Today, I am pleased to announce the release of the Citrix Service Provider Automation Pack for XenApp 6, available exclusively for Citrix partners.

This is the first technology release from the newly formed Cloud App Delivery group. As the name implies, it automates some common, complex tasks for cloud service providers, and it makes delivering Desktops as a Service that much easier! There are three main aspects to the release:

1.) Windows 7 Desktop Experience – When a user gets their new cloud-based desktop, it has to be familiar, intuitive, and easy to use right from the first log in. But the fact of the matter is that a Windows Server desktop (the lowest cost, most scalable way to do DaaS today) is tuned for server admins, not end users. The Desktop Experience automation feature makes literally hundreds of configuration adjustments to provide a true Windows 7 experience from Windows Server 2008 R2. You can learn more about this feature from John Cattaneo in his blog

2.) Desktop and Multi-tenant Lock down and Security – On a shared server environment, there are dozens of best practices for ensuring that users cannot make changes or access certain features that might cause issues. For example, you don’t want users to be able to use the Task Manager, or shut down the server, or see other tenants. The Automation Pack configures the lock down on individual desktops as well as for multitenant environments.

3.) Farm Deployment – In service provider environments, you need to be able to add capacity quickly and consistently. Doing it manually takes a lot of time and introduces the possibility of human error. The Automation Pack helps deploy XenApp servers in 70% less time, and exactly the same way every time.

So there you have it – highly scalable hosted shared desktops on Windows Server 2008 R2, with a familiar Windows 7 desktop experience – and the automation tools to lock them down and stand them up quickly and consistently. If you’re a Citrix partner, log in to MyCitrix to get the Service Provider Automation Pack today!