AMD have released an important new driver for their AMD Radeon Pro GPUs in October 2018.
This release is fixing many major issues that AMD had with Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (aka XenDesktop), I am very happy to see that the engineers inside AMD worked hard and now everything is working out of the box and no “tweak” have to be done to get it working. The drivers works both with a physically machine with Radeon Pro + Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (aka XenDesktop) or with a Virtual machine where the AMD Radeon Pro GPU are attached as GPU passthrough or sliced via SR-IOV with S7150/S7150x2 with Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (aka XenDesktop). I have tested the drivers in my lab with AMD Radeon Pro WX4100 + S7150 and S7150x2 and I can confirm that AMD have fixed below, which is important. I haven’t tested with VMware Horizon yet.
The Radeon™ Pro Software for Enterprise is designed to deliver market-leading uptime and stability. Rigorous multi-wave testing and exhaustive ISV certifications help make this “the industry’s most stable driver”1. Radeon™ Pro Software is certified in over 100 workstation applications including Autodesk® AutoCAD®, Dassault Systèmes® CATIA®, Siemens NX™, Adobe® Premiere® Pro, Avid® Media Composer®, Autodesk® Maya®, PTC Creo® and many more
Built to help content creators make the best, every Enterprise Edition is designed to deliver more quality, performance, security, and simplicity
Lets Dig in why this is important.
Its time to update your NVIDIA TESLA M6, M10, M60, P4, P6, P40, P100, V100 with vGPU 6.3
The brand “GRID” is now vGPU (Virtual GPU Software), in my previously articles I wrote GRID and now its branded vGPU.
NVIDIA have released new drivers for NVIDIA vGPU 6.3 for October 2018.
NVIDIA vGPU 6.3 now support VMware Horizon 7.6 and Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktop 7 1808 (aka XenApp/XenDesktop) + Citrix Hypervisor (aka XenServer) 7.6
This release includes the following software:
Citrix have released a new version of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop 7 1808 is now available for download.
Citrix Virtual Apps (former name: XenApp) Citrix Virtual Desktop (former name: XenDesktop)
Citrix have also changed their release cycle to follow built version + YYMM (Year, Month) and is following Microsoft how they name their release built for Windows OS/Server, which I really like..
This release is the first release that officially supports the upcoming Microsoft Windows Server 2019, so you can test if your applications works. Citrix have always done a great job of having 0day support of next generation Windows Server OS.
Sharefile SSO support in Virtual Delivery Agent for ServerOS and Client OS, this is a HUGE step in SIMPLICITY and something customers are going to love. The ShareFile integration also gives you the open-in option in the workspace service UI.
Another great thing is that now “infrastructure components for Citrix” can be installed on Microsoft Windows ServerCore, which means a minimum OS and only install what is required, no GUI just raw performance, something which a lot of service providers, customers are going to like. This is important for scalability and automation and having best TCO running a Citrix infrastructure. Citrix director & delivery controller now works and is supported on ServerCore (WS2012r2/WS2016/WS2019).
Another huge benefit for Citrix “XenApp” or “Virtual Apps” Customers is that Server OS VDA now supports NVIDIA NVENC video encoding. This technology is awesome and means that the CPU is no longer used for encoding HDX but Citrix can use NVENC to increase the UX and lower CPU usage and deliver higher FPS. Citrix Virtual Apps 7 1808 requires NVIDIA GRID version, which isn’t released yet to support NVENC.
Citrix raises the bar of for user experience and new product release of following technologies:
Citrix have created this very important knowledge article CTX237608 about GPUs in Citrix from release 7.16 and forward.
This article is valid for following Citrix products:
(IDD) Indirect Display Driver model was introduced in Microsoft Windows 10 and Citrix is now using this technology.
I experienced myself an issue with an AMD Radeon WX4100 GPU having a black screen or desktop “freezes” at login and by adding CitrixIDD registry key I got it working. Other GPUs may be impacted so please test. Please be aware that with implementing Citrix IDD you loose vendor specific (control panel) settings, because Citrix bypass the GPU vendor capture APIs and you will have less performance resulting in less FPS. But I have experience myself that performance works amazing with enabling CitrixIDD and it solved my issue with a black screen/desktop that froze.
Update 29 August 2018
Its recommended getting a native driver from the GPU vendor instead of using Citrix IDD to get the best performance the GPU vendors provide via their APi.
Below is relevant for Citrix customers
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) now supports the NVIDIA GRID on Tesla P4 and P100 for use with NVIDIA GRID (Virtual Workstation). The P4 and P100 is still BETA which means, this feature is not covered by any SLA or deprecation policy and might be subject to backward-incompatible changes from Google.
This is great for Service Providers, Partners, Customers that would like to use EUC vendor such as Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Nutanix (Fra.me), Parallels, Mechdyne, PCoIP, and virtualize workloads that requires a GPU, which can be from a browser, office, CAD, CAM, CAE or video codec. Google Cloud Platform now have NVIDIA GRID available in their cloud offerings.