Yesterday you might have seen Scott Swanburg’s blog about why XenApp 6.5 is important for the Citrix Service Providers and their hosting businesses. In this 2 part blog I will review why it is important from a technical perspective and why I think Citrix Service Providers should start planning to migrate to XenApp 6.5.

  1. Any device story just got better – In addition to new Citrix Receivers forGoogle Chrome OS, HP WebOS and RIM PlayBook, we have a brand new completely re-architected Windows Citrix Receiver that just screams! This high performance multi-threaded Receiver provides up to 3X faster performance and enables true multi-tasking when delivering desktops, applications and rich media content. It does this by fully leveraging the processing speed and all the available bandwidth on the client.
  2. Best HDX release. Period – This release is packed with HDX features for both hosted shared desktops as well as VDI desktops. Since most Service Providers are using hosted shared desktops to deliver a rich Windows 7 like desktop experience, these are the following features that you need to look at:
    • WAN and Linux support for HDX Flash Redirection – How aboutenabling your customers to watch HD Flash videos over WAN type connection with up to 300ms RTL! And do it not only with Windows Receiver but also with Linux Receiver.
    • Enable port based QOS with Multi-stream ICA – To provide the best possible experience for your desktop and app users, you now have the ability to split ICA traffic into multiple connections and do port based QOS to granularly control traffic priority.
    • Improved user experience and reduced bandwidth/CPU cycles when hosting Microsoft Office – Most modern applications like Microsoft office use new graphics commands to provide a rich visual experience. We now have enhanced support for these graphics commands reducing bandwidth consumption by up to 25% as well as reduce server CPU cycles. Any Citrix Service Provider who hosts Microsoft Office 2007 or greater should be using this release as it not only improves user experience but also reduces bandwidth and CPU consumption.
    • Enhanced A/V experience – Features like audio jitter buffering, plug-n-play for multiple audio devices, enhanced codes for high resolution images (e.g. desktop backgrounds) and dynamic windows preview for Aero experience, you can deliver a Hi-Def desktop experience for your users.
  3. Instant App Startup – If you are looking to differentiate your Windows SaaS business, this is one feature you need to turn on. This enables applications to be launched in 1-2 seconds instead of many seconds or minutes. You can do this by pre-launching sessions for certain users or applications. You also can let sessions linger after all applications are closed to enable fast launch of subsequent applications. And as an admin you have full control of these user session features using Citrix policies.
  4. Service Provider Automation Pack is now integrated into XenApp 6.5 to enable Service Providers to quickly set up an entire XenApp farm infrastructure to deliver a Windows 7 like desktop experience. Download the Service Provider Automation Pack here.
  5. User/Device license enforcement for XenApp – Since most Service Providers are on subscription based licenses, you might wonder why you would care about this feature. But by turning on user/device based license enforcement in XenApp, you now have the ability to easily extract XenApp usage to help you with your month end reporting of XenApp license usage. And we released the Citrix Service Provider License Reporting Tool to extract that usage information for your reporting needs.

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for our next webinar– What’s new for Citrix Service Providers in XenApp 6.5 and XenDesktop 5.5 on Wednesday September 14th at 11:00 AM EST. Click here to register today