Add a host pool

A host pool is a collection of one or more identical virtual machines (VMs) within an Azure Virtual Desktop environment. Each host pool contains an application group that users can access.

To add a host pool:

  1. Select whether you want to create new or select an existing host pool:
    • To select an existing host pool, slick the [...] button next to the Name field. Note that adding an existing host pool will not add any existing application groups, so this, along with application publishing, will need to be reconfigured in the RAS console.
    • To create a new host pool, type a name and optional description and select a resource group.
  2. Click Next.
  3. On the Configuration page, specify the following:
    • Host pool type: Select from Pooled (multi-session hosts) or Personal (single-session hosts).
    • Publishing type: Select from Application or Desktop depending on what you want to use the pool for.
    • Load balancer: Select a load balancer type. Breadth-first load balancing allows you to evenly distribute user sessions across the session hosts in a host pool. Depth-first load balancing allows you to saturate a session host with user sessions in a host pool. Once the first session host reaches its session limit threshold, the load balancer directs any new user connections to the next session host in the host pool until it reaches its limit, and so on.
    • Limit number of sessions on host: For a pooled (multi-session) pool type, specify the maximum allowed number of sessions on a host.
    • Power on host on-demand: Specify whether a powered down host should be powered on when a user tries to connect to it. Note that this applies only if all session hosts in the host pool are powered off.
    • Default license type: Select the Azure license type.
    • Service updates validation: Select the Validation environment option if you want to make this host pool a validation environment for Microsoft service updates.
  4. Click Next.
  5. On the Provisioning page, select whether this host pool will contain template-based or standalone hosts:
    • Template: Hosts will be created dynamically from a template. You will need to create or select an existing template in the next step or later. Choosing Template as the provisioning type ensures a homogeneous host pool, which is recommended to provide consistent user experience across the host pool.
    • Standalone: Select one or more hosts that already exist. You'll be able to do it in the next step or you can do it later. Prior to adding hosts to host pools, ensure that hosts are domain joined and have network access to the domain environment. Note that the Standalone provisioning is considered "unmanaged" as it lacks some of the functionality, such as Autoscaling.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Depending on the selection made on the Provisioning page (above), do one of the following:
    • Standalone: Select one or more hosts from the list to be included in the host pool (you can also add hosts to the pool later).
    • Template: On the Template page, select a template from the list or click Create new to create a new template. If you select a template from the list, specify additional options if needed. Select Enable autoscale (multi-session hosts) and specify the initial number of hosts to add to the pool. You can also overwrite the virtual machine size, which is normally set on the template level. To do so, select the Overwrite the size specified in template properties option and select a desired size from the Size drop-down list. The size that you specify here will be used by this host pool only. Other host pools using the same template will be unaffected. Note that if a VM is later taken out of such a host pool due to autoscale settings, the VM will retain the last known size and may join another host pool with the new size specified. Also note that available sizes may depend on the location, size, and power state of the host pool members and the template. For instructions on how to create a new template, see Manage templates.
  8. Click Next.
  9. On the Assignment page, specify users or groups to be assigned to the application group in the host pool. This is necessary for users to have access to published apps or desktops. Click Tasks > Add and specify a user or group. An application group of type Desktop or RemoteApp (whichever is appropriate) will be created and associated with the host pool automatically on wizard completion.
  10. Follow the onscreen instructions and complete the wizard.

Next step

Verify the Azure Virtual Desktop deployment

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