It seems like on an almost daily basis, there are new developments that keep occurring in Microsoft Azure.  One such facet is making your newly deployed Virtual Machine (VM) into hosting graphics-based packages.  We review the necessary steps in this article.

How To Do It

Here is how you do it:

1) Select the right VM:

You will need to select one of the following VM types:

  • The NV-Series;
  • The NVv3 Series;
  • The NVv4 Series.

Click on any of the below links to get more information:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/nv-series

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/nvv3-series

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/nvv4-series

In deciding which one to use of the above, a lot depends on the types of graphics you want to deploy.  For example, deciding factors might be the cost of the graphics workload and your budget.  If you pick a larger based GPU VM, the experience will be richer, but it will also cost more.

2) Create a new pool:

Based upon the kind of VM you have selected in the last step, you will need to configure a new host pool.  In this regard, the following kinds of VMs support GPU functionalities:

  • Windows 10 version 1511 or newer
  • Windows Server 2016 or newer

More information on how to do this can be seen here.

It is also important to note that you will also have to create a new desktop applications pool as well, after you have configured the host pool.  More information about this can be seen here.

3) Install the drivers:

At this stage, you will need to install the drivers of the graphics that you are intending to use in your new VM.  Specific instructions on how to do this can be seen here.

Once this has been done, you will need to reboot your VM again to make sure that all changes and drivers that have been installed have now taken full effect.

4) Configure your graphics to run in a multi session environment:

If you need your graphics based VM to run in parallel with others, follow these steps:

Connect to the VM that has the newly installed graphics package;

At the start menu of your VM, type in the following:

  • gpedit.msc
  • The above command line will open up the Group Policy Editor for you.

To get to the Remote Session Environment, navigate through these steps:

  • Computer Configuration;
  • Administrative Templates;
  • Windows Components;
  • Remote Desktop Services;
  • Remote Desktop Session Host;

After you have reached the Remote Session Environment from the above steps, select     the following:

  • Use hardware graphics adapters for all Remote Desktop Services sessions
  • Select “Enabled”

5) Update video encoding:

In all instances, you will want to make sure that your graphics application in your VM is always updated in terms of encoding.  In order to ensure this, follow these steps:

  • Select: Configure H.264/AVC hardware encoding for Remote Desktop connections
  • Make sure you select “Enabled”;
  • To force any sort of graphics encoding updates, type in the following command: gpupdate.exe /force
  • Make sure to shut down and fully restart your VM for all changes to take effect.

6) Configure VM for full screen editing:

If you are planning to use your VM for sophisticated graphics packages, then you will want to be able to view and make edits/revisions using a full screen.  To do this, follow these steps:

  • Select: Prioritize H.264/AVC 444 Graphics mode for Remote Desktop connections
  • Select “Enabled”;
  • Go to the command line and enter in the following: gpupdate.exe /force
  • Shut down and restart your VM to make sure that all changes have taken effect.

7) Finally, in order to confirm that full screen video encoding has been enabled, follow these steps:

  • Connect to your VM;
  • Launch the Event Viewer and navigate through these steps:
    • Applications and Services Logs;
    • Microsoft;
    • Windows;
    • RemoteDesktopServices-RdpCoreCDV
    • Operational
  • Confirm that you can see the following:
    • AVC Available: 1 Initial Profile: 2048
  • If the above appears, then this is your confirmation full screen video encoding has been completely enabled.

Conclusions

Overall, this article has reviewed the steps you need to take in order to fully install a graphics package on your VM.  If you need more help with this, contact us today.

Sources

  1. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-desktop/configure-vm-gpu