September 25, 2019

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 Plus

Citrix released the second Long Term Service Release (LTSR) in the company's history on August 15, 2017. This was a hallmark release in our mind because it closed nearly every feature gap of the wildly successful XenApp 6.5 release. At the same time, it was built on the new Flexcast Management Architecture (FMA) which provided customers with much in terms of choice and security.

Our ambitious plan for this article is to detail the new features and enhancements of each of the quarterly Current Releases (CR). In order to make this more readable, we are putting the full details including things like embedded videos into a separate post. Consider this a living document that will be updated over time to create a single searchable list. Check back here as we add the rest of the Current Releases. Please drop us a comment if we missed something.


Brian @sagelikebrian and Josh @virtualjoshespi

Releases
    Released February 27, 2019 - End of Life August 27, 2019

    Citrix Docs | Citrix Product Lifecycle Matrix | Find more details at XenApp and XenDesktop 7.17


    User eXperience:
    • High Definition compression support for 64-bit webcam applications.
    • Watermark your desktop or app independent of the endpoint with this new controller and VDA. My Summit 2018 article has an image of a watermark on a Chromebook (SageLike.com).
    • Webcam compression for 64-bit applications like Skype, GoToMeeting, and others on VDA.
    • NVENC hardware encoding in combination with codec for actively changing regions supported in VDA with NVIDIA GPUs.
    • ThinWire now includes higher compression (~15%) MDRLE encoding which replaces 2DRLE on supported VDAs. "What's New with Workspace in February 2018" has more details (Citrix Blogs).
    • Linux support for Pascal GPUs, pass through authentication with smart cards, dynamic keyboard layout synchronization, adaptive transport (Citrix Blogs).
    • Show or hide the remote language bar
    Admin eXperience:
    • Azure Managed Disks to be used automatically by MCS starting with this controller.
    • Federated Authentications Services now stores info in an embedded database versus the registry.
    • Controller improvements to double-hop scenarios (launching apps in a published desktop). If the app is available in the desktop it will launch it as local vs a new session.  Read "Session Sharing Between a Published Desktop and a Published App Made Easy" (Citrix Blogs) for more information including making this work on previous versions.
    • Content redirection blacklist supported on VDA. Also, a new controller policy to prevent failback to server render.
    • Director now supports PIV smart card authentication.
    • Session Recording improvements to event logging (Citrix Blogs).
    Deprecation and Platform Support:
    • StoreFront support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 protocols between XenApp and XenDesktop and Citrix Receiver and Citrix Workspace Hub (see CTX232266.
    Released November 28, 2017 - End of Life May 28, 2018

    Citrix Docs | Citrix Product Lifecycle Matrix | Find more details at SageLike.com XenApp and XenDesktop 7.16




    User eXperience:
    • High Definition webcam support.
    • Expanded tablet mode in Windows 10 using Windows Continuum.
    • Adaptive transport enhancement. By default, adaptive transport is now enabled (Preferred), and EDT is used when possible, with fallback to TCP.
    • Browser content redirection. Redirects the contents of a web browser to a client device with a corresponding browser embedded within the Citrix Receiver. See (Citrix Docs) for more information.
    • HDX H.265 encoding. Requires an NVIDIA GPU. Read more, "H.265 Encoding Now Available for XenDesktop Using NVIDIA GPUs" (Citrix Blogs). Requires Receiver for Windows 4.10 and must be enabled. Requires a Platinum license.
    • Unicode keyboard mapping. Without the registry setting, if a user changes the local and the server keyboard layouts, the keyboards might not be in sync and character output is wrong.
    Admin eXperience:
    • HDX 3D Pro is detected automatically during VDA setup.
    • MCS support for on-demand provisioning with Azure Resource Manager.
    • Support for App-V 5.0 deployment configuration files in single admin method and support for shortcuts in App-V packages.
    • Access Monitor Service data uses version 4 of the OData API.
    • Shadow Linux user sessions running RHEL 7.3 or Ubuntu 16.04. Director connects via noVNC.
    • HDX Insight integration of a new NSAP virtual channel. Nick, from Citrix Consulting, is calling this integration, "HDX Insight 2.0" (Citrix Blogs).
    • Applications analytics added to Director. It provides a consolidated view of the health and usage of all published applications. It shows metrics like the number of instances per application and faults and errors associated with the applications.
    Deprecation and Platform Support:
    • VDA desktop OS support: Windows 10 1607 or newer. For support of older operating systems (Windows 7, Windows 8) use the 7.15 VDA.
    • VDA server OS support: Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 (also supports server VDI). For support of older operating systems (Winddows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012) use the 7.15 VDA.

September 24, 2019

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.17

Released February 27, 2018 - End of Life August 27, 2019

Citrix Docs and Product Lifecycle Matrix

To see all Current Release features since the last Long Term Service Release (7.15 LTSR) see XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 Plus



User Xperience:
  • Watermark your desktop or app independent of the endpoint with this new controller and VDA. My Summit 2018 article has an image of a watermark on a Chromebook (SageLike.com).
  • Webcam compression for 64-bit applications like Skype, GoToMeeting, and others on VDA.
  • NVENC hardware encoding in combination with codec for actively changing regions supported in VDA with NVIDIA GPUs.
  • ThinWire now includes higher compression (~15%) MDRLE encoding which replaces 2DRLE on supported VDAs. "What's New with Workspace in February 2018" has more details (Citrix Blogs).
  • Linux support for Pascal GPUs, pass through authentication with smart cards, dynamic keyboard layout synchronization, adaptive transport (Citrix Blogs).
  • Show or hide the remote language bar
Admin Xperience:
  • Azure Managed Disks to be used automatically by MCS starting with this controller.
  • Federated Authentications Services now stores info in an embedded database versus the registry.
  • Controller improvements to double-hop scenarios (launching apps in a published desktop). If the app is available in the desktop it will launch it as local vs a new session.  Read "Session Sharing Between a Published Desktop and a Published App Made Easy" (Citrix Blogs) for more information including making this work on previous versions.
  • Content redirection blacklist supported on VDA. Also, a new controller policy to prevent failback to server render.
  • Director now supports PIV smart card authentication.
  • Session Recording improvements to event logging (Citrix Blogs).
Deprecation and Platform Support:
  • StoreFront support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 protocols between XenApp and XenDesktop and Citrix Receiver and Citrix Workspace Hub removed (see CTX232266).

September 17, 2019

Citrix MCS - Automate Master Image vCenter Update

Purpose:
This post is to share a Citrix MCS / VMware PowerShell script I created over the last year or so to automate the process of renaming a master image (Win2K16 or W10), converting it to a template, cloning the template and creating a snapshot of the clone in preparation for MCS updates.

You can use this script if you have a single datacenter or if you have multiple. It's relatively easy to modify it so the master image is copied to multiple vCenter datacenters/clusters and follows the same process.

I currently have 9 different datacenters/clusters running the same master image. I just maintain the core master image in the primary datacenter, perform updates, shutdown, run this script and once the process is done I can update each machine catalog one by one from the same master image.

Download the script from Citrix ShareFile

SageLike Post ID: SL0023

July 31, 2019

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.16

Released November 28, 2017 - End of Life May 28, 2018

Citrix Docs and Product Lifecycle Matrix




User eXperience:
  • High Definition webcam support.
  • Expanded tablet mode in Windows 10 using Windows Continuum.
  • Adaptive transport enhancement. By default, adaptive transport is enabled (Preferred), and EDT is used when possible, with fallback to TCP.
  • Browser content redirection. Redirects the contents of a web browser to a client device with a corresponding browser embedded within the Citrix Receiver. See (Citrix Docs) for more information.
  • "H.265 Encoding Now Available for XenDesktop Using NVIDIA GPUs" (Citrix Blogs). Requires Receiver for Windows 4.10 and must be enabled.  If the GPU at the endpoint does not support H.265 decoding using the DXVA interface, the Citrix Receiver for Windows H.265 Decoding for graphics policy setting is ignored and the session falls back to using the H.264 video codec.  Requires a Platinum license. See Receiver 4.10 for more information (Citrix Docs).
  • Unicode keyboard mapping. Without the registry setting, if a user changes the local and the server keyboard layouts, the keyboards might not be in sync and character output is wrong.
Admin eXperience:
  • HDX 3D Pro is detected automatically during VDA setup.
  • MCS support for on-demand provisioning with Azure Resource Manager.
  • Support for App-V 5.0 deployment configuration files in single admin method and support for shortcuts in App-V packages.
  • Access Monitor Service data uses version 4 of the OData API.
  • Shadow Linux user sessions running RHEL 7.3 or Ubuntu 16.04. Director connects via noVNC.
  • HDX Insight improvement.  Integration of the new NSAP virtual channel. Nick, from Citrix Consulting, is calling this, "HDX Insight 2.0" (Citrix Blogs) but 7.17 recommended (CTX239748).
  • Applications analytics in Director. It provides a consolidated view of the health and usage of all published applications. It shows metrics like the number of instances per application and faults and errors associated with the applications. Requires Delivery Controller version 7.16 or later and VDA version 7.15 or newer.
Deprecation and Platform Support:
  • VDA desktop OS support: Windows 10 1607 or newer. For support of older operating systems (Windows 7, Windows 8) use the 7.15 VDA.
  • VDA server OS support: Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 (also supports server VDI). For support of older operating systems (Winddows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012) use the 7.15 VDA.

June 11, 2019

Citrix Posters and Diagrams

My Citrix journey started about a decade ago.  I was lucky enough to work with some really great people to get me started.  These mentors helped me with the "what".  Building a farm and publishing applications were great but I really wanted to understand the "how".  Where did NetScaler end and Web Interface begin?  What really happened after a user put in their credentials and click, "Log On".  I eventually figured it out using a combination of Citrix Docs, Google, late nights and fixing broken environments.

If I had to learn this all over again in 2019, I would start with an Instructor-Led Training class or eLearning (training.citrix.com).  Spending hundreds of hours learning on the job could have been shortcutted with a class.  Both of these options will probably cost you or your organization money.  Money that in hindsight would have been worth it in my opinion. Maybe the money or the time is not in the cards right now, so let's move on to a great alternative with a lower price point 😏.




Citrix is making posters and diagrams for a variety of solutions.  Allen (Twitter) announced the roadmap for these reference architectures in, "What's ahead for Citrix reference architectures" (Citrix Blogs).  I use the Virtual Apps and Desktops on-prem poster each and every week when talking to customers.  It helps guide me through any of the following:

  • Virtual desktop models
  • 5 layers of a VAD deployment
  • User authentication and resource enumeration*
  • HDX technologies
  • ICA protocol
  • Networking traffic and ports
  • Session launch*

Last week I sent a customer a link to the posters on techzone.citrix.com and he replied back with the image below.  It got a lot of attention when I posted it on Twitter.  Anyone have a plotter so I can get one for my office?



Brian @sagelikebrian


See also:
Brian's monthly article on important things in the world of apps, applications, and micro apps that we call TheAppFactory. Use the widgets at the left to have this site delivered to your RSS feed reader or by email.