One of the more exciting additions into the Azure cloud services delivery platform is the new RemoteApp functionality. RemoteApp has been in beta testing for several months now and the Azure team feels comfortable enough to go ahead and release the service to the public starting on December 11th. Having Microsoft’s RemoteApp capability is a game changer in the cloud industry. With RemoteApp, users can begin to deploy their Windows applications in the cloud access the applications data from any device that supports the popular remote desktop protocol.
This solves an important problem for many organizations. Although companies such as Citrix can provide access to Windows based applications using its Citrix Receiver, Citrix and other vendors do not natively have the power the cloud behind the infrastructure. Azure solves this problem by providing the platform for administrators so that all they need to worry about is making sure they are current on their Azure bill. In an interview with Eweek, Andrew Conway from Microsoft said, “Apps that you would run on the Windows Server environment today and puts them up on the cloud.”
Azure RemoteApp also provides organizations with a way to run their legacy apps in the cloud without having to build out additional infrastructure around it. Conway mentions that organizations “Have apps that maybe they’re not going to write a new mobile front end for.” However, Conway also mentioned that RemoteApp is not solely [limited to] mobile scenarios.”
RemoteApp pricing starts at $10 per user per month. This gives the user 50GBs of cloud storage and 40 hours of use for the app. If users go over this 40 hours a month plan, overages will be billed on to the administrators Azure account at a rate of 17 and a half cents per hour. Overage charges are capped at $17 per month meaning a user wouldn’t cost you organization more than $27 per month should they stay within all of the other thresholds of the basic plans. More advanced plans with better discounts are available as organizations begin adopting this solution to deploy applications to their end users using the Azure cloud.