My Personal ‘EMS / RDS’ Ignite Recap


Unfortunately this year It was not possible for me to attend the ignite conference. So the news came through the social media platforms to me. One week later I want to summarize some important announcements and news presented on Ignite. Of course the most important announcement was about the General Availability of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016. Windows Server can be download as evaluation from this location and become available on MSDN later this month. But what about other announcements about Remote Desktop Services presented in several sessions on Ignite.

The following sessions with content related to RDS were presented on Microsoft Ignite. Here is my summarization: The first session is the overview session presented by Brad Anderson: Secure and manage your digital transformation.

  • In a cloud first, mobile first world It’s all about protecting applications and their data, not about securing your own company network;
  • Again, Identity is the new control plane and Identity is the new perimiter!
  • Outlook Apps on Android and iOS are now completely based on Azure and not AWS;
  • Conditional Access based on User Risk, Sign-In Risk, Device Platform, Client App and Location in the new EMS portal is coming (integrated in the Azure portal);
  • Great improvements in Azure Information Protection and Windows Information Protection;
  • Assume breach is reality! It’s all about how to respond to the attacks!
  • Great demo about Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Advanced Threat Analytics and what we can expect in the coming period regarding client threat protection;

The second session is a core RDS session presented by Clark Nicholson and Christian Montoya both of the RDS Product Team: Remote Desktop Services in Azure and Partner-Hosted Clouds

  • This session starts with explaining the basics of RDS and Azure regarding a deployment of RDS within Azure;
  • RD Connection Broker now supports SQL Authentication and support for Azure SQL database, more information about configuring this can be found here.
  • RDS 2016 supports now Azure AD Domain Services, more information about configuring this can be found here.
  • With RDS 2016 on Azure you can save costs due to the reduction of needed resources and the possibility to auto-scale the RDSH servers;
  • The auto-scale RDS script, currently available for the Azure ASM model, is changed so it will support Azure ARM. Currently in the testing process;
  • Guidance around setting up RDS on Azure can be found here:;
  • Azure ARM Quick start templates can be found here:;
  • With Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces direct we can build HA storage for the User Profile disks, no need for 3rd party software anymore!
  • Guidance around setting up Storage Spaces Direct on Azure for hosting the User Profile disks is provided in this session and documentation is available on:;
  • Detailed information about upgrading RDS from 2012 R2 to 2016 can be found here:;
  • Graphics enhancements and support for Discrete Device Assignment on Azure with the Azure N-series VMs;
  • With Discrete Device Assignment you can share a GPU on a RDS Session Host server (multi-session);

The third session is a RDS / Citrix combined session presented by Scott Manchester, Jitendra Deshpande and Kireeti Valicherla: Extend the Microsoft RDS platform in Azure through Citrix solutions:

  • Citrix XenApp Day 1 support for Windows Server 2016 and support for workload provisioning on Azure Resource Manager;
  • Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop HDX support for the Azure N-Series, XenApp focused on Knowledge workers and XenDesktop focused on 3D Graphics professionals / designers;
  • Citrix XenApp Express becomes available through the Azure Marketplace, as a customer you also pay for the IaaS consumption of XenApp Express;
  • You can register for the XenApp Express Tech Preview at;
  • One of the demos in this session shows the early preview of XenApp Express;
  • Both XenApp Express and XenDesktop Desktop Windows 10 are running from the Citrix Cloud hosted on Microsoft Azure;
  • Citrix XenDesktop Windows 10 service will release in Q4 2016;

The fourth session is a RDS session presented by Scott Manchester, Joydeep Mukherjee and Clark Nicholson: Harness RDS improvements in Windows Server 2016:

  • RDS 2016 innovations are focused on ‘Increased Performance’, ‘Enhanced Scale’ and ‘Optimized for cloud’;
  • In Windows Server 2016 GPU sharing is possible for Session Hosted Servers;
  • Great demo about the graphics and codec enhancements in Windows Server 2016/ Windows 10 deployed on Azure N-Series VM;
  • RD Connection Broker performance is improved during logon storms, until 10k of users. Results of those improvements are show in a demo;
  • Other Improvements to RDS 2016 are: Support for Gen2 VMs, End User Experience Changes, Personal Session Desktops and Windows Multipoint Services is now a role within RDS;

Last session is a RDS session from MVP Benny Tritisch: Get an independent insider’s view of desktop virtualization and session remoting:

  • Don’t use DFS for making for User Profile Disk share high-available, use Storage Spaces direct instead;
  • Demo about MVP Freek Berson’s JSON Template for deploying RDS 2016;
  • Great information and screenshots about 3rd party RDS Management Tools: OneGlass (by Christian Troll and MVP Claudio Rodrigues – Will be released soon) and RDPSoft Remote Desktop Commander (by MVP Andy Milford);
  • Great powerful demo’s about application masking combined based on the endpoint connecting to the RDS environment. Products involved in this demo are FSLogix and deviceTRUST;
  • Much applications have GPU acceleration enabled by default like browsers (Edge and Chrome) and the Office 365 applications, GPU virtualization is reality!
  • Great content about End-User Experience performance and demo’s about End-User Experience tests;

Beside above sessions Eric Berg (MVP) presented a session about server-based personal desktops. I didn’t watched this session but if you would like to view this session you can find it here. Personally I think that there were great sessions on RDS 2016 on Ignite.

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