Unexpected reboots of RD Session Hosts on Azure Using Tags

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The last couple of months I was involved in a project of building a fresh new Remote Desktop Services environment on Microsoft Azure. One of the advantages of having your RDS environment on Azure is that you can scale the number of Session Hosts based on the user load. In this project the number of Session Hosts were defined upfront, so no dynamic scaling based on the actual user load. Based on Tags on the Azure Virtual Machines we defined the different Start/Stop Profiles and based on those profiles servers were stopped and started on pre-defined times. The tags on the virtual machines needed to rotate so that not always the same servers will stay on and every server gets a shutdown. After building this solution we faced a strange error.

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Retirement of Azure RemoteApp

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During my summer holiday Microsoft has announced the retirement of Azure RemoteApp. You can find the information in this blogpost of the RDS team. Citrix announced their replacement product ‘XenApp Express’, in their words they call it ‘Azure RemoteApp v2.0’. You can find more information about Citrix XenApp Express here, here and here. So based on all information the following timelines will apply to the retirement of Azure RemoteApp and the release of XenApp Express:

  • [Microsoft RemoteApp] –> Retirement announcement made on 12th of August
  • [Microsoft RemoteApp] –> New purchases of Azure RemoteApp will end as of October 1st, 2016
  • [Citrix XenApp “express”] –> Tech Preview of Citrix XenApp Express in Q4 2016
  • [Citrix XenApp “express”] –> General Availability of Citrix XenApp Express in early 2017
  • [Microsoft RemoteApp] –> End of service on August 31st, 2017

Citrix will host an event where more information will be provided about the strategy of both Citrix and Microsoft. You can register here.

The last 2 years I’ve blogged and presented a lot of information about Azure RemoteApp. I really liked the product and the future of the product(roadmap). Of course based on the announcement blogging about Azure RemoteApp will end and I will focus more on Remote Desktop Services. With the release of Windows Server 2016 a lot of improvements are made to Remote Desktop Services. I will also focus on building RDS environment on Microsoft Azure. Next week I should present together with Maarten Goet on Monitoring Azure RemoteApp with OMS at System Center Universe Europe. This session will change so that it will include Remote Desktop Services 2016 instead of Azure RemoteApp. In this session I will discuss all new things in RDS 2016 but also the migration steps needed to migrate to RDS 2016. You can find the session here.