Step-by-Step: Deploy RemoteApp on Azure

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Hello Folks,

These days we’re all going about our business sometimes at our desks, sometimes on the road with some kind of tablet or mobile device.  And as IT pros providing services to our customers, we need to ensure that they need access to the applications they need regardless of the device they use.

At TechEd North America in Houston earlier this spring (Monday, May 12, 2014) we announced exciting updates to Microsoft Azure.  One of these updates is Azure RemoteApp.  helps companies give mobile employees access to Windows applications across a range of devices. Combining Microsoft’s powerful Remote Desktop Services capabilities with the scale and cost-efficiencies of Microsoft Azure, RemoteApp helps employees to stay productive on the go, while giving IT departments the power to scale infrastructure up or down easily and inexpensively.

 

RemoteApp  addresses today’s challenges

  • Deliver applications to mobile platforms (BYOD)
  • Respond to dynamic business requirements for IT:
    • Seasonal/temporary workers
    • Vendors
    • New employees (mergers and acquisitions)
  • Reduce infrastructure costs (move CAPEX to OPEX)
  • Provide access to legacy applications
  • Protect corporate resources and ensure compliance

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But how do you get started??

Step 1: select the scenario that fits.

First, you need to decide between 2 types of deployment.

  1. Cloud Deployment
  2. Hybrid Deployment
Cloud Deployment

It’s intended to provide turn key standard Office productivity applications. Microsoft Office 2013 Pro plus is included and can be deployed in minutes.  The application are always updated, malware protection is provided and users can identify themselves using their Microsoft Accounts or with corporate credentials federated with Azure AD.

Hybrid Deployment

in Hybrid deployment model IT manages the template image that the service is based on. So apps, OS and Settings are fully customizable and under your control. you need to manage that image and provide updated yourself. Users can identify themselves using only their corporate credentials federated with Azure AD and gain access to your on-premises through the S2S VPN between Azure networks and your own datacenter.

Common Architecture

Both models are built on the same infrastruicture that will provide Dynamic Scalability, global access, secure connectivity thought clients for Windows, Macs, iOS and Android.

For today we will setup a Cloud Deployment.  We’ll look at a full Hybrid deployment later this summer.

Step 2: Create a RemoteApp service

1- In the Windows Azure Management Portal, go to the Action pane at the bottom, Click New, App Services, RemoteApp and Quick Create.

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Enter a name for your service, and select your region and the template to use for this service.  in my case CANITPROApps, in the East US region and

the Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus on Windows Server 2012 R2 template. Once started, it can take up to 30 minutes to provision your service. After your RemoteApp service has been created, go to the RemoteApp Quick Start page to continue with the set up steps.

2- Configuring your service and publish the apps. In the Portal.  Select RemoteApp, and the deployment you just completed.  in my case CANITPROApps 

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3- Once in the RemoteApp page.  Click “publish RemoteApp programs” to select the application you want to make available.

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4- Select the application you need. And click the checkmark at the bottom.

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5- Configure User Access, by going back to the RemoteApp page.  Click “configure user access”.

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6- for now we will use the Microsoft Accounts to access the application.  By default the Microsoft Account you use to administer your subscription will be added to the list automatically.  Just enter the Microsoft Account you want to add, let the portal validate it and click the save icon at the bottom.

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Step 3: Send your users the URL

7- Send the URL listed below to the individuals you want to give access to the apps.  https://www.remoteapp.windowsazure.com/

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8- Once they receive and click on it. (Remember …  Never click on a link from an untrusted source) it will open a page that has a client to install to gain access to the apps.

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9- Clicking on “Download ‘RemoteApp’ client for Windows” Install the client. (it will install the client that is appropriate for your platform)

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10- And once the client is installed the RemoteApp app, will present you the invitation to the application that have been configured for you,

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11-All you need to do is authenticate yourself when accessing the app. And the application will be listed for you.

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That’s it for now.  We setup a scalable environment to give all our users access to the tools they need in just a few minutes.  They can access the tools from Windows, iOS, Windows RT (see the picture below), and Android.

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I hope you find this useful.

Cheers!

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Pierre Roman | Technology Evangelist
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  • This is pretty cool. Hybrid, still needs an onprem Remoteapp server right, but connections to and from client are now managed in Azure rather than the on premise side? (I know you need a site-to-site vpn with azure though).

    If we use workplace join, we should also be able to use SSO with this too right?

  • Is this strictly available for Microsoft Office applications or can we deploy our own Line-of-Business applications?

  • Hello Jameel,

    You can absolutely deploy your LOB applications. However, unlike the scenario covered in this post you cannot publish those LOB apps using the Quick Create option. I'm planning a post on publishing LOB apps in the near future.

    Stay tuned!

  • Hey Todd,

    I'm looking in those scenarios for upcoming posts.

    Stay Tuned!