Citrix Summit 2016 is underway in Las Vegas and it’s teeming with exciting news and intensive technical, sales and business training around new products, proven solutions and growth opportunities.

This blog post focuses on rolling up today’s keynote announcements that specifically add new value to XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum editions – and by extension, the Citrix Workspace Suite. Collectively, they raise the bar even higher on simplifying the management and delivery of apps, and monitoring and optimizing app, desktop and user performance, and provide compelling reasons to upgrade to our most value-packed edition ever.

New SCOM Management Packs for Citrix Full Stack Monitoring

To extend the monitoring capabilities of Citrix delivery infrastructure end-to-end and tighten integration with Microsoft products, Citrix has acquired the Citrix-specific management pack (MP) technology from Comtrade (read Comtrade’s press release ). Comtrade—a Citrix Ready Premier member and Microsoft Gold ISV Partner—is a recognized provider of enterprise application and infrastructure management solutions that bring native integration to Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). Their management products have been widely used by hundreds of customers worldwide for close to a decade to bridge the gap between Microsoft SCOM and business critical IT solutions.

The add-on packs for SCOM listed below will be exclusively available from Citrix, and an entitlement to XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum customers with active Subscription Advantage (SA) or Software Maintenance (SWM) at no extra cost. They will be available for download on in Q1.

•     XenApp

•     XenDesktop

•     XenServer

•     StoreFront

•     Web Interface

•     Provisioning Services

•     License Server

•     NetScaler

•     CloudBridge

These SCOM add-ons unify monitoring of your XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure with the rest of your IT infrastructure, allowing for a true end-to-end management from a single console. One of the key advantages of these management packs is their ease of use. If you know how to use Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, you already know how to operate these management packs.

SCOM Packs Complement Citrix Director and Offer Additional Value

The SCOM packs integrate Director’s help desk capabilities and add additional detail for admins to monitor their infrastructure and workloads—all from a single pane of glass. And the latest version of Director can also aggregate SCOM alerts into the helpdesk dashboard for enhanced troubleshooting. Additional value using SCOM packs with Director include:

  • End-to-end Citrix infrastructure monitoring including XenApp, XenDesktop, StoreFront, Web Interface, Provisioning Services, License Server, XenServer, NetScaler and CloudBridge
  • Aggregate health overviews across multiple sites and versions with SLA dashboards
  • Advanced monitoring of applications, delivery groups and sites
  • Advanced user experience monitoring, with expanded alerts, for logon and session performance
  • Launch Director within the management pack GUI to drill into user sessions from SCOM alerts
  • Topology views with detailed relational information

Citrix also acquired the XenMobile and ShareFile management packs from Comtrade, and more information about those will be forthcoming after we evaluate and finalize our packaging options.

AppDNA for AppDisk

New AppDisk technology, which will be part of the Q1 2016 release of XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8, will allow administrators to package and manage applications independent of their master desktop and server OS image—thus reducing the number of golden images to manage, and making it easier to install or update applications. This is exciting technology that can save a lot of effort in managing images, and the best part is … AppDisk will be included in ALL editions of XenApp and XenDesktop!

So what’s in it for customers of Platinum edition? The Platinum edition lets you use AppDNA—directly in the Studio console—to validate and remediate app compatibility issues within an AppDisk layer, between AppDisk layers, and with the master image OS underlying any number of AppDisk layers. The app analytics can help save as much as 90% of the time spent on validating and re-validating applications and layers.

Director Proactive Notification and Alerting

Director is the help desk console for XenApp and XenDesktop where admins can do real-time monitoring and troubleshooting of their end-user sessions. With the , Platinum-level customers can set up email and text notifications for application usage reports, and alerts of error conditions or excessive usage, making it easier to contain issues before they impact the entire organization. The notification and alerting feature enables IT admins to keep a constant pulse on their environment without needing to be in front of the Director console.

Self-Service Password Reset

Did you know that 20-30% of all help desk calls are password reset related? And that it costs about $70 for every call? Enabling users to reset their own password reduces the number of help desk calls and frees up time for support staff to focus on other important tasks. It also improves end user satisfaction, as users can resolve password issues on their own in a matter of seconds and access their apps without delay.

Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) – a feature that we’ve supported in the past – is making a return to Platinum edition. It’s been re-architected for the FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA) and will be a new Platinum feature in StoreFront 3.5 (part of the XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8 release in Q1 2016). Platinum customers who use and value SSPR will soon be able to migrate from Web Interface to StoreFront and reap the benefits of the many customizable features StoreFront has to offer.

Talk with your Citrix representative about taking advantage of these new Platinum value features.