Tuesday, January 27, 2015

One million page views!

 

 

Wow, my blog just crossed a huge milestone!

ONE MILLION page views!

 

 

I guess this calls for a review post :)
I started this blog back in October 2010, probably with a first post that most blogs start with called “Welcome to my blog!”. At that time I started this blog to share my experiences in IT, mostly on Microsoft products and services, hence the name The Microsoft Platform.

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Not long after the release of this blog,  I started to share more information related to the Technology that I’ve been a fan of for over a decade now, Remote Desktop Services! For my work in the community, Microsoft rewarded me with the Most Valuable Professional award on Remote Desktop Services in October 2011. image

Since then, this blog developed an even stronger focus on Remote Desktop Services, Desktop Virtualization in general, and related technologies. And since approximately half a year ago, Azure RemoteApp as well!

I want to take this opportunity to thank all my readers, followers, the people that comment on my blog and contact me via twitter or e-mail to ask additional questions. The interaction has been great fun!

Moving forward to the next mile stone!

Thanks!

Freek.

Remote Desktop for iOS v8.1.6 is now available on the Apple App Store

The Microsoft RDV team posted a new blog announcing a new version of the RDS client for iOS. Version 8.1.6. It contains a number of bug fixes that improve the reliability and stability of the client and fixes several important issues.

An overview:

“…Remote Resource Improvements - We had a number of users inform us that they were unable to connect to their Remote Resource applications and that they were getting stuck with the “Preparing your Remote Resources” message on the connection center. 8.1.6 fixes an issue where the feed was not fetched properly, so users hitting this message should download the latest version of the app to access their resources. We also included a number of other fixes where users were unable to connect to desktops that were published through resource feeds.

NTLMv2 Support & Channel Binding - In this update, we’ve added support for NTLMv2 for Remote Desktop gateways and channel binding to support gateways using HTTPS. These fixes should help users who are hitting issues connecting through a gateway server.

Gateway Crashes – The updated 8.1.6 client includes a number of fixes for crashes that users were hitting when connecting through Remote Desktop gateways.

Mouse Button Swapping – This update contains a fix where users were not seeing the ‘Swap Mouse Buttons’ take effect on the remote PC. Users who have their mouse buttons swapped on their remote PC should be able to set this correctly now on the iOS app.

Kanji Character Support – This update contains a fix where Japanese Kanji characters were not appearing properly when using a Bluetooth keyboard…”

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rds/archive/2015/01/26/remote-desktop-for-ios-v8-1-6-is-now-available-on-the-apple-app-store.aspx

Friday, January 16, 2015

Time To Participate in the Project VRC "State of the VDI and SBC union 2015" Survey

This is a awesome project, give you input by filling out the survey before February 15th 2015 !

The independent R&D project ‘Virtual Reality Check’ (VRC) (www.projectvrc.com) was started in early 2009 by Ruben Spruijt and Jeroen van de Kamp and focuses on research in the desktop and application virtualization market. Several white papers with Login VSI (www.loginvsi.com) test results were published about the performance and best practices of different hypervisors, Microsoft Office versions, application virtualization solutions, Windows Operating Systems in server hosted desktop solutions and the impact of antivirus.

This year Project VRC would like to repeat this survey to see how our industry has changed and to take a look at the future of Virtual Desktop Infrastructures and Server Based Computing in 2015. To do this they need your help again. Everyone who is involved in building or maintaining VDI or SBC environments is invited to participate in this survey. Also if you participated in the previous two editions.

Visit www.projectvrc.com/blog/23-project-vrc-state-of-the-vdi-and-sbc-union-2015-survey to fill out the Project Virtual Reality Check "State of the VDI and SBC Union 2014" survey.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Microsoft Remote Desktop Preview V8.1.7 update for Windows Phone 8.1 available today for download

There is a new version available of the Microsoft Remote Desktop App for Windows Phone 8.1

The new features in this release are:

Pinning apps to the Start Screen
The ability to pin separate Remote Apps on the Start Screen of your Windows PhoneFigure2

Background refresh and notifications
If the list of apps available to you has changed (for example when your IT admin publishes new apps), then the list of apps on the apps pivot will be updated to reflect the changes which could include adding or removing entries.

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Source & more info: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rds/archive/2014/12/22/microsoft-remote-desktop-preview-v8-1-7-update-for-windows-phone-8-1-available-today-for-download.aspx

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

First Glance at Ericom AccessNow for Microsoft RD Connection Broker (RDCB)

I’ve had the honor and pleasure of test-driving Ericom AccessNow for RDCB during the private beta, and providing Ericom with some early feedback. In this blog post I’d like to share some of my experiences with the beta.

A little background info
Microsoft Remote Desktop Services has evolved a lot over the past few years. The release of Windows Server 2012 (and later R2) represented a huge step forward, with major improvements in both user experience, by way of the
RemoteFX (RDP8) Protocol, and in central management via Server Manager. On the RDP client side, previously Microsoft’s statement had always been, “we’ll deliver a great RDP client for Windows based devices and leave space for partners to do so for RDP clients for non-Windows based devices”. That all changed in October of 2013 when Microsoft launched their own RDP clients for iOS, Android and Mac OS X, available as a free download in the various App Stores, making it possible to run a Microsoft RDP client on various operating systems.

Where does AccessNow for RDCB step in?
Microsoft however does currently not provide their own HTML5 client for Remote Desktop Services. So what’s the use case for an HTML5 solution, with the availability of a Microsoft RDP client for most major operating systems? I personally don’t see an HTML5 client being the primary client in all scenarios. However, supporting HTML5 in a Microsoft RDS environment can help organizations that are implementing BYOD initiatives to simplify their client software management. It also makes a great second or backup option in specific  scenarios where a user cannot install an RDP client, or only needs to connect real quickly to review a document without having to install and configure a client first. This is where
AccessNow for RDCB steps in.

What I personally like about this approach is that you can integrate this with your current Microsoft RDS environment without having to replace or reconfigure anything. That way, you can offer the option to connect via HTML5 and have that be a backup or secondary way of connecting.

Installing AccessNow Beta in the lab
I’ve been test-driving AccessNow for RDCB in my lab. I cannot go into too much detail about the installation process and the architecture itself, because Ericom is not disclosing that information at this time. What I can say, however, is that I’m impressed by the ease of install and the smooth way of incorporating it with an existing RDS deployment. I did provide some feedback on the chosen backend architecture, installation process and the deployment guide, so hopefully some of that feedback makes it into the General Availability version.

End user experience
As an end user, you log in via a Web Access Portal that is created during installation. Obviously this can (and should) be HTTPS, but for the sake of this demo I used HTTP.

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After logging in with your domain credentials, you are presented with the remote applications and desktops that have been assigned to you. The Ericom Portal retrieves those using your existing RDS deployment.

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Thus, you will see the same applications that are available to you when logging in with the same user account using, say, RD Web Access.

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As an end user, you simply click on a remote application (RemoteApp) to trigger the login process. Basically, this launches an RDP session with the RD Connection Broker as the initial connection, which then directs users to an RD Session Host, similar to a regular RDS session.

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After the login process, users can begin using the RemoteApp from within the browser, without the need to install any agent, fully based on HTML5. Of course, you can also publish a full desktop session in the same way.

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In conclusion, integration of AccessNow for RDCB in the existing environment makes it really easy to set up and provide HTML5 browser based access to your end users as a secondary means of connection as well as for supporting BYOD scenarios, fulfilling the needs of various use cases. I’m looking forward to the GA of AccessNow for RDCB as well as the accompanying licensing models!

Ericom plans to announce the GA release of AccessNow for RDCB soon! To learn more about Ericom AccessNow for RDCB visit:http://www.ericom.com/AccessNowForRDCB.asp

Update: some people asked for this, here is an overview of the other options in the portal

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Taking a look at the new HTML5 connector in Dell/Wyse vWorkspace 8.5

Dell/Wyse has released the latest version of their vWorkspace product this week, which is version 8.5! I have been upgrading a first environment this week, which went smooth.

For an overview of all that’s new in 8.5, see: http://documents.software.dell.com/vWorkspace/8.5/Whats%20New/

In this blog post I’ll focus on a specific new feature, the HTML5 connector. The HTML5 connector allows users to connect to applications or desktops without having to install a vWorkspace connector. HTML5 can be enabled or disabled for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux and Chrome OS.

Obviously the experience of running a RemoteApp or Desktop on a (installed) connectors or RDP client is much better than HTML5. In most use cases HTML5 will therefor not be the primary way of connecting. However, it does allows users to connect to applications or desktops without having to install a connector or client. Which makes a great way of providing a secondary or backup way of connecting in situations were users are not allowed to install or configure a client locally or just want to check a document real quick on a device they’ve never used before and don’t want to download, install and configure a connector or client first. Or, in case of using one of the few devices for which a vWorkspace connector is not available (like e.g. Windows RT).

HTML5 can be enabled an configured within the vWorkspace management console on a per client type level.

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After doing so, you log on to vWorkspace Web Access (which is also improved to support scales to the size and orientation of the endpoint device).

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You select a Remote App

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And after logon we are now running multiple RemoteApps inside our browser, bases on HTML5, without installing any client.

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Do note that in most scenario’s you will see NLA enabled in an environment. By default however, NLA is disabled for the vWorkspace HTML5 connector. To enable HTML5, edit the following file C:\inetpub\wwwroot\web\Freezer\Web.Config

And set EnableNLA to the value true.

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Azure RemoteApp is GA, previously created Previews are changed to a 30-day trial

It’s December 11th today, which means Azure RemoteApp is now officially generally available.

If you previously signed up the the Free Preview, that preview is now automatically changes to a 30-day trial. If you open the Azure Portal and browse to your Azure RemoteApp you will be notified with the ability to activate the service.

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For more info on Azure RemoteApp also see: azureremoteapp.net or join the LinkedIn group here https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Microsoft-Azure-RemoteApp-7401732