Citrix has just announced version 7.13 of XenApp and XenDesktop which extends the capabilities of its high definition user experience while simplifying the administrative experience--their words, not mine.
A massive milestone
Citrix says this is a milestone with massive HDX enhancements:
High performance, 10x faster adaptive user sessions
Adaptive Transport Technology gives users up to 10x faster and more responsive sessions, even if you're on a crappy network. Got high latency? No worries. XenApp and XenDesktop have your back. You should expect to also see 10x faster file transfers, 5x faster print times, and 2x more session responsiveness across audio and video.
This is thanks to Enlightened Data Transport (EDT), a new Citrix protocol that automatically adapts to changing user conditions.
Reduced bandwidth consumption
With the new release, bandwidth consumption is reduced by 60% using default graphic settings. Graphics efficiency in HDX Thinwire remoting technology has been improved. What this means for you: reduced bandwidth consumption costs and improved server scalability. It's a default setting if you upgrade and already present in new and existing Receiver versions.
Optimized VM performance
XenServer 7.1 and Provisioning Services 7.13 and XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13 will work together to allow caching of streamed VM data on hypervisor hosts. You'll get faster boot times especially in large environments. Network consumption and resources are reduced on PVS servers by over 90%!
You can now serve high-performance VDI desktops powered by AMD GPUs utilizing Citrix HDX 3D Pro--which means designers and engineers can work on complex models and simulations all while maintaining data securely and giving users a highly responsive user experience on whatever device they access data on.
Citrix also promises improved performance on Intel graphics platforms. CPU-intensive H.264 encoding with Intel Iris Pro means you get smoother video playback.
Expanded Linux support
Linux applications can be published and delivered just like Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android endpoint devices. This is another supported operating system/framework offering another choice that is cost-effective and just as high performing as the others.
Drawing tablet support
USB tablet integration is also supported which opens up more possibilities. Drawing tablets that make use of mouse functions like signature captures can be integrated with XenApp as well as XenDesktop VDI sessions. It's a more cost-efficient option that conserves resources.
Administration made easier
Looking for more reasons to upgrade?
- NetScaler Gateway setup is more simplified. Once configured, you can export the details to a file and import it directly within StoreFront so there is no need for significant overhead between the networking team who manages NetScaler and the app delivery team who manages StoreFront.
- Inactive sessions (hung or idle) are now quickly identified which can be terminated to free up resources and licenses that are not currently being used. kill -9, anyone?
- Single sign-on integration directly from StoreFront means you can log in from other third party identity providers or Microsoft.
- Improved VDA registration means all VDA machines register with delivery controllers to establish themselves as available for connections and communication. This process has been optimized to reduce impact on the infrastructure, especially in environments where many VDAs are registering at the same time (shift changes, for example).
- Provisioning Services now handles Linux Server VDAs to meet scalability needs across hundreds of Linux deployments based on a single image file.
- Smart Tools -- Smart Build (deployment), Smart Migrate (migration), Smart Check (diagnostics and repair), and Smart Scale (cost control) -- are now available. Smart Check is the latest and greatest which now supports Long Term Service Release (LTDR) compliance.
- Platinum users can now utilize new high-availability options for Session Recording deployments. SQL AlwaysOn Availability Groups and database mirroring are available.
- Platinum users can also use the now 64-bit AppDNA to help admins analyze applications for compatibility and interoperability.
- Platinum users can also access new language options for SCOM management packs (Spanish, French, German, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese).
- XenServer features that include 5 years mainstream and 5 years extended support are now given to XenApp and XenDesktop customers.
More's to come--especially since Citrix also recently acquired Unidesk. It's only a matter of time until that translates to better functionality in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13.