On March 1st, we hosted the What’s New and What’s Coming with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Webinar.

If you weren’t able to attend, I highly recommend watching the on-demand recording. We have over one hour, jam-packed with content, on the latest features available in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.12 and 7.13, as well as program and service updates, Q+A and more.

As is always the case with these webinars, we received a number of great questions from our attendees. Aside from the few that we had time to answer on the webinar, we went through all the questions, consolidated them and came up with the below FAQ that we hope you’ll find useful. Since these releases are focused on enhancing both the user and administrative experience, we’ve grouped the questions into these two categories.

User Experience

What Receiver versions are required to take advantage of the latest HDX user experience features?

Citrix high-performance Adaptive Transport Technology requires Receiver for Windows 4.7, Receiver for Mac 12.5 or Receiver for iOS 7.2 or later. Further details are at http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-13/hdx/adaptive-transport.html. In addition, our new Thinwire bandwidth improvements for graphics that reduces bandwidth consumption by up to 60%is available on a broad range of Receiver versions and platforms making it an automatic benefit of moving to XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13.

What part of server scalability is improved with the HDX display protocol enhancements? Do the HDX display enhancements use more CPU processing on the Citrix hosts?

Internal scalability testing revealed 6% more users on Windows Server 2016 VDAs. CPU usage is typically the same or lower than it was in previous releases. For more details, refer to https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2017/01/11/hdx-next-cuts-bandwidth-by-up-to-60-yes-sixty-percent/.

Is there a list of specialty USB tablets that are now supported within XenApp?

XenApp 7.13 introduced support for USB tablets within XenApp sessions that make use of a mouse device. The Wacom PTH-651 and Wacom DTU-1031 were both tested (note that the DTU-1031 did not pass on Windows Server 2016 due to a limitation of Wacom’s driver). For more information on certified devices, please refer to the Citrix Ready site at www.citrix.com/ready.

Can I use an Azure NV-Series VM with my own on-premises deployment?

Yes. Azure NV-Series VMs powered by NVIDIA GRID cards for handling graphical workloads are supported when provisioning machines from an on-premise deployment.

Does StoreFront 3.9 allow Receiver for HTML5 to work in Firefox?

Yes. The Receiver for HTML5 supports a variety of browsers and platforms. Refer to https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/receiver/html5/2-3/system-requirements.html for additional details.

Can the AMD GPUs handle 3D Linux applications?

HDX 3D Pro for non-NVIDIA GRID cards is now available as a tech preview with the Linux VDA 7.13. Refer to https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2017/03/08/now-get-seamless-apps-with-citrix-linux-vda-7-13/ for additional details.

Administrative Experience

How is the size of XenServer RAM cache determined? Is it configurable? What happens if it fills up?  How long do files remain in the RAM cache? How can I monitor the RAM cache (capacity alerts, usage reports, hit rate…)?

The PVS-Accelerator Cache on each XenServer is configurable. You can use physical RAM from the Dom0 control domain and/or a storage repository. You can purge the cache or re-adjust the cache size if needed. RAM cache is volatile so it will persist only until host reboot though disk cache is more persistent. Cache status will be shown in XenServer and there are several metrics.
For more info on PVS-Accelerator in XenServer, refer to the detailed XenServer 7.1 Administrator’s Guide on our documentation site.
Is PVS-Accelerator exclusive for XenServer?

Yes, PVS-Accelerator is an exclusive feature for XenServer 7.1 or later.

What types of workloads is PVS-Accelerator intended for? Both server and desktop VDAs? Any specific considerations?

PVS-Accelerator will help with both server and desktop workloads. There is a greater benefit realized with desktop workloads compared to server workloads for the same user density, since desktop workloads are 1-to-1 and would require much more streaming traffic from a Provisioning Services (PVS) Server without PVS-Accelerator compared to a smaller number of servers.

If we already have Red Hat Satellite subscription, then what would be the use of leveraging Linux VDAs with Provisioning Services (PVS)?

While Red Hat Satellite and other third party solutions can be used to provision Linux machines for users to access within XenApp and XenDesktop, using PVS for provisioning provides specific advantages, including handling both persistent and non-persistent images, comprehensive lifecycle management through versioning, and tighter overall integration with XenApp and XenDesktop.

What version will be the next XenApp and XenDesktop Long Term Service Release (LTSR) and what timeframe are we targeting? Will it still include support for Windows Server 2008 R2?

Versioning for the next LTSR is still TBD; however, we are targeting Q3 of 2017. View our release schedule at: https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2017/02/01/xenapp-and-xendesktop-2017-release-schedule/. We are targeting support for Windows Server 2008 R2 for VDAs, but nothing is committed at this time.

How long can a Controller operate in outage mode with Local Host Cache?

There is no imposed time limit for operating in outage mode with Local Host Cache; however, it is important that admins are aware when a site enters this mode and work to restore normal operation as quickly as possible.

What migration options are available from XenApp 6.5 to XenApp 7.x?

There are several options for migrating to XenApp 7.x including both guided and independent ones. Refer to https://www.citrix.com/products/xenapp-xendesktop/upgrade.html for details.

How do on-premise feature levels (e.g. Enterprise and Platinum) translate over when using Citrix Cloud either purely in the cloud or in a hybrid fashion?

The XenApp & XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud is equivalent to a XenDesktop Platinum license. This means that you are entitled to all features within the offering regardless of whether you deploy resources in the cloud, on-prem, or in a hybrid fashion. Using an on-prem deployment of XenApp & XenDesktop with an edition of Enterprise or Platinum, you can deploy resources in a cloud location such as Azure. This is outside the context of Citrix Cloud, however, overall features are determined by your edition.

What versions of SNMP does Director support?

SNMP version 2 and later is supported. Refer to http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-13/director/alerts-notifications.html#par_anchortitle_6b0f for details.

Can you use Director 7.13 to monitor multiple sites at various levels including a site at version 7.6?

Yes. Director 7.13 can be used to monitor multiple sites as required including sites at various levels and even XenApp 6.5. It is important to note, however, that earlier site versions will not have the same overall features and data collection capabilities within Director as 7.13 has.

If the config for the NetScaler Gateway changes, will a new export and import to StoreFront be possible or will this need to be manually done?
Yes. If the NetScaler Gateway config changes, simply re-export it to a file and then re-import it to StoreFront. The StoreFront Console will prompt you on if you wish to override the existing config.

Is it possible to combine or otherwise use both my XenApp and XenDesktop licenses within a site?

At this time, each site must have a specific product type and edition type.

When will ICA file functionality come to XenApp 7.x?

The ability to generate custom ICA launch files for making connections to specific servers with given parameters is considered a legacy function. The recommended approach with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.x is to use AppGroups as well as StoreFront settings and customizations as required. This approach provides better control, flexibility and security.

What’s the point of tagging within the same Delivery Group, when theoretically you could just create a Delivery Group per server or application subset and isolate that way opposed to the tagging?

Tagging functionality within the same Delivery Group allows us to publish resources to subsets of machines including individual servers where we otherwise would have to create multiple published resources and manage the entities as separate Delivery Groups. More detail including example scenarios is available at https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2016/12/14/appgroups-tagging-and-a-little-more-tagging/ and https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2016/12/27/worker-groups-in-xenapp-and-xendesktop-7-12/.

With StoreFront 3.9, SAML authentication is available. However, can we do SAML authentication if we are using F5 Big-IP instead of NetScaler?

This has not been tested but any IdP that uses SAML 2.0 should work in this scenario.

Does XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13 support 7.5 VDAs for the application servers?

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13 does support earlier versions of the VDA including 7.5 and all other 7.x versions; however, there may be compatibility issues at varying levels and Citrix recommends to have matching site and VDA versions wherever possible.

How can we handle publishing 32-bit apps with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13?

Most 32-bit apps will run fine within a 64-bit server operating system, Citrix AppDNA can also assist with app compatibility assessment. For legacy apps that specifically require a 32-bit OS, the approach would be to publish it as a VM-hosted app or use VDI with a 32-bit desktop OS such as Windows 7.

Be sure to watch our recent webinar, “What’s New and What’s Coming with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop,” on-demand.

If you don’t have XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13, we encourage you download 7.13 today.

We appreciate all of your questions and feedback. If you have any more questions that we haven’t addressed, please leave a comment below.