Today, we are proud to announce the release of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1808.
The second thing you will notice is the new versioning. The naming simplification effort simplifies not only product names, but also our on-premises versioning strategy.
Let’s start with the obvious one first: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7. The “7” ensures platform versioning consistency. As we ask you to go through this transition with us, please understand that the “7” ensures that this is the same industry-leading platform for app and desktop virtualization as the previous XenApp and XenDesktop 7.x releases.
Now, let’s discuss the newer component. The “1808” represents the actual version. This new numbering strategy is very similar in nature to Microsoft’s versioning strategy — the last four numbers make it easier for you to quickly determine when the version was released as it is represented by year and month (YYMM format). Given that it is 2018 and we released the Current Release (CR) in August, our new version is denoted as 1808.
We are also unifying product editions across our portfolio — designating them Standard, Advanced, and Premium.
- XenApp Advanced edition now will map to Citrix Virtual Apps Standard edition
- XenApp Enterprise edition maps to Citrix Virtual Apps Advanced edition
- XenApp Platinum edition maps to Citrix Virtual App Premium edition
- XenDesktop VDI edition maps to Citrix Virtual Desktops Standard edition
- XenDesktop Enterprise edition maps to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Advanced edition
- XenDesktop Platinum edition maps Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Premium edition.
Now that we’ve gotten rebranding, re-versioning, and re-editioning out of the way, let’s talk about the fun stuff – the technology. I will cover both the 1808 release and the latest Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop service innovations.
Your Citrix Workspace app journey begins!
One integral part of delivering a comprehensive, fully integrated workspace experience is our new Citrix Workspace app. As showcased at Citrix Synergy, Citrix Workspace app is the gateway to unlocking the full potential of Citrix Workspace. Citrix Workspace app works in conjunction with the Citrix Cloud Workspace platform to deliver an integrated secure digital workspace experience across any device.
The first step of this journey involves Citrix Receiver. Citrix Workspace app incorporates the 25+ years of proven technology previously found in Citrix Receiver and includes new capabilities, as well. This means that Citrix Workspace app enables you to do everything that Citrix Receiver did, plus much more. To help you and your users transition to Citrix Workspace app, we has provided email templates, images, banners and other items that you can use to help your organization upgrade to Citrix Workspace app. From this point forward, all Citrix app and desktop virtualization client enhancements will be delivered in Citrix Workspace app.
Optimizing web-based Microsoft Teams in a virtualized environment
Citrix is the first in the industry to deliver a solution for optimizing web-based Microsoft Teams in a virtual environment. To ensure the best possible user experience of a virtualized instance of web-based Teams, Citrix is leveraging Browser Content Redirection (BCR) between the VDA running in the datacenter and a new browser embedded within Citrix Workspace app on the endpoint. By redirecting web-based Microsoft Teams rendering to the browser within Workspace app, Citrix is able to optimize the Teams user experience due to the fact that the processing and rendering occurs on the endpoint.
In addition, server scalability is increased as the web-based Teams instances consume less CPU on the VDAs. This new capability not only optimizes Microsoft Teams, but also optimizes any WebRTC application, such as Google Hangouts. To enable Browser Content Redirection (BCR) for web-based Teams, there is a VDA requirement within the virtual app or desktop and an update to Citrix Workspace app on the endpoint. While the BCR capability shipped with the 1808 VDA, the associated Citrix Workspace app BCR capability will follow in an upcoming Q3 release.
Day One support for Windows Server 2019
We strive to support the latest and greatest solutions from Microsoft as soon as they are released. With the pending release of Microsoft Windows Server 2019, Citrix continues its commitment to deliver “Day One” support for Microsoft Windows Server 2019 and future Microsoft Windows Server releases. Citrix has been consistently testing Windows Server 2019 throughout the development cycle. Our 1808 release is designed so that Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops will provide support for Windows Server 2019 on “Day One.” With Windows Server 2019 support on “Day One,” you are empowered to move as aggressively or as conservatively as your business dictates. You can embrace this next generation of Windows Server with a smooth transition that meets your timeline.
Citrix ITSM Adapter for ServiceNow is now generally available
We are proud to announce that the Citrix ITSM Adapter for ServiceNow is now generally available. Citrix ITSM Adapter for ServiceNow is a cloud service that provides a single point of integration between any Citrix virtual app and desktop and ServiceNow. It automates various aspects of virtual app and desktop delivery, improving experience and productivity not only for end-users, but also for you — our Citrix admins. This new integration features out-of-the-box workflows as well as APIs to create custom workflows. Now, organizations can rapidly on-board and off-board employees, quickly provision virtual desktops or applications, and automate common help-desk requests directly within ServiceNow.
The first application virtualization platform to leverage NVIDIA’s NVENC and the H.265 codec
Continuing our industry-first innovations in the graphics virtualization space, Citrix is the first to bring NVENC and H.265 to Server-based virtual applications and desktops. We have supported NVIDIA’s NVENC for a few years now with our VDI solution, and we were the first to bring the H.265 codec to VDI a few releases ago. Now with the 1808 release, NVENC and H.265 for Virtual Apps delivers better image quality, reduced latency, and better overall graphics performance. Only Citrix delivers H.265 support for virtual desktops and only Citrix supports NVENC and H.265 for virtual applications.
Numerous HDX Innovations and Improvements
Release after release, we continuously expand our capabilities relevant to various use cases based on feedback from you, our customers. In addition to the HDX innovations I’ve described, with the 1808 release, we’ve delivered: the ability to redirect encrypted mass storage USB devices within Server VDAs, and support of file transfers larger than 4GBs with client drive mapping. With each release, we continue to chip away at improving our ICA protocol. With this release, we delivered performance enhancements that resulted in up to 2x improvement in throughput consumption for all virtual channels over TCP on WAN (150ms latency). Thinwire, for example – playing a 1080p video in full screen was able to peak at almost 4 Mbps, whereas before the improvements, it was peaking at just shy of 2 Mbps, which means improved video quality. Client Drive Mapping also realized a 2x improvement in file transfer with over the WAN (50ms and 150ms latencies tested), decreasing file transfer time for both ICA over TCP and ICA over EDT. While this is great, these improvements are just a stepping-stone for the next generation of HDX technologies, so stay tuned.
Making it easier to manage Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service licenses
Earlier this year, we launched the License Usage experience for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service customers. The license usage dashboard provided various insights for license consumption, but little to no control over license allocation. That is, until now. With our new License Release feature, you can now release user licenses of the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service and reassign them to new users. The released licenses will return to the pool of licenses available for assignment. This gives you more control and flexibility over your Citrix licenses.
Bringing the Citrix Workspace experience to on-premises deployments with Site Aggregation
Site aggregation is a new Citrix Cloud platform feature that enables you to aggregate your on-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops resources with your Citrix Cloud services. It provides a new Workspace experience to your users. Site aggregation enables your users to take advantage of the new Workspace app UI while giving them a single pane of glass to access all of their applications, desktops, and files. Site aggregation makes it fast and easy to deliver the new Citrix Workspace app experience to all your users.
Expanding our integration with Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
Citrix recently announced the availability of power management support for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service. We’re offering a better way to work with Google Cloud instances. Now, with this new innovation, you can create hosting connections to GCP, create managed machine catalogs, browse your GCP resources directly from the Citrix Studio UI, and provide full power management control to your administrators. Check out the product documentation to get started today!
Enabling a hybrid world with Citrix Provisioning from Citrix Cloud
While we are talking about provisioning from Citrix Cloud, we know that you may want to leverage the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service while running your virtual desktops and virtual application servers on-premises. Now you can leverage Citrix Provisioning with your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops subscription to provision VDAs with the same functionality when using on-premises Delivery Controllers. With this new feature, you will be able to use the Citrix Virtual Desktop Setup Wizard (formerly XenDesktop setup wizard) in the Citrix Provisioning Console and the Machine Catalog Setup Wizard in Studio from Citrix Cloud. Check out the product documentation for more details.
We have an LTSR announcement to make!
We realize there are a lot of exciting changes coming in 2018 Q3 and many of you might be starting to look ahead at 2019 planning. It has been over a year since the last Long-Term Service Release (LTSR), with this CR release; we would like to take this opportunity to announce that the next LTSR version of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is coming soon – targeted for the second half of 2019. This gives you time to prepare for your upgrade so that you can capitalize on all of the latest features and innovations from the recent Current Releases.
Download Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop 7 1808 today
Join us for the What’s New with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops webinar next week — September 6, 2018 — where we will cover the latest innovations in both the on-premises platform and cloud service and answer your questions on all that is new with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.