Monday, August 25, 2014

Using Desired State Configuration (DSC) to maintain RDP settings

Ran into this cool blog post on Building Clouds by Tiander Turpijn (MSFT). It contains a practical example of the implementation of DCS. He describes a walk through to to use Desired State Configuration (DSC) to maintain RDP settings like Enabling RDP, configuring the Firewall and NLA settings.

Check it out here:
Writing a custom DSC resource for Remote Desktop (RDP) settings

Thursday, August 21, 2014

RDS / VDI related sessions and labs at TechEd Europe 2014 #TEE14

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The content catalog for Microsoft TechEd Europe 2014 (which will be held in Barcelona) has been published online!

Below is a list of VDI and RDS related sessions and Hand-On-Labs that will be held there. The content catalog will continue to grow as the event gets closer. I’ll update this blog post accordingly.

EM-B213 Microsoft Desktop Virtualization Overview Session|
Speaker(s): Demi Albuz, Thomas Willingham
Track: Enterprise Mobility
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization
This session provides an overview of Microsoft Desktop Virtualization solution and products under this solution, in Microsoft Azure and on-premises (personal, pooled Virtual Machine (VM)-based deployments, session-based deployments, RemoteApp and Azure IaaS solution). In this session, we talk about the key improvements and enhancements brought to the platform.

EM-B324 VDI Deployment Walkthrough
Speaker(s): Tiberiu Radu
Track: Enterprise Mobility
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization
This session reviews what VDI is, how it is enabled and supported by the capabilities if Windows Server 2012 R2, options and alternatives for deployment (Remote App, Remote Desktop, pooled VMs versus dedicated), and the guidance needed to discuss remote hosted desktop solutions with customers, as well as how to successfully create and design basic VDI solutions. Topics include common deployment steps and gotchas including those related to networking setup, sysprep, storage, and other considerations.

CDP-B358 Windows Server Data Deduplication at Scale: Dedup Updates for Large-Scale VDI and Backup Scenarios
Speaker(s): John Loveall
Track: Cloud and Datacenter Platform
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Windows Server
Come to this session to learn how Windows Server data deduplication can be used to support large-scale deployments of VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM). Detailed configurations and workload performance analysis are shown for scenarios with hundreds of VMs supported by Windows Scale Out File Server on standard industry hardware. This session gives you all the information you need to start taking advantage of Windows data deduplication for these large-scale workloads.

EM-B311 An Insider's Guide to Desktop Virtualization
Speaker(s): Benny Tritsch, Ruben Spruijt
Track: Enterprise Mobility
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization
Ready to drink from a fire hose? Benny Tritsch and Ruben Spruijt, two thought-leaders and fellow MVPs, share their insights, best practices, and unfiltered thoughts about Desktop Virtualization, VDI, vendors, and solutions. Topics in this highly energized session are: VDwhy, VDCry, VDI Smackdown, build and design a Microsoft VDI solution, and 3D graphics. Also, experience the Microsoft and Citrix Virtual Desktop solution with a huge amount of videos and demos. With unique content and insights, this session is fun and packed with great content for everyone interested in Desktop Virtualization—and some nice giveaways. A session you don’t want to miss.

EM-B315 Deploying Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Roles in Microsoft Azure and Private Cloud
Speaker(s): Clark Nicholson
Track: Enterprise Mobility
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Remote Desktop Services
This session walks through the architecture of Remote Desktop Solutions (RDS) hosted in Azure, public, and private clouds. The discussion includes high availability considerations and capacity planning, as well as connectivity to corporate Active Directory and network resources.

EM-B323 User Experience in Virtual Desktop Environments: When Is It "Good Enough"?
Speaker(s): Benny Tritsch
Track: Enterprise Mobility
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Remote Desktop Services
When planning to deploy Windows desktops and applications in modern cloud and mobility environments, acceptable user experience is an important success factor. Unfortunately, traditional benchmarking parameters—such as frame rates and system performance counters—do not entirely represent the perceived user experience on a remote client. Aspects like client capabilities, media redirection, changing network conditions, compression artefacts, media asynchronity or UI response time delays introduce significant new challenges. Join RDS MVP Benny Tritsch in his session about benchmarking remote user session and virtual desktop performance. He introduces you to a working set of acceptance criteria and test methodology best practices he derived from real customer projects and by evaluating dozends of reference environments in his test lab. Examples from an archive of several thousand videos with recorded test sessions collected over the last years show you the difference between good and bad user experience in VDI and cloud environments. In this session, get expert guidance on how to build your own remote UX test lab and what your test criteria should be.

WIN-B311 Non-persistent VDI: Optimize your environment with App-V and UE-V
Speaker(s): Aaron Ruckman, Dave Gappmayer
Track: Windows, Phone and Devices
Session Type: Breakout
Virtual environments can offer huge advantages in cost savings, maintenance etc. How can you realize these advantages using App-V and UE-V? Come on a deep dive journey into best practices for leveraging App-V and UE-V to maintain an even smaller and more agile Golden Image, to simplify application management and improve VDI performance, while not sacrificing the user's application and personalization experience.

EM-H319 Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Application Publishing: Enterprise and Beyond
Track: Enterprise Mobility
Session Type: Hands-on Lab
This lab focuses on Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote App publishing new features. Learn how to create and configure a remote app hosting environment using Windows Server 2012 R2. Experience how to publish multiple apps for users who will access them from within a controlled IT environment as well as from personal workstations and terminals. Learn how to manage, categorize and arrange various user applications.

EM-H308 Enabling Secure Remote Users with RemoteApp, DirectAccess, and Dynamic Access Control|
Track: Enterprise Mobility
Session Type: Hands-on Lab
Topic: Direct Access, Dynamic Access Control, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
In this lab, learn how to implement a secure remote access and user security solution which allows users in remote locations to leverage session based VDI for Microsoft Office 2013, and gain access to share folders which are protected with Dynamic Access Control and RMS classification. Deploy Session VDI with RemoteApp. Provision a computer for DirectAccess with offline Domain Join. Connect via DirectAccess and launch remote Office applications. Create new DAC rules and new RMS rules, and auto-protect a document share with rules. User save a document in share, and have document auto-protected.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

KB: A network printer is deleted unexpectedly in Windows

KB article related to network printers being unexpectedly deleted in scenario’s where multiple users a logged on via RDP or fast user switching.

“…Consider the following scenario:

  • Multiple users use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) server that is running Windows Server 2012. Multiple RDP sessions are then established.
  • Multiple users log on to the same computer that is running Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2012 by using Fast User Switching, and then local sessions establish.
  • They install the same network printer in the RDP or local sessions.
  • One user deletes the printer in a RDP or local session.

In this scenario, other users who installed the printer previously also see that the printer is deleted from their session…”

more info & download: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967077/en-us?sd=rss&spid=16526

KB: Window is blank when you run a RemoteApp program that is located on a Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012-based server

Microsoft released a new KB (2982431) yesterday in regards to possible issues with Remote Apps that run child windows that call the RedrawWindow function. In those cases the child window could become blank. Microsoft has provided a hotfix for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.

More info & download: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2982431/en-us?sd=rss&spid=16526

Monday, August 4, 2014

New feature for Microsoft Azure RemoteApp: Control the RDSH template and your apps in a cloud deployment!

Since the release of Microsoft Azure Remote App, two different deployments have been available. The Cloud Deployment and the Hybrid Deployment. The two key differences being that 1. Cloud Deployments, in addition to Azure AD accounts, allow authentication using Microsoft Accounts and 2. Cloud Deployments were restricted to using a pre-configured RDSH templates controlled and updated by Microsoft were Hybrid Deployments allow you to control the template and integrate using Azure AD. Because of this, initially there was no way to allow users to authenticate using Microsoft Accounts and still control the RDSH template and its applications.

Microsoft created a feedback page called How can we improve Microsoft Azure RemoteApp? And the no.1 feedback thread was “Install Custom Apps in Cloud Deployment”.

They took that feedback and announced the possibility of this scenario here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rds/archive/2014/07/15/microsoft-azure-remoteapp-you-can-now-create-cloud-deployments-with-your-own-template-image.aspx

It’s now possible to control the RDSH template and it’s applications and still allow authentication using Microsoft Accounts without the need for an Active Directory Integration.

To set this up you basically follow a mix of instructions of the Cloud Deployment and the Hybrid deployment as outlined in the mention blog post on the RDS team blog.

Below are some screenshots of my Azure Remote App Cloud Deployment, serving my Applications based on my locally created RDSH template.

I created a local .VHD file, installed Windows Server 2012 R2, the RD Session Host role, Desktop Experience and the other prerequisites as outlines in the blog post. Next I installed several simple test applications and after sysprepping it, it’s ready for upload.

Creation of the RDSH template:image

You can use PowerShell to upload of the locally created VHD file. Microsoft provides you with the PowerShell script during the setup.
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The image becomes available during the creation of the Cloud Deployment. Do make sure you select the same Region here that you selected during the upload of the image, since apparently the image is region based.
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Using the Azure Portal I can now publish my installed applications

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After publication, the Remote Apps are available for the users I authorized.image

Also notice that the user account I opened the client with is a member of multiple App Collections, and therefor I’m presented with a mixed set of applications from both collections. In this case Cloud Deployment with a Microsoft-managed RDSH Template and a Cloud Deployment based on a custom RDSH Template.

If you do not want or do not need Active Directory integration for Azure Remote Apps, using the setup above you can have the benefits of a Cloud Deployment without losing control of the RD Session Host template OS and it’s applications.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

KB: RemoteApp program pop-up window is hidden in Windows

Microsoft released a new Kb article today (2964832) in regards to incorrect opening of Remote Apps on clients running Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 R2.

“…Assume that you publish some RemoteApp programs on a remote desktop server. When you open a RemoteApp program from a client computer, the pop-up window of the RemoteApp program opens on top of other program windows, and then the window is hidden immediately behind the other windows…”

“…To resolve this issue, install the hotfix that is described in this article…”

Source & download: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2964832

Saturday, May 31, 2014

E2EVC 2014 Session: Microsoft Server 2012 R2 RDS vs Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop …a comparison

imageOn the 30th of may 2014 I presented a session, together with fellow RDS MVP Wilco van Bragt, at E2EVC (Experts-2-Experts Virtualization Conference) 2014 held in Brussels. At the end of this blog post you’ll find a download of our complete slide deck!

At this edition, the event welcomed 130 attendees from 19 different countries! Wilco and I presented a session with the title “Microsoft Server 2012 R2 RDS vs Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop…a comparison”. The intention of the session was to perform an unbiased presentation and demo to compare both products en both solutions. Wilco covered the Citrix part and I covered the Microsoft part.

 

We got a full house in the main breakout room.image

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Obviously we would not be able to do a full feature comparison during the session so we introduced the concept Agenda as a Service to the audience. Which basically mend they had the opportunity to choose the topics they would like to see covered during the session. Below is a screenshot of the agenda taken from our PowerPoint deck

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The audience chose the following topics:
- Non-Windows Clients vs Citrix Receivers
- User Profile Disks vs Personal vDisk
- load balancing
- Azure Remote Apps vs Citrix Workspaces
- Shadowing (Remote Control)

We had a great time presenting this session! Thanks to everyone who attended this session and thanks for all the positive feedback we received!

Here is a link to the full presentation

If you have any additional feedback or further questions, feel free to contact us both!

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What is E2EVC?
E2EVC Virtualization Conference is a non-commercial, virtualisation community Event.
Our main goal is to bring the best virtualisation experts together to exchange knowledge and to establish new connections. E2EVC is a weekend crammed with presentations, Master Classes and discussions delivered by both virtualisation vendors product teams and independent experts.
Started in 2003 with just 4 people and after 21 very successful events grown to awell-recognized event with over 120 attendees. Our conference has taken place in cities such as Munich, London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt,
Dublin, Paris, Los Angeles, Munich, Nice, Lisbon, Rome, Hamburg and Vienna.
More info: http://www.e2evc.com/home/