These are exciting times for desktop virtualization. The industry is growing and Citrix is leading the charge. The XenDesktop product line is getting plenty of well-deserved attention, but today Citrix is also announcing exciting new enhancements for XenApp 6.5. Whether included as a component of XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum or deployed as a standalone product, XenApp has long been recognized as the de-facto standard in on-demand app delivery. Now with turbo-charged app launches and a seamless multimedia experience over any network, XenApp 6.5 makes the user experience better than ever.
Instant App Access
The XenApp 6.5 feature generating the most excitement among customers is Instant App Access. Gone are the days when users would have to wait several seconds for the creation of an ICA session before their application launched. By creating an ICA session immediately upon user log-in to Citrix Receiver, Session Pre-Launch dramatically reduces overall application launch times. Since the ICA session is created even before the user clicks the application icon, the only remaining time to wait is for the application launch itself. Depending on the application, this can be nearly instantaneous.
Similar technology allows an ICA session to linger after users close their last published app so that the next application launch is just as instantaneous. While these features do consume a license, the time periods for lingering or pre-launch are configurable by the IT admin.
Seamless multimedia experience with HDX
With only a few exceptions, all of the HDX enhancements seen in XenDesktop 5.5 are also applicable for XenApp 6.5. For example, significant updates to HDX MediaStream for Flash mean that Adobe® Flash® content can be rendered locally over more network conditions than before. This dynamically takes advantage of computing resources at the end point, resulting in even higher server scalability and a great user experience even at up to 300ms round-trip latency.
IT administrators now have the option of delivering XenApp ICA traffic over up to four TCP/IP streams. Now instead of prioritizing the entire ICA pipeline over HTTP traffic, this feature enables more granular control for Quality of Service (QoS) routing. Now customers can provide superior audio/visual quality for apps delivered over the WAN for example without disrupting other HTTP traffic.
Any Device, Anywhere with Citrix Receiver
XenApp 6.5 takes advantage of new Citrix Receiver enhancements for extreme multi-tasking, faster Windows app performance and advanced Linux device support. Customers can now deliver self-service apps to more than one billion devices, including PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones, and thin clients – and all major device operating platforms, including new environments like iOS, Android, and Google ChromeOS. Add it all up and we’re talking about over 1 Billion devices.
Enhanced Desktop Experience
Previously provided as an add-on pack for XenApp 6.0, support for an enhanced desktop experience is now included as an integrated feature of XenApp 6.5. IT can transform the typical server desktop published by XenApp. This feature enables support for themes, installs accessory apps, and allows for the display of high-res wallpapers. With a Windows-7 like Start Menu and taskbar, users can enjoy the look and feel of a Windows 7 desktop, while IT can benefit from the server density and locked down image management of a hosted shared desktop
When end-users need support help with their XenApp delivered apps, help desk support staffs can use the popular Desktop Director console that now includes the integrated capability to assist users with applications delivered by XenApp and with desktops delivered by XenDesktop.
Dynamic Data Center Provisioning
Now XenApp 6.5 deployments can be scaled in record time by creating “controller” or “worker” roles in a XenApp server farm. Because workers in the farm need to sync much less data, fewer overall database transactions are required. Plus, these new roles make the process of joining a large number of servers to a XenApp farm faster and easier.
These are just a few of the new features in XenApp 6.5. For a full list of all features and a comparison to previous versions, you can refer to the new comparative feature matrix.
For a free interactive overview of XenApp 6.5 be sure to check out this new online course.
About Citrix XenApp 6.5 for Windows 2008 Server R2
This release includes several new features and enhancements to Citrix XenApp.
- Server Platform Support
The XenApp software can be installed on the following platforms. For all system requirements, see System Requirements
- Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
- Microsoft Windows Server 20008 R2 Service Pack 1
- Windows Desktop Experience IntegrationInstalled by default when installing the XenApp server role, this feature provides a Windows 7 look and feel including desktop customization. PowerShell script options enable administrators to control desktop and environment defaults while allowing end users to customize their desktops.When installed and enabled, this feature also removes the Windows Server Manager Console from the XenApp server’s toolbar and relocates the Citrix XenApp administrative tools such as the AppCenter to the Start menu’s Administrative Tools\Citrix folder. See Delivering XenApp to Software Services Subscribers for more information.
- Citrix AppCenterThe AppCenter provides a streamlined interface for performing management functions. From the AppCenter, you can manage components administered through other Citrix products, such as Citrix Secure Access and Citrix Single Sign-On. For Citrix XenApp, you can configure and monitor servers, server farms, published resources, and sessions.
- Session Pre-launch, Session Linger, and Fast ReconnectThis collection of features improves the user experience by eliminating delays when launching and maintaining sessions. By using configurable Session Pre-launch policy settings, a session is started automatically when a user logs on to the farm. By implementing Session Linger policy settings, sessions remain alive for a configurable period before termination, rather than terminating when users close applications.Fast Reconnect, built into XenApp and requiring no configuration, helps minimize delays when users reconnect to existing sessions.
- Citrix HDX Enhancements
XenApp includes the latest HDX enhancements:
- Migration Center with Graphical User InterfaceWith the choice of using a PowerShell cmdlet command line or graphical user interface, XenApp administrators can import application, folder, server configuration, and other XenApp object types from farms running previous versions of XenApp into XenApp 6.5 farms. See XenApp Migration Center for requirement and installation information.
- Improved Performance for Pooled DesktopsApplication launch time in pooled desktop environments is improved through the use of virtual hard disks. Using the Streaming Profiler, virtual hard disks can be created when profiling an application. When the application is launched for the first time, the virtual hard disk is mounted and all the profile contents are copied to the virtual hard disk. For all subsequent launches, the application is launched from the virtual hard disk, resulting in a speedier launch.
- Printing Optimization
XenApp printing features include improved print session performance, lower bandwidth required for printing, and improved user experience when printing to redirected client printers. Universal Printing policy settings enable the administrator to control print quality, spooling, and optimization defaults. See the printing topics in the Manage node of this documentation for more information.
Download Citrix XenApp 6.5 here (Require MyCitrix ID)
eDocs Citrix XenApp 6.5