Citrix Workspace Environment Management optimizes workspace performance, accelerates application delivery, and enhances environment scalability for XenApp and XenDesktop
It’s been 6 months since the Norskale acquisition and Citrix has been busy integrating the Norskale technology that optimizes workspace performance into the newly branded Citrix Workspace Environment Management (WEM). We’ve welcomed a new Product Manager, Andrew Cresswell, and you can catch Pierre Marmignon, founder of Norskale, at Citrix Synergy 2017 leading an Instructor-led Learning Lab for Citrix Workspace Environment Management.
With a lot of excitement from our customers, I’d like to give you an update on Workspace Environment Management and provide answers to some of your most frequently asked questions. But first, hear the amazing benefits from Hal Lange with Thin Client Computing of his first-hand experience implementing Workspace Environment Management for customers like you:
“We have many customers running Citrix Workspace Environment Management. Regardless of environment size or type, all of our customers have experienced one key outcome: Incredible User Experience. It is not unusual to be called in to help out clients with login time issues, and WEM routinely provides login times of 10-15 seconds, an improvement of 8x or more. WEM can expand the scalability of a typical XenApp server up to 50-60%, not only packing more users in the process, but also actually improving the user experience using the very same hardware, memory, storage, and server image. WEM really is user experience on steroids.” –Hal Lange, Thin Client Computing
That’s a great testament to the value Workspace Environment Management brings to you, our customers. Make plans to check out this Synergy 2017 session for a first-hand customer account on how WEM helped optimize their Citrix deployments.
Now, I’d like to answer some of your most frequently asked questions:
What is Workspace Environment Management and what can it do for me?
Citrix Workspace Environment Management is a software system that simplifies workspace management for XenApp and XenDesktop deployments while optimizing workspace performance – consisting of three main components: Resource Optimization; User Experience Management (UEM); and Transformer. The Resource Optimization component prioritizes processes within the users’ sessions to keep the users’ sessions responsive, even when the resources (CPU, RAM) are maxed. Resource Optimization has proven to increase user density by up to 80%, improving user experience while increasing server hardware ROI. The User Experience Management component consists of user profile and user environment settings that would typically be configured in Group Policies and login scripts. By moving these settings from Group Policies and login scripts to WEM, the smart engine processes these settings to deliver a responsive workspace as quick as possible, thus customers have reduced login times to under 10 seconds. The Transformer module turns any Windows-based PC into a thin client, eliminating the PC management headache for IT admins, while extending the life of the hardware. By utilizing your existing WEM management platform, you can quickly roll out a thin client solution without investing in additional management software, simplifying your VDI rollout while saving time and money.
What is unique about Citrix WEM?
WEM takes an holistic approach to simplification and performance of the Workspace, combining traditional UEM with Resource Optimization and PC lockdown (Transformer). Most competing solutions only focus on the policy engine, User Environment Management, which is just one component of WEM. Most other solutions lack a Resource Management component to expand user density and enhance environment scalability. They also lack the functionality of our Transformer solution, which not only turns PC/laptops into thin clients, but also simplifies the management of those new thin clients by integrating with the WEM platform, giving you a complete thin client solution. By having Transformer integrated as part of WEM, IT can extend the life of their existing hardware, resulting in a lower client hardware TCO and reduced operational overhead, while reducing the costs of the overall VDI implementation. Citrix Workspace Environment Management combines these functions into one management system to simplify administration of the workspace while optimizing user experience.
Citrix already has a profile management solution, how does Workspace Environment Management extend these capabilities?
Workspace Environment Management utilizes existing Citrix User Profile Management (UPM) technologies to extend profile performance capabilities by providing best practice exclusions and profile cleansing utilities. Additionally, WEM simplifies the UPM management under a single administrative console where you can also set the Resource Optimization policies and other User Personalization settings. Pierre Marmignon, founder of Norskale, is now the Citrix architect for both WEM and UPM, so you can anticipate even more integration.
Can you elaborate more about the ability to put a Windows device into a kiosk mode?
Transformer converts the PC into a customizable and user-friendly kiosk interface, where users can launch their virtual workspace, as well as locally installed applications seamlessly, while the underlying Windows operating system remains fully locked down and secure. Once a PC is converted into a thin client via Transformer, IT can now leverage the WEM management platform to manage all the Transformer devices. This means IT can quickly roll out a thin client solution without investing in additional management software. Last but certainly not least, a majority of VDI project expense includes the cost associated with transitioning to thin clients, now IT can simply convert existing PC/laptops to thin clients, simplifying the VDI rollout while conserving the overall cost of your VDI implementation.
How is WEM integrated with the new Citrix App Layering technology (Unidesk)?
Citrix App Layering enables the ability to virtualize Windows applications and operating systems into easy to manage layers that accelerate the image update process for XenApp and XenDesktop deployments. Today, management of the WEM agent can be simplified by layering the WEM agent into the base layer. The two solutions work in parallel to simplify workspace management and optimize performance. In the future, as Citrix integrates WEM and App Layering deeper into our Workspace solutions, even more Integration can be expected.
Is WEM included in XenApp and XenDesktop, or is it a separate installation?
XenApp and XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum edition customers with active Customer Success Services Select, previously Software Maintenance, are eligible for WEM. Citrix Workspace Environment Management is currently a separate component; however, it is very easy to install and setup. The WEM agent installs directly in your virtual servers or desktops, side by side with the Virtual Delivery Agent, to optimize performance.
What is the architecture of Workspace Environment Management?
The architecture of WEM consists of a back-end SQL database, a WEM Broker server(s) that connects to the database, and the WEM agent, which is installed on the XenApp & XenDesktop workloads and communicates with the WEM Broker server(s). In a clustered scenario, Citrix recommends using NetScaler as the load balancer. Below is a high-level diagram of the standard Workspace Environment Management architecture.
Is Workspace Environment Management compatible with Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016?
Workspace Environment Management was compatible with Windows 10 & Windows Server 2016 on Day 1. As soon as you decide to add the latest operating system to you XenApp or XenDesktop site, WEM can help optimize the environment to improve user experience and reduce server hardware costs.
How can I tell if I’m eligible for Workspace Environment Management?
Workspace Environment Management is available as an entitlement for XenApp and XenDesktop Enterprise & Platinum customers under Customer Success Services Select, previously Software Maintenance. It utilizes your existing XenApp & XenDesktop licenses in your Citrix License Server.
How can I try Workspace Environment Management if I’m not a XenApp or XenDesktop Enterprise or Platinum edition customer with active Customer Success Services Select?
Anyone can visit citrix.com/XenDesktop to access a trial of XenApp and XenDesktop. However, at this time WEM is not included; therefore, we are asking interested customers to submit their contact information and we will follow up with you regarding your requested to try WEM. You can submit your request for a WEM trial here. We are working to get WEM integrated into the XenApp and XenDesktop trial.