Hey there! I just wanted to quickly highlight a few things happening in my (Citrix) world right now.

We changed the default graphics codec in XenApp/XenDesktop 7.9. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this one. I have always thought—ever since we debuted Thinwire non-H.264 mode (i.e. “Thinwire Plus”) in 7.6.3—that it should be the default graphics mode instead of the CPU-intensive Thinwire H.264 mode (i.e. “H.264”). There is certainly a time and a place for H.264 (you really need the high frame rate or you have a very graphics-hungry app), but I was saying in London, during my BriForum session, that Thinwire Plus should really be the default and is suitable for 80%+ of the apps, workloads or use cases out there today.

Congrats to our Product team for making this change and I recommend Muhammad’s article to learn more about why we made the switch. One gotcha – if you upgrade to 7.9 from a previous version, you still need to manually tweak the graphics policy to ensure it’s using Thinwire Plus instead of H.264.

XenMobile Deployment Handbook. As Kirill Tatarinov shared on our last call with investors, we’ve made some great strides with the XenMobile product lately. And our Consulting team has been heavily involved in documenting some of the key items that make a XenMobile deployment consistently successful. What are those items and where can you find them?  Right in the XenMobile Deployment Handbook of course! It’s a must-read if you’re embarking on that Mobility journey.

XenDesktop Design Handbook. Speaking of handbooks, do you miss our XenDesktop or VDI Design Handbook? I know I do! It was one of the first resources I would point our customers and partners to. And it hasn’t received a true update in a couple years—a veritbale Ice Age in this business. Dan Feller already broke the big news, but I’m happy to report that our Consulting Architecture Team is teaming up with Dan to give it a big makeover. So, give us a month or two and we’ll be sure to announce when we publish the new version.

Density for Dummies. That’s the title of the next article I’m working on. And if you were at ServTech last week in Miami, you already got a sneak peak of what this is all about. The net-net is that I came up with some very simple “rules” to calculate XenApp or XenDesktop user density given the number of physical cores in a box. So you can always easily answer “how many users or VMs can I get on a box?” I’ll share the methodology and some real-world examples to back up my proposed claim in my next article in a couple weeks, so stay tuned.

Top 10 Pitfalls of Webinars. One of my mentees (and a true rising star in CCS), Ryan McClure, will be doing a couple of webinars on the “Top 10 Pitfalls and How to Avoid them” in both Virtualization and Mobility. I’ve published similar lists in the past (here and here), but Ryan is going to update them and give them his own spin. Be sure to register for both and tune in to learn what our CCS team is running into in the field on our largest XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile deployments in the world. I’ll bet you a beer you’ll learn something valuable and there is nothing better than free Consulting. Virtualization and Mobility registration links are here and here.

LTSR CU1. I still think a lot of people missed this a couple months ago, but we released our first CU for the 7.6.3 LTSR version. This CU contains over 300 bug fixes and is a must-deploy if you standardized on 7.6.3 or the LTSR track.

ARA -> XenApp “express”.  We ended last week with a fairly major announcement – Microsoft will be winding down Azure RemoteApp (ARA) and it will be replaced by something we’re calling XenApp “express” in the future.  This new service will be delivered via Citrix Cloud and we’ll have a public Tech Preview later this year so you can take it for a test drive.  And our CEO is fully committed to making this happen which is great news for everyone.

Until next time,

Nick Rintalan, Lead Architect & Director of Enterprise Architecture – Americas, CCS

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