Month: May 2015

Synergy 2015 – A condensed recap of everything you need to know!

For those of you who were not able to attend Citrix Synergy this year & dont have the time to sit through the key note recordings, I decided to put together a condensed version of some of the key announcements. So here goes!

Citrix Workspace Cloud

  • Citrix hosted control plane that enables customers to deliver a comprehensive mobile workspace to end users.
  • Gives customers the flexibility to host workloads on premises, in public or private clouds.
  • Control plane also provides end to end monitoring of user connections.
  • Evergreen infrastructure since Citrix maintains all core infrastructure components.
  • Workspace Cloud Connector installed on premises on a Win 2k12 server that establishes SSL communication between control plane and customer environment. Used to talk to infrastructure components like Active Directory and hypervisors hosting workload
  • General Availability in Q3

I wrote a blog on CWC and the value proposition a month back that you can find here.

SYN 217 –  Workspace Cloud – Technical Overview [Video]

 

Citrix Lifecycle Management

  • Comprehensive cloud based service that can be used to design, deploy and manage both Citrix and other enterprise applications.
  • Based on the ScaleXtreme technology.
  • Lifecycle Management enables customers/partners to deploy infrastructure not only on premises but also public/private clouds (resource locations)
  • Customers/Partners have the ability to create blueprints to automate infrastructure deployments end to end. Examples of blueprints include a XD deployment for instance where you could not only install all the XD infrastructure but also automate the installation of all supporting infrastructure like Active Directory, SQL etc.
  • Vendors have the ability to create blueprints as well that can then be consumed by customers and partners alike.
  • Customers/Partners also have the ability to incorporate scripts (new/existing) into the deployment.
  • Once a blueprint is developed, its added to a library. Any resource within the library can then be deployed to a resource location (on premises, public/private cloud)
  • Another key benefit of the Lifecycle Management technology is the ability to automate application upgrades.
  • General Availability in Q3

X1 Mouse

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  • Citrix announced the X1 mouse at Synergy which allows users to pair a mouse with Citrix receiver on an iOS device, works with any XA/XD app/desktop.
  • iPad paired with an X1 mouse and a bluetooth keyboard offers users a complete mobile workspace.
  • X1 mouse available now

XenApp/XenDesktop

  • Xenapp 6.5 maintenance extended till end of 2017, EOL extended till 06/2018. Details here
  • New Feature Pack for XA 6.5 (enhance storage performance, Lync support enhancements, UPM enhancements, Director “Help Desk” troubleshooting”, Storefront 3.0, Receiver.next)
  • XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 FP2  (End of Q2)
    • New Receiver X1
    • Lync 2013 on Mac
    • Touch ID Support
    • HDX with Framehawk
    • Native Receiver for Linux
    • Linux Apps and Desktops (Redhat and SUSE support)
    • Desktop Player for Mac 2.0 (June)
    • Desktop Player for Windows (Tech Preview)

SYN 233 – Whats new in XenApp and XenDesktop [Video]

SYN 319 – Tech Update for XenApp and XenDesktop  [Video]

Receiver X1

  • Single Enteprise App Store from Windows, Mobile, Web and SaaS apps
  • UX lives on a server, you decide when, and if, it changes. Citrix will still release new versions of the client (bug fixes etc), but customer is always in charge of the UI across clients on ALL platforms with a consistent look and feel.
  • Customer logos and color schemes – but also deeper changes like
  • Click-through dialogs or messages of the day; integration with back end approval systems or links to your service status dashboards.
  • Ensure that certain applications are hidden, highlighted or float to the top of search results. All of these things are possible, and many remarkably straightforward. Changes will apply to receiver on all platforms.
  • App Categories: Grouping of applications based on business units with custom skin and showcased on home screen. Applications grouped based on keywords within Studio.

Citrix Receiver and Storefront Demo from Keynote [Video]

SYN 321 – Whats new in Receiver [Video]

HDX

  • Realtime collaboration with HTML 5 and Chromebook – WebRTC technology, H264 encoding (H2, 2015)
  • New graphics stack for HDX, new algorithm,  20% more users/server, 30% lower bandwidth (based on tests conducted with LoginVSI medium workload)

Keynote Demo – HDX [Video]

SYN 230 – HDX Update: Whats New [Video]

SYN 324 – HDX: Refresh you basic and advanced knowledge [Video]

AppDisks

  • Layered disk with apps for both XA/XD
  • AppDNA is integrated for compatibility checks with different delivery groups (Server and Desktop OS)
  • Integrated into Studio for easy management
  • Limited Tech Preview in Q2, Beta in Q3.

XenServer 6.5 SP1

  • Pricing
    • USD 625 Std/socket
    • USD 1250 Enterprise/socket
  • Double density – 1000 VM/host
  • CoreOS and Win 10
  • Docker containers support
  • Best in class graphics
  • GPU config via UI
  • GPU pass through for Linux VMs
  • In-memory read cache usage visibility within XenCenter
  • Supplement pack installs from Xencenter

SYN 219 –  Whats new in XenServer 6.5 [Video]

Netscaler/Cloudbridge

  • Cloudbridge Virtual WAN  – increase bandwidth, reduce costs, allows you to aggregate an internet broadband link and MPLS link to create a low cost active active WAN network. Failover from one link to another possible in <1msec
  • Internet Broadband 5% or less cost compared to MPLS
  • Netscaler Control Center – OpenStack, CloudPlatform, Vmware, ACI, OpenAPI
  • Netscaler Unified Gateway (Feature of Netscaler 11)
    • Single URL for all forms of access
    • Each logon point can be fully customized
    • SmartControl – SmartAccess controls on NS as opposed to various farms
    • Consolidate Gateway SSL VPN infrastructure
      • Web Apps
      • SaaS
      • VPN
      • VDI
      • Client/Server
      • SmartPhones
  • Netscaler 11 to be released end of Q2

SYN 212 – Software Defined Networking delivered by Citrix and Cisco [Video]

SYN 309 – Whats new with Netscaler Gateway in 11.0 [Video]

SYN 210 – Scale WAN bandwidth while increasing reliability with Cloudbridge Virtual WAN solution

XenMobile

  • MDX App Updates
    • Containerized SalesForce App
    • WorxTasks – Outlook task synchronization
    • WorxChat – Containerized Lync client, first release will have instant messaging and presence. Future releases will incorporate audio/video capabilities.
    • Slidestream – Mobile presentations from iphone with controls from iwatch
  • Dynamic Containerization – Containerize any application available in the App Store dynamically. No need to obtain ipa/apk and wrap via MDX wrapping tool.

Video demonstrating Dynamic Containerization

SYN 304 – Managing Corporate and Employee Devices with XenMobile [Video]

Sharefile

  • Restricted Storage Zones – Customer keeps encryption keys, metadata and file encryption
  • Sharefile Platinum Edition(June)  – Includes RightSignature, Unlimited Data Storage
  • Office 365 Integration – Open Sharefile documents right within Office apps and save to Sharefile.
  • iWatch integration – Dictate speaker notes and present
  • DLP Integration – Symantec DLP

SYN 201 – Data Loss Prevention and Enterprise File Sync and Sharing [Video]

Mark T announcing Sharefile Platinum Edition

 GoToMeeting

  • Free Edition for upto 3 users
  • Instant Join via HTML 5
  • Active Directory Integration & Single Sign On

Citrix Melio

  • Clustered File system, Non-blocking storage, allows concurrent read/write access from two or more servers to one or more storage pools at block level
  • Active/Active Storage Access
  • Block level mirroring between nodes as opposed to asynchronous replication
  • Continuous availability of data without replication
  • Core technology behind Workspace POD
  • Storage agnostic – any disk
  • Workload aware QoS
  • Geo clustering in a Multi Nodal architecture
  • Product Editions (Available now)
    • VDI edition
    • Enterprise Edition – Geo distributed and HA for Citrix PVS

Citrix Concierge

  • Real time communication with a person right within an app (video/audio/chat)
  • CoPilot
    • Enable Agents and Customer to interact in 4 diff ways
      • Share real time contents of your mobile screen with agents
      • Provide agent dynamic info of device (network info, battery level, OS info etc)
      • Share camera
  • Tech Preview Available today (iOS and Android).
  • Concierge integrated into upcoming GTM version (GTM with mobile screen sharing) which allows screen sharing from iOS device.

Citrix Concierge Desktop and Concierge Pilot [Video]

Citrix GoToMeeting with Mobile Screensharing [Video]

Workspace Automation

  • Cloud hosted
  • “Leveraging the power of IoT for a better workspace experience”
  • IoT enables IoE (Integration of Everything)
  • Project Octoblu can run on very small devices, completely self contained. Can also run behind a firewall or in the cloud.
  • Can talk to physical devices, sensors, apps, business processes etc.
  • “Flow designer” – Graphical – shows in step by step how a flow should work.

SYN 222: Meet Octoblu: A new IoT Platform from Citrix

Workspace Hub

  • Single Stick with VGA and HDMI connectors, dual WiFi and low energy Bluetooth chips
  • Workspace hub takes video feed from mobile device and output that to connected screen. It also connects workspace to local printers and other attached devices. When the mobile device leaves premises, the workspace is transferred back to the device away from the workspace hub.
  • When user with mobile device walks into a room with a Workspace hub, the hug advertises itself and mobile device can connect to hub.

Citrix Workspace Hub [Video]

Citrix Workspace Office [Video]

Citrix Workspace Pod

There was not a whole lot of new announcements around Workspace Pod other than what was announced at Summit. However the hardware vendors that are part of this ecosystem has expanded. For those of you who are not familiar with this offering from Citrix, Dane Young wrote an excellent blog on Workspace Pod that is a must read! The video below provides a great overview of the technology as well.

SYN 322 – Technology, Architecture and Solutions Design [Video]

Citrix Newsletter – April ’15

General Announcements

Citrix Offers Customers the Key to Securing Their Confidential Information

Citrix announced it is simplifying the way sensitive documents are shared. Citrix ShareFile customers can now send encrypted emails from Microsoft Outlook to secure the content of messages in compliance with industry regulations such as HIPAA. Since the capability works from within the inbox, emails can be securely exchanged with clients and vendors without disrupting current processes. The capability, tailored for small and medium-sized organizations today, joins data protection innovations like ShareFile Restricted StorageZones for enterprises in a portfolio of Citrix solutions designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes – from small to large.

Citrix Powers “Always-On” Branch Workspaces

Citrix announced the CloudBridge Virtual WAN Edition, which reduces the cost of delivering applications, documents and IT services to branch offices by up to 80 percent, while ensuring nearly 100 percent application availability. The new CloudBridge Virtual WAN solution provides businesses with the flexibility to employ multiple cost-effective WAN technologies, offering the ability to scale WAN bandwidth at dramatically lower cost than traditional approaches. The solution also ensures the best possible user experience by securely sending mission-critical, delay-sensitive data over the highest performing path. The new CloudBridge Virtual WAN solution extends the CloudBridge platform and its integration with the company’s HDX and application acceleration technologies, to offer the most cost effective and highest performance solutions for securely delivering mobile workspaces with the applications, documents and IT services people need to work better in remote and branch offices.

Citrix Sponsors OpenStack Foundation To Help Drive Cloud Interoperability Standards

Citrix announced that it has become a Corporate Sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation. By joining the foundation’s community of contributors, Citrix demonstrates its continued commitment towards driving interoperability among standards-based cloud platforms and meeting the increasing demand for choice and flexibility in private, public and hybrid cloud solutions. NetScaler™ and XenServer™ solutions from Citrix are used as core infrastructure for some of the largest cloud infrastructure providers in the world, and this announcement brings the power of these products to customers choosing to build their clouds on OpenStack.

Feature Pack 1 for XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 is Now Available

Citrix continues to add more functionality to our feature-rich, industry-leading XenApp and XenDesktop product lines with the release of Feature Pack 1, which is now available for download on Citrix.com.

While efforts for Feature Pack 1 were publically announced at Citrix Summit, our annual channel partner conference in January, today XenApp and XenDesktop customers with active Subscription Advantage (SA) or Software Maintenance (SWM) as of March 25, 2015 will be eligible to enhance their existing app and desktop virtualization solution

Citrix Expands vGPU Hypervisor Support

A large user base of Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop continues to be successfully deployed and officially supported on VMware’s popular vSphere hypervisor for non-graphics workloads. Citrix will offer the same level of quality support to customers who deploy XenApp or XenDesktop for NVIDIA GRID vGPU, starting from day one that VMware vSphere 6 is generally available (March 12, 2015) with the capability.

Announcing the DesktopPlayer for Windows and Mac Tech Previews!

After Citrix released DesktopPlayer for Mac last year, one of the major capabilities customers asked for was support for Windows devices, which would allow users to run DesktopPlayer on MacBooks and Windows laptops and PCs.

This customer feedback reinforced our vision for client virtualization and, as a result, we accelerated development of extending the functionality of DesktopPlayer for Mac to Windows devices. At Citrix Summit 2015, we announced and demonstrated a forthcoming preview of this solution with the DesktopPlayer for Windows Tech Preview. Today, we are excited to announce the availability of the DesktopPlayer for Windows Tech Preview!

This Tech Preview adds Windows platform support to DesktopPlayer by enabling users to access a local virtual desktop on their Windows laptop or PC, regardless of wireless network conditions – or even if no network connection is available. Moreover, the Tech Preview preserves existing user data, apps, and settings with an easy, non-disruptive install. Users can also switch between local (DesktopPlayer) and hosted (XenDesktop) virtual desktops with ongoing synchronization of data and profiles for a seamless experience on any device.

VCE Announces a new VDI Integration Service for Citrix that Accelerates Mobile Workspace Deployments

VCE announced a new VDI integration service for Citrix that accelerates mobile workspace deployments by combining app and desktop delivery from Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop with the power of NetScaler SDX. With this announcement, VCE and Citrix are drawing upon our industry leadership and strong partnership to offer our mutual customers a simple rapid path to app and virtual desktop delivery via private or hybrid cloud, with users enjoying an unmatched experience with the freedom to work from anywhere.

Best Practices/Reference Architecture Documents/Blogs

An Introduction To Session Recording (XA/XD 7.6 Feature Pack 1) – Installation, Configuration and User Experience 

On March 31st, Citrix released the much anticipated XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 Feature Pack 1. Among the goodies included, one of the new additions in terms of functionality is Session Recording. For those of you who are new to what session recording is, I recommend this blog by Paul Murray. At a high level, session recording allows organizations to record on-screen activity within a published application or hosted shared desktop. While the benefits are fairly obvious, some of the most common use cases for auditing purposes, troubleshooting application issues, understanding workflow within an application and potentially improve processes and lastly compliance purposes. What I am covering in this blog is how to get your feet wet with the product by setting up a single server session recording environment and test functionality. I will not address HA, scalability and other design considerations in this article. Please review edocs for details on these.

Citrix Director Tool: Automated Daily and Weekly Custom Report Emails

This post, we details how you can send custom reports as email in addition to built-in reports available in the Director Trends page.

Citrix XenApp vs VMware Horizon – User Experience

Have you ever been running late for a meeting, but you first needed to modify a PowerPoint, print a document or transfer a file to a USB device? Every second that passes feels like an eternity. But even without the pressure of being late, a system that lets you complete your work faster is perceived as better and has a higher user acceptance.

NetScaler Troubleshooting with Citrix Insight Services

Citrix has developed tools and online analysis capabilities to help you collect environment information, analyze that information and receive tailored recommendations based on your Citrix environment and configuration.The tools are focused on a single mission–data collection–and their impact to your environment is minimal in terms of disk space, prerequisites and performance impact during the data collection process. Citrix Insight Services analyzes the data captured in the support bundle and provides you with Tailored Recommendations, specific to your environment. To leverage Citrix Insight Services, you’ll need to harvest a NetScaler tech support bundle.

Taking DaaS to the Next Level: A New Cisco-Validated Design for Citrix-Based DaaS

Deploying and scaling a business-ready Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS) environment can become time-consuming and complex, particularly across multiple datacenters and clouds. Citrix and Cisco understand that management scale and simplicity is critical to the service provider business model, and have teamed to develop a new DaaS solution architecture as a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) titled “Desktop-as-a-Service for Service Provider 2000-Seat Virtual Desktop Infrastructure”. The complete CVD for Citrix Service Providers is available here. It gives service providers an excellent starting point for implementing a comprehensive DaaS solution. This blog summarizes the solution architecture, its components, and the testing performed to provision tenants and subscribers.

Now Available: The XenMobile 10 MDM Migration Tool!

Citrix released the migration tool to move from XenMobile version 9 to version 10. This is now available for download at MyCitrix.com. The Migration tool is embedded in the XenMobile 10 Server and the option can be selected during theFirst Time Use configuration.

Now LIVE! The Citrix XenApp Migration Web Service Beta

Designed to simplify the XenApp migration experience, Project Serenity is an easy-to-use web service you can use to help your existing XenApp 6 or 6.5 customers extract their current farm configurations (settings and policies) and select the specific configurations they would like to import into a new XenApp 7.6 site using their MyAccount credentials.

Spring Forward to Receiver for Windows 4.2.100

Citrix billed Receiver for Windows 4.2 as the best ever Receiver for Windows due all the great new features we were able to add.  Since the release of Receiver for Windows 4.2, we on the Citrix Receiver team have listened to your feedback and have worked on making further improvements, so that more of you can take advantage of its advanced features. Citrix is pleased to announce that Receiver for Windows 4.2.100 is now available with more than 45 fixes and enhancements to help you get the most out of your Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop experience.

XenMobile Timeouts: How Do They Work?

This blog focuses on WHY we would configure timeouts one way or another to get the balance between user experience and security that we are after.

Smart Card Configuration Guidance

A 237 page Smart Card configuration document, entitled “Configuring Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 and NetScaler Gateway 10.5 with PIV Smart Card Authentication” has been published and is now available as PDF on Citrix.com. The guide’s intent is to describe how to configure a smart card “test environment” from beginning to end. It covers smart card configuration with XenApp, XenDesktop and NetScaler Gateway.  The document includes an introduction to the problem set and marches its way through detailed configuration guidance including certificate management and numerous screen shots of configuration settings.

What’s in a Name? (The Art of Renaming a Site Database)

Ever wondered if it’s possible to rename your existing FMA Site Database without making a complete mess of your environment? No?? It turns out it’s a relatively simple matter, but one that requires a few more steps then you might initially think…

XenApp/XenDesktop Site Design (v2015)

In this blog, the author talks about FMA Site Design, which applies to both XenApp & XenDesktop 7.x, which use the FMA architecture. The author tries to shed some light on some interesting designs we’re doing in the field when there is more than one data center.

Guide for Microsoft Lync 2013 in VDI environment

With the release of the Feature Pack 1 for Citrix XenDesktop 7.6, we now support audio and video optimization for Microsoft Lync 2013 Client and Server deployments using the Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Lync. This level of Lync optimization is unique in the market. While the optimization pack is the best way to deliver Lync to end-users in most scenarios, XenApp and XenDesktop also provide additional options which should be considered as part of the project planning phase. This deployment guide discusses all options in detail, provides best practice recommendations and step-by-step installation instructions.

UDP Audio Through A NetScaler Gateway

Citrix Receiver can now use User Datagram Protocol (UDP) to support audio remoting of a XenDesktop session through a Netscaler Gateway. This blog details some of the configuration specifics.

Support Articles/Bug Fixes

Upcoming Events

Feb 19 – Jun 23 Seminar Series: Managing the Unmanageable: How to Secure the Enterprise

Join us at this live security-focused seminar series to learn about how to secure sensitive data on managed and under-managed devices, measures that enforce security across unmanaged apps and network, models that control access to sensitive data, specific to application usage and access, and how to develop and enforce policies to “manage the unmanageable.”

Register Now  |  Download Invitation  |  Contact for More Info

Mar – May 7 In-person Master Class Seminar Series: Protect Your Mission Critical Web Apps With Citrix NetScaler

Join us for this in-person master class. We will demo and discuss best practices to secure your network and apps against threats.

Register Now  |  Download Invitation  |  Contact for More Info

Ongoing (Tuesdays, Thursdays) Weekly Deminars: Citrix Workspace Suite

Take a close look at the capabilities of Citrix Workspace Suite in these twice weekly technically-focused, demo-led webinars.
Register Now  |  Contact for More Info

Ongoing (Wednesdays) Weekly Deminars: NetScaler

Join us to understand how Citrix NetScaler can empower your organization with the most comprehensive set of application security, acceleration, load balancing, and monitoring tools.

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Ongoing (Wednesdays) Weekly Deminars: Empowering Mobility with XenMobile and ShareFile

See how Citrix can empower your organizations to provide secure, remote access to company resources through mobile app and device management as well as data sharing.

Register Now Contact for More Info

On Demand Webinars

Solution Webinar: Move From Cisco ACE to a Software Defined World

Solution Webinar: Discover the Power of Application Centric Infrastructure

Master Class: How to Upgrade from XenApp 6.5 to XenApp 7.6

Solution Webinar: How to Effectively Replace BlackBerry Devices and Gain User Acceptance

Master Class: NetScaler VPX. Spotlight: Admin Partitions

Solution Webinar: Mobile Workspace Delivery – Any App, Any Device, Any Network, Any Cloud

Solution Webinar: Top Use Cases for App Virtualization

Solution Webinar: How to Build a Solid BYO Policy and Mitigate Security Risks

Solution Webinar: Don’t Settle for “Good Enough” Email for Mobile Employees

Solution Webinar: Managing the Unmanageable: The Network Security Perspective

Solution Webinar: One Company’s Journey to Mobilize Their Workforce with Enterprise Mobility Management

Master Class: NetScaler Deployment Modes and Server Load Balancing

 Master Class: What’s New in Citrix XenMobile 10.0

Solution Webinar: Enable SDN and Dev Ops with Cisco ACI and Citrix NetScaler

 Desktop Master Class: Deliver Microsoft Lync with XenApp and XenDesktop

 Solution Webinar: 5 Things VMware Doesn’t Want You to Know About Horizon View