It’s coming up on two months since I attended Citrix Summit 2017 and there have been numerous releases, products and features I’m now excited to be able to share with you! Here's a rundown of what's new.
Citrix recently announced the acquisition of Unidesk, the leader in application layering technology. Layering is the best way to separate applications from the platform and the underlying operating system so they can be managed once and delivered to any user, any time, on any device and on any network. This is going to make it much easier for users to securely deploy and manage apps and desktops through XenApp and XenDesktop.
Citrix is revving up the version release schedule of this product. Check out the full XenApp and XenDesktop 2017 Release Schedule.
This game-changing innovation is designed to provide users with the best possible experience, regardless of network conditions, LAN or a high-latency WAN. Performance improvements are realized across all virtual channels including up to 10x faster file transfers, 5x faster print times, and 2x more session responsiveness with improved audio and video. Adaptive Transport leverages a new Citrix protocol, Enlightened Data Transport (EDT) that automatically adapts to changing user conditions.
StoreFront 3.6 introduced support for Citrix Federated Authentication, which enabled SAML authentication via NetScaler Gateway. In version 3.9, the support of direct SAML authentication to StoreFront is a new feature. It supports Microsoft AD FS v2.0~v4.0 and NetScaler Gateway as identity providers (IdP).
NetScaler Gateway (NSG) 220.127.116.11 supports exporting configuration for multiple NSG vServers. StoreFront 3.9 extends the NSG configuration importing feature (introduced in StoreFront 3.6) to process the multi-vServer configuration and enables administrators to import selected vServer configuration.
Provisioning Services is now available for delivering Linux VDA servers. The intent is to simplify Linux image management and meet scalability needs by easily and quickly provisioning hundreds of Linux server machines based on a central image file.
All XenApp and XenDesktop customers have access to Smart Tools, including the latest service, Smart Check. Smart Check will proactively diagnose and repair issues before they impact end-users. Newly added checks support Long Term Service Release (LTSR) compliance.
For those that deploy utilize Session Recording, new features that come with 7.13 are Database High Availability and the support for Always On Availability Groups, SQL Server database mirroring and SQL clustering. Also new there is the ability to customize the Session Recording database name.
XenServer continues to push updates with enhanced features to allow users to eliminate their vTax.
Significantly accelerate Citrix Provisioning Services performance with XenServer with the Provisioning Services (PVS) Accelerator technology that results in up to 25% faster desktop boot up times, up to 98% lower network bandwidth usage, and up to 93% reduced PVS CPU usage. PVS, available to XenApp Platinum and all XenDesktop customers, together with XenServer PVS-Accelerator, increases solution scalability through architecture simplification, which means fewer PVS servers are now required to simultaneously boot the same number or more desktops.
Long Term Service Release (LTSR)
XenServer 7.1 offers its first-ever Long Term Service Release (LTSR), provides more flexibility and choice in how you adopt new XenServer functionality while giving you greater predictability for maintaining and managing the support of your environment. By making this XenServer release an LTSR, you are eligible for up to 10 years of support (5 years mainstream support and 5 years of extended support).
Nutanix customers can now take advantage of unique XenServer features, such as provisioning services, high performance graphics virtualization using NVIDIA GRID vGPU, the enhanced security provided by XenServer’s Direct Inspect APIs, and more.
Host Patching without Downtime
Live patching is an industry-first hypervisor capability brought to you in XenServer 7.1. It greatly reduces operational overhead by enabling IT admins to hot-patch their active XenServer hosts without rebooting.
Hypervisor Based Security
XenServer Direct Inspect APIs, together with Bitdefender Hypervisor Introspection, protects workloads from malware at the hypervisor level. Bitdefender HVI has insight of a VM’s memory, while remaining completely isolated from potential threats, helping to protect against zero-day attacks.
XenMobile was not left out. Besides enhancements focused on stability and bug fixes there are upgrades to Secure Hub and Secure Mail.
Previously when deploying XenMobile and wanting to wrap applications meant that a Mac was needed where the MDX toolkit was to be installed, the Android SDK was also needed and various steps of preparation were needed before finally having the MDX toolkit ready to wrap iOS and Android Application. Now with the MDX Service all of this preparation is hosted in the cloud and is as simple as signing up for it.
New Citrix Products available in Citrix Cloud
With all the hype around cloud, Citrix has made these products available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
Citrix XenApp Essentials, the new application virtualization service, will combine the power and flexibility of the Citrix Cloud platform with the simple, prescriptive, and easy-to-consume vision of Microsoft Azure RemoteApp. XenApp Essentials will provide superior performance and flexibility by moving the back end infrastructure to the cloud, simplifying app delivery without sacrificing management or end user experience.
Citrix and Microsoft customers will soon have more options to deploy Windows 10 within their organization. Citrix XenDesktop Essentials Service will accelerate Windows 10 migration for customers who prefer Microsoft Azure cloud solutions. Available exclusively from the Azure Marketplace, XenDesktop Essentials will enable customers who have licensed Windows 10 Enterprise (Current Branch for Business) on a per-user basis the option to deliver a high-performance Windows 10 virtual desktop experience from Azure with the power of XenDesktop.
New Citrix Ready Program
The new program is called the Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance Program. This program is tailored to those that seek a validated design and the SMB space for running the entire Citrix Stack. HP and Atlantis have teamed up to be the first to produce an appliance for this Citrix Ready program.
What do you think about these new releases? What are you most excited about? What else would you like to see that isn't part of these feature tracks?
For more information, don't hesitate to . We can manage this for you with our Managed Citrix Virtual Environments services.
Lewan Technology is a Citrix Gold Solutions Advisor and has the largest resident Citrix consulting bench in Denver, CO and the Rocky Mountain region, comprised of certified architects, engineers and administrators. We also hold the Citrix Specialist in Virtualization distinction.