The new RemoteApp functionality was recently added into Microsoft Azure. RemoteApp is Microsoft’s answer to virtual desktop services. Often called Remote Desktop Services or RDS in the Microsoft world, this intuitive approach of delivering applications simplifies the process of delivering RemoteApps though the cloud. The best part about Azure RemoteApp is that the service is being released for free up with certain limitations while it is in beta preview mode.
RDS isn’t anything new to Microsoft technicians. The service has been around since Server 2008. Azure RemoteApp solves the problem of having to provision virtual machines, create certificates, setup session hosts while having to maintain a licensing agreement with Microsoft that is admittedly quite confusing. Azure RemoteApp simplifies this process while giving you the ability to deliver a true hybrid model of cloud computing. Using Azure AD, you can setup a trust with your onsite Active Directory service and your end users can use their domain credentials to authenticate into your Azure RemoteApp pool from anywhere in the world. You can also set it up to use an organizational authentication such as Azure AD account or Microsoft account.
RemoteApp is designed to make the host operating system irrelevant. Since you are essentially running apps hosted in Azure’s cloud, there is no need for the software running in the cloud to touch your host operating system. This means that you can run Azure RemoteApps on Windows, Mac, Linux and Android operating systems. Since the protocol used is RDP, most operating systems will have a remote desktop functionality built in.
Keep in mind that the service is still in beta preview mode so hold off on deploying this to your entire organization. There is bound to be bugs found in RemoteApps functionality and that’s why Microsoft has released the service as a free trial. Azure RemoteApp significantly shoes up Microsoft’s cloud desktop offerings portfolio. The move will help Microsoft directly compete against DaaS solution providers such as VMware and Citrix.