Azure RemoteApp – Overview
I received the approval from Microsoft to join Azure RemoteApp preview program on Thursday (11 Dec 2014). And in this article I would like to share a bit after 2 days of learning and playing with it.
What’s Azure RemoteApp?
Azure RemoteApp brings the functionality of the on-premises Microsoft RemoteApp program, backed by Remote Desktop Services, to Azure. Azure RemoteApp helps you provide secure, remote access to applications from many different user devices.
The applications run in Windows Servers in Azure Cloud. While the application is running remotely, it appears to the user as if it is running locally on client device.
Azure RemoteApp is part of the Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastruture. It uses RDP, a WAN ready protocol that is resilient to network latency and loss.
Advantages of Azure RemoteApp
- Don’t need to worry about a complex on-premises infrastructure configuration. So you are reducing infrastructure cost (move CAPEX to OPEX).
- Freeing you up to business issues, like creating the best apps for your business to use.
- End-users can access RemoteApp program from any devices (Windows, iOS, Mac OS X and Android devices) and anywhere.
- Protect corporate resources and ensure compliance.
Figure 1 – RemoteApp’s features
Azure RemoteApp deployment Options
There are two kinds of RemoteApp collections
|Cloud Collection||Hybrid Collection|
|Is hosted and stores all data for programs in Azure cloud.||Is hosted and stores data in Azure cloud and allows users access data and resources stored in local network.|
|Can use Microsoft account or corporate credentials synchronized or federated with Azure Active Directory account.||Can use corporate credentials synchronized or federated with Azure Active Directory account.|
|The applications and operating system are always kept up to date, the administrator need to worry about figuring out who should have access to which applications only.||You are in charge of maintaining the image and applications.|
Figure 2 – Creating the first RemoteApp instance
RemoteApp template images
At this time Microsoft provides us three template images:
|Description||Roles and Features|
|Windows Server 2012||Based on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter operating system||
|Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus||Is an extension of the Windows Server 2012 image||
|Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus||Is an extension of the Windows Server 2012 image||
Microsoft Azure also offers the availability to create custom template image for RemoteApp.
Figure 3 – Office 2013 Professional Plus image features
Pricing and Licensing
You can offer any application or program to which you hold the license. But you will not need to purchase Windows licenses and Remote Desktop CALs, these are included in the cost of subscription.
Azure RemoteApp is priced per user and is billed on a monthly basics. The service is offered in two tiers: Basic and Standard.
- Basic is designed for lighter weight application with the price from $10 to $17 per user/ month.
- Standard is designed for information workers to run productivity applications (e.g. Office) with the price from $15 to $23 per user/ month.
You can select the scale configuration for your RemoteApp collection while creating it. If you want to change it later, you can do so using the SCALE tab. Your applications and settings and your user data remain intact through this change.
Figure 4 – RemoteApp Scaling options