This article provides the background of Microsoft Azure RemoteApp. A walk-through on how to deploy RemoteApp as a stand-alone cloud service is also available.

What It Is

clip_image002This is a combination of Remote Desktop and highly scalable Windows server-based applications hosted in Microsoft Azure. Company published applications are centrally managed and protected in Microsoft Azure. At the same time, employees can access authorized corporate applications from anywhere as if the applications are running locally on devices of their choices including Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android.

To try Azure RemoteApp, first acquire a Microsoft Azure subscription from http://aka.ms/R2 by selecting Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter on Microsoft Azure from the dropdown list to kick off a registration process.

Why

Today’s dynamic business environment and increasing user expectations demand always-on connectivity and accessibility to LOB applications with an individual’s preferred devices. The trend of BYOD signifies the business needs and personal work styles to be productive anytime anywhere with any device. clip_image004Azure RemoteApp eliminates the physical aspects of an application infrastructure and converts a global application deployment into logical processes and operations carried out remotely on a proven and secure platform. It embraces the industry’s BYOD initiative and realizes two key attributes, self-servicing and ubiquitous access, of cloud computing. With Azure RemoteApp, IT can scale and maintain applications very productively, and respond timely and even proactively to dynamic business needs without large capital requirements, without compromising security, without lowering user expectations.

Azure RemoteApp enables IT to centrally manage corporate applications and reduces the complexity and administrative overhead in deployment scenarios including:

  • Branch offices with limited local IT support and limited network bandwidth.
  • Secure remote access of LOB applications with minimal capital requirements
  • Standard applications to computer kiosk or shared computers
  • On demand enabling and disabling accessibility to applications

Deployment Models

With Azure RemoteApp, a company has an opportunity to pursue a hybrid application deployment solution by integrating on-premises infrastructure and Remote Desktop Session Hosts. Or deploy Azure RemoteApp using pre-built application collections for a stand-alone cloud service, essentially Microsoft Azure hosts and stores all data for programs in cloud. There are options for IT to authenticate a user with existing corporate credentials or a Microsoft Account. Azure RemoteApp presents a strategic vehicle for IT to transition on-premises application deployment into a corporate SaaS model in Microsoft Azure.

How

Azure RemoteApp applications are neither sent to, nor stored on employee devices. Employees download and install Microsoft Remote Desktop clients on their Internet-connected devices like laptop, tablet, and phone to access applications via Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol as if those applications were installing and running locally. clip_image006The applications are centrally managed on Microsoft Azure, the same platform trusted and used by governments, financial services companies, and other large organizations dealing with sensitive information.

Instead of being presented to the user in the desktop of the Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server, the RemoteApp program is integrated with the client's desktop. A RemoteApp program runs in its own resizable window, can be dragged between multiple monitors, and has its own entry in the taskbar. If a user is running more than one RemoteApp program on the same RD Session Host server, the RemoteApp program will share the same Remote Desktop Services session.

Experience It Now

One thing about cloud computing is that all deliveries must be right there and then. Instant gratification is essential in everything we do in cloud. And it is the same with assessing a new service like Azure RemoteApp. Go to this DYI Public Demos, experience it now, and realize that application deployment is never the same.

[This is a cross-posting from http://yungchou.wordpress.com.]