In Part 1 of this 2 part blog on why Service Providers should be migrating to XenApp 6.5, I focused on Receiver & HDX. In this blog I will look at the management enhancements in XenApp 6.5 that help Service Providers

  1. XenApp policies have been enhanced to include settings like farm membership, zone and load evaluators. This should further help in automating and dynamically changing farm configuration
  2. Application Streaming now supports VHD file format minimizing disk I/O and negating disk space (VDI only) and this is great if you are doing pooled VDI desktops. Also, there is support for AppHub white list and performance improvements for file opening and sandbox creation
  3. XenApp 6.5 comes with a GUI based migration tool for migrating from old farms (XenApp 5, 6 & 6.5) to new XenApp 6.5 farm. This tool will migrate applications, application & server folders, load evaluators, policies, server & farm settings, farm administrators, session printers and health monitoring & recovery tests. Remember that XenApp 6.5 install does not support in place upgrade of servers. You should anyhow be using PVS & application virtualization technologies to manage server images and apps. But if you are not and want to use your existing XenApp 6 server images, you can use this tool to do an in place upgrade
  4. Power & Capacity Management feature now supports Hyper-V & ESX along with new features like AD policy integration for agent configuration, better power & state tracking, enhanced logon control & session draining. Also, we enhanced System Center Configuration Manager connector to support Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to deliver updates retrieved from Microsoft, a revamped configuration wizard to simplify the setup process, support for Configuration Manager R3 & support for SSL connectivity to components.
  5. Desktop Director now supports XenApp! Use Desktop Director to search for real time information across XenApp farms to see detailed information on user sessions, server details, applications running, policies including SmartAccess policies applied to the session, windows profile details, detailed HDX information etc. This is a great tool for your help desk staff and they can even take quick actions like terminate or disconnect a session or just send a message to the user.

And in case you missed it, click here for a recording of the webinar What’s new for Citrix Service Providers in XenApp 6.5 and XenDesktop 5.5