Holy Massive Cloud Software/Resource Release Batman!!

So, Microsoft had a bunch of new releases this week! Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, a Bing Facelift. With all that has been going on in the past couple of weeks, it easy to miss something. For those of us who live in the world of virtualization and cloud, some additional (very handy) software and resources have been made available to make our lives much easier in the field.

For starters, we released some well-needed guidance for our VDI folks out there:

Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide


DaaS (Desktops as a Service) continues to grow - especially in worlds where one-to-many virtual desktops are desired for the reduction of overall density and real estate consumption. In addition, something our internal field engineers have been perfecting over the past few years has also been made public - a performance and optimization guide for the Windows 7 operating system in a virtual desktop (VDI) environment.

Performance Optimization Guidelines for Windows 7 Desktop Virtualization


A Big Release for the BYOD (Bring-your-own-Device) Space, Stronger Security Options for Azure, and Free Stuff!


When you read the above link, you will also learn Microsoft now has Remote Desktop apps for iOS, Mac OS X and Android! Talk about burying the lead! Yes, with the release of Windows Server 2012 R2, we are introducing new Microsoft Remote Desktop end-user applications for iOS, Mac OS X and Android.  Just like our modern apps for Windows and Windows RT these provide easy access to virtual machine based desktops, session based desktops and RemoteApp programs, as well as the ability to remote to a PC. With Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services we continue to improve the management and deployment, solutions economics, and end-user experience for virtual desktop and server based computing experiences.  In particular, new storage capabilities like tiered storage spaces and online VHD de-dupe dramatically reshape the economics of delivering a remote desktop services solutions.  And now these new apps extend a rich Windows experience to a new range of devices.

Except of course WP8 for right now :(

Azure Updates!

The Windows Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Server (the on-premise version of PhoneFactor) is supported for use with RD Gateway and will function with RDWeb/RDG in an Azure VM, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn394287.aspx for the most current documentation.
Also there is the Windows Azure Multi-Factor Authentication for Windows Azure Active Directory (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj713614.aspx - the hosted version of PhoneFactor) does not natively integrate with RD Gateway.

Free E-Books from Microsoft!

Finally, a wealth of free books have been released from MS Press revolving around public, private, and hybrid cloud scenarios.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_press/archive/2013/10/03/free-ebook-2-in-this-series-microsoft-system-center-configuration-manager-field-experience.aspx .