We are excited to announce the release of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1811 — bringing you great enhancements to wrap up a busy 2018! This year brought us the new Workspace app, major advancements in Citrix Cloud, simplified naming, and versioning across the Citrix product lines. And, of course, there were lots of exciting features for customers with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly known as Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop).

Here are some key enhancements in this release:

Enhanced Performance and Intelligent Scaling with HDX Adaptive Throughput

Lots of great things are happening in our Workspace app with the suite of HDX technologies we use to deliver the best end-user experience possible. Our HDX technologies have always been optimized for high performance on constrained networks, using the least amount of bandwidth possible.

Now, we’ve made some changes in the way HDX Adaptive Throughput manages data flow. Now, on very fast networks with low latency, HDX will consume more bandwidth when it is available. In the 1811 release, we implemented additional improvements to ICA that increase the peak throughput even more and added intelligence that enables us to scale back the session’s throughput, if needed, based on the session’s interactivity measurement. HDX Adaptive Throughput helps deliver better session interactivity, improved multi-media playback, faster file transfers, better throughput consumption — a 400 percent improvement over 7.15 LTSR — and an overall better user experience. Early adopters have been very impressed with the changes! Check out this blog for more details about some of the changes we made earlier in the year.

Make the Most of Your Monitor

It feels like everyone is running out of desk space these days. Gone are the days when new user kits included two, three, or four 17” screens. We’ve spoken to lots of admins who are replacing multiple physical monitors with single huge displays — often 30” and up. Our Virtual Display Layout functionality gives you the ability to carve up that high-resolution desktop into multiple virtual monitors. Simply draw horizontal or vertical separation lines to create virtual monitors in your client. Inside your session, drag applications to virtual monitors as needed.

Enhancing your Experience with High-Resolution Displays

With this release, we are also improving your virtual session resolution by delivering DPI Matching on Windows 10.

Previously, Windows determined the best scaling for text and apps on your virtual desktops based on your monitor size and resolution (the same way Windows determines DPI scaling natively on physical endpoints). In some cases, there would be a scaling mismatch between your endpoint and virtual desktop.

Now with DPI Matching, your DPI scale on your virtual desktop will match exactly as it is set on the endpoint, which improves the image and text sharpness. Roberto Moreno, our graphics PM, sheds light on high-resolution displays with Citrix graphics remoting in his blog post from earlier this year.

Making the Best User Experience Even Better with More HDX Innovations

Release after release, we continuously expand our capabilities in various use cases based on customer feedback. In addition to the HDX innovations mentioned above, with the 1811 release, we’re delivering:

  • A Graphics Status Indicator that makes it much easier for the user or admin to verify the graphics settings and capabilities of the session, such as GPU vendor and hardware encoding status from an icon in the systray.
  • Local Text Echo, which renders the text on the endpoint first and then renders the text on the VDA. This gives users better interactivity when typing, even in very low-bandwidth/high-latency scenarios.
  • Up to a 5x improvement in Client Drive Mapping when copying files between the VDA and endpoint.

Improved Monitoring and Troubleshooting Tools in Citrix Director

As IT evolves, providing a great user experience is expected to be a top resolution for 2019. To that end, we are continuing to enhance our Citrix Director functionality, improving your ability to monitor and troubleshoot user sessions. Our logon duration monitor now gives administrators deeper insight to troubleshoot profile load times, including total size of profile, file/folder content, and registry information. Keep watching this space as we surface more environment information that will enable you to keep your deployment running at peak efficiency.

To examine individual user session performance, Director is now displaying key RealTime Optimization Pack data for each user — including packet loss metrics. This is a powerful tool to diagnose user experience or application responsiveness issues, as it allows you to pinpoint potential network trouble during a session.

For advance testing of application and site health, Application Probing now supports the ability to probe through Citrix Gateway (previously NetScaler Gateway), enabling you to test the launch and interactivity of Citrix Virtual Apps from anywhere.

Provide a Consistent User Experience with App Layering User Personalization Layers

Now, delivering a great desktop experience to your users through Citrix Application Layering is more powerful than ever. For premium customers, we offer user personalization layers that capture customizations and user-installed applications in a discrete layer that is mounted for each user at session startup. This gives you the ability to leverage shared image components to deliver a dedicated personal desktop experience, while you benefit from the resource and management advantages of pooled desktops.

For our customers who are already deep into the layering experience, watch for monthly layering updates. We’ll share how we’ve been hard at work improving the management experience, enhancing performance, and streamlining layer maintenance. Some of the most recent changes allow admins to clone application layers, edit user layers, and improve template support for Hyper-V.

Enhanced Security in Citrix Workspace Experience with Two-Factor Authentication

If you’ve been thinking about checking out the new Citrix Workspace experience, there’s no time like the present! Site aggregation allows you to aggregate your on-premises resources with Citrix Cloud, letting you leverage the new Workspace UI with your existing Virtual Apps and Desktops resources. Now you’ll get an integrated apps, desktops, and content experience — with the addition of two factor authentication. If Citrix Workspace is on your holiday gift list, you can stay up to date on features with our workspace roadmap page.

Advanced Restart Scheduling in Citrix Studio

Rebooting your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops servers is a customary maintenance routine for most Citrix admins. Today, you can set a restart schedule in Citrix Studio from the settings of the delivery group. That restart schedule will apply to the entire delivery group.

Previously, if you wanted to segment the delivery group into multiple reboot schedules, this only was available using PowerShell commands and machine tags.

With the 1811 release, as well as capabilities coming soon to Citrix Cloud, we are delivering the ability to create multiple restart schedules in the Citrix Studio UI. This means you can segment the VMs within the delivery group based on machine tags. You’ll have more administration flexibility because it will be easier to set multiple restart schedules for a single delivery group in order to minimize downtime of published resources. You’ll also improve hypervisor performance by eliminating or reducing boot storms.

Customize the New Citrix Workspace Look and Feel with Brand Personalization Tech Preview

As if you really need more reasons to move to Citrix Workspace Experience, I’ll give you another: the Tech Preview of our new Brand Personalization service. Brand Personalization not only allows you to change the name of the Citrix Workspace UI, but you can also change icons, colors and themes — both on desktop and on mobile devices. This powerful tool helps users solidly associate trusted corporate resources with your company’s brand through the look and feel of the interface. Find more details and sign up for the Tech Preview here.

Making It Easier to Integrate Microsoft Teams into Your 7.15 LTSR Site

Browser Content Redirection was released with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.16 and was enhanced in 1808 to optimize the performance of web-based Teams in a virtual environment. Due to high demand from customers, we are delivering a Browser Content Redirection add-on as an MSI installer, which can be installed on a 7.15 CU3 VDA. This gives our 7.15 LTSR customers the Browser Content Redirection functionality of offloading the web content rendering and processing to the user’s endpoint, improving user experience and server scalability. If you’re using web-based Teams, be sure to check it out.

Need More New Year’s Resolutions? Plan for Our Next Long-Term Service Release in 2019

For customers who are more conservative with their deployments, here is a quick reminder that New Year’s Resolutions are right around the corner: now is the time to make some upgrade commitments. We’re planning our next Long-Term Service Release (LTSR) for the second half of 2019, so you will have almost a year to deliver on promises you make to your CIO today. If you’re an LTSR customer, now is the perfect time to take inventory of your environment, start preparing for the upgrade, and take a look at the new functionality we’ve released in the past year. You’ll want to spin up some pre-production environments in the meantime, so check out our newly updated release matrix to give you an overview of what has shipped in the Current Releases throughout this year.

Download Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop 7 1811 Today

If you are an eligible customer, you can download Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1811 right now! If you are considering Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, sign up for a free 90-day trial.

Thanks for keeping pace with Citrix in 2018, and look out for future blog posts with regular updates on features and releases throughout 2019!

For Citrix Investors

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the impact of the global economy and uncertainty in the IT spending environment, revenue growth and recognition of revenue, products and services, their development and distribution, product demand and pipeline, economic and competitive factors, the Company’s key strategic relationships, acquisition and related integration risks as well as other risks detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Citrix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein. The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion and is subject to change without notice or consultation. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions or incorporated into any contract.