Monday, August 23, 2021

Multimedia redirection for Azure Virtual Desktop preview

Last week the public preview of Multimedia redirection (MMR) for Azure Virtual Desktop was announced! MMR provides the user with a very smooth video playback experience while watching videos in a browser running on Azure Virtual Desktop.

Essentially what happens is that the video from the browser to offloaded to the local machine for faster processing and rendering. As a result of that, the user is presented with a smooth video experience, even when playing a full screen 4k video. Not only that, since the playback is offloaded to the local a significant drop in resources on the AVD host will also occur which leads to a higher user density. Typically you’ll see less CPU used on the AVD host and the local GPU being leveraged.

To get this to work you need a couple of requirements (some of those are related to preview version of MMR). Also note that both Edge and Chrome are supported.

After installing the the multimedia redirection extension on your AVD hosts, it can be enabled inside the browse as shown below.

Once enabled you will see the AVD icon in the upper right corner of your browser indicating the extension is enabled. For this current preview, only YouTube is supported but you can already test other webservices by selecting “Enable for all sites” which, as it states is currently in an experimental face.

To take MMR to the test I did a comparison of running a 4K YouTube video in full screen in an AVD Session with and without MMR enabled on a session host without GPU.

Azure Virtual Desktop Multimedia Redirection (preview) — YouTube

The video playback in the remote session was very smooth with MMR enabled and there was a significant drop in CPU usage noticeable. Also, the local GPU was clearly being leveraged for the rendering of the offloaded YouTube video.

Although still in public preview with some current limitations to be aware of and this being a very early test, the results were already amazing. I’m looking forward to seeing how this continues to evolve.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

New book: 'Getting started with Bicep' now available!

Happy to announce my new book: Getting started with Bicep : Infrastructure as code is now available on Amazon both in kindle and paper back!

I’m extremely honored and thankful that both Mark Russinovich and Alex Frankel wrote on introduction to this book! Thank you so much for taking the time! A huge thank you to Kristin Griffin, Esther Barthel and Marcel Eeken who reviewed the book and provided great feedback! I could not have done this without you! And finally, a big thanks to Stefan Ivemo who authored a great guest chapter covering his community project, a PowerShell module for Bicep! 

Click here to order!


Infrastructure as Code is crucial to becoming successful in the Azure Cloud. Azure Resource Manager allows you to create resources in Azure in a declarative way. For many years we have been using ARM Templates to declare resources in a JSON format. Although ARM Templates are very powerful, the implementation of the JSON language is hard to read, maintain and debug. Bicep, a Domain Specific Language, overcomes these issues by providing a transparent abstraction layer on top of ARM and ARM Templates. This significantly improves the authoring experience. Bicep is easy to understand at a glance and straightforward to learn regardless of your experience with other programming languages. The book starts with some history and background in Infrastructure as Code and ARM Templates. It continues by explaining Bicep and providing guidance on how to get started. After the introduction, you will start your journey by understanding the syntax of Bicep. You will start by learning the basics first and you will gradually dive deeper in the more advanced scenarios. The book also contains a dedicated chapter on a big real-world example which provides you with great insights on how to leverage Bicep for production usage. Part of this book is also the Bicep playground, visualizer and a PowerShell module for Bicep provided by the community. Sample code used in this book is available on a dedicated GitHub repository.

What you will learn:

  • How to get started with the Bicep CLI and VSCode Extension
  • Deploying Bicep files to Azure, including template specs
  • Understanding the Bicep file structure
  • How to use the basic concepts of variables, parameters, tags, decorators, expressions, and symbolic names
  • Getting familiar with more advanced topics like dependencies, loops, conditions, target scopes, modules, and nesting
  • Leveraging features like snippets, scaffolding, and linter that support you while authoring Bicep templates.

Dedicated GitHub repository:

Part of this book is a dedicated GitHub repository containing the sample code that is used throughout the book.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Bicep code snippets for WVD!

Yesterday, a couple of code snippets I contributed to Bicep 💪, were merged in the latest Bicep CLI version 0.3.310! Super cool to see this in action myself for the first time.

What does it allow you to do? Bicep is the DSL which allows you to create Azure Resources in a declarative way. The Bicep VSCode extension already does a great job of providing Intellisense, code completion and much more! Recently, the concept of Code Snippets was also introduced in Bicep. This allows you to declare resources in a super fast way.

The Code Snippets I contributed allow you to declare WVD resources in a matter of seconds. It’s hard to capture this in a couple of screenshots, so I created a quick video to show this in action!

Bicep code snippets for WVD in action! — YouTube

Subscribe to my You Tube channel to get updates on new videos!

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Slide decks of my speaking engagements

I decided it was about time to publish the decks of my speaking engagements into a central repo. Github ⭐ seemed like the perfect place, so here it is. It contains a first subset of my sessions over the past years from in-person events around the world 🌎(pre-Covid), various community conferences, meetups & webinars 🎥! Most session discuss topics around Windows Virtual Desktop, Remote Desktop Services, ARM Templates and Bicep!

#WVD #Bicep #Community