After 40 days of exciting Tech Preview journey on VDI-in-a-Box Project Curacao, today we released VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 version to the web. Designed for desktop IT admins, VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 once again keeps its promise to simplify desktop management and reduce the costs of delivering virtual desktops. Here is the run down of new and enhanced features and why they matter to you.

Did you say Windows support?

We got it covered. In fact, we have never been more integrated with the latest and Windows technologies.

  • VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 delivers better than local experience by providing HDX connections to Windows 8 virtual desktops. This is the same HDX component between VDI-in-a-Box and XenDesktop 7. It also supports DirectX 3D based applications with improved video quality and bandwidth efficiency.
  • VDI-in-a-Box offers the best of both worlds: users get personalized desktops for their applications, configurations and data, while Windows desktop admins manage a single master image. With 5.3 release, personal desktops are now available on latest Windows OS, both Windows 7 and 8.
  • Windows Server 2012 VHDX virtual file format is now supported natively, without conversion. So you can take advantage of greater scalability and data protection of the new VHDX format.

With the support for latest Windows technologies in your virtualized environment, VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 extends the Citrix vision of enabling Service Providers to offer Windows-as-a-Service by adding a simple yet highly cost-effective VDI option based on Citrix VDI-in-a-Box to the already successful Citrix Service Provider (CSP) portfolio of hosted-shared desktops with XenApp, and enterprise-class desktop virtualization with XenDesktop.

What about Citrix cross-product integration?

You bet. VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 offers better supportability with various Citrix products including XenServer, NetScaler Access Gateway, Citrix AppController, and more.

  • VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 provides a great end user experience for remote connection with pass-through authentication. Single sign-on capability using NetScaler Access Gateway web interface is now supported, however, this requires Active Directory.
  • Latest XenServer 6.2 hypervisor is now supported with VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 that will help increase the server density and run more virtual desktops. Also, supported are the Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 and VMware vSphere / ESX 5.1. No matter what platform you run, VDI-in-a-Box takes advantage of the best that these platforms have to offer.

  • Integration with AppController, allows VDI-in-a-Box to work seamlessly with your existing XenMobile environment. This provides a secure access to all business resources in one place – Windows, web & SaaS apps; desktops and data.
  • VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 is now compatible withCitrix Universal Print Server. IT no longer needs to install multiple network printer drivers in the golden images any more. Universal Printing requires no driver install in the images, resulting in no driver headaches for the IT and a great printing experience for users.

Want more enhancements?

Sure, we at Citrix are all about enhancing both user and IT experience. VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 offers SSL certification, improved image distribution and log collection, and better end user error messages.

  • With 5.3 release, end users can say good bye to 1030 error messages! Instead, the end user error messages are made very clear with self-service action buttons so that users can troubleshoot connection issues, if they want to, thereby minimizing IT support/admin overload.
  • VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 allows IT to install and manage both trusted and self-signed SSL certificates from the admin console. You will be able to distribute installed certificates to other servers in a grid from the same UI. No need for CLI (command line) and Java keytool any more!
  • The image distribution wizard is now improved with VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 release. The new “wrench” tool icon will help troubleshoot image distribution issues by showing the status and recommended actions. Also, VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 features one-click debug log collection and improved logging for licensing, JGroup, and Hyper-V connector.

That is VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 release in a nut shell. You can also check out these feature blogs for more details:

When we talk to our VDI-in-a-Box customers, they often say VDI couldn’t have been any simpler. VDI-in-a-box is designed for IT organizations with simpler needs, making it easy to deliver centrally managed, personalized virtual desktops securely to any device on any network—all for less than the cost per user of new PCs. With Citrix HDX, users enjoy the same rich, high-definition experience found in enterprise-class Citrix XenDesktop no matter what kind of end point they use.

Download VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 today!