With the introduction of Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp 7.6 Feature Pack 2, not to mention Feature Pack 3 for Citrix XenApp 6.5, new, industry-defining hosted application and desktop capabilities are now available to Citrix Service Providers and their subscribers.  

Coupled with today’s release of critical multi-tenant enabling technologies like App Orchestration 2.6, CloudPortal Services Manager Hosted Apps and Desktops Service 11.5.3, state of the art XenApp and XenDesktop based Desktops-as-a-Service solutions can now be offered to an even broader set of use cases with even greater efficiency and resiliency than in previous releases.

Ultimately, this combination of best experience end user computing for subscribers with multi-tenant cloud datacenter management and performance optimizations for service providers, will lead to better price points for prospective tenants while enabling lower costs of service delivery for providers.

Let’s look at some of these latest features and their benefits to Citrix Service Providers’ Desktops-as-a-Service offerings.

Providing state-of-the-art user experience for more use cases with the new XenApp and XenDesktop feature packs:

The latest feature pack releases for both the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 and XenApp 6.5 product versions have enabled both versions to provide:

  • Updated Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack *:Deliver an even broader portfolio of services using Citrix HDX technologies with enhanced user experience for Skype for Business, Microsoft Lync and Office 365 on Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • New Linux Desktops*:Adds Linux server-based desktops to the Citrix Service Provider portfolio of desktop offerings.
  • Vipin Borkar’s blog post does a great job of summing up this exciting new XenDesktop Flexcast model.
  • New SmartAuditor Session Recording* – Enables enhanced self-service security and auditing services delivery for government or other regulated businesses requiring recorded user sessions. 
  • Updated StoreFront 3.0: App stores can now be customized to reflect either service provider or tenant branded offerings for Windows, mobile, web and SaaS apps**.  It doesn’t stop there, the customization possibilities run deep into help desk integration and offering status alerts to users and more!
    • For a technical overview of what is new in Citrix StoreFront 3.0 check out this blog post by Feng Huang.
    • Richard Hayton has also provided a great set of examples in this blog series
  • Updated Citrix Receivers:Further simplify the user experience by aggregating both Windows and mobile apps from a single point with the new Citrix receivers — a simple, familiar client for all Windows and mobile apps.  As you can see, the combination of these latest receivers and StoreFront 3.0 presents many powerful new opportunities for service providers and their subscribers.
    • Here’s a great demo of that combination as presented by Mark Templeton and Richard Hayton at Synergy 2015.
  • New! Citrix X1 Mouse compatibility: Enables the delivery of the complete Windows experience to Apple iPad and iPhone devices when used with the Citrix X1 Mouse (sold separately) — enabling physical mouse precision needed for Windows apps and desktops accessed via Citrix Receiver.
  • XenApp 6.5 Feature Pack 3:
    • New! Citrix Director: Enables integrated monitoring of XenApp 6.5 Farms within the XenApp or XenDesktop 7.6 Feature Pack 2 Service Provider control plane.
    • HDX RealTime Optimization Pack:  Enable the same optimizations for both your XenApp 7.6 Feature Pack and XenApp 6.5 Feature Pack3 based desktops and applications.
    • A new XenApp 6.5 Feature Pack 3 blog from Carisa Stringer details what’s new
  • Learn more and download about XenApp 7.6 Feature Packs here

    Learn more and download XenDesktop 7.6 Feature Packs here

    Upgraded Premium features are critical to Citrix Service Provider implementations:

    The upgraded capabilities of the latest feature packs, especially Citrix Receiver and StoreFront 3.0 bring new innovations for subscriber experience across the entire hosted apps and desktops solutions stack.  These enhanced performance, security, usability and customization capabilities are also applicable to premium features that Citrix Service Providers have been using to deliver more cost effective services to a broadening set of use cases and market opportunities.

    • Server VDI*:  As the primary desktop delivery model in the public subscription based DaaS market, server VDI is a must have capability for successful service providers.
    • Provisioning Services*:  Significant savings with regards to solution storage costs can be achieved through the use of the latest version of Citrix Provisioning Services.  With this platform capability providers can greatly reduce their life-cycle management overhead while also decreasing hosted app and desktop IOPs requirements by as much as 90%.  Click here to see a 5 minute video demonstration of these infrastructure and end user benefits.
    • AppDNA*:  This comprehensive application on-boarding assessment and integrated app packaging system can reduce the time and resources required to prepare applications for virtualized delivery within business-ready desktop services.  Click here to see a 10 minute video demonstration of this critical on-boarding system.
    • EdgeSight*:  End to end and historical monitoring and alerts increases a service provider’s ability to proactively measure and meet SLA requirements.
    • SmartAccess*:  Enables Citrix Service Providers to maintain tight control over security and user experience as it relates to per-tenant SLAs.
    • XenServer*:  The inclusion of our industry leading Hyper-Visor and VMM solution enables service providers to scale out their infrastructure without having to invest in 3rd party virtualization licenses.
    • App Orchestration*:  Enables automated tenant provisioning and capacity adjustment of Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp control plane components and session hosts across multiple isolation models.

    The powerful combination of premium datacenter capabilities like Citrix App Orchestration and XenServer integrated provisioning enables efficient automation of multi-tenant virtual infrastructure and offerings, out of the box with no additional license cost.

    Daniel L’Homedieu has posted a blog that goes into more detail on “What’s New” in App Orchestration 2.6.
    CloudPortal Services Manager Hosted Apps and Desktops Release***
    New CloudPortal Services Manager innovations are also being made available with this exciting wave of releases. Some highlights are:

    • Provisioning high quality multi-tenant app and desktop offerings for service provider scale
    • Highly available and fault tolerate deployments
    • Support for the latest XenDesktop 7.6 features and benefits

    Learn more about the latest release of CloudPortal Service Manager [here]

    Aaron Lister has posted a blog on what’s new CloudPortal Services Manager: /blogs/?p=174213024

    Be sure to join our July 23webinar:  Available Today – New Technologies and Updates for Citrix Service Providers https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4305979272019896577

    Much more detail regarding all of these features and capabilities can be found in the product documentation at http://docs.citrix.com

    * Available through the Citrix Service Provider XenDesktop Premium license

    ** Mobile, web and SaaS app capabilities require an appropriate Citrix XenMobile Citrix Service Provider license

    *** CloudPortal Services Manager requires an appropriate CloudPortal Services Manager Citrix Service Provider license