Microsoft Azure Remote Apps

On the Microsoft Azure platform we had the three AAS: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service en Software as a Service. Each has his own position within an Enterprise. IAAS is about virtualization of computers via Virtual Machines. The number of companies using physical hardware is getting very small. With PAAS it is about virtualization of the platform. The application/developer should be unaware about underlying servers and hardware. They don’t need to know it, the platform takes care of the capacities and availability. With SAAS even more of the underlying platform complexities is hidden for the users.

Often you see within Enterprises another level of Virtualization. SAAS makes the applications available with web technologies. But many of our LOB applications are not made or available via the Web. For example in an ERP environment there is still a Fat Client available. The functionalities on the webportals is (still) not sufficient. Disadvantage of Fat Clients they follow the Client/Server principal. And need to be installed on the users desktop machine. This gives some extra management hassle for the IT department.

To lower this management hassle Enterprises are seeking for desktop virtualization solutions like Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, Citrix or RES Workspace Virtualisatie but there are more. The solution all need some sort of Client app, this app makes a connection to a server and runs the application there as if it runs local.

Why not use Microsoft Azure? It is possible. We can configure Virtual Machines and setup a Remote Desktop server. With this we can virtualizes applications. Super ofcourse, but still needs a lot of management on our side.

On the Microsoft Azure platform now Remote App is in preview. With this we can use the maximal potential of the Cloud. The management of the hardware is done by Microsoft. Microsoft Azure is internet scale, so connectivity and availability is no problem.

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On the Azure portal we are able to create Remote App service. At this moment there is just one Template available. Of course it will be able to create our own templates. With this we can make Corporate apps available. It is even possible for the Remote Apps service to use a secure VPN to connect to the Enterprise network..

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A template with Windows Server 2012 R2 and Office.

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By going to the portal of the Remote App (https://www.remoteapp.windowsazure.com/), you see you need a Client app. Don’t worry, although it is a preview but it uses the Standard Microsoft Remote Desktop protocol, there is a Client app for every platform (Android, iOS and MAC).

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I am using the Windows Remote Desktop Client. After the installation you need to login.

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You see this screen.

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Double clicking the application makes it start. In the example this is Word 2013.

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In the taskbar of Windows you see a Remote Desktop addition to your application icon.

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Besides the Office 2013 applications also the standard Windows Server 2012 applications are available. These can be enabled to your users.

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After add them on the Microsoft Azure portal, you see them in Remote Desktop app too.

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To show we using a application from a Server, we start the calculator.

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The about screens show us the differences.

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A great addition to the Microsoft Azure platform. Another scenario to go to the Cloud is enabled.

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