Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Windows 8.1 update1; new features also available for RDSH?

Yesterday, April 2nd, Microsoft released the Update 1 for both Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 on MSDN. The update will become GA on April 8th. It’s a series of 6 separate installers and has a guideline containing the installation order.

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In the meantime I’ve updated my Windows 8.1 Laptop and Windows 8.1 Surface RT and tried out the new features.  But are these new features also available for RDSH? Answer is yes!

Features like the new context menu for tiles, the new buttons in the upper-right corner, pinning Apps to the Taskbar, a title bar for remote apps to allow easy minimizing etc.

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Also, the new Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE) is available. Websites that run in Enterprise Mode are rendered like they did in Internet Explore 8, which helps to improve the compatibility of websites identified on a corporate level. It also allows you as an administrator to setup a list of websites that will automatically be loaded in Enterprise Mode which can be really useful for VDI and RDSH scenario’s!

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The list can be controlled using the GPO:

User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Internet Explorer | Let users turn on and use Enterprise Mode from the Tools menu

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The URL needs to point to a XML file containing the list. For more information on creating the list using the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager tool also see: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2014/04/02/stay-up-to-date-with-enterprise-mode-for-internet-explorer-11.aspx

Subsequently, users will also be able to add a current website to the Tools menu “Enterprise Mode”, which becomes available after setting the policy.

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Finally, I’m sure you’ve also heard about the Start Menu returning. Microsoft will release this is a separate upcoming. Will this update also be applicable to Windows Server 2012 R2, and this RDSH? Most likely, but we’ll see! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Remote Desktop Gateway Pluggable Authentication and Authorization Sample

With the release of Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft added a new feature for the RD Gateway role called Pluggable Authentication.

“…Remote Desktop Gateway pluggable authentication. Both customers and partners asked for a more flexible way to authenticate users connecting from the Internet. RD Gateway pluggable authentication allows custom authentication routines to be used with RD Gateway. This can provide custom two-factor authentication and works seamlessly with Remote Desktop Web Access (RD Web Access) or RDP file resource launching (even when using third-party browsers with RD Web Access)…”
Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rds/archive/2013/07/09/what-s-new-in-remote-desktop-services-for-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx

In addition to that, Microsoft released sample code to explain the available Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) authentication and authorization models and demonstrate how to deploy authentication and authorization plug-ins for RD Gateway.

More info and download: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Remote-Desktop-Gateway-517d6273/view/Reviews

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Presented session at DuCUG in Amsterdam

Friday March 14 I co-presented a session at the Dutch Citrix User Group (DuCUG), hosted al Dell in Amsterdam together with fellow RDS MVP Wilco van Bragt. The session was called Microsoft Windows Server 2012 RDS vs Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, a comparison. I covered the Microsoft RDS part during the session and Wilco the Citrix part.

The abstract of our session;
“In this session Wilco van Bragt and Freek Berson will demo some of the differences between Microsoft RDS on Windows Server 2012(R2) and Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, focusing on Session-Based Desktop virtualization. Both solutions have their PRO’s and CON’s and we’ll look at some specific functionalities and how both solutions can be used in various Use Cases. An open minded and unbiased presentation, demo and discussion.”

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Given the length of the session we obviously would not be able to do a full feature comparison, therefor we introduced the concept AaaS (Agenda as a Service). Which allowed the audience to choose the subjects to be covered.

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Thanks & compliments go out to the DuCUG steering comity for hosting this event!

If you’re attending the E2EVC (pubforum) conference in May in Brussels, we’re doing a re run of this presentation at that event on Friday. More info: http://www.e2evc.com/home/Agenda.aspx

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

KB: No RDS license when you connect to an RDS farm in Windows Server 2012

A new KB (2916846) was released by Microsoft in regards to installing the RDSH role (rol-based, not scenario based) and possible issues with successfully acquiring RDS CAL’s from a RD Licensing server.

“…Assume that you install the Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) role service on a computer that is running Windows Server 2012, and then configure the computer to obtain licenses from a Remote Desktop Services Licensing Server. When you try to connect to the computer by using Remote Desktop or Remote App, you may receive an error message that indicates there is no Remote Desktop Services Client Access License..”

“…This issue occurs because the RDSH server is missing certificates when a connection arrives and it cannot request a license for that connection to the Licensing server…”

Source & download: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2916846/en-us?sd=rss&spid=16526

KB: Shortcut menu items flicker as you move the mouse pointer over them in a RemoteApp in Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012

A new KB article (2925336) was released by Microsoft in regards to an issue with shortcut menu’s inside a Remote App published on Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8.

”…On a computer that's running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, you publish a RemoteApp application. However, when you use the RemoteApp application, you discover that shortcut menu items flicker as you move the mouse pointer over them…”

Source & download: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2925336/en-us?sd=rss&spid=16526

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tech Ed NA 2014, RDS / VDI related sessions

TechEd 2014 LogoAre you attending Tech Ed North America 2014 in Houston, Texas? The content catalog is now available! Below a summary of all the Break-out sessions and Hand-On Labs related to RDS and VDI.

PCIT-B318 Microsoft Desktop Virtualization Overview Session
Tuesday, May 13 3:15 PM - 4:30 PM
Speaker(s): Demi Albuz, Robin Brandl
Track:
People-centric IT
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Infrastructure as a Service, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
This session provides an overview of Microsoft Desktop Virtualization solution and products under this solution, not only on-premise but also in Windows Azure (personal, pooled Virtual Machine (VM)-based deployments, session-based deployments, RemoteApp and Azure IaaS solution). In this session, we talk about the key improvements and enhancements brought to the platform.

PCIT-B329 VDI Deployment Walkthrough
Thursday, May 15 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Speaker(s): John Kelbley, Robin Brandl
Track:
People-centric IT
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
This session will overview what VDI is and how it is enabled by the capabilities if Windows Server 2012 R2. We will show options and alternatives for deployment (Remote App, Remote Desktop, pooled VMs versus dedicated), and the share consideration and guidance needed to successfully design, deploy, and support a basic VDI implementation. Topics will include common deployment steps and gotchas including those related to networking setup, image management, storage, and other key considerations.

PCIT-B338 Deploying RDS Roles in Windows Azure: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know
Wednesday, May 14 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM
Speaker(s): Clark Nicholson
Track:
People-centric IT
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Remote Desktop Services
This session walks through the architecture of an Azure hosted RDS solution, including discussion of high availability considerations and capacity planning, as well as connectivity to corporate Active Directory and network resources.

PCIT-B337 Advanced VDI Optimization
Thursday, May 15 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Speaker(s): Robert Smith, Tiberiu Radu
Track:
People-centric IT
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
This breakout take a deep look at performance and configuration changes to optimize your Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment on Hyper-V. We focus on the updates which are unique to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, the changes specific to User Profile Management and Application Presentation with Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0.

PCIT-B342 RemoteApp for Mobility and BYOD
Monday, May 12 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Speaker(s): Demi Albuz, Samim Erdogan
Track:
People-centric IT
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Application Development, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization
This session gives a brief overview of utilizing RemoteApp for Mobility and BYOD scenarios where IT can enable users to access corporate data and applications while ensuring compliance. With the new Microsoft Remote Desktop app, end users can access corporate applications from a variety of devices and platforms including iOS, Mac OS X, and Android, in addition to Windows and Windows RT.

PCIT-B331 Enabling Multi-Tenant Hosted Desktop/Applications Architecture on Private Cloud
Thursday, May 15 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Speaker(s): Clark Nicholson, Joey Glocke, Senthil Baladhandayutham
Track:
People-centric IT
Session Type: Breakout
Topic: Microsoft .NET Framework
Whether you are a service provider thinking of hosting apps/desktops, or an enterprise IT admin thinking of rolling out desktops on private cloud, join this session to learn about best practices for configuring Session-Based Desktops and Remote Application Services on private cloud and hybrid cloud using the Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) solution running on Dell Infrastructure. Get insights into what components can run on tenant environments and provider environments, guidance on capacity planning, security and licensing considerations, insights about Infrastructure components (storage, networking, and servers) required to successfully build your private and hybrid cloud deployment.

PCIT-H305 Enabling Secure Remote Users with RemoteApp, DirectAccess, and Dynamic Access Control
Track: People-centric IT
Session Type: Hands-on Lab
Topic: Direct Access, Dynamic Access Control, Remote Desktop Services, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
In this lab, learn how to implement a secure remote access and user security solution which allows users in remote locations to leverage session based VDI for Microsoft Office 2013, and gain access to share folders which are protected with Dynamic Access Control and RMS classification. Deploy Session VDI with RemoteApp. Provision a computer for DirectAccess with offline Domain Join. Connect via DirectAccess and launch remote Office applications. Create new DAC rules and new RMS rules, and auto-protect a document share with rules. User save a document in share, and have document auto-protected.

PCIT-H320 Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Applications Publishing: Enterprise and Beyond
Track: People-centric IT
Session Type: Hands-on Lab
Topic: Remote Desktop Services, Windows Server

This lab focuses on Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote App publishing new features. Learn how to create and configure a remote app hosting environment using Windows Server 2012 R2. Experience how to publish multiple apps for users who will access them from within a controlled IT environment as well as from personal workstations and terminals. Learn how to manage, categorize and arrange various user applications

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

RDS 2012 R2, Desktop Experience overview

A new article has been released by Microsoft which explains the Desktop Experience feature, usually installed on a RD Session Host to allow to install a variety of applications and features that are provided in the Windows client operating system.

The article contains an overview of the differences between Desktop Experience in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn609826.aspx

Announcement by the Microsoft RDV Team: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rds/archive/2014/02/26/desktop-experience-in-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx