For the first time ever, Citrix has released two major product updates on the same day: XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13 and XenServer 7.1This is a major milestone in Citrix history and showcased the tight integration of XenServer features and functionality with XenApp and XenDesktop.  As a part of the Product Marketing team that supports XenApp, XenDesktop and XenServer, I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on some of the key features that XenServer 7.1 released that secure and enhance the performance of XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13.

Extending XenApp & XenDesktop Integration

Significantly accelerate Citrix Provisioning Services performance with XenServer

Introducing provisioning that results in up to 25% faster desktop boot up times, up to 98% lower network bandwidth usage, and up to 93% reduced PVS CPU usage. PVS, available to XenApp Platinum and all XenDesktop customers, together with XenServer PVS-Accelerator, increases solution scalability through architecture simplification, which means fewer PVS servers are now required to simultaneously boot the same number or more desktops. Only available with XenServer, PVS-Accelerator simplifies and improves the performance of Provisioning Services (PVS), the de facto large enterprise choice for XenApp/XenDesktop image deployment, and further solidifies XenServer as the most integrated hypervisor for XenApp and XenDesktop.

Announcing the first-ever XenServer Long Term Service Release to better align with XenApp and XenDesktop

XenServer 7.1 offers its first-ever Long Term Service Release (LTSR), which provides more flexibility and choice in how you adopt new XenServer functionality while giving you greater predictability for maintaining and managing the support of your environment. By making this XenServer release an LTSR, you are eligible for up to 10 years of support (5 years mainstream support and 5 years of extended support). XenServer is the only hypervisor to have product lifecycle dates fully aligned with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, which radically simplifies infrastructure maintenance for customers choosing to deploy an end-to-end Citrix workspace solution.

All the benefits of XenServer Enterprise available to all XenApp and XenDesktop deployments

XenApp and XenDesktop customers are entitled to all of the features of XenServer Enterprise edition, regardless of their XenApp or XenDesktop license type. Previously, only XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum customers were eligible for the in-memory read caching feature, which provides significant performance benefits when using Machine Creation Services (MCS). Now, this feature is available to all XenApp and XenDesktop customers; XenServer simply recognizes your XenApp or XenDesktop licenses and unlocks the full security and performance capabilities of XenServer 7.1.

Leverage the benefits of XenServer 7.1 with Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI)

Nutanix customers can now take advantage of unique XenServer features, such as provisioning services, high performance graphics virtualization using NVIDIA GRID vGPU, the enhanced security provided by XenServer’s Direct Inspect APIs, and more. You can now choose Nutanix HCI with XenServer for XenApp and XenDesktop while leveraging these unique integration benefits and avoiding the vTax.

Availability & Entitlements

If you’ve not tried XenServer before, a 90 day trial is available, and plenty of help is available in the XenServer resource library to get you started.

Check out the XenServer What’s New page for more information on all of the new features of XenServer 7.1!

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