The Microsoft Azure Partner Community is led by National Partner Technology Strategists from the Microsoft US Partner Team. Partner Community activities include blog posts, discussions on Yammer, newsletters, and community calls.
This month’s Azure Partner Community focus is on addressing the top partner questions and featuring the most common discussions we are having with partners about Azure. Topics this month include Microsoft Azure RemoteApp, Site Recovery, API Management, and a demo tool you can use to show Azure solutions to your customers.
Microsoft Azure RemoteApp
More than ever, users want to accomplish their work-related tasks on the devices they know and love. Often, though, the applications they need aren’t always compatible with the wide variety of platforms available today.
Azure RemoteApp can help. Azure RemoteApp lets you to deliver 32-bit Windows-based applications to users on most internet-connected devices through the power of Azure and Remote Desktop. The two-minute video below provides an excellent overview.
How does Azure RemoteApp work? On the server side, you create what is called a collection. A collection is a set of published applications running on Windows Server 2012 R2 template images. Users are granted access to a collection in Azure. On the client side, users install the Remote Desktop app from their app store.
Collections can be based off pre-existing templates in Azure, or you can create/bring your own. There are two kinds of RemoteApp collections: cloud collection and hybrid collection.
- A cloud collection is hosted in, and stores all data for programs in, the Azure cloud. Users access apps by logging in with their Microsoft account or corporate credentials synchronized or federated with Azure Active Directory. Watch this video for an overview.
- A hybrid collection is hosted in, and stores data in, the Azure cloud. Users access data and resources stored on the local network. Uses can access apps by logging in with their corporate credentials synchronized or federated with Azure Active Directory. Watch this video for an overview.
Azure RemoteApp Cloud Deployment overview video
Azure RemoteApp Hybrid Deployment overview video
Updating your collection
A key difference between the hybrid and cloud collections is how software updates are handled. With a cloud collection that uses the preinstalled Office 365 ProPlus or Office 2013 image, you do not have to worry about updates. The service maintains itself and rolls out updates regularly to both apps and the operating system.
For hybrid collections and cloud collections that use a custom template image, you are in charge of maintaining the image and apps. For domain-joined images, you can control updates by using tools such as Windows Update, Group Policy, or System Center.
After you update your custom template image, you upload the new image to the Azure cloud and then update the collection to use the new image. You can do this from the RemoteApp Quick Start page or the Dashboard.
The partner opportunity
With Azure RemoteApp, you can deliver solutions to your customers in a new way. Look for opportunities to take existing applications that run in Windows and move them to RemoteApp. Windows Server 2003 apps come to mind. Another opportunity is to help customers design custom hybrid and cloud collections, which will require regular, monthly maintenance.
If your customer isn’t yet using Office 365, consider the Office365 ProPlus collection as a part of their migration plan. Finally, for customers that are using a wide variety of devices, RemoteApp is a good initial solution that can lead to a discussion around Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) to extend solutions even further. By the way, EMS is now available in Open Licensing, and is also included in the internal-use rights for MPN members with an Action Pack subscription or competency. Read the announcement.
Your next steps
Go try it out! Take RemoteApp for a test drive and see how easy it is to use. There is nothing you need to set up, just visit this site, chose your platform, and away you go. Here are some useful resources, too:
- Azure RemoteApp Documentation Page
- Pricing Information
- How to create a custom template image for RemoteApp
- How to create a cloud collection of RemoteApp
- How to create a hybrid collection of RemoteApp
- How does licensing work in RemoteApp?
- Best practices for using Azure RemoteApp
- Azure RemoteApp FAQ
Azure RemoteApp Deep Dive
The next Azure Partner Community call is on Thursday, March 19 at 9:00AM Pacific Time. We’ll take a closer look at Azure RemoteApp as well as the Immersion tools for Azure demos.
Previous Azure Partner Community topics
Focus on Office 365
- Part 1 – Introduction
- Part 2 – Identify Management
- Part 3 – SharePoint on Azure
- Part 4 – Apps on Azure
- Community call recording
Focus on Networking
Focus on Managing Virtual Machines
- Part 1 – Introduction
- Part 2 – Virtual Machine Management and developer tools
- Part 3 – Virtual Machine images and snapshots
Focus on Migration to Azure