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Image staging in NMM

Applies to: Nerdio Manager for MSP (NMM) v2.3+


The "Global Images" module of NMM provides centralized management for desktop images that can be made available to any or all of your customer accounts. This allows you to make customized images with applications and settings that you re-use in many customer environments without duplicating effort with each new account. You can change your account's AVD environment by simply re-imaging an existing desktop image. Any host pool where autoscale is enabled, will have a desktop image configured as its template. So whenever you reimage a desktop image, the changes will be applied to your host pool as well. Also, when there is burst capacity defined on your host pool, autoscale logic will add new session hosts as per the desktop image configured on your host pool. This situation may at times give rise to several production issues since the updated desktop images go "live" without being tested.

To solve this issue,  we have implemented "Image staging" feature that allows newly created global images to be tested first before being used to create burst capacity as a part of the auto-scale functionality. This option is available only for global images that have been recently refreshed from Azure Marketplace and is usually preferred by highly compliant environments.

How does this work?

Whenever you add a global image from the Azure library, NMM portal allows you to mark it as inactive, so that it will not be used by re-imaging or autoscale logic immediately. All session hosts under the host pool will continue to use the old image until you explicitly mark the newly created global image as active. In short, you are keeping the newly added image in "staging environment" for sometime to test it out. Once it is thoroughly tested, you can mark it as active and start using it.

How to enable image staging on your global images?

To enable image staging for your global images, login to NMM portal and from the main menu , select "Global Images" tab as shown below:



Select a global image say "SP11" that is created using "Add from Azure library" option. You will notice that the current active version of the Global image is 1.0.0 (northcentralus) as shown below:


Expand the "Power on" drop-down on the selected image SP11. Select "Set as image" option as shown below:


On the "Set as image" pop-up, select "Set new image as inactive" checkbox:


Note: Selecting this option will create the new image but NMM will keep it as inactive with an older version number. To start using this version you will need to manually make this image have the highest version in SIG. This can be done by deleting the existing image version in the Azure portal.

Also, when you select the "Set new image as inactive" checkbox, the "Save current image as a backup" checkbox also gets selected by default as shown below:


Note: The "Save current image as a backup" option will create a copy of the current image and retain it for a specified duration. This will provide an option to "restore" the image and revert any changes, in case of any issues.

When you click "OK" button, "Power off & set as global image" task will be triggered. You can view the status of the task under "Desktop Images tasks" section. The following set of tasks are executed automatically:




You will be able to view two versions of the global image SP11; the current active version 1.0.0 and the staged inactive version 2.0.0 as shown below:


Whenever you wish to deploy the inactive image, you can activate it by simply clicking "Activate staged image" option as shown below:


On the "Activate staged image" pop-up, select "Save current image version (1.0.0) as a backup" and click "OK" button:


Once you activate the staging image v2.0.0, it will become the active version as shown below:


The older version v1.0.0 will no longer be shown in the list.



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Important Notification for NFA Partners Only
  • Microsoft is sunsetting Azure Classic (not Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)) - Microsoft Article
  • NFA sunset occurs February 20th, 2023
  • NFA will be fully supported until the official sunset -


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