This has been the year of the cloud at Citrix, and it has been a very busy year. We have spent tons of engineering effort delivering innovations that introduced new administrative flexibility and insight; new points of presence, even in government clouds; overall architecture improvements that strengthened the robustness of the service; and, of course, new app and desktop virtualization features.

Thank you for being a customer and partner of our cloud service. It is a great journey we are taking together. As we all close out the year and begin the holiday season, I would like to review 2018 and how we continued our relationship and delivered new technology.

Extending Administrative Security and Control with Delegated Admin

Delegated Admin has been a top enhancement request by Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service customers looking to delegate admin tasks to different users, while restricting the admin abilities of those users based on role. We extended delegated admin capabilities with customizable roles and customizable scopes. Now, you have more granular capabilities and control over who has access to what, and you can even limit management capabilities to a certain component of the service, such as Delivery Groups or Machine Catalogs. This enables you to break down by admin access, by department, or function. One example is granting administrators the appropriate access to update images and publish apps and desktops for their respective business unit, without giving them configuration rights to the entire site. This improves the overall control you have in securing your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service environment.

Check out the product documentation to get started.

Improving Your Visibility with Configuration Logging

Configuration Logging is another new capability we recently brought to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service. This feature logs changes made to the configuration by any administrator and is critical for many enterprise customers who require an audit trail of their system changes. If you have a large team of Citrix admins, Configuration Logging can also help you when troubleshooting your environment because it will show you when changes were made and who made the changes. The reporting of administrative activity can also assist with your internal change-management processes. Bringing Configuration Logging to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service improves your visibility into your overall environment.

Check out the product documentation for more information.

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. When it was first launched, 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.

Check out the product documentation for more information on how to release Citrix Cloud licenses.

Enhancing Reliability with Local Host Cache

Local Cost Cache has been a critical, high-availability component of XenApp and XenDesktop for years. It enables users to continue to access their resources even if the delivery controllers or site database are down or unavailable. Bringing this feature to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service meant integrating it into the architecture of the Cloud Connectors. Now with that integration complete, if a Cloud Connector in the Resource Location loses its connection to the Citrix Cloud control plane, users will still be able to start a new session and reconnect to disconnected apps and desktops sessions via Local Host Cache. Many admins are turning to cloud services to strengthen DR/HA.

Check out the product documentation for more information.

Optimizing User Experience with the Citrix Workspace Environment Management Service

Workspace Environment Management (WEM) adds incredible value to your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployments by optimizing the user experience, accelerating user logins, improving manageability of the user environment, and improving server scalability. As a part of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, Workspace Environment Management service delivers the same benefits of the on-premises Workspace Environment Management without the need to install, configure, and manage dedicated WEM infrastructure components and databases. Workspace Environment Management service makes it easier to harness all the benefits of WEM in an easy-to-use, readily available Citrix Cloud service.

Check out the product documentation to get started today.

Introducing the Citrix Workspace Experience

At Citrix Synergy 2018, we unveiled one of the biggest visual changes to our products with the Citrix Workspace experience, a new comprehensive user interface (UI) that integrates all your digital resources in one centralized location. The Citrix Workspace experience is a Citrix Cloud service that enumerates and delivers all your digital workspace resources to the Citrix Workspace app. Users can find their favorite apps, desktops, and files and access them all via SSO from a single application. This screenshot is an example of what Citrix Workspace looks like for your users. Citrix is focused on delivering the digital workspace of the future, and the Citrix Workspace experience, included with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, is leading the way.

Integrating Citrix Workspace Experience with On-Prem Resources

Our goal is to give users the ability to access everything they need to do work in a centralized location. That means giving them the ability to access virtual Windows apps, desktops, SaaS apps, web apps, and data from a single point of access. You might think this would be challenging if you already have a full on-premises XenApp/XenDesktop implementation, but we’ve come up with a solution that seamlessly integrates your on-premises resources side-by-side with the cloud services.

Meet Citrix site aggregation. Citrix site aggregation enables you to integrate your on-prem XenApp & XenDesktop workloads with other Citrix cloud services. Even if you have a mix of published resources from on-prem delivery controllers and the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, you can aggregate these resources while giving your users a seamless workspace experience. Check out the announcement blog and product documentation for more information.

Here is a video of site aggregation in action!

Expanding the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service to New Azure Regions

Earlier this year, we announced the general availability of Citrix Cloud Government, a cloud management platform built directly on Microsoft Azure Government. Azure Government is a U.S. government-grade cloud that is a FedRAMP High Authorized service. Now with the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop service management plane hosted on Azure Government, administrators can meet their agencies needs by hosting virtual applications and desktops workloads and the management service on government-grade cloud infrastructure through Microsoft Azure Government. This announcement follows an earlier statement that Citrix has added support services to manage virtual app and desktop resource locations in Microsoft Azure Government and Azure Germany clouds. This meets the needs of administrators who must run their workloads in government clouds that must fulfill regional laws and regulations to stay compliant.

Check out the Citrix Cloud Government announcement blog for more information.

Enabling Cloud Choice with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Power Management Integration

We recently announced the availability of power management support for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, offering a better way to work with Google Cloud instances. Now, 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 with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service

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 (formerly Citrix PVS) with your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops subscription to provision VDAs to your on-premises hypervisor platform. With this new capability, 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 to provision workloads to your on-prem location.

Check out the product documentation for more details.

Accelerating Performance with Numerous HDX Innovations and ICA Improvements

The best part about our Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service is that it is based on the same platform as the on-premises platform and is always up to date with the newest features. This means that as a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service customer, you get to take advantage of all of the latest and greatest HDX innovations. Check out our blog post “The Top 10 HDX Innovations of the past two years” for all of the user experience enhancements you get to take advantage of as a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service customer.

Delivering 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 release of Microsoft Windows Server 2019, Citrix continues to deliver “Day One” support for Microsoft Windows releases. Citrix has been consistently testing Windows Server 2019 throughout the development cycle. As a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops customer, you can begin leveraging Windows Server 2019 in your environment.

Stay tuned. There is much more to come in 2019. Happy Holidays, and have a very Happy New Year!