Citrix has just released its new bits for XenApp and XenDesktop. There is already a lot of information available on the Citrix official website so I’d like to focus on the key features of this new version.
First thing to note: it’s a CR (Current release) so it will be EOM (End Of Maintenance) in 6 months. If your company is not able (or just doesn’t want) to upgrade within this delay to the next version, I’d recommend you to stay with the last LTSR (Long Term Service Release), the 7.15.
What’s cool in this new version?
The VDA installation analyzer is now included in the product. This tool, created by Manbinder Pal Singh, is launched automatically in case of a VDA installation failure in order to provide you the exact error message and, if the issue is known, a link to the corresponding CTX article… It would be awesome if this feature could be generalized to the whole product (StoreFront could be a great first one for example).
Director can now provide Applications Analytics. This new feature allows administrators to find the resource consumption and failures for the application. As you can see here: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/current-release/policies/reference/virtual-delivery-agent-policy-settings/monitoring-policy-settings.html#App_Failure_Policy_Settings, the process monitoring is disabled by default because it can use a lot of storage in your Monitoring Database. This feature requires 7.16 delivery controllers but is working with 7.15 VDAs.
Watch full HD YouTube video? Not a problem anymore with the Browser content redirection! Citrix was stuck with Flash Redirection for years now and almost all the Internet websites have left Flash so there was no real solution to provide a native experience and offload the CPU used when the video is rendered on the VDA. This new feature allows administrators to define URL patterns to be fetched by the client. Compared to the Flash redirection, this one “asks” the client to download the entire page instead of just the media part. There are no requirements in terms of version of Flash, SilverLight… between the client and the VDA. Nice job Citrix!
What’s annoying in this new version?
As you may have noticed, the upgrade rhythm is accelerating in IT. This new version no longer supports Windows 2008R2 and 2012 for the Server OS. You’ll be able to install the 7.16 VDA only on Windows 2012R2 and 2016.
For the Desktop OS, only Windows 10 (minimum 1607) is supported. So if you still have Windows 7 VDIs, you should set their VDA version to 7.15.
It’s a great new version, and I’ve been lucky to play with it for a few weeks thanks to the CTP program. Citrix is pushing hard to give back features from EdgeSight to Director and to continue the innovation (EDT, browser content redirection…). Can’t wait for the next one in 3 months!