While the flexibility of accessing a virtual app from any device greatly simplifies your ability to work from anywhere, the virtual application launch process is much different than a locally installed application. At Citrix, we are committed to delivering the best possible user experience and that means getting a virtual app to function at the speed of a locally installed app.

That’s why we’re introducing Session Manager, the latest addition to Citrix Cloud Labs, which enables you to improve application launch performance by pre-launching anonymous sessions when using the Citrix Cloud XenApp and XenDesktop service.

Benchmarking tests have shown a marked improvement when apps are pre-launched. The simple cloud-based UI allows you to easily configure pre-launch for anonymous sessions hosted on XenApp and XenDesktop service.

Provide ready-to-use apps through anonymous sessions

Over the years, we have perfected two key technologies to help accelerate the application launch process:

  • Pre-Launch. With pre-launch, an authenticated user’s application is launched before an employee even sits down in their chair. Pre-launch executes the launch sequence in advance, so that the virtual application is already running and a user is instantly connected to that application for instant access. Since you had to be an Active Directory authenticated user, pre-launch was restricted to Receiver for Windows users, so it could leverage their local Windows AD account.
  • Anonymous Sessions. In cases where the application itself handles authentication, anonymous application launch bypasses the XenApp/XenDesktop user authentication process and gives instant access to the virtual application where user authentication is handled within the app, typically outside of Active Directory.

Now with the new Session Manager service in Citrix Labs, we are combining the power of both pre-launch and anonymous technologies into one.

When to pre-launch apps using anonymous sessions

Anonymous sessions are often used in healthcare environments or in kiosks that have their own security and user management. In these cases, users do not need to log in to Citrix Receiver, but rather use a combination of network security and authentication within the application. Session Manager cuts down on the application launch time by pre-launching these select apps and instantly connecting the user to the app interface. This provides improved performance, especially during logon storms, while maintaining the same security as standard anonymous sessions.

How to Get Started

The Session Manager Lab works in conjunction with the XenApp and XenDesktop Service. If you do not yet have the XenApp and XenDesktop service, you can request a trial through Citrix Cloud.

Then there are four easy steps to getting started with the Session Manager Labs service.

  1. Connect a cloud-hosted StoreFront to your NetScaler Gateway
  2. Create an anonymous site in your on-premises StoreFront
  3. Create an anonymous Delivery Group
  4. Add apps to the anonymous Delivery Group

The Session Manager Lab service allows you to enable or disable pre-launch on specific anonymous delivery groups. This is unique from the pre-launch feature available through XenApp with Receiver for Windows, where applications can be pre-launched for authenticated users utilizing their local Windows AD credentials.

Now with Session Manager you can access a pre-launched, anonymous session from any Receiver—not just from Windows. With the new lab, you can configure how many sessions should exist per server in the Delivery Group, including both active sessions with users connected and pre-launched sessions. For example, if there are 2 VDAs (i.e. XenApp servers) with 10 sessions configured for each VDA, there will be 20 sessions in the Delivery Group. When a user logs in and out, there would then be 19 sessions and the session manager knows to refill the Delivery Group with one more pre-launched session. When a user disconnects from the session, they are automatically logged off, preventing any accidental connections from unintended users. Note that active users will get priority over a pre-launch session, so no need to worry about licensing conflicts. Once the Delivery Groups are set up, you can select the app that should be pre-launched in that Delivery Group.


Try it in Citrix Labs Today

Ready to try out Session Manager? Log into http://citrix.cloud.com and choose “Labs” from the upper-left menu to get started. We strive to make virtual apps just as fast and efficient as those that are locally installed. Please help us to continuously improve by sharing your feedback in the Citrix Discussions Forum.

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