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Hi everyone. This has been a busy week for Remote Desktop, as Microsoft has released Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5! In this version, we have made it even easier to deploy a full, highly available Remote Desktop Services deployment. You can now use an Azure SQL DB—or any other SQL DB in a shared environment using SQL Authentication—to store the Connection Broker database, which enables multiple scenarios:

  1. Easier deployment and management, since all you have to do is create an Azure SQL DB and obtain the connection string once it finishes provisioning
  2. Reduced-cost, since you do not need to deploy a full SQL Server cluster just to store the database, and with the Azure consumption model
  3. Easier management of multiple deployments for desktop and application hosting, since the Connection Broker can now connect to Azure SQL DB, which is domain-independent

For a look at this new functionality, we have a walkthrough that is linked with other new features in Windows Server Technical Preview 5, as well as a walkthrough provided by RDS MVP Freek Berson.

For a summary of all of the capabilities coming to Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2016, watch this great post on the Windows Server Blog with our own Clark Nicholson.