Today we announced XenApp 6 to continue building upon our vision of delivering on-demand applications and desktops to both virtual and physical hosts. XenApp 6 raises the bar for TCO and performance, and is also an integrated feature of our desktop virtualization solution, XenDesktop 4.

We don’t usually talk about what it takes internally to develop a product. However, in this case it’s worth knowing that this has in effect been a complete rewrite of the XenApp code base for the x64 platform. This clean slate effort really provided a fantastic opportunity to optimize the code base for performance and scalability and provides a solid new base on which we can continue to innovate. While this massive change is transparent to customers, I am very proud of our teams for accomplishing this with the additional pressure to innovate new features for our customers. Here are some of the highlights.

Yes we heard, make the management simpler! AppCenter is a new single management console and is something that our customers have been asking us to do for years, and we’ve added Powershell 2.0 support. A brand new code base provided us with an optimal opportunity to start fresh, I hope you like it and would love to hear feedback so we can continue to make it better.

Installation just got simpler by adding roles to the installation process. This means your Farm member servers can be installed in a way so they just focus on delivering desktops and applications and your Farm infrastructure servers can be installed to focus on all the Farm management and operational tasks. This improves reliability, scalability and performance with a rethink of our core architecture and a ton of smart code changes! Our goal at Citrix is to continue to simplify our products.

Policy management also just got simpler with Active Directory group policy support. Here’s a good external blog from Nicholas Dille that gives some detail. I’d also encourage you to check out Juliano Maldaner’s blog who is our lead XenApp architect.

XenApp 6 is a move to x64 and runs on top of Windows 2008 Server R2. We spent a ton of time optimizing for scalability to take advantage of x64. In our internal testing, we’ve really been pleased with the improvements. We’ve managed to run server farms with over 1000 member servers and 100,000 concurrent sessions. Whether you are an Enterprise customer or Service Provider your TCO for delivering desktops or applications just got better.

In the context of desktops use cases, I really believe that for structured task workers this makes a lot of sense. Not everybody needs or requires VDI and now with XenApp 6 you can build a much more compelling TCO business case as part of your desktop virtualization strategy. It’s really important to understand that XenApp remains strategic to us as a core component of delivering desktops and applications with a fantastic TCO.

We’ve added isolation of services to our product line, that will increase the number of applications that you can support with XenApp. At the same time our partnership with Microsoft continues to get stronger and[ App-V integration|] is available. This let’s XenApp focus on on-demand applications and user self service. App-V managed apps can now be delivered via Citrix Dazzle which empowers the end user to pick the apps they want. I really believe that these are the kinds of services that users want vs. IT trying to serve just basic needs and predicting what users will want. The world is moving to a consumer mindset and this is just the beginning.

We also spent a lot of time adding additional capabilities to HDX to enable better multimedia and peripheral support. I really like the improvements in audio quality to enable me to use VoIP softphones and the fact that I can now use OCS video due to broader USB device support. HDX for our entire product line is an area that we will continue to invest in and raise the bar. I look forward to sharing more in the future.

One question I often get asked is how can Citrix help us with application migrations? I want to point out App-DNA and that we are working very closely with them to help customers. I would encourage everybody to talk to them as your consider application migrations. They have a really good product that makes life simpler.

So there you have it folks. A brand spanking new XenApp that takes it to the next level for on-demand delivery of applications and desktops. It will be available for download on March 24th. I hope you like it, and as always Citrix is happy to listen to your feedback to help us make things even better.