Provisioning overview

Provisioning in Windows 365 is the automated process that:

  1. Creates a Cloud PC virtual machine.
  2. Sets it up for the user.
  3. Completes other tasks that prepare it to be used.
  4. Send access information to the user.

Admins need only provide a few configuration details to set up the provisioning process. Subsequently, users who have a Windows 365 license and match the configuration details will automatically have a Cloud PC provisioned for them. Provisioning is a one-time per user and per-license process. Any given user and license pair can only have one Cloud PC provisioned for them.

At a high level, the full provisioning process looks like this:

  1. You create a provisioning policy to manage who gets access to Cloud PCs. The provisioning policies are the engines that build, configure, and make Cloud PCs available to end users. Within a policy, you’ll provide details for the on-premises network connection, the image used to create each Cloud PC, and an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) user group.
  2. When a user in the Azure AD user group is assigned a Windows 365 license, Windows 365 automatically provisions a Cloud PC and sends access information to the user. This automation has three stages which are invisible to the administrator. For more information on this automated process, see the Details of the automated provisioning process article.
  3. The end user receives the access information and can then sign in to the Windows Cloud PC from anywhere.

Provisioning policy objects

A Windows 365 provisioning policy is an object in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin console that orchestrates the creation of a Cloud PC.

As the admin, you provide the following required information when creating a provisioning policy:

  • On-premises network connection: The on-premises network connection (OPNC) lets the policy connect to your on-premises resources. It identifies:
    • The Azure subscription that will be associated with the Cloud PC.
    • The domain and Organizational Unit (OU) to join.
    • The Active Directory credentials to use.
  • Image: A Windows image is used as the reference image for all Cloud PCs provisioned with this policy. You can choose either a gallery image or supply your own custom image.
  • Assignment: The assignment identifies one or more Azure AD user groups. Windows 365 will automatically provision a Cloud PC for each licensed user in the policy’s Azure AD user groups. If a user is later added to the user groups, they will also get a Cloud PC.

Without this information, Windows 365 can’t provision the Cloud PCs.

After you’ve created the provisioning policy, Windows 365 handles all of the provisioning process to automatically get licensed users their own Cloud PCs.

Changing the these configurations won’t impact any previously provisioned Cloud PCs. However, any newly provisioned (or reprovisioned) Cloud PCs will reflect the updated settings.

Changes to provisioning policies

After the provisioning a Cloud PC is complete, it doesn't re-occur unless you manually perform a reprovision.

Changes made to any part of a provisioning policy do not trigger a reprovision. Such changes won’t be applied to previously provisioned Cloud PCs. Changes to a provisioning policy will only be applied to subsequently provisioned Cloud PCs or reprovisioned Cloud PCs.

If a provisioning policy name is changed, it won’t update the Cloud PC name under All Cloud PCs, and won’t update the enrollmentProfileName in Azure AD.

Deleting a provisioning policy

A provisioning policy can only be deleted if it’s not assigned to any Azure AD groups.

Removing the targeting of a provisioning policy that was used for successful Cloud PC provisioning will put the Cloud PCs into a grace period. When the grace period expires, the Cloud PCs will be deleted automatically.

Provisioning policy conflict resolution

Provisioning policies are assigned to user groups so there’s the possibility of overlapping groups/users.

If a user is assigned to more than one provisioning policy, provisioning will honor the first assigned provisioning policy and ignore all others. If one of the provisioning policies is modified and a Cloud PC is reprovisioned, the Cloud PC will be reprovisioned with the most recently changed provisioning policy.

It’s best practice to avoid any policy targeting overlaps to ensure consistent provisioning.

Provisioning retry

When a Cloud PC provisioning fails, it’s retried automatically two times. After it fails three times:

  1. The provisioning process is stopped.
  2. The Cloud PC is marked as Failed.
  3. An error message is displayed.

After you’ve resolved the root cause of the error, you can manually trigger a retry of the provisioning process by pressing the Retry button in the error dialog.

Reprovisioning

The Reprovision remote action lets admins reprovision Cloud PCs. This action can be useful when:

  • You're testing different Cloud PC configurations.
  • Your provisioned Cloud PC is misbehaving.
  • The user simply wants to start from a fresh Cloud PC.

The Reprovision action can also be used when a Cloud PC is in a Failed provisioning state in the Windows 365 provisioning node. You can think of reprovisioning as a similar process to resetting a physical device.

When a reprovision is triggered, the Cloud PC will be deleted and recreated as a new Cloud PC. All user data, applications, customizations, and the like will be deleted.

The Cloud PC will be reprovisioned to the current configured settings in the provisioning policy that is targeting the user's Azure AD group. If the image referenced by the policy has changed, or if any other changes to the policy have been made, the reprovisioned Cloud PC will use the new settings.

For more information, see Reprovision a Cloud PC.

Users with multiple Windows 365 licenses

A user may have more than one Windows 365 license, which allows them to have more than one Cloud PC. If a user has more than one license, a Cloud PC with the appropriate specifications will be provisioned for each license.

It’s not possible to trigger different provisioning policies for different user licenses. Users with multiple licenses will be provisioned multiple Cloud PCs using the same provisioning policy.

Clean-up

When a Cloud PC provisioning failure occurs, or a Cloud PC is deleted post grace period, Windows 365 cleans up all objects created during the provisioning. The clean-up occurs approximately three hours after the failure.

The following objects are cleaned up:

  • Intune objects
  • Azure AD device objects
  • Azure vNics

Network security groups created for Cloud PCs won’t be cleaned up, as there may be other objects relying on those groups.

Any on-premises Azure AD computer accounts that were joined to the domain during provisioning won't be deleted. Windows 365 doesn't have sufficient permissions to delete on-premises computer objects, so instead the redundant computer objects will be disabled. We encourage your organization to clean-up these disabled computer objects during your regular maintenance process.

Next steps

Learn about on-premises network connections