During 11-13th January, Citrix held its partner conference, the Citrix Summit, which is an event that focuses on direction, strategy and new products and features which are up and coming. Citrix stated that they’re going to focus on their core values which are to deliver the solutions to enable secure app & data delivery. By focusing on their core values, Citrix will be able to innovate their products at a fast rate – which include XenApp/XenDesktop, NetScaler and XenMobile.
Below is a list of the new features which were mentioned at the Citrix Summit:
######Citrix Aquires Comtrade’s SCOM Management Packs IP
Citrix has acquired the Citrix-specific management pack technology from Comtrade. Those management packs are add-on packs, including Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and will be exclusively available from Citrix. The management packs will be available for download in Q1 2016 and are for Platinum edition customers.
The following Citrix Products will be supported via the SCOM Management Packs:
• Provisioning Services;
• License Server;
• ShareFile; and
I recommend that customers who have already invested in SCOM for monitoring and alerting, look at adding Comtrade’s management packs for their environment as part of this agreement.
During December, 2015 Citrix released the XenMobile Server 10.3 version which contains a lot of new features and policies for iOS 9, Android for Work, Samsung KNOX, Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. This release also allows you to manage Mac OS X, and Windows 10.
At the summit, Citrix also announced two new Worx applications – WorxForms and WorxChat.
WorxChat allows IT to deliver a secure mobile chat application that is tightly integrated with other Citrix productivity Worx Apps and uses the familiar Microsoft Lync back-end.
######**XenApp and XenDesktop 7.7**
XenApp/XenDesktop Release 7.7 is available now and contains new features like:
• Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack – This feature was developed in conjunction with Microsoft to enable Lync support for virtual desktop and application at remote locations;
• Microsoft Azure support for Machine Creation Services;
• On-premise Provisioning Server support for Windows 10;
• Zone management which is used for multi-site deployments;
• Application Limits;
• Proactive monitoring and alerting with Director; and
• SCOM integration for additional alerting and monitoring.
For customers already running XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x, the upgrade to 7.7 is fairly straight forward and highly recommended.
######**Provisioning Services 7.7**
With the new release of XenApp and XenDesktop 7.7, Provisioning Services received a refresh as well. Provisioning Services 7.7 contains the following new features:
• VHDX support (new default vDisk format);
• Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) pre-boot support;
• Windows 10 support;
• Multiple CPU bootstrap support;
• In-place upgrade of target device software; and
• Wizard driven provisioning of vGPU-enabled XenDesktop machines.
######**XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8**
At the summit, a new version of XenApp and XenDesktop were announced. This is version 7.8 and it will be released in Q1 of this year. This version will contain at least the following new features, however, more details will follow soon:
• AppDisk technology;
• AppDNA integration for AppDisk applications;
• Microsoft App-V integration with Citrix Studio;
• Improved app publishing experience;
• Session Recording for VDI;
• Self-Service password reset for StoreFront; and
• Enhanced graphics performance for virtual desktops.
Citrix already announced the NetScaler CPX as tech preview just before Christmas 2015. NetScaler CPX is a lightweight NetScaler Application Delivery Controller that runs in a container, which will be mainly used for developer and enthusiast. However, this CPX runs the same code as other NetScaler platforms like the VPX and MPX.
The CPX can be used by application developers who can run a NetScaler CPX directly on their laptop. With this they can make use of the ADC functionalities during the entire application development process. NetScaler CPX can be provisioned and deployed using the Docker command line just like any other container in the system.
The Tech Preview is available in Q1 2016 and the General Release is expected to be available mid-2016.
######**Updated Platinum Edition for XenApp and XenDesktop**
In the past it was hard to see what features are unique and needed for a customer to buy a platinum license. At the summit, Citrix announced new added value for the XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum Edition. The following features will be added to the Platinum Edition as soon as these products are available:
• New SCOM Management Packs for Citrix Full Stack Monitoring;
• AppDNA for AppDisk for the Citrix Studio console;
• Director Proactive Notification and Alerting; and
• Self-Service Password Reset from the Citrix login page.
######XenApp and XenDesktop Servicing Options
Citrix announced two new servicing options for XenApp and XenDesktop. Long Term Service Release (LTSR) and Current Release (CR).
Long Term Service Release means that customers with a valid Software Maintenance contract can retain on a particular release for an extended period of time while receiving minor updates that provide fixes, typically void of new functionality. This will bring enterprise customers an extended lifecycle and predictable maintenance.
Current Release means that customers with a valid Subscription Advantage or Software Maintenance contract have the ability to stay on the latest version. With rapid release cycles, Citrix bring the latest features available, as soon as possible. This will bring customers rapid release cycles and more opportunities for enhancements.
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