Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview 1: Introduction & Feature Overview

This is something I had wanted to do for a while. Finally did welcome Charles Joy, a Principal Program Manager on the Azure Stack team, back to the show and we discussed the recent release of Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview 1. It’s a fun episode. Enjoy it.

image

Advertisements

Deploying Microsoft Azure RemoteApp as a Stand-Alone Cloud Service with QUICK CREATE

Microsoft Azure RemoteApp is a solution which can be rapidly deployed for anywhere accessing remote resources with a variety of devices including Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, or Android. A user will install a Microsoft Remote Desktop client on an Internet-connected laptop, tablet, or phone and access RemoteApp applications running in Microsoft Azure, as if they were running on the user’s local computer. Notice that the stand URL to acquire Microsoft Azure RemoteApp client is https://www.remoteapp.windowsazure.com/. A Microsoft Azure subscription can create up to five RemoteApp services. Here’s an introduction.

Deployment Models

IT also has an option to deploy RemoteApp as a stand-alone cloud service with Microsoft pre-built application collections or integrated with on-premises RDS infrastructure by bringing your own RDSH. The former is quite easy to set up and what this blog post presents. While the latter is a hybrid deployment scenario bridging on-premises RDS infrastructure with RemoteApp service in the cloud. In this case, IT will need to create a virtual network with defined address spaces and establish VPN connectivity between on-premises network and Azure RemoteApp.

Business Values

IT now has an option to enable users to access corporate applications from anywhere and on a variety of devices by employing Azure RemoteApp without the need to deploy on-premises infrastructure. Both the application deployment and the user access of Azure RemoteApp are provided as services, while RemoteApp applications are centralized, protected, and running in Microsoft Azure which can publish, scale, or unpublish corporate applications on demand, as business needs change.

Overall, RemoteApp is a cost-effective solution for today’s dynamic business environment and a best-fit for serving fluctuating workforce or fast-changing business requirements. To assess RemoteApp, a Microsoft Azure subscription is required.

Microsoft Azure Trial Subscription

Freely available is a 30-day trial subscription at http://aka.ms/R2 which is a Microsoft landing page for downloading evaluation copies of Windows Server and System Center products. There is also an option to deploy Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter on Microsoft Azure. This is the option to start a registration process for acquiring a Microsoft Azure 30-Day trial subscription.

image

To ensure identity, credit card information is required. However, prior to the expiration a trial subscriber will get email notification to op-in or op-out. It is a direct way to test Microsoft Azure in production, live and free.

RemoteApp Availability

As of June 2014, RemoteApp is still in preview and one will need to sign up the preview feature to make the RemoteApp option available, once approved. After logging into Microsoft Azure Management Portal, a subscriber can access preview offerings by clicking the View My Bill option of the dropdown menu form the subscriber ID on the upper right corner. And notice in general the approval process of activating a preview feature is not immediate and some may take up a few days.

image

Once approved, the feature becomes available from the left navigation pane.

RemoteApp “Quick Create” Process

Quick Create is to deploy RemoteApp as a Stand-Alone cloud service. A RemoteApp deployment may take about 30 minutes for Azure to complete. The process followed is to publish applications, configure user access, and installing the client. It is very straightforward. When entering a user or group that you want to grant access to for this service. Use the “user@domain” or “domain/user” format. The user must be either a Microsoft Account, or a user or group account homed in the Default Directory of Azure Active Directory.

Start with REMOTEAPP workspace by clicking +NEW.

image

Quick Create Page

Here, just click Quick Create, specify a name, a region, and an application collection.

image

Once created, click the name or arrow to display the dashboard.

 image

Quick Start Page

Like other Azure offerings, by default Quick Start page is first shown. A Quick Start page usually presents essential information and is a great resource page.

image

As described in the Quick Start page, publishing RemoteApp programs, configuring user access and installing the RemoteApp client is the process to configure a RemoteApp service.

Publishing RemoteApp Programs

Click either one to display the application collections.

image

Identify applications to be published and save the settings.

image image

Configuring User Access

image image

When entering user information, use the “user@domain” or “domain/user” format. The user must be either a Microsoft Account, or a user or group account homed in the Default Directory of Azure Active Directory.

image  imageimage

Installing RemoteApp Client

image image

Pick an intended client. Here, I picked Windows x64 client.

image image

Starts an installation of the RemoteApp client.

image 

The RemoteApp tile is placed in APPS page, once the client installed.

image

Start configuring the user information.

image

image

Once authenticated, the published applications are displayed.

image

This is the About information.

image

Running RemoteApp Program

Here’s Office Word coming up.

image image

image image

Can save a file to OneDrive or locations visible to local File Explorer.

Session Information

image image

Yung Chou’s Presentation on Deploying Windows 8.1 in Microsoft Azure

My presentation on Deploying Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 in Microsoft Azure

Highlights

Azure RemoteApp, An Introduction of

This article provides a background of Microsoft Azure RemoteApp. A walk-through on how to deploy RemoteApp as a stand-alone cloud service is also available.

What It Is

clip_image002This is a combination of Remote Desktop and highly scalable Windows server-based applications hosted in Microsoft Azure. Company published applications are centrally managed and protected in Microsoft Azure. At the same time, employees can access authorized corporate applications from anywhere as if the applications are running locally on devices of their choices including Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android.

To try Azure RemoteApp, first acquire a Microsoft Azure subscription from http://aka.ms/R2 by selecting Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter on Microsoft Azure from the dropdown list to kick off a registration process.

Why

Today’s dynamic business environment and increasing user expectations demand always-on connectivity and accessibility to LOB applications with an individual’s preferred devices. The trend of BYOD signifies the business needs and personal work styles to be productive anytime anywhere with any device. clip_image004Azure RemoteApp eliminates the physical aspects of an application infrastructure and converts a global application deployment into logical processes and operations carried out remotely on a proven and secure platform. It embraces IT industry’s BYOD initiative and realizes two key attributes, self-servicing and ubiquitous access, of cloud computing from a user’s point of view. With Azure RemoteApp, IT can scale and maintain applications very productively, and respond timely and even proactively to dynamic business needs without large capital requirements, without compromising security, without lowering user expectations.

Azure RemoteApp enables IT to centrally manage corporate applications and reduces the complexity and administrative overhead in deployment scenarios including:

  • Branch offices with limited local IT support and limited network bandwidth.
  • Secure remote access of LOB applications with minimal capital requirements
  • Standard applications to computer kiosk or shared computers
  • On demand enabling and disabling accessibility to applications

Deployment Models

With Azure RemoteApp, a company has an opportunity to pursue a hybrid application deployment solution by integrating on-premises infrastructure and Remote Desktop Session Hosts. Or deploy Azure RemoteApp using pre-built application collections for a stand-alone cloud service, essentially Microsoft Azure hosts and stores all data for programs in cloud. There are also options for IT to authenticate a user with existing corporate credentials or a Microsoft Account. Azure RemoteApp presents a strategic, high-speed, and reliable vehicle for IT to transition on-premises application deployment into a corporate SaaS model in Microsoft Azure.

How

Azure RemoteApp applications are neither sent to, nor stored on employee devices. Employees download and install Microsoft Remote Desktop clients on their Internet-connected devices like clip_image006laptop, tablet, and phone to access applications via Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol as if those applications were installing and running locally. The applications are centrally managed on Microsoft Azure, the same platform trusted and used by governments, financial services companies, and other large organizations dealing with sensitive information.

Instead of being presented to the user in the desktop of the Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server, the RemoteApp program is integrated with the client’s desktop. A RemoteApp program runs in its own resizable window, can be dragged between multiple monitors, and has its own entry in the taskbar. If a user is running more than one RemoteApp program on the same RD Session Host server, the RemoteApp program will share the same Remote Desktop Services session.

Experience It Now

One thing about cloud computing is that all deliveries must be right there and then. Instant gratification is essential in everything we do in cloud. And it is the same with assessing a new service like Azure RemoteApp. Go to this DIY Public Demos, experience it now, and realize that application deployment is never the same.

TechEd 2014 North America Announcement Summary

imageAt TechEd 2014 North America, Microsoft has announced a large set of new innovations for IT Professionals & Enterprise developers to embrace a cloud culture in today’s mobile first, cloud first world. The following is a summary based on Brad Anderson’s keynote on May 5, 2014. I have highlighted my personal favorites.

 

Transform the Datacenter Announcements

  • Azure ExpressRoute
  • Azure Import/Export
  • Azure Compute-Intensive A8 & A9 Virtual Machines
  • Internal Load Balancing
  • Azure Files
  • Virtual Networking features
  • Microsoft Antimalware and security partnership with Trend Micro and Symantec
  • IP Reservation for VIPs and Instance-level public IP’s for Virtual Machines
  • Azure Site Recovery (formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager)

 

People Centric-IT Announcements

  • Azure RemoteApp
  • Windows Intune Roadmap
  • Azure Active Directory Premium enhancements

 

Modern Business Apps Announcements

  • API Management
  • Azure Traffic Manager External End Points
  • Azure Cache Services
  • BizTalk Hybrid Connections
  • BizTalk Server 2013 R2
  • ASP.NET vNext
  • Visual Studio 2013 Update 2
  • Visual Studio Online APIs
  • Multi-Device Hybrid Apps
  • Windows Client VMs for MSDN Subscribers
  • Desired State Configuration Support in the next update of Release Management
  • Visual Studio Online Migration Utility

 

Azure ExpressRoute

We are announcing the general availability of the ExpressRoute service.  AT&T and Equinix customers are able to use the ExpressRoute service at Silicon Valley, Washington, and London ExpressRoute locations. We are excited to announce a new partnership with TelecityGroup and SingTel which will expand ExpressRoute’s reach in Europe and APAC, and a new partnership with Zadara, which allows Azure customers to use Zadara storage via ExpressRoute in the U.S. ExpressRoute creates private, high-throughput connections between Azure datacenters and your existing infrastructure, whether it’s on-premises or in a colocation environment.

 

Azure Compute-intensive A8 & A9 Virtual Machines

We are announcing the general availability of compute-intensive A8 and A9 instances for virtual machines. These instances provide faster processors, faster interconnectivity, more virtual cores for higher computing power, and larger amounts of memory. With these instances, customers can run compute-intensive and network-intensive applications such as high-performance cluster applications and applications that use modeling, simulation and analysis, and video encoding.

 

Azure Files

We are announcing the public preview of Azure Files. This new service enables virtual machines in an Azure datacenter to mount a shared file system using the SMB protocol. These VMs will then be able to access the file system using standard Windows file APIs (CreateFile, ReadFile, WriteFile, etc.). Many VMs (or platform-as-a-service roles) can attach to these file systems concurrently, so customers can share persistent data easily between various roles and instances.

 

Azure Import/Export

We are announcing the general availability of Azure Import/Export service. By using Azure Import/Export, customers can move large amounts of data into and out of Azure Blobs much faster than is possible by downloading data from the internet. Transporting data from hard drives to Azure is easy when using the Microsoft high-speed, security-enabled internal network to transfer the data to our datacenter.

 

Microsoft Antimalware and security partnership with Trend Micro and Symantec

We are announcing the public preview of Microsoft Antimalware and partnerships with Trend Micro and Symantec. For Microsoft Antimalware, we are providing customers the choice on which anti-virus solution to use. One of those solutions is in partnership with Trend Micro. Specifically, deep integration for Trend’s Deep Security and SecureCloud products in the Azure platform.  Additionally, Microsoft is also working to integrate PortalProtectwith Azure.  Another solution we are announcing is in partnership with Symantec. Symantec End Point Protection (SEP) is being supported on Azure. Through deep portal integration, customers have the ability to specify that they intend to use SEP within a VM.

 

Internal Load balancing

We are announcing the public preview of Internal Load Balancing. This new service provides the ability to load balance Azure virtual machines with private IP addresses. The internally load balanced endpoint will be accessible only within a virtual network (if the VM is within a virtual network) or within a cloud service (if the VM isn’t within a virtual network). Internal Load Balancing is available in the standard tier of VMs at no additional cost.

 

Virtual Networking features

We are announcing general availability of the two most requested virtual networking features: multiple site-to-site VPN and VNET-to-VNET connectivity. Virtual Network now supports more than one site-to-site VPN connection so customers can securely connect multiple on-premises locations with a virtual network (VNET) in Azure. VNET-to-VNET connectivity enables multiple virtual networks to be directly and securely connected with one another. We are enabling both cross-region VNET-to-VNET and in-region VNET-to-VNET connectivity.

 

IP Reservation for VIPs and Instance-level public IP’s for Virtual Machines

We are announcing the IP Reservation for VIPs and public preview of Instance-level public IPs for virtual machines. For IP reservation, customers can now reserve public IP addresses and use them as virtual IP (VIP) addresses for their applications. This enables scenarios where applications need to have static public IP addresses or where applications need to be updated by swapping the reserved IP addresses. During preview, customers can obtain two public IP addresses per subscription at no additional charge. With Instance-level Public IPs for VMs, customers can now assign public IP addresses to their virtual machines, so they become directly addressable without having to map an endpoint. This feature will enable scenarios like running FTP servers in Azure and monitoring virtual machines directly using their IPs.

 

Azure Site Recovery (formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager)

We are announcing new capabilities for Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager that will be in public preview next month. Today, Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager provides a disaster recovery solution for customers which helps protect the availability of System Center private clouds. In June a public preview of new features will enable customers to replicate virtual machines from their primary site directly to Azure, instead of a second customer site. To better reflect the service’s new, broader capabilities we will be renaming it Microsoft Azure Site Recovery in conjunction with the release of this preview. Updated resources, including an Academy Live, will be available in June at time of public preview.

 

Azure RemoteApp

We are announcing the public preview of Azure RemoteApp: a new service delivering remote applications from the Azure cloud. With Azure RemoteApp, business applications run on Windows Server in the Azure cloud where they’re easier to scale and update. Employees install Microsoft Remote Desktop clients on their Internet-connected laptop, tablet, or phone—and can then access applications as if they were running locally.

Azure RemoteApp helps IT:

  • Enable employees access to their corporate applications on a variety of devices
  • Scale up or down without expensive infrastructure costs and management complexity
  • Centralize and protect corporate applications on Azure’s reliable platform.

Azure RemoteApp is available at no additional cost during the preview period. For detailed information, please refer to the following resources:

 

Azure Active Directory Premium enhancements

We have announced the public preview of more enhancements and capabilities in Azure Active Directory Premium. The public preview of these additional enhancements to the service include a new version of the DirSync tool, a new synchronization engine (Azure AD Sync), and Multi-Factor Authentication IP whitelisting allowing companies to specify IP addresses from which MFA is not required. We also announced the public preview of Azure AD Cloud App Discovery feature that provides IT departments with visibility into all the cloud apps used within their organization.

 

Windows Intune Roadmap

Future investments for Windows Intune are in the areas of managed productivity, including the ability to apply data management and protection policies to an upcoming release of Office mobile apps, and corporate-owned mobile device management.

 

API Management

We are announcing the public preview of Azure API Management. This new service enables organizations to publish APIs to developers, partners and employees securely and at scale. Organizations can use API Management to monetize its core product, transform its product into a platform and create new content distribution channels.

 

Azure Cache Services

First, Azure Managed Cache service is moving from public preview to general availability.  Second, Azure Redis Cache service is available in public preview.  Azure Redis Cache is based on the popular open source Redis Cache. A cache created using Redis Cache is accessible from any application within Azure. And, lastly, as previously announced, Azure Shared Caching Service will be retired in September 2014 and with it the Microsoft’s Silverlight-based portal. Because the Azure Cache Service is in general availability, we strongly encourage customers to migrate all existing caches on Shared Caching to the new Azure Managed Cache Service.

 

Traffic Manager External End Points

We are announcing the general availability of Azure Traffic Manager, which supports both Azure endpoints and external endpoints. Traffic Manager enables customers to control the distribution of user traffic to specified endpoints. With support for endpoints that can reside outside of Azure, customers can now build highly available applications across Azure and on-premises. In addition, intelligent traffic management policies can be applied across all managed endpoints.

 

BizTalk Hybrid Connections

We are announcing the public preview of BizTalk Hybrid Connections. This new Azure service enables cloud services to more securely, quickly, and easily integrate Azure cloud solutions with on-premises applications. With no custom code required, Hybrid Connections enables customers to connect to any on-premises TCP or HTTP resource—such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, or any web service—from Azure Web Sites.

 

BizTalk Server 2013 R2

We are announcing the release of BizTalk Server 2013 R2. For over a decade, Microsoft customers and partners have deployed thousands of mission-critical integration solutions using BizTalk. This release enables customers to upgrade now with confidence by delivering improvements in performance, reliability, and functionality. Biz Talk Server 2013 R2 allows customers to take advantage of the latest integration platform capabilities from Microsoft and accelerate solutions for vertical industries including healthcare and financial services.

 

Visual Studio 2013 Update 2

We are announcing the RTM of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2. With over 5 Million downloads of Visual Studio 2013 to date, today we delivered on our promise of enabling developers to create universal Windows apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 from one single project in Visual Studio.

 

ASP.NET vNext

We are sharing an early preview of the next version of ASP.NET vNext, a streamlined framework and runtime that is optimized for cloud and server workloads. It allows ASP.NET developers to leverage their existing skills and create applications with automatic cloud support built-in. These components of ASP.NET will be part of the .NET Foundation as an open source project and will run across multiple platforms through a partnership with Xamarin.

 

Visual Studio Online APIs

We are announcing the public preview of Visual Studio Online APIs. This a set of APIs and service hooks that extends Visual Studio Online and provides integration points to 3rd party services. This makes it easier for organizations to adopt Visual Studio Online without abandoning the tools they’re using today, and for developers to build apps on any platform that can consume Visual Studio Online services.

 

Multi-Device Hybrid Apps

In addition to the ability for .NET developers to target iOS and Android devices with native-apps through the strategic partnership with Xamarin, we are announcing Visual Studio tooling support for hybrid-apps based on Apache Cordova™ (Multi-Device Hybrid Apps for Visual Studio – CTP). With these tools, web developers can use their existing skills in HTML and JavaScript to create hybrid packaged apps for multiple devices while taking advantage of each device’s capabilities.

 

Windows Client VMs for MSDN Subscribers

We are announcing that virtual machine images for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are now available in the Azure virtual machine gallery for MSDN subscribers. This means that you now have the flexibility to utilize an on-demand dev/test environment for client-targeted apps, leveraging the elasticity and scale of Microsoft Azure.

 

Desired State Configuration support in the next update of Release Management

In the next update of Release Management for Visual Studio, customers will be able to directly leverage PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) scripts to configure and manage Windows based environments through Release Management. This extended capability of Release Management will allow customers to manage both on-premises and cloud based infrastructure as part of an application deployment. This capability places Microsoft ahead of Puppet and Chef for configuring and managing both on-premises and cloud based environments as part of an application deployment.

 

Visual Studio Online Migration Utility

Microsoft has partnered with OpsHub to deliver the OpsHub TFS to Visual Studio Online Migration Utility. This utility is a free offering provided by OpsHub that supports the one-time, one-way migration of on-premises Team Foundation Server data into Visual Studio Online. The goal of the OpsHub TFS to Visual Studio Online Migration Utility is to provide a straightforward migration path from an on-premises Team Foundation Server environment to the Visual Studio Online environment minimizing or eliminating the need for any consulting support.

  • OpsHub will be offering support and answering questions on StackOverflow

TechEd 2014 North America Announcement Summary

imageAt TechEd 2014 North America, Microsoft has announced a large set of new innovations for IT Professionals & Enterprise developers to embrace a cloud culture in today’s mobile first, cloud first world. The following is a summary based on Brad Anderson’s keynote on May 5, 2014. I have highlighted my personal favorites.

Transform the Datacenter Announcements

 

People Centric-IT Announcements

 

Modern Business Apps Announcements

 

Azure ExpressRoute

We are announcing the general availability of the ExpressRoute service.  AT&T and Equinix customers are able to use the ExpressRoute service at Silicon Valley, Washington, and London ExpressRoute locations. We are excited to announce a new partnership with TelecityGroup and SingTel which will expand ExpressRoute’s reach in Europe and APAC, and a new partnership with Zadara, which allows Azure customers to use Zadara storage via ExpressRoute in the U.S. ExpressRoute creates private, high-throughput connections between Azure datacenters and your existing infrastructure, whether it’s on-premises or in a colocation environment.

 

Azure Compute-intensive A8 & A9 Virtual Machines

We are announcing the general availability of compute-intensive A8 and A9 instances for virtual machines. These instances provide faster processors, faster interconnectivity, more virtual cores for higher computing power, and larger amounts of memory. With these instances, customers can run compute-intensive and network-intensive applications such as high-performance cluster applications and applications that use modeling, simulation and analysis, and video encoding.

 

Azure Files

We are announcing the public preview of Azure Files. This new service enables virtual machines in an Azure datacenter to mount a shared file system using the SMB protocol. These VMs will then be able to access the file system using standard Windows file APIs (CreateFile, ReadFile, WriteFile, etc.). Many VMs (or platform-as-a-service roles) can attach to these file systems concurrently, so customers can share persistent data easily between various roles and instances.

 

Azure Import/Export

We are announcing the general availability of Azure Import/Export service. By using Azure Import/Export, customers can move large amounts of data into and out of Azure Blobs much faster than is possible by downloading data from the internet. Transporting data from hard drives to Azure is easy when using the Microsoft high-speed, security-enabled internal network to transfer the data to our datacenter.

 

Microsoft Antimalware and security partnership with Trend Micro and Symantec

We are announcing the public preview of Microsoft Antimalware and partnerships with Trend Micro and Symantec. For Microsoft Antimalware, we are providing customers the choice on which anti-virus solution to use. One of those solutions is in partnership with Trend Micro. Specifically, deep integration for Trend’s Deep Security and SecureCloud products in the Azure platform.  Additionally, Microsoft is also working to integrate PortalProtectwith Azure.  Another solution we are announcing is in partnership with Symantec. Symantec End Point Protection (SEP) is being supported on Azure. Through deep portal integration, customers have the ability to specify that they intend to use SEP within a VM.

 

Internal Load balancing

We are announcing the public preview of Internal Load Balancing. This new service provides the ability to load balance Azure virtual machines with private IP addresses. The internally load balanced endpoint will be accessible only within a virtual network (if the VM is within a virtual network) or within a cloud service (if the VM isn’t within a virtual network). Internal Load Balancing is available in the standard tier of VMs at no additional cost.

 

Virtual Networking features

We are announcing general availability of the two most requested virtual networking features: multiple site-to-site VPN and VNET-to-VNET connectivity. Virtual Network now supports more than one site-to-site VPN connection so customers can securely connect multiple on-premises locations with a virtual network (VNET) in Azure. VNET-to-VNET connectivity enables multiple virtual networks to be directly and securely connected with one another. We are enabling both cross-region VNET-to-VNET and in-region VNET-to-VNET connectivity.

 

IP Reservation for VIPs and Instance-level public IP’s for Virtual Machines

We are announcing the IP Reservation for VIPs and public preview of Instance-level public IPs for virtual machines. For IP reservation, customers can now reserve public IP addresses and use them as virtual IP (VIP) addresses for their applications. This enables scenarios where applications need to have static public IP addresses or where applications need to be updated by swapping the reserved IP addresses. During preview, customers can obtain two public IP addresses per subscription at no additional charge. With Instance-level Public IPs for VMs, customers can now assign public IP addresses to their virtual machines, so they become directly addressable without having to map an endpoint. This feature will enable scenarios like running FTP servers in Azure and monitoring virtual machines directly using their IPs.

 

Azure Site Recovery (formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager)

We are announcing new capabilities for Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager that will be in public preview next month. Today, Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager provides a disaster recovery solution for customers which helps protect the availability of System Center private clouds. In June a public preview of new features will enable customers to replicate virtual machines from their primary site directly to Azure, instead of a second customer site. To better reflect the service’s new, broader capabilities we will be renaming it Microsoft Azure Site Recovery in conjunction with the release of this preview. Updated resources, including an Academy Live, will be available in June at time of public preview.

 

Azure RemoteApp

We are announcing the public preview of Azure RemoteApp: a new service delivering remote applications from the Azure cloud. With Azure RemoteApp, business applications run on Windows Server in the Azure cloud where they’re easier to scale and update. Employees install Microsoft Remote Desktop clients on their Internet-connected laptop, tablet, or phone—and can then access applications as if they were running locally.

Azure RemoteApp helps IT:

  • Enable employees access to their corporate applications on a variety of devices
  • Scale up or down without expensive infrastructure costs and management complexity
  • Centralize and protect corporate applications on Azure’s reliable platform.

Azure RemoteApp is available at no additional cost during the preview period. For detailed information, please refer to the following resources:

 

Azure Active Directory Premium enhancements

We have announced the public preview of more enhancements and capabilities in Azure Active Directory Premium. The public preview of these additional enhancements to the service include a new version of the DirSync tool, a new synchronization engine (Azure AD Sync), and Multi-Factor Authentication IP whitelisting allowing companies to specify IP addresses from which MFA is not required. We also announced the public preview of Azure AD Cloud App Discovery feature that provides IT departments with visibility into all the cloud apps used within their organization.

 

Windows Intune Roadmap

Future investments for Windows Intune are in the areas of managed productivity, including the ability to apply data management and protection policies to an upcoming release of Office mobile apps, and corporate-owned mobile device management.

 

API Management

We are announcing the public preview of Azure API Management. This new service enables organizations to publish APIs to developers, partners and employees securely and at scale. Organizations can use API Management to monetize its core product, transform its product into a platform and create new content distribution channels.

 

Azure Cache Services

First, Azure Managed Cache service is moving from public preview to general availability.  Second, Azure Redis Cache service is available in public preview.  Azure Redis Cache is based on the popular open source Redis Cache. A cache created using Redis Cache is accessible from any application within Azure. And, lastly, as previously announced, Azure Shared Caching Service will be retired in September 2014 and with it the Microsoft’s Silverlight-based portal. Because the Azure Cache Service is in general availability, we strongly encourage customers to migrate all existing caches on Shared Caching to the new Azure Managed Cache Service.

 

Traffic Manager External End Points

We are announcing the general availability of Azure Traffic Manager, which supports both Azure endpoints and external endpoints. Traffic Manager enables customers to control the distribution of user traffic to specified endpoints. With support for endpoints that can reside outside of Azure, customers can now build highly available applications across Azure and on-premises. In addition, intelligent traffic management policies can be applied across all managed endpoints.

 

BizTalk Hybrid Connections

We are announcing the public preview of BizTalk Hybrid Connections. This new Azure service enables cloud services to more securely, quickly, and easily integrate Azure cloud solutions with on-premises applications. With no custom code required, Hybrid Connections enables customers to connect to any on-premises TCP or HTTP resource—such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, or any web service—from Azure Web Sites.

 

BizTalk Server 2013 R2

We are announcing the release of BizTalk Server 2013 R2. For over a decade, Microsoft customers and partners have deployed thousands of mission-critical integration solutions using BizTalk. This release enables customers to upgrade now with confidence by delivering improvements in performance, reliability, and functionality. Biz Talk Server 2013 R2 allows customers to take advantage of the latest integration platform capabilities from Microsoft and accelerate solutions for vertical industries including healthcare and financial services.

 

Visual Studio 2013 Update 2

We are announcing the RTM of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2. With over 5 Million downloads of Visual Studio 2013 to date, today we delivered on our promise of enabling developers to create universal Windows apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 from one single project in Visual Studio.

 

ASP.NET vNext

We are sharing an early preview of the next version of ASP.NET vNext, a streamlined framework and runtime that is optimized for cloud and server workloads. It allows ASP.NET developers to leverage their existing skills and create applications with automatic cloud support built-in. These components of ASP.NET will be part of the .NET Foundation as an open source project and will run across multiple platforms through a partnership with Xamarin.

 

Visual Studio Online APIs

We are announcing the public preview of Visual Studio Online APIs. This a set of APIs and service hooks that extends Visual Studio Online and provides integration points to 3rd party services. This makes it easier for organizations to adopt Visual Studio Online without abandoning the tools they’re using today, and for developers to build apps on any platform that can consume Visual Studio Online services.

 

Multi-Device Hybrid Apps

In addition to the ability for .NET developers to target iOS and Android devices with native-apps through the strategic partnership with Xamarin, we are announcing Visual Studio tooling support for hybrid-apps based on Apache Cordova™ (Multi-Device Hybrid Apps for Visual Studio – CTP). With these tools, web developers can use their existing skills in HTML and JavaScript to create hybrid packaged apps for multiple devices while taking advantage of each device’s capabilities.

 

Windows Client VMs for MSDN Subscribers

We are announcing that virtual machine images for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are now available in the Azure virtual machine gallery for MSDN subscribers. This means that you now have the flexibility to utilize an on-demand dev/test environment for client-targeted apps, leveraging the elasticity and scale of Microsoft Azure.

 

Desired State Configuration support in the next update of Release Management

In the next update of Release Management for Visual Studio, customers will be able to directly leverage PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) scripts to configure and manage Windows based environments through Release Management. This extended capability of Release Management will allow customers to manage both on-premises and cloud based infrastructure as part of an application deployment. This capability places Microsoft ahead of Puppet and Chef for configuring and managing both on-premises and cloud based environments as part of an application deployment.

 

Visual Studio Online Migration Utility

Microsoft has partnered with OpsHub to deliver the OpsHub TFS to Visual Studio Online Migration Utility. This utility is a free offering provided by OpsHub that supports the one-time, one-way migration of on-premises Team Foundation Server data into Visual Studio Online. The goal of the OpsHub TFS to Visual Studio Online Migration Utility is to provide a straightforward migration path from an on-premises Team Foundation Server environment to the Visual Studio Online environment minimizing or eliminating the need for any consulting support.

  • OpsHub will be offering support and answering questions on StackOverflow

Invitation to Week-Long TechEd 2014 Live Streaming

At this year’s TechEd, Microsoft will announce and demo many remarkable new capabilities and functionalities to be delivered to the IT and developer industry. If not able to attend TechEd 2014 in person,  you can join us online via Tech Ed Live Streaming all week long including the keynotes and technical breakout sessions.

Register Now for the Tech Ed Live Stream

In this article, I’ve included the schedule for this week’s TechEd sessions that will be live streamed and the registration link you can use for joining us online.  Hope to see you there virtually!

Don’t miss these TechEd Live Stream sessions!

We have a full week planned of great technical content via the TechEd 2014 Live Stream sessions. Be sure to tune in for these topics …

Day Time Session Title Primary Speaker
5/12/2014 09:00AM – 10:30AM Central Time Tech Ed 2014 Keynote Session Brad Anderson,
Corporate Vice President, Windows Server and System Center
5/12/2014 11:00AM – Noon Central Time Enabling Enterprise Mobility with Windows Intune, Microsoft Azure, and Windows Server Adam Hall; Andrew Conway; Demi Albuz; Jason Leznek
5/12/2014 01:15PM – 02:30PM Central Time Windows PowerShell Unplugged with Jeffrey Snover Jeffrey Snover
5/12/2014 03:00PM – 04:15PM Central Time RemoteApp for Mobility and BYOD Demi Albuz;Samim Erdogan
5/12/2014 04:45PM – 06:00PM Central Time Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: MVP Experts Panel Greg Ramsey;Jason Sandys;Johan Arwidmark;Kent Agerlund;Steve Thompson
5/13/2014 08:30PM – 09:45AM Central Time INTRODUCING: The Future of .NET on the Server Scott Hanselman;Scott Hunter
5/13/2014 10:15AM – 11:30AM Central Time DEEP DIVE: The Future of .NET on the Server David Fowler;Scott Hanselman
5/13/2014 01:30PM – 02:45PM Central Time Group Policy: Notes from the Field – Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting Jeremy Moskowitz
5/13/2014 03:15PM – 04:30PM Central Time Microsoft Desktop Virtualization Overview Session Demi Albuz;Robin Brandl;Thomas Willingham
5/13/2014 05:00PM – 06:15PM Central Time TWC: Sysinternals Primer: TechEd 2014 Edition Aaron Margosis
5/14/2014 08:30AM – 09:45AM Central Time Making Sense of the Microsoft Information Protection Stack Chris Hallum
5/14/2014 10:15AM – 11:30AM Central Time Mark Russinovich and Mark Minasi on Cloud Computing Mark Minasi;Mark Russinovich
5/14/2014 01:30PM – 02:45PM Central Time Entity Framework: Building Applications with Entity Framework 6 Rowan Miller
5/14/2014 03:15PM – 04:30PM Central Time Windows PowerShell Best Practices and Patterns: Time to Get Serious Don Jones
5/14/2014 05:00PM – 06:15PM Central Time What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Jeff Woolsey
5/15/2014 08:30AM – 09:45AM Central Time Real-World Windows 8.1 Deployment: Notes from the Field Johan Arwidmark
5/15/2014 10:15AM – 11:30AM Central Time Async Best Practices for C# and Visual Basic Mads Torgersen
5/15/2014 01:00PM – 02:15PM Central Time VDI Deployment Walkthrough John Kelbley;Rich McBrine;Robin Brandl
5/15/2014 02:45PM – 04:00PM Central Time 2014 Edition: How Many Coffees Can You Drink While Your PC Starts? Matthew Reynolds

Join TechEd from wherever you are.

Use the link below to register for the TechEd Live Stream to watch the sessions online this week – live from Houston TX.

Register Now for the TechEd Live Stream

Join the discussion! What are you most excited about?

Which of the announcements, new features or enhancements are you most excited to begin leveraging in your IT organization? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments area below!  In addition, be sure to follow us online via the #MSTechEd hashtag on Twitter.