Citrix Launches Version 7.7 of XenApp and XenDesktop with New Features and Enhancements

By CIOReview | Wednesday, December 30, 2015
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FREMONT, CA: Citrix announces updated version of two of its core products: Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop. Alexander Ervik Johnsen, who has testing these new updates in beta sheds light on the key features of the new version 7.7. One of these new features is zones that allows effective Site management from a single Citrix Studio console, Citrix Director, and the Site database to save the costs of deploying, staffing, licensing, and maintaining additional sites containing separate databases in remote locations.

XenApp, a solution for virtual application delivery, provides employees remote access to Windows apps and data over any network, on any device for a complete workspace experience. As a server-based computing solution, XenApp reduces the risk of data loss and prevents unwanted intrusions by delivering virtual apps and data as an on-demand service to users based on location- and device-specific features and security configurations. XenDesktop on the other hand is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) product that allows users to virtually access and run Microsoft Windows desktops from a datacenter or a public or private cloud, via devices located anywhere.

The features to look out for in XenApp version 7.7 and XenDesktop version 7.7 will be:

Zones

Zone offers two ways to mitigate challenges caused by network latency and reliability while deployments are done across widely-dispersed locations connected by a WAN, including:

Deploy multiple Sites, each with their own SQL Server Site database: Recommended for large enterprise deployments, it allows multiple sites to be managed separately with each requiring its own SQL Server Site database and a separate XenApp deployment.

Configure multiple zones within a single Site: Configuring zones can help users in remote regions connect to resources without necessarily forcing their connections to traverse large segments of the WAN. Helpful in deployments of all sizes, zones helps in keeping applications and desktops closer to end users to improve performance.

Configuring database with separate locations

Unlike the previous versions, the 7.7 version allows users during site creation to specify separate locations for the Site, Logging, and Monitoring database configuration.

Configuring Application limits

The new version enables users to use application limits for managing the number of users accessing an application simultaneously. It can also be to manage the number of simultaneous instances of resource-intensive applications which can help in maintaining server performance and prevent deterioration in service.

Delivering multiple notifications

Before machine updates or scheduled restarts, users can now choose to repeat a notification message that is sent to affected machines before updating machines in a Machine Catalog using a new master image as well as restarting machines in a Delivery Group according to a configured schedule.

API support for managing session roaming and provisioning VMs from hypervisor templates

The new offering has session roaming management support installed in the two products by default. As a result, when the user launches a session and then moves to another device, the same session is used and applications are available on both devices, regardless of the device or whether current sessions exist. In the new version, when using the PowerShell SDK to create or update a Machine Catalog, users can now select a template from other hypervisor connections, in addition to the currently-available choices of VM images and snapshots.

Support for new and additional platforms

Version 7.7 has by default SQL Server 2012 Express SP2 installed in it. The component installers now automatically deploy 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 runtimes, as well as 2008 and 2010 runtimes while the Visual C++ 2005 is no longer deployed. Studio or VDAs for Windows Desktop OS on machines running Windows 10 can still be installed in the new release. Users can also create connections to Microsoft Azure virtualization resources.

The Director version provided with the release contains the following new and enhanced features:

Proactive monitoring and alerting: With proactive monitoring and alerting feature, users can now configure proactive alerting and notifications when thresholds are reached that enables quicker responses even when the monitoring console is not viewed.

SCOM Integration: With new features, deployments that use Microsoft System Center 2012 - Operations Manager can monitor deployments and view alerts provided by the Operations Manager on the Dashboard and in other high level views in Director.

Windows Authentication: The new Director version now supports Integrated Windows Authentication. As on a single sign-on, a user's Windows credentials are automatically used to access Director; users can log on to their machines using any credential provider and supporting hardware.

View of Desktop and Server OS usage: The Trends view now shows the usage of Desktop OS by Site and by Delivery group and also it shows the usage of Server OS by site, by Delivery group, and by Machine. It gives users a real-time view of their OS usage, enabling them to quickly assess their site’s capacity needs.

Application limits in Director: In the new version, application limits configured in Studio are shown in existing views and counts in Director.