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Citrix Summit 2016: What's New With XenApp and XenDesktop 7.7

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Citrix Summit 2016: What's New With XenApp and XenDesktop 7.7

I recently attended the 2016 Citrix Partner Summit event in Las Vegas. I gathered what I felt were some of the most important notes provided by Citrix around what's new with its core enterprise products. In this first post, I will review what's new with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.7. In my next post, I'll share what's new with XenMobile 10.3. If you have questions around these announcements, please reach out

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.7

  • Zones
    • Deployments that span widely-dispersed locations connected by a WAN can face challenges due to network latency and reliability. Configuring zones can help users in remote regions connect to local resources without forcing connections to traverse large segments of the WAN. Using zones allows effective Site management from a single Citrix Studio console, Citrix Director, and the Site database. This saves the costs of deploying, staffing, licensing, and maintaining additional Sites containing separate databases in remote locations. Zones can be helpful in deployments of all sizes. You can use zones to keep applications and desktops closer to end users, which improves performance. For more information, see the Zones article.
  • Improved database flow and configuration
    • When you configure the databases during Site creation, you can now specify separate locations for the Site, Logging, and Monitoring databases. Later, you can specify different locations for all three databases. In previous releases, all three databases were created at the same address, and you could not specify a different address for the Site database later. You can now add more Delivery Controllers when you create a Site, as well as later. In previous releases, you could add more Controllers only after you created the Site. For more information, see the Databases and Controllers articles.
  • Application limits
    • Configure application limits to help manage application use. For example, you can use application limits to manage the number of users accessing an application simultaneously. Similarly, application limits can be used to manage the number of simultaneous instances of resource-intensive applications, this can help maintain server performance and prevent deterioration in service. For more information, see the Manage applications article.
  • Multiple notifications before machine updates or scheduled restarts
    • You can now choose to repeat a notification message that is sent to affected machines before the following types of actions begin:
      • Updating machines in a Machine Catalog using a new master image
      • Restarting machines in a Delivery Group according to a configured schedule
    •  If you indicate that the first message should be sent to each affected machine 15 minutes before the update or restart begins, you can also specify that the message be repeated every five minutes until the update/restart begins. For more information, see the Manage Machine Catalogs and Manage machines in Delivery Groups articles.
  • API support for managing session roaming
    • By default, sessions roam between client devices with the user. When the user launches a session and then moves to another device, the same session is used and applications are available on both devices. The applications follow, regardless of the device or whether current sessions exist. Similarly, printers and other resources assigned to the application follow. You can now use the PowerShell SDK to tailor session roaming. This was an experimental feature in the previous release. For more information, see the Sessions article.
  • API support for provisioning VMs from hypervisor templates
    • When using the PowerShell SDK to create or update a Machine Catalog, you can now select a template from other hypervisor connections. This is in addition to the currently-available choices of VM images and snapshots.
  • Support for new and additional platforms
    • See the System requirements article for full support information. Information about support for third-party product versions is updated periodically. By default, SQL Server 2012 Express SP2 is installed when you install the Delivery Controller. SP1 is no longer installed. The component installers now automatically deploy newer Microsoft Visual C++ runtime versions: 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Visual C++ 2013, 2010 SP1, and 2008 SP1. Visual C++ 2005 is no longer deployed. You can install Studio or VDAs for Windows Desktop OS on machines running Windows 10. You can create connections to Microsoft Azure virtualization resources.

Citrix Director - The Director version provided with this release contains the following new and enhanced features

  • Proactive monitoring and alerting
    • You can now configure proactive alerting and notifications when thresholds are reached. This enables quicker responses even when you are not viewing the monitoring console. For more information, see Alerts and notifications.
  • SCOM integration
    • Deployments that use Microsoft System Center 2012 - Operations Manager to monitor deployments can now view alerts provided by the Operations Manager on the Dashboard and in other high level views in Director. For example, if connections to supported hypervisors fail, the administrator can check Director for Operations Manager alerts. After reviewing alert details in Director, the administrator can then switch to the Operations Manager console for additional troubleshooting, if needed. For more information, see SCOM alerts.
  • Windows Authentication
    • Director now supports Integrated Windows Authentication. For single sign-on, a user's Windows credentials are automatically used to access Director. This support allows users to log on to their machines using any credential provider and supporting hardware, and use that logged-on identity to access Director. For more information, see Use Director with Integrated Windows Authentication.
  • Desktop and Server OS usage
    • The Trends view now shows the usage of Desktop OS by Site and by Delivery group, and it shows the usage of Server OS by site, by Delivery group, and by Machine. This gives you a real-time view of your OS usage, enabling you to quickly assess your site’s capacity needs. For more information, see Monitor historical trends across a Site.
  • Application limits in Director
    • Application limits configured in Studio are shown in existing views and counts in Director. For example, the User Connection Failures on the Dashboard will indicate when a connection attempt fails because it would exceed an application limit. Citrix has also announced that they are going to release version 7.8 in the first quarter and is intended to enhanced application delivery and management.

Again, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

 

By Peter Crepeau, Solutions Architect

 

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