Citrix recently released XenDesktop/XenApp 7.6 FP3, which includes a new graphics mode and set of technologies called Thinwire Compatibility Mode, also known as Thinwire +. XenDesktop needs to support a wide variety of platforms, especially thin client platforms that often don’t have the processing capacity for high-end graphics and video.

Working closely together, the XenDesktop / XenApp and CloudBridge development teams worked to ensure interoperability between the new Thinwire+ and CloudBridge upon release, so that our customers would continue to benefit from efficient application delivery.

This new mode is designed for the practicalities of customer requirements with highly constrained branch offices and low bandwidth availability. Knowledge workers, using applications like Microsoft Office, customer service and SAP can expect a broad range of client support while further reducing per-session bandwidth requirements. Data compression ratios can exceed 4:1 for typical office applications.

At IMSCAD we have done over 500 deployments of Citrix HDX for XenDesktop and XenApp. Particularly in high latency or jitter networks, CloudBridge WAN Optimisation can prove the magic bullet for remoting demanding interactive graphical and CAD applications. With CloudBridge and HDX graphics together we have delivered production deployments to our customers delivering CAD applications on 200ms+ latency from the USA to Germany ” Adam Jull, CEO, IMSCAD

Integrating HDX technologies into the networking means CloudBridge enables the use of the HDX/ICA protocols way beyond where most protocols would fail, providing:

  • Flow control aiding networks that exhibit high latency, congestion, packet loss and jitter.  Even without compression – flow control optimises your bandwidth usage effectively increasing the bandwidth available to remote applications and removing factors that waste bandwidth (packet drops, collisions and retransmits).
  • Sophisticated compression of data and de-duplication across the session in a Citrix deployment – reducing bandwidth across XenApp farms at scale
    • Initial Microsoft Word testing of the new Thinwire Compatibility mode is showing compression ratios in excess of 4:1 by de-duplication across all user sessions
    • We are seeing improved compression the new mode of about 15% above the legacy Thinwire mode (the default in XA 6.5)
    • On some tests and data types we have achieved compression ratios in excess of 10:1

These improvements mean real bandwidth savings avoiding costly network or hardware upgrades and enhanced user experience. While many vendors are limited to out-of-the-box graphics remoting protocols such as basic H.264 streaming, Citrix has invested in designing protocols such as Thinwire Compatibility from the ground-up to be suitable for WAN-optimisation, compression and deduplication and the practicalities of bandwidth limitations and cost constraints that real customers encounter.

Along with XenDesktop/XenApp 7.6 FP3 we have also shipped a template to aid system administrators configure HDX for Citrix deployment to be optimised for CloudBridge, available here:  Which we recommend CloudBridge customers explore.