20 03, 2017

Cost Calculator for XenApp and XenDesktop on Azure

By |March 20th, 2017|

For those interested in learning how much it might cost you to move your Azure RemoteApp deployment or your on premises RDS deployment to XenApp and XenDesktop on Azure, here’s a cost calculator to get you started.

https://costcalculator.azurewebsites.net/costCalculator

This tool takes two paths: Extend your current Citrix deployment into Azure, or move to Azure and let the new Citrix Cloud Service do the heavy lifting (more on Citrix Cloud here).

 

17 01, 2017

Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 8 Defender & BGinfo

By |January 17th, 2017|

Introduction
This article is part 8 in a series of articles on deploying RDS in Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON Templates. Here is a quick overview of previous articles on this topic.

1. Full HA RDS 2016 deployment in Azure IaaS in < 30 minutes, Azure Resource Manager
2. RDS on Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON part 2 – demo at Microsoft Ignite!
3. Video of Ignite session showing RDS on Azure IaaS deployment using ARM/JSON
4. Windows Server 2016 GA available in Azure! – used it to deploy RDS on Azure IaaS!
5. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 5
6. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 6 RD
Gateway

7. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 7 RD Web Access customization

In this part of the series, we’ll add both Microsoft Antimalware for Azure Virtual Machines (Defender) and BGInfo to the deployment.

If you’re not familiar with one of these tools, here is a brief introduction.

What is Microsoft Antimalware for Azure Virtual Machines?
Microsoft Antimalware for Azure Virtual Machines is a real-time protection capability that […]

1 12, 2016

Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 7 RD Web Access customization

By |December 1st, 2016|

This article is part 7 in a series of articles on deploying RDS in Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON Templates. Here is a quick overview of previous articles on this topic.

1. Full HA RDS 2016 deployment in Azure IaaS in < 30 minutes, Azure Resource Manager
2. RDS on Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON part 2 – demo at Microsoft Ignite!
3. Video of Ignite session showing RDS on Azure IaaS deployment using ARM/JSON
4. Windows Server 2016 GA available in Azure! – used it to deploy RDS on Azure IaaS!
5. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 5
6. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 6 RD Gateway

In this part of the series, we’ll take a closer look at customizing and branding RD Web Access a bit further. If you’ve read previous articles you’ll know that part of this ARM deployment for RDS is, where we actually configure resources in Azure, based on constructing JSON templates. They allow you to configure a template that ARM can use to […]

18 11, 2016

Run Windows Server 2016 from external USB SSD

By |November 18th, 2016|

In my lab I want to be able to start different operating systems quickly – effectively use my hardware as more than one environment.   For me, the quickest way to do this is to get some large SSDs, and slap Windows Server 2016 on them, add some VMs in Hyper-V, and now I have a mini lab, contained on one SSD.

I also want to be mobile. I want to walk around with my lab on SSD, and be able to plug it in to any PC, boot from it, and be up and running.

I got a 1TB SSD, and a USB-C cable. I thought “I will install Windows Server 2016 to this external drive, add the VMs, and be on my way.

Not so fast….when I went to install the OS to an external USB, the external disk showed up in the disk list to choose from, but it was not selectable. Selecting this disk showed this message: “Windows Server 2016 cannot be installed to this disk…”(right….it can’t be installed to external USB. ARGH!)

What to do? I really don’t want to have to connect this drive internally – it prevents the mobility.

I had a Windows 10 machine, and on that […]

17 11, 2016

Microsoft ARM template to deploy scale-out file server for RDS User Profile Disks (UPD)

By |November 17th, 2016|

imageMicrosoft has recently released an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template to create a domain-joined scale-out file server (SOFS) in Azure using Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) with Windows Server 2016. You can use this template to create a Storage Spaces Direct scale-out file server to store User Profile Disks (UPD)!

”…Remote Desktop Services (RDS) requires a domain-joined file server for user profile disks (UPDs). To deploy a high availability domain-joined scale-out file server (SOFS) in Azure, use Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) with Windows Server 2016…”

Check out this link for guidance on how to set up the Storage Spaces Direct scale-out file server and how to configure UPD on it!
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-docs/compute/remote-desktop-services/rds-storage-spaces-direct-deployment

16 11, 2016

Azure N-Series General Availability will be December 1st!

By |November 16th, 2016|

As RDSGurus we have had the privilege to test the N-series VM in Azure for a while now. Benny also showed the N-series on stage at Ignite during the session “Get an independent insider’s view of desktop virtualization and session remoting“.

Microsoft has recently announced that the Azure N-Series VM will reach General Availability on December 1st! Exciting news for our industry!

“…Azure N-Series virtual machines are powered by NVIDIA® GPUs and provide customers and developers access to industry-leading accelerated computing and visualization experiences. I am also excited to announce global access to the sizes, with N-series available in South Central US, East US, West Europe and South East Asia, all available on December 1st…”

Read the announcement here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-n-series-general-availability-on-december-1/

25 10, 2016

Hotfix for User Profile Disk (UPD) Dismount Issues:

By |October 25th, 2016|

Glad to say that the October 2016 Monthly Rollup contains a hotfix for the present User Profile Disk dismount issues some of us have been experiencing (and complaining about).
Addresses issue where the user profile disk (UPD) does not dismount when a user logs off.
Therefore, users get temporary profiles and are not able to work with their own profiles during their next logon.
The Event ID 20491 with a description of “Remote Desktop Services could not disconnect a user disk for the user account with a SID of <SID>. The error code is 0xAA.93” will be logged.
25 10, 2016

Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 5

By |October 25th, 2016|

This is part 5 in a series of articles on using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) and JSON templates to create a full Remote Desktop Services environment in Azure IaaS.

Let’s briefly reiterate what was previously covered on this subject. It all started with a first RDS deployment on Azure IaaS covered in the article Full HA RDS 2016 deployment in Azure IaaS in < 30 minutes, Azure Resource Manager FTW! Although this first template already creates a high available RDS environment on Azure, many improvements and features have been added after that. In a second article called RDS on Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON part 2 I covered adding SSL certificate management, the creation of Session Collections, and setting session time out settings. To help visualize what is going on during the automated creation of the environment I created a third article in which I published 2 short videos’ which were also shown at Microsoft Ignite 2016. Up until now the automated RDS deployment was based on the default Windows Server 2016 TP5 image in Azure for the RD Session Host role. Last week after Windows Server 2016 became GA, I […]

25 10, 2016

Windows Server 2016 GA available in Azure! – used it to deploy RDS on Azure IaaS!

By |October 25th, 2016|

Window Server 2016 DataCenter (14393.321) is now available as an image in Azure IaaS.
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I decided to use it to roll out as part of my existing ARM Deployment of RDS on Azure IaaS using JSON. One of the awesome things about the ARM/JSON approach is that it all it took was adding a single parameter option into the azuredeploy.parameters.json file to complete this!

This is where I added the new SKU inside the template parameters file a newly allowed value.
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And before launching the ARM deployment, the SKU can be selected from a dropdown box, now with the default being Windows Server 2016 Datacenter.
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The entire deployment is now fully performed on Windows Server 2016, RD Web Access now shows the Windows Server 2016, where Technical Preview 5 (TP5) did not.
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This version is not available on MSDN yet, so Cloud First, Mobile First!

 

25 10, 2016

Added new features to RDS on Azure IaaS using ARM and JSON (licensing, Custom RDSH Templates, branding)

By |October 25th, 2016|

If you have been following this blog over the past couple of weeks, you might have read about my previous articles on deploying RDS on Azure IaaS using ARM and JSON templates. To quickly reiterate those previous articles;

[clip_image018%255B4%255D.jpg]In a first article called “Full HA RDS 2016 deployment in Azure IaaS in < 30 minutes, Azure Resource Manager FTW!” I explained the differences between deployment mechanisms in the classic Azure Portal and the new Azure Portal and gave a brief introduction on what JSON is and how to use Visual Studio to build and deploy directly to Azure, based on JSON templates. I showed the end result of this deployment, a high available RDS deployment on Azure IaaS.

[clip_image002%255B5%255D.jpg]In a second article called “RDS on Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON part 2 – demo at Microsoft Ignite!” I showed some of the enhancements I had built on top the JSON templates. In this article I showed the ability to add publicly trusted SSL certificates, 2 Session Collections with a few sample RemoteApps, configurable Session Timeout settings and the use of 2 […]