A few months ago at our Synergy event in Barcelona, we announced XenClient 4.5. In late December, the software became generally available.  XenClient 4.5 represents the second major release of the software since Citrix’ acquisition of Virtual Computer – a move we made to accelerate product innovation in client virtualization.

For those of you haven’t looked at XenClient recently, today’s XenClient looks very different than the XenClient of yesterday!  With the availability of XenClient 4.5, client virtualization continues to push forward and make huge strides!  The new XenClient provides:

  • Over 400 devices on the XenClient hardware compatibility list
  • A mature, battle tested management server including a rich set of admin tools and policies and support for remote-office management servers
  • Broader management infrastructure interoperability including support for Hyper-V and Microsoft SCCM
  • Interoperability between the Synchronizer and NetScaler to provide for secure external access

XenClient 4.5 introduces key features and functionalities such as:

Next Generation Global Desktop

  • Supports the latest Ultrabooks and Intel 3rd generation processors
  • Now available in English and 6 other languages for major markets!
  • First phase of Windows 8 support

Expanded Use Cases

  • Enables more enterprise network policies with VLAN tagging
  • NetScaler support for Synchronizer external network access

Increased Performance

  • Dual monitors in dock support
  • Improved hypervisor boot time
  • Import and export VMs directly from the client hypervisor

We have also made some minor updates to some key existing features:

  • The XenClient Dock
  • Follow the display
  • Server Status Dashboard

We’ll be providing deep-dive blogs on many of these new features, but let’s take a look at a few of these product updates…

Dual-Monitor:

Dual-Monitor support as well as docking station support is a common feature request.  It enables users to take advantage of this common multi-monitor configuration to be more productive.  My colleague, Harsh Gupta does a great job at describing the feature in his video blog: “New Display Architecture with XenClient Enterprise 4.5

Windows 8 Support:

XenClient now provides initial basic support for Windows 8 as a guest operating system.  Here is what is supported with the release of XenClient 4.5:

  • PV Tools support
  • Multi-touch support in guest
  • 1024 x 768 resolution
  • Laptop and desktop form factors

In coming releases we will continue to expand our Windows 8 support to include multi-monitor support, broader resolution support, sensor pack enablement (including accelerometer), and multi-touch capabilities in the hypervisor UI to enable tablet and convertible devices.

Localization:

We have and will continue to expand our localization support.  XenClient 4.5 will now support the following languages.

  • XenClient Engine: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese
  • XenClient Synchronizer: English, German

VLAN Tagging:

XenClient 4.5 now has the ability to connect deployed VMs to specific VLANs allowing for network traffic to be segregated by VM.  This feature is managed centrally via the XenClient Synchronizer, therefore enabling a ‘zero touch’ configuration scenario.   This feature is ONLY available when using the XenClient Synchronizer.

NetScaler Support

For information on this, check out my blog post: “Securing External-Facing XenClient Synchronizers with NetScaler”

The Dock

In previous versions of XenClient, the Dock was called the Connect VM and appeared as a VM that could be started and stopped.  The VM entry has been removed in XenClient 4.5.

The Dock can now be started, stopped, and configured in the Engine control panel Dock applet.  The “Enable” checkbox is used to start or stop the Dock.  If the “Show Over All VMs” box is checked, the Dock can be accessed even if a VM is in the foreground.

Once connected to a XenClient Synchronizer, this functionality can be enabled and disabled via a policy.

Although the Dock no longer appears with other VMs on the Engine launcher screen, the Dock is still a VM.

Follow the Display

This added feature enables a new way of assigning USB devices in the XenClient Engine device manager.

The “Follow the Display” option means:

  • The device is automatically assigned to any VM brought to the foreground.
  • The device is unassigned from any VM it was assigned to previously.
  • The device can only be assigned to one VM at any time.

Server Status Dashboard:

XenClient Synchronizer 4.5 introduces an enhanced dashboard summarizing the status of primary and remote Synchronizer servers and is now available in the Synchronizer console.  How?

  1. Expand the “Overview” section.
  2. Open the “Synchronizer” element.
  3. Select the “Servers” element.
  4. Select the “Summary” tab.
  5. The Synchronizer server status dashboard is displayed.

XenClient 4.5 is packed full of great improvements and functionalities that are making client-side virtualization become more feasible for wider array of use cases.

Read more about the release of XenClient 4.5 and watch the announcement video to learn more about this release.  XenClient is a production-ready client virtualization solution with thousands of desktops in deployment today.  We encourage you to try it today by downloading XenClient 4.5.

Join the conversation by connecting with the Citrix XenClient team online!