When you hear terms like “feature pack” or “service pack” or “service release,” usually you expect a few bug fixes, maybe a couple cool widgets here and there – but overall relatively minor stuff…right?
In this case, XenDesktop 4 Feature Pack 1 may be the understatement of the year (and it’s only March!) This is a feature update that adds several new capabilities to XenDesktop 4 that deepen integration with the Microsoft platform and further enhance end user experience, improve scalability, and simplify management. Some of the highlights of this release include:
- Access to virtual desktops that’s up to 5x Faster. New “streamed user profiles” in XenDesktop can shorten virtual desktop and application log-on times up to 5x, dramatically enhancing user experience. The new release also includes a variety of enhancements to the company’s HDX technology, designed to ensure a high definition experience for all users, regardless of where they are or what type of device they are using.
- Unparalleled Scalability. XenDesktop 4, Feature Pack 1, has been verified through formal testing to deliver an unprecedented 100,000 shared virtual desktop sessions concurrently from a single site. The shared hosted model is one of several virtual desktop options included in XenDesktop’s FlexCast delivery technology – and one that is widely deployed by hundreds of thousands of customers to several million users every day.
- Simplified App Management – The new XenDesktop version incorporates all the capabilities of the company’s recent XenApp 6 release, including tight integration with Microsoft App-V. With more than half the ROI of desktop virtualization coming from centralized app management, these improvements offer significant new simplification and cost savings for IT!
So in a nutshell, we put all the power of a major version upgrade from XenApp 6 into this “feature pack,” and added even more goodies on top of it. Let’s dive into a few specifics around some of the highlights.
Enhancements for ever FlexCast Delivery Model
Since desktop virtualization means a lot more than just VDI, with XenDesktop 4 FP1, every FlexCast delivery model offers new benefits. Breaking it down:
- For all FlexCast delivery models: Feature Pack 1 provides complete integration with Microsoft App-V, enabling XenDesktop to provide on-demand, self-service app delivery integration with App-V through Citrix Dazzle and Receiver.
- For Hosted Shared Desktops: Feature Pack 1 offers support for Windows Server 2008 R2, integration with Microsoft management tools, and dramatically simplified installation and configuration. This release also improves productivity for end users with extensive new high-definition HDX technologyenhancements for Windows portable USB devices, support for Microsoft OCS, VoIP and more. These innovative HDX enhancements were delivered for Hosted VM-based Desktops and Streamed Desktops in 2009
- For Hosted Shared Desktops, Hosted VM-based Desktops, and Streamed Desktops: Feature Pack 1 includes Streamed User Profiles, a new capability that can shorten virtual desktop and hosted application logon times by up to 5X. Streaming profiles let the user complete the logon process without having to wait for the entire profile (sometimes 200-300MBs large) to load. In addition, a new “active write back” feature speeds logoff times by sending profile changes to the central store during the session as they occur, rather than waiting to do them all in one big batch at logoff.
- For high-end 3D graphics users on Hosted Blade PCs: This update includes enhancements to HDX 3D for Professional Graphics, providing support for Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit), Windows XP 64-bit, and lossless compression (ideal for users of medical imaging applications).
Feature Pack 1 will be made available later this month! All new customers and customers with active Subscription Advantage can get the new capabilities in Feature Pack 1 by downloading them from MyCitrix.