Citrix have released a new version of Citrix XenDesktop 7.17 and XenApp 7.17 and is now available for download.

I am pretty excited about this release because HDX 3D pro have also been improved with h265 it’s handled selectively for appropriate regions of a session for the best possible combination of quality and performance with Selective H.265 Encoding with NVIDIA Hardware. Another great news is that XenServer 7.4 finally supports vGPU Xenmotion with NVIDIA Pascal GPU’s and also now supports AMD MxGPU.

Customers that are using Linux can now use Citrix Linux VDA 3D Pro with NVIDIA pascal GPUs such as P4, P40, P6, P100. The Citrix Linux VDA 3D Pro works now with NVIDIA vGPU for NVIDIA pascal GPUs and also supports vGPU hardware encoding, which means more hardware encoding is done on GPU with HDX and not on CPU, this new feature will resolve more CPU ressource available, which application can benefit from and also means better user experience.

Citrix raises the bar of for user experience and new product release of following technologies:

  • Virtual Delivery Agents 7.17 for ServerOS and ClientOS
  • Virtual Delivery Agent 7.17 for Linux
  • Self-Service Password Reset 1.1.10
  • Director 7.17
  • Profile Management 7.17
  • Storefront 3.14
  • Provisioning Services 7.17
  • Session Recording 7.17
  • App Layering 4.9
  • XenMobile Server 10.8
  • XenServer 7.4
  • Licensing 11.14.0.1
  • Receiver 4.11 for Windows

Deprecation

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reinvented

HPE Moonshot have been around for some time now, and I have been very lucky working together with HPE and testing their server cartridges that are compatible with Citrix solutions. Last year, at HPE Discover in London, I wrote an article about how Citrix internally are using HPE moonshot and which server cartridges were available at that time and how financial customers are benefiting from these solutions.

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citrixxendesktopandxenapp78

Citrix have released a new version of Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and XenApp 7.8 and is now available for download.

Citrix raises the bar of for user experience and new product release for Storefront 3.5, Provisioning Services 7.8, Citrix Receiver 12.1.10 for Mac (OSX), License Server 11.13.1.2 for Windows, XenApp Secure Browser Deployment Kit, AppDNA 7.8, Session Recording 7.8.

This is WILD Citrix released 7.7 in 30th December 2015 with so many features and already two months after we got a major release out.. If you havent upgraded your 7.x environment 7.8 is worth a try.

HINT! – Remember first thing you do is downloading the new version of Citrix License Server 11.13.1.2 cause this is a requirement for below products to work.

Lets look at the build Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8

The product release includes the following new and enhanced features.

  • AppDisks For more information, see the AppDisks article.
  • Enhanced support for Microsoft Application Virtualization  (App-V) App-V article.
  • Applications node in Studio For more information, see the Manage applications and Create Delivery Groups articles.
  • Updated Create Delivery Group wizard and Edit Delivery Group interface  For more information, see the Create Delivery Groups and Manage applications articles.
  • Improved tag interface in Studio For more information, see the Tags article.
  • Requirements, installation, and configuration updates
  • Call Home Citrix Call Home  performs periodic collections of your system and product configuration, plus performance, error, and other information. This information is sent to Citrix Insight Services for proactive analysis and resolution For details, see the Citrix Insight Services article.
  • Citrix Insight Services link available from within Director You can access Citrix Insight Services (CIS) from the User drop-down in Director to access additional diagnostic insights. The data available in CIS comes from sources including Call Home and Citrix Scout.
  • VMware SSL thumbprint The VMware SSL thumbprint feature addresses a frequently-reported error when creating a host connection to a VMware vSphere hypervisor. Previously, administrators had to manually create a trust relationship between the Delivery Controllers in the Site and the hypervisor’s certificate before creating a connection. The VMware SSL thumbprint feature removes that manual requirement: the untrusted certificate’s thumbprint is stored on the Site database so that the hypervisor can be continuously identified as trusted by XenApp and XenDesktop, even if not by the Controllers. When creating a vSphere host connection in Studio, a dialog box allows you to view the certificate of the machine you are connecting to. You can then choose whether to trust it.

Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) 7.8

Version 7.8 of the VDA for Server OS and the VDA for Desktop OS include the following enhancements:

  • App-V and Framehawk installer options. The VDA installers offer two additional items you can select on the Features page in the graphical interface or specify on the command line.

Framehawk. Opens UDP ports 3224-3324. Framehawk uses a bidirectional UDP port range (default is 3224-3324) to exchange Framehawk display channel data with Citrix Receiver. For more information, see Framehawk virtual channel.

Citrix App-V Publishing Components. Installs components required if you will use applications from Microsoft App-V packages. For more information, see App-V.

  • HDX 3D Pro product edition availability. HDX 3D Pro is now available in the VDA for Windows Desktop OS in all XenApp 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.8 product editions. In earlier releases, only certain product editions supported the 3D Pro VDA. HDX 3D Pro is not currently supported on Windows 10.
  • KACD .MSI file included in VDA packages. This file is included to support future customization of authentication. This file was not included with earlier releases.

HDX technologies

The following new and enhanced HDX technologies features are included in the VDAs:

  • Framehawk support for HDX 3D Pro VDI. HDX 3D Pro support for the Framehawk virtual channel is extended from XenApp to XenDesktop VDI. This gives users greater flexibility to view large CAD models while on the move on a corporate or public wireless network, or working from an offshore location over a high latency connection. For more information on Framehawk, see Framehawk virtual channel.
  • Framehawk server scalability improvements. Over 40% average reduction in memory footprint. Up to 20% increase in CPU efficiency.
  • Framehawk touch scrolling improvements. Over 50% improvement in bandwidth efficiency when scrolling via touch input. Significantly increased frame rate resulting in a smoother user experience.
  • GPU acceleration for DirectX windowed applications on Windows 10 VDAs. This release adds support for GPU acceleration for DirectX 10, 11 and 12 windowed applications on Windows 10 VDAs.
  • Thinwire Build to lossless enhancements. The Build to lossless visual quality for Thinwire has been updated to sharpen fuzzy imagery at a faster rate than delivered in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 FP3, and to improve lossy or lossless frame detection. For the main Thinwire article, see Thinwire Compatibility Mode.
  • Reduced VDA memory footprint in Thinwire. The graphics encoder processing pipeline now eliminates the use of an intermediate frame buffer when running Thinwire without video codec compression.
  • Clientname passthrough in double-hop sessions. Applications can use the updated WFAPI SDK to query the client endpoint name and pass this information from any Citrix Receiver to published desktops (XenApp/XenDesktop) and through to a XenApp application (a “double-hop”). This clientname awareness in the XenApp session means that users can seamlessly roam from location to location, and the “double-hop” application will be notified of the change in clientname without having to disconnect or reconnect the session. For more information on how to write conforming applications, see the WFAPI SDK documentation or defer to your application SI/ISV.

Session Recording 7.8

Session Recording 7.8.0 includes support for Platinum XenApp 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.8.  This support includes:
  • Session recording support from a Desktop OS VDA. Record on-screen activity of a user session hosted from a Desktop OS VDA over any type of connection, subject to corporate policy and regulatory compliance.
  • Record sessions on remote PC. Support for recording sessions in Remote PC Access.
  • Delivery Group rules.
  • Keyword filtering during rule configuration.
  • Special handling for unsupported graphics modes.
  • Windows 10 support.
  • Thinwire Compatibility Mode support.

AppDNA 7.8

AppDNA 7.8 includes the following enhancements:

Provisioning 7.8

The folllowing new features are available with Provisioning Services 7.8:

Generation 2 Virtual Machines

System Center Virtual Machine Manager Generation 2 VMs can be provisioned through Provisioning Services. Generation 2 VMs are optimized for modern workloads, that is, the operating system does not carry the overhead of legacy drivers, devices and x86 architectures.

How does it work?

Virtual machine (VM) generation determines the virtual hardware and functionality available to the VM. Within a Hyper-V environment, there are two types of supported VMs: generation 1 and generation 2. Generation 2 VMs possess a simplified virtual hardware model, and support Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware rather than BIOS-based firmware.

In previous versions of Hyper-V, only Generation 1 VMs were supported. With the introduction of Windows Server 2012 R2, there are two generations of VMs to choose from when you create a VM. With Generation 2 VMs,the following functionality was introduced:

  • PXE boot by using a standard network adapter
  • Boot from a SCSI virtual hard disk
  • Boot from a SCSI virtual DVD
  • Secure boot
  • UEFI firmware support

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) enhancements

This release of Provisioning Services provides continued hardening for UEFI support. UEFI represents a standard firmware interface for PCs, and is designed to replace BIOS (basic input/output system). With these enhancements, Citirx Provisioning Services provides:

  • improved security by helping to protect the pre-boot process against bootkit attacks.
  • support for larger disk drives (greater than 2.2 terabytes).
  • support for modern, 64-bit firmware device drivers which can be used to leverage large amounts of memory during startup.
  • the capability to use BIOS with modern UEFI hardware.

StoreFront 3.5

What’s new in the StoreFront 3.5

StoreFront includes the following new features and enhancements.

Updated StoreFront management console – The StoreFront management console contains a significant number of changes, which enable:

  • Store-centric console architecture – Authentication and Citrix Receiver for Web settings are organized around stores to simplify navigation for multi-store deployment.
  • Different authentication settings for different stores.
  • Configuring delegation of authentication to XenApp or XenDesktop farms or sites.
  • Configuring multi-site high availability.
  • Configuring optimal NetScaler Gateway routing.
  • Setting a Receiver for Web site as the default site in IIS.
  • Configuring many other settings previously done with web.config.

New administration PowerShell SDK:

  • Cmdlets in the new SDK are prefixed with STF and focus on administration tasks grouped around StoreFront deployment-wide configuration, stores, authentication, and Citrix Receiver for Web.
  • Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8 provides high-level example scripts to enable you to script and automate StoreFront deployments quickly and easily.

The existing cmdlets prefixed with DS are deprecated. They are still available and supported in StoreFront 3.5 to enable a gradual transition to the new SDK.

Configuration export and import:

You can export the entire configuration of a StoreFront deployment. You can import the exported configuration to a deployment with the same StoreFront version for restoration or replication.

Self-service password reset (SSPR):

Users can unlock their Active Directory accounts or reset their passwords using StoreFront. This requires XenApp 6.5.

Zone-based optimal gateway routing:

XenApp 7.7 and 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.7 and 7.8 support applications or desktops from different zones in a single site. You can configure a different NetScaler Gateway for HDX connections to applications or desktops from a different zone.

Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) powered zone preference:

You can configure GSLB in NetScaler 11.0-65.x and above to supply zone preference information to StoreFront. Along with this feature, you can configure StoreFront to direct the startrequests to the most preferred XenApp or XenDesktop farms or sites for the user location.

Background Server Health Check:

StoreFront runs periodic health checks on each Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8 broker to reduce the impact of intermittent server availability. You can control the frequency of the health check.

TLS 1.2 support

This StoreFront release supports TLS 1.2.

Source

Download Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8 here and all the above medias included in the product release. (requires MyCitrix ID)

Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp 7.6 Feature Pack 2

Citrix released Feature Pack 2 for Citrix XenDesktop & Citrix XenApp.

What’s new in Feature Pack 2 for Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 and XenApp 7.6

The Feature Pack 2 release includes the following new and enhanced features.

StoreFront 3.0

StoreFront includes the following new features and enhancements.

  • Unified Receiver provides modern, centrally-managed and customizable user app selection experience across all user devices.
  • Google Chrome Support without NPAPI.
  • Delegating Authentication to XenApp and XenDesktop when there is no AD trust between sites.
  • Treat All Desktops as Applications to apply Workspace Control and group icons together.
  • Integrated Monitoring Service enables NetScaler to monitor StoreFront.
  • Extended Store Customization SDK for business logic.

Updated StoreFront management console

Support for the unified Receiver experience — StoreFront 3.0 delivers centralized customization and branding of your end users’ applications and desktop selection experience to Receiver users. Your company can customize the interface to reflect your logo, colors, and so forth. Some of the new Receiver and StoreFront features:

  • Simplified application organization — Familiar and consistent application selection experience for use.

Featured app groups. Administrator configured applications that are logically grouped and advertised to users in the applications selection experience.

Folder view of applications. Return of Web Interface functionality in StoreFront.

Favorites. Easily add or remove applications to Favorites for quick access.

  • Server-managed user experience — Application selection experience is server configured.

Change once, deploy everywhere. User application selection experience changes are made by the administrator on StoreFront server.

Consistent application selection experience for user. Any device running Receiver receives its application selection experience from the server as HTML5, providing for consistency as users move across smartphones, tablets, and desktop form factors.

Decouple the application selection experience from Receiver capabilities. Client upgrade without end user training or user experience impact; Support legacy user experience without legacy client cost.

  • Fit for purpose user experience customization options — You select the appropriate level of customization.

Updated out-of-the-box user experience. Modernized end user application selection look-and-feel.

Server-configured branding customizations. You brand with corporate logos, color, and featured application groups.

Deeper customization and branding options. CSS and script APIs available to enable deeper levels of customization.

Use the StoreFront management console to do the following Receiver related tasks:

Set Receiver for Web as the default for the store.

Create a Receiver for Web website.

Change website type.

Customize the website appearance.

See the Support for Receiver for Web article.

  • Featured app groups management — App groups are groups of applications that are related or fit in a specific category making them more easily discoverable. With Studio and the StoreFront management console you can define app groups using keywords, application names, or categories.

See the Create and manage featured apps article.

XML service-based authentication.

You can configure StoreFront to use the XenApp and XenDesktop XML Service to authenticate the user name and password credentials where a user explicitly provides a user name and password.  Use PowerShell cmdlets to enable and disable this feature. For more information, see XML service-based authentication.

Support for HDX Real-Time Optimization Pack 1.8

HDX RealTime Optimization Pack includes the following new features and enhancements.

  • Support for the Microsoft Skype for Business client in Lync UI mode, the Microsoft Lync 2013 client, and the Microsoft Lync 2010 client.
  • Support for the Lync Server 2013 Autodiscover Service.
  • Call Park and Call Pick Up in Lync 2010 client.
  • Call forwarding and simultaneous ringing controls for Lync 2010 client
  • Support for Mac.
  • Kerberos authentication.
  • Plus (+) symbol in the dial pad.
  • Support for the Microsoft Windows 10 technical preview.

For information, see HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 1.8.

Session Recording

Session Recording includes the following new features and enhancements.

  • You can specify the connection credentials to the database when installing the Session Recording Database component.
  • You can test the connectivity of database during the installation of the Session Recording Database and Session Recording Server components and test the connectivity of the Session Recording Server during the installation of Session Recording Agent component.
  • Microsoft Shared Management Objects is no longer requirement for Session Recording Database installation.
  • Citrix Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) is integrated in Session Recording. For more information, see About the Citrix Customer Experience Improvement Program.

For more information, see Session Recording – for XenApp 7.6 FP1 and FP2 only.

Linux Virtual Desktop

You can now create Linux virtual desktops based on SUSE and Red Hat distributions. Prepare your Linux virtual machines, install the new Linux VDA software on them, configure your Delivery Controller, and then use Studio to make the desktops available to users. For more information, see the following documents.

Installation guide for SUSE

Installation guide for Red Hat

Framehawk Virtual Channel

Framehawk is a new ICA virtual channel that extends Citrix HDX technologies, a set of capabilities that work together to deliver a high-definition user experience of virtual desktops and applications.

The Framehawk virtual channel optimizes the delivery of virtual desktops and applications to users on broadband wireless connections. It is ideal for mobile devices under lossy network connections. With Framehawk integrated into the industry-leading HDX technology, Citrix provides a smooth and intuitive user experience in conditions where remote workspace users previously experienced poor interactivity, such as on wireless connections with high packet loss or congestion.

For more information, see the following document.

Administrator guide

Director 7.6.300

This version of Director supports the Framehawk virtual channel. You can display HDX graphics information, which lets you monitor and troubleshoot any session that uses the channel.

Source

Download Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 Feature Pack 2 here (requires MyCitrix ID)

Download Citrix XenApp 7.6 Feature Pack 2 here (requires MyCitrix ID)

Download Citrix Storefront 3 here (requires MyCitrix ID)

Download Director 7.6.300 here

Download Session Recorder here (requires MyCitrix ID)

Download HDX Realtime Optimization Pack 1.8 here (requires MyCitrix ID)

Download Citrix Linux Virtual Desktops here (requires MyCitrix ID)

Download HDX with Framework here

FYI – Remember to update your hot fixes to latest level for Studio, GPO, VDA, download the hot fixes here