Thursday, November 20, 2014

Support for groups in Azure RemoteApp (ARA) will end in 10 days

If you are using the Azure RemoteApp (ARA) Preview you previously had the option to grant users access to ARA using Active Directory Groups (for Hybrid Scenario’s).

Note that this support will end soon: on November 30, 2014. To ensure continuity, any user group assignment you have before today will continue to work until November 30, 2014. All users in current groups will still have access , even though the groups are not shown on the User Access page.

If you have signed up for the ARA Preview, you should have been notified via e-mail on November 6th.

After this date, you will need to assign permissions per user. The reason behind this is making billing and usage simple and predictable. Microsoft has not disclosed pricing and SLA to the public yet.

imageTo make life a little easier, you can use a CSV based import. Click the Bulk Add Users option to upload a .CSV containing a list of e-mail addresses.


Using a bulk import is of course a step back in regards to easy of management, but it apparently had to be done to be fully prepared for the upcoming billing model. Will it return as part of Azure’s fast release model?  let’s hope so! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brad Anderson: Success with Enterprise Mobility: Remote Desktop Services (Azure RemoteApp)


Great blog post by Brad Anderson on Azure RemoteApp

“Effectively using Remote Desktop Services (RDS) can be one of those incredible accelerators for a growing company – and its massive adoption worldwide is a testament to just how valuable application and desktop virtualization has become.

The key value that RDS provides is the ability to centralize, control, and deliver the applications and data that employees need across the variety of devices that they use, including bring-your-own-device (BYOD).  This provides the “work anywhere from any device” functionality while ensuring that a company’s control and compliance needs are met at a reasonable cost. We are seeing an ongoing acceleration in the use of RDS as organizations look to deliver their inventory of Windows apps to their users on their mobile devices.

During the last two releases, one thing that we have heard loud and clear is that organizations want to get the value of RDS without the large up-front CAPEX (hardware) investments usually associated with Remote Applications and VDI deployment infrastructure. When you are hosting these solutions in your datacenter you have to plan for peak capacity, and, all too often, when you are not at peak that capacity isn’t being used for other workloads. Hmmm… sounds like a perfect scenario for a solution built on a global, elastic public cloud! Addressing these requests was what led us to build a pure cloud solution that is today known (and loved) as Azure RemoteApp. With Azure RemoteApp we have focused on application virtualization because, when using mobile devices, the UX is much better when focused on the app rather than the entire desktop. This is the top use case we also hear about from our customers.”

Read the full post here:

New documentation around Azure RemoteApp (preview)


Today, some new Microsoft documentation around Azure RemoteApp (ARA) has been released.

There is a Best practices for configuring and using Azure RemoteApp and a Azure RemoteApp FAQ available.

Currently Azure RemoteApp is still into preview, but you can sign up to do a free trial. If you want to be up to date with the latest news around ARA join then open LinkedIn group here:

RD Gateway Farm deployment guide is updated with Client IP Affinity within Azure Load balancer

imageClark Nicholson from the Remote Desktop team announced an update to the existing guidance around running a load balanced RD Gateway setup in Azure.

There was an incompatibility between the Azure Load Balancer and RD Gateway. Previous documentation recommended that deploying RD Gateway virtual machines in 2 separate cloud services and then use Traffic Manager to load balance those.

“Now, this work-around is no longer necessary and we have just published updated versions of the Windows Azure Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide and Remote Desktop Web Access and Gateway Farm Deployment guide. These documents are part of a larger set of guidance on Azure Desktop Hosting using Remote Desktop Services.”


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Azure RemoteApp now available in Microsoft Remote Desktop Preview V8.1.6 update for Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft just announced new features for the Remote Desktop client for Windows Phone! The featureset for this client is growing, making it a more enterprise ready client with every step.

In this update: Adding an Azure RemoteApp account! You can now add your Azure RemoteApp subscription to start running Azure RemoteApps on your Windows Phone.

For all detail, check out David BĂ©langer's blog post from the Remote Desktop team here:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Additional guidance published on: RemoteApp and Remote Desktop Session Host Farm Deployment Guides

Clark Nicholson from the Remote Desktop team has published additional guidance on previously released deployment guides on Microsoft Azure Desktop Hosting: RemoteApp and Remote Desktop Session Host Farm Deployment Guides. This also includes scripts to automatically scale down RD Session Host servers to save costs in an Azure Scenario.

Hello everyone, this is Clark Nicholson from the Remote Desktop team. We have just published additional guidance to extend a basic Remote Desktop Services (RDS) deployment in Azure virtual machines. The RemoteApp Programs Deployment document provides steps to create a RemoteApp collection. This allows users to access Windows applications that are running in Azure virtual machines from their favorite internet connected devices.

The Remote Desktop Session Host Farm Deployment document provides steps to add RDSH servers to RemoteApp or desktop collections to create RDSH server farms for higher availability and scale out. Once an RDSH farm has been created in Azure, the RDSH scaling script can be deployed to automatically stop and start RDSH server VMs to reduce VM costs.

These documents assume that a basic RDS deployment has been created based on the Windows Azure Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide and the Windows Azure Desktop Hosting Deployment Guide. For additional information, please see Remote Desktop Services and Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines.

Note: Questions and comments are welcome. However, please DO NOT post a request for troubleshooting by using the comment tool at the end of this post. Instead, post a new thread in the RDS & TS forum. Thank you.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

As of 11/12/2014 ‘Active Directory group’ support for Azure RemoteApp will be depricated.

Microsoft has announced that as of 11/12/2014 ‘Active Directory group’ support for Azure RemoteApp will be depricated to align with the new upcoming UI!

 Dear Customer,

Thank you for your continued interest in Azure RemoteApp.
We are continuously working to improve the Azure RemoteApp service, as part of this we are refreshing the user experience for the service and adding a number of great new features to the service soon.

This is to inform you that in order to align with the new upcoming UI, we are deprecating ‘Active Directory group’ support for Azure RemoteApp. You will be able to assign individual users to RemoteApp, but not AD groups.

As of 11/12/2014, any groups assigned to Azure RemoteApp instances will be automatically removed.
Please add individual users back in order to ensure your users have access to Azure RemoteApp.

Remember, you can always talk directly to the engineering team with your issues and questions at our weekly ‘Ask the Experts’ webinar.

-Azure RemoteApp team