training course and a set of exam questions for the AZ-140 exam on Udemy:

Pluralsight is free this month (April 2021). So take your change

Exam tips:

I hope that these resources will help you pass the AZ-104 exam. Let me know in a comment below about your experience with the AZ-104 exam.