If you have stopped using Azure RemoteApp because of the retirement announcement or because you’ve finished your evaluation, you need to migrate off of Azure RemoteApp to another app service. There are two different approaches for migrating: a self-managed (often called Infrastructure as a Service [IaaS]) deployment or a fully managed (often called Platform as a Service or Software as a Service [PaaS/SaaS]) offering.
Self-service IaaS is a do-it-yourself deployment that is managed, operated, and owned by you, directly deployed on virtual machines (VMs) or physical systems. At the other end, a fully managed PaaS/SaaS offering is more like Azure RemoteApp – a partner provides a service layer on top of a remoting solution that handles operational and servicing, while you, as the customer, do some image and app management.
Read on for more information, including examples of the different hosting options.
Self-managed (IaaS) solutions
RDS on IaaS
You can deploy a native session-based Remote Desktop Services (in Windows Server) deployment using either RemoteApp or desktops on-premises or in a hosted environment (like on Azure VMs). RDS on IaaS deployments are best for customers already familiar with and that have existing technical expertise with RDS deployments.
Note: You need Volume Licensing with Software Assurance (SA) for RDS client access licenses to use this deployment option.
Deploying RDS on Azure VMs is easier than ever when you use deployment and patching templates (read an overview and then go get them). You can get the same elastic scaling capabilities with Azure classic deployment model resources (not Azure Resource Model resources) within Azure RemoteApp by using the auto scaling script, although there are more customizations and configurations. When you deploy RDS on Azure VMs, support is provided through Azure Support, the same support professionals that supported you with Azure RemoteApp. You can get cost estimates based on your existing usage by contacting Azure Support, or you can perform calculations yourself using a soon to be released Cost Calculator. Also, with N-series VMs (currently in private preview) you can add vGPU.
Citrix on IaaS
A native Citrix deployment of session-based XenApp or XenDesktop can be deployed on-premises or within a hosted environment (such as on Azure VMs).
Check out the step-by-step deployment guide, Citrix XA 7.6 on Azure, for more information. Read more about Citrix on Azure, including a price calculator. You can also find a Citrix contact to discuss your options with.
Fully managed (PaaS/SaaS) offerings
Citrix XenApp Express (in tech preview)
Register for their tech preview. XenApp Express is architecturally identical to Citrix Cloud except it includes simplified management UI and other features and capabilities that are similar to Azure RemoteApp. Learn more about Citrix XenApp Express.
Citrix Service Provider Program
The Citrix Service Provider Program makes it easy for service providers to deliver the simplicity of virtual cloud computing to SMBs, offering them the services they want in an easy, pay-as-you-go model. Citrix Service Providers grow their Microsoft SPLA businesses and expand their RDS platform investments with any device, anywhere access, the broadest application support, a rich experience, added security and increased scalability. In turn, Citrix Service Providers attract more subscribers, increase customer satisfaction and reduce their operational costs. Learn more or find a partner.
Microsoft Hosted Service Provider
Hosting partners typically offer a fully managed hosted Windows desktop and application service, which may include managing the Azure resources, operating systems, applications, and helpdesk using the partner’s licensing agreements with Microsoft and other software providers along with being a Service Provider License Agreement to allow reselling of Subscriber Access License (SAL). The following information provides details and contact information for some of the hosters that specialize in assisting customers with their Azure RemoteApp migration. Check out the current list of Hosted Service Providers that have completed the RDS on IaaS learning path and assessment.
- “Options for migrating out of Azure RemoteApp” – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/remoteapp-migrationoptions/
- “Azure Resource Manager Template for RDS Deployment” – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2015/07/13/azure-resource-manager-template-for-rds-deployment/
- “RDS in Azure Quickstart Templates” – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/templates/?term=RDS
- “Automatic Scaling of Remote Desktop Session Hosts in Azure Virtual Machines” – https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Automatic-Scaling-of-9b4f5e76
- “Host desktops and apps in Remote Desktop Services on Azure” – https://technet.microsoft.com/windows-server-docs/compute/remote-desktop-services/host-desktops-and-apps-in-remote-desktop-services
- “Citrix Solutions on Azure” – http://www.citrixandmicrosoft.com/Solutions/AzureCloud.aspx
- “Deployment Guide – Configuring Citrix XenApp and NetScaler in a Microsoft Azure Cloud” – http://www.citrixandmicrosoft.com/Documents/Citrix-Azure%20Deployment%20Guide-v.1.0.docx
- “Register for Tech Preview of XenApp Express” – https://www.citrix.com/global-partners/microsoft/remote-app.html
- “Hosting Windows Desktop and applications using Remote Desktop Services in Azure – new learning path within the Microsoft Partner Network” – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-docs/compute/remote-desktop-services/rds-hosting-partners