Citrix recently announced the release of the latest version of Licensing Server a couple of weeks.  Internally called Project Salsa, this version of Citrix Licensing contains a host of new capabilities for most of our customers, but I’m particularly excited about a couple of items that deserve special mention: Citrix Call Home and the Customer Experience Improvement Program.

Citrix has been focusing on improving the user experience and supportability (yes, thats a word) of all of our products.  With the understanding that you cant improve until you have data, we created the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) to report data from installations and tell us what is working and what needs some work. This data is collected anonymously and transmitted to Citrix securely. Ultimately, there is a lot of long-term customer value (thats you) because Citrix (us) is able to make products that are more robust, stable and scalable.

Not convinced?  Here’s an example of how this all came together. You may have seen a focus on XenServer again recently. Well, this is a direct result of CEIP data from XenDesktop environments showing that there are a high number of sites that use XenServer. Citrix is now working hard to introduce and improve these products to help customers take advantage of this setup.

So, what does this mean for License Server? Truth be told, we don’t know….YET!  If enough customers enroll in CEIP, we’ll soon get information on how to make the product even better, faster, and maybe find out how we should be changing to make this even more valuable to you.

You may recall I mentioned two exciting enhancements in the instrumentation space for Salsa. Yes, we also included Citrix Call Home too. NetScaler customers may be familiar with Call Home, after all its been around for a couple of years now.

Where CEIP is an anonymous feed of data to Citrix, Call Home is a diagnostic feed. If you enroll in Call Home (and you always have a choice to enroll for either of these features), your License Server will periodically reach out to Citrix Insight Services and perform a health check on itself. This means that you will get a weekly email alert for your License Server on the latest patches, security fixes, mis-configurations, or other optimizations available for your License Server. As a former consultant, I know that how often License Server fixes get overlooked…and how frequently those can result in very expensive calls to support or Citrix Consulting to get fixed. Now, there’s an opportunity to quickly and easily resolve these issues proactively before an outage situation is encountered. The plugin count is low right now, but there’s a lot of momentum and the number of items being scanned by CIS is growing weekly.

We encourage you to check out the latest version of Citrix Licensing not only to support products that need V6 licensing, rather also to take advantage of CEIP and Call Home. Citrix is committed to improving our products based on actual data, so the more people that sign up, the faster we can accomplish that goal. Remember what we were taught when we were kids? Its good to share!