Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack 1

Long waited…. oh yes this is huge news and will take the leading VDI product Citrix XenDesktop to the higher clouds and position XenDesktop as the leader in VDI space. HDX 3D Pro is out in generation 3 with huge improvements Citrix says it will reduce bandwidth with 50% and now you can run “applications/games” in full screen and CUDA cores are not used anymore for the codecs. which was used before so. New technology is out so you can remote your PC with HDX (remote pc) and virtual print server is final out and next generation of HDX realtime that will speed up Unified Communications solution build on Citrix VDI platform and i can go on.. lets dig in.

What’s New in XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack 1

HDX 3D Pro Enhancements

Introduced in XenDesktop 4, HDX 3D Pro released in this version of XenDesktop enables you to leverage GPU hardware acceleration for 3D applications based on OpenGL and DirectX. With HDX 3D Pro, you can use XenDesktop to deliver complex interactive graphics over wide area network (WAN) connections with bandwidths as low as 2 Mbps. On local area network (LAN) connections, HDX 3D Pro enables you to replace complex and expensive workstations with much simpler user devices, moving the graphics processing into the data center for centralized management.

XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack 1 introduces the following enhancements to HDX 3D Pro:

  • New, default CPU based deep compression improves performance and reduces GPU costs.
  • NVIDIA VGX™ direct frame buffer provides access to a highly interactive user experience.
  • Full screen application support.
  • Improved screen resolution negotiation.

Remote PC Access

Remote PC allows an end user to log on remotely to the physical PC in his or her office from virtually anywhere. The Citrix XenDesktop Virtual Desktop Agent on the office PC enables it to register with the XenDesktop Controller and manages the HDX connection between the machine and end user client devices. The Citrix Receiver running on the client device provides access to the office PC.

HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Microsoft Lync

Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Microsoft® Lync™ offers highly scalable video conferencing and clear, crisp high-definition audio-video calls in conjunction with Microsoft Lync. Users can seamlessly participate in audio-video or audio-only calls to and from other HDX RealTime users and other standards-based video desktop and conference room systems.

HDX RealTime optimized Lync calling is not available for use with Remote PC access.

Citrix Mobility Pack

Citrix Mobility Pack automatically re-skins virtual desktops for more intuitive, touch-friendly use on tablet devices. Tablet-optimized desktops work with the currently available Receiver for iOS and Receiver for Android.

Citrix Mobility Pack provides users with a true Native Device Experience by recognizing the type of endpoint operating system and enabling mobile device features such as auto-keyboard popup, local selector controls, and auto-scrolling. Receiver for iOS and Receiver for Android are required to take advantage of these enhancements.

This pack is required to make the unique capabilities of a mobile device such as GPS, camera, and other sensors available to application developers who may use it in conjunction with the Citrix Mobile Application SDK to create custom, mobile-friendly, virtual desktops hosted by XenDesktop in the data center.

Universal Print Server

The Citrix Universal Print Server extends XenApp and XenDesktop Universal printing support to network printing. This feature eliminates the need to install numerous network printer drivers on XenApp and XenDesktop hosts, and enables more efficient network utilization. The new Citrix Universal printer driver supports direct network printing from any Citrix Receiver, supporting a wide range of Windows and non-Windows clients.

After you install the Universal Print Server components and configure the new policy settings, a user can add and enumerate network printers through the Windows Provider and Citrix Provider interfaces.

The Universal Print Server feature comprises a client component (UPClient) that you install on XenApp and XenDesktop hosts, and a server component (UPServer) that you install on a print server. You must also ensure that your XenApp and XenDesktop hosts and the computer where you use the Group Policy Management Console have the appropriate updates installed.

XenDesktop Collector

Use XenDesktop Collector to gather information about the health of your XenDesktop deployment. XenDesktop Collector captures key, troubleshooting data points for Citrix XenDesktop Controllers and Virtual Desktop Agents.

XenDesktop Collector has a Graphical User interface (GUI) that lets you Collect environmental information on multiple virtual desktops and upload that data to Citrix Technical Support. It also provides data collection reports and logs.

XenDesktop Collector Command Line Interface (CLI) provides the same functionality as the GUI. Additionally, you can automate data collection through scripts running XenDesktop Collector commands, collect data points specific to your XenDesktop environment, and collect one specific data point for multiple virtual desktops in large environments.

HDX RealTime Webcam Video Compression Support of Cisco WebEx

With this release of XenDesktop, HDX RealTime Webcam Video Compression now supports Cisco WebEx.

HDX RealTime WebCAM Video Compression supports the following applications:

  • Adobe Connect
  • Cisco WebEx
  • Citrix GoToMeeting HD Faces
  • Microsoft Lync 2010
  • Microsoft Office Communicator
  • Skype

XenClient Enterprise 4.1

XenClient 4.1 now supports 9x more PCs, has wider graphics support with NVIDIA graphics & has broader server hypervisor support. Its backend management can now run on  XenServer, vSphere & Hyper-V. The release brings robust policy controls to the platform & role based administration. XenClient 4.1 delivers enterprise level scalability with support of up to 10,000 endpoints.

Source

Download Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack 1 here (require MyCitrix ID)

Preview of Citrix XenClient Enterprise

Citrix’ recent acquisition of Virtual Computer will bring the strengths of the two preeminent client hypervisor technologies together in a single solution…XenClient Enterprise.   This combination will accelerate the pace of client virtualization innovation and customer success.

NxTop uses client virtualization to make PC’s more flexible, manageable, reliable and secure, without sacrificing the end-user’s computing experience.  The download for NxTop Enterprise below provides a glimpse into the future of XenClient Enterprise.

Documentation:

Before you begin, please carefully review the product documentation.  The following files will guide you through the setup and installation process. Additional online documentation is available as well.

  • NxTop Enterprise Quick Start Guide
  • NxTop Center Installation Guide
  • NxTop Engine Installation Guide

Hardware Compatibility

The technical specifications, platform requirements, and compatible hardware for each component are found on the hardware compatibility list.

Useful Tools

Leverage the following tools for installation, setup and troubleshooting.

  • Unetbootin – create bootable USB media from the NxTop Engine install ISO.
  • AD Explorer – get your FQDN values to set up import and synchronization between NxTop Center and AD.
  • TightVNC is the recommended VNC client for the optional Remote Helpdesk capability, which enables IT administrators to remote access a laptop or desktop running the NxTop Engine client.

Source

Download Citrix XenClient Enterprise aka NxTop Enterprise 4.0.7 here (Require MyCitrix ID)

XenClient 2 and AMD Graphics

If you have a PC/notebook that is compatible with XenClient 2 HCL and you are the lucky person with a AMD graphic card, you are now able to enable passthrough the AMD graphic to the virtual machine and delivering “true” 3D graphics.

Summary

This document describes how to install the AMD plugin and ioemu update packages on the AMD Graphics-enabled platforms running XenClient 2.1

Background

XenClient 2.0 and 2.1 supported AMD Radeon™ HD 6470M and the FirePro™ M5950 graphics solutions on several of the Hewlett-Packard platforms listed on the XenClient hardware compatibility list. By installing the AMD plugin and ioemu update packages described in this article, support for these graphics solutions is now also provided for Dell Precision platforms. In addition, some power management issues have also been addressed with these updates.

Requirements

You need a USB drive to perform this upgrade as described. The update packages add up to about 3.5 MB so a small-capacity device will be fine.

If you are still running XenClient 2.0, it is recommended that you upgrade to the latest 2.1 release found on our XenClient download page.Download it now

If you have already created any virtual machines (VMs), please make sure that you have all VMs turned off before installing the packages.

In addition to the two update packages, the source file for the ioemu file is also provided on the download link. The source file is ioemu-src_git-r8017-xc.7430.556.31.5_all.ipk

Procedure

The following steps detail how to install these updates on XenClient for your AMD Graphics-enabled platform.

  • Download the two package files needed for the upgrade from here and copy them to the root of a USB device. (If the link does not take you directly to the links to the package files, scroll down the page about half way; alternatively, you can paste #1612513 at the end of the URL and hit ENTER). The two packages are:
amd-plugin_2.02-r0.xc7.5_i686core2.ipk
and
ioemu_git-r8017-xc.7430.556.31.5_i686core2.ipk
  • Plug the USB drive into one of the available USB ports on the platform you intend to upgrade.
  • From the Citrix Receiver for XenClient (UIVM) screen, press CTRL+SHIFT+T to open a terminal session as shown in the following screen shot, and enter the password you created when installing XenClient at the prompt:

Figure 2

  • Once you are logged in, at the command line prompt enter the command
fdisk –l

This will display a list of storage devices on the system. Identify which device ID is assigned to your USB device. In our example it is sdb and the only partition it has is sdb1.

(Note that on your system this might be different depending on what devices might be present. To make sure you select the correct device, look for some information that describes your USB device. In our example we have an 8-GB USB device. In the output of the fdisk command, 8036 MB is a good indicator of that being the USB device.)

  • Enter the command

mkdir /mnt/usb

to create a directory for the USB device you plugged in earlier:
  • Enter the command
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usb
to mount the USB device to the directory created in the previous step. (Be sure to put the actual device ID for your system where sdb1 appears in this example.)
  • Now that you have mounted your USB device, you can install the first package. Enter the command
opkg install /mnt/usb/amd-plugin_2.02-r0.xc7.5_i686core2.ipk
which installs the AMD plugin package.
  • With the AMD package installed, install the second package. Enter the command
opkg install /mnt/usb/ioemu_git-r8017-xc.7430.556.31.5_i686core2.ipk
which updates the ioemu package.
  • Once both packages have been installed, you need to reboot the system. Enter the command
reboot

After the system reboots, you can enable 3D graphics on the system.

Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1

Citrix have released to web a new version of Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1. The new version supports Personal vDisk and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 and finally official support for VmWare vSphere 5.

Citrix Provisioning Services™ uses streaming technology to dynamically deliver server workloads and desktop images on demand to any physical or virtual machine, reducing IT capital and operational costs while increasing business agility.

Provisioning Services 6.1 is a companion release to XenDesktop 5.6 and adds the following new features:

  • Personal vDisk Support: In XenDesktop environments this capability allows user data and desktop configuration changes to be saved between sessions while still giving IT the storage optimization benefits of Provisioning Services Standard Image Mode provisioning.
  • Microsoft System Center 2012 Support: The XenDesktop Setup Wizard, Streamed VM Setup Wizard, and the Image Update feature have been updated to support Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Virtual Machine Manager.

What’s New in Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1:

  • Support for Personal vDisks — Citrix XenDesktop with personal vDisk technology is a high-performance enterprise desktop virtualization solution that makes VDI accessible to workers who require personalized desktops using pooled-static virtual machines. Target devices that use personal vDisks are created using the Citrix XenDesktop Setup Wizard. Within a Provisioning Services farm, the wizard creates and adds target devices with personal vDisks to an existing site’s collection and assigns an existing shared-mode vDisk to that device. The wizard also creates XenDesktop virtual machines to associate with each device. A new type of catalog exists in Citrix Desktop Studio that allows you to preserve the assignment of users to desktops; the same users are assigned the same desktop for later sessions. In addition, a dedicated storage disk is created (before logon) for each user so they can store all personalization’s to that desktop. Personalizations include any changes to the vDisk image or desktop that are not made as a result of an image update, such as application settings, adds, deletes, modifications, documents, etc.
  •  Support for Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM) – The vDisk Update Management feature now supports SCCM 2012 environments.
  •  Support for Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) – The XenDesktop Setup Wizard and Streamed VM Setup Wizard now support SCVMM 2012 for Hyper-V environments.
  • Provisioning Services support for KMS licensing no longer requires local administrator privileges. Provisioning Services SoapServer KMS licensing now requires the same VHD mount privileges as Microsoft Windows (SE_MANAGE_VOLUME_PRIVILEGE, which is included in Administrators group by default).
    Note: If upgrading from a past release, be sure to reset the privileges accordingly.
  • Hypervisor support for ESX 5.0.

Source

Download Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1 here (Require MyCitrix ID)