XenDesktop7 HowTo

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Citrix released the first part of the Project Avalon with the codename Excalibur at Citrix Synergy 2013 in [Los Angeles](,-118.25&spn=0.1,0.1&q=34.05,-118.25 (Los%20Angeles)&t=h “Los Angeles”). Project Avalon was announced as the Giant step into Cloud Transformation, so what is it really? Citrix invested heavily in their existing product infrastructure with the question: “What could  XenDesktop & XenApp look like if we re-imagined them for the cloud era?”. If Citrix started over, how would they design virtual apps & desktops for the mobile cloud era? The result of project Excalibur is Citrix XenDesktop 7. Let’s dig deeper into the phases:

1. Install

First of all Citrix XenDesktop 7 is the chosen architecture and platform, where they have consolidated the following products:

  • XenDesktop as the base platform
  • XenApp
  • StoreFront
  • Profile Manager
  • EdgeSight

In previous releases all components were installed and managed separately.

The installation integrates the following components which simplifies the way to get all components into place:

  • Delivery Controller
  • Citrix Studio
  • Citrix Director
  • License Server
  • StoreFront
  • Profile Manager
  • Personal vDisk

2. Configure

The goal was to minimize configuration/ setup errors.

At completion of:

  • Full deployment
  • creating a host, catalog, delivery group
  • Joining a site & more

3. Manage

a. Citrix Studio

  • Primary management console for administrators for
    • delegated admin & config, logging
    • apps & desktop publishing
    • user computer policies
    • licensing, StoreFront
  • Windows Server 2008R2/ 2012
  • MMC snap-in

b. One of the most impressive abstract concepts at Citrix Synergy was the new delegated administration in XenDesktop 7 which allows a granular administration by using roles & scopes:

  • Roles
    • Full admin
    • Host admin
    • Delivery group admin
    • Catalog
    • Read-only
    • Help desk admin
    • Custom admin
  • Scopes
    • Delivery groups
    • Machine catalog
    • Host connection
    • Application

c. The configuration logging allows two tiers: high level & detail task

  • High level logging summary + detailed resulting tasks
  • Integrates with director/ root analysis
  • Powerfull search feature
  • Reports available in HTML/ CSV format

d. The application & desktop delivery made simple & scalable

  • Deliver apps/ desktops from servers & desktops Os’es
  • MCS for server and desktop OS workloads
  • Publish 10′s of apps at one
  • Integrated App-V 5 support

4. Support

Use Citrix Director for troubleshooting & monitoring for your help desk.

  • Help Desk (today)
    • Help desk only
    • Real time troubleshooting
  • Troubleshooting/ Monitoring
    • day 2 operations
    • site health
    • end2end visibility
  • Performance Management
    • Auto baselining specific to customer environment
    • historical analytics
  • Advanced Analytics
    • Deep network analysis
    • capacity mgmt

Further features

  • Realtime monitoring assessment
  • Contextual troubleshooting
  • Logon performance
  • Load evaluation trends: Application server load and impact on users

Citrix Director offers a complete 360-view with network analysis in the Platinum edition:

  • ICA deep packet analysis
  • latency & bandwidth effects
  • application & desktop usage

5. End user

HDX goes mobile: Optimze for a mobile world

  • Designed for 3G/4G networks
  • Tablet and smartphone codec acceleration
  • Smooth, native touch experience
  • H.264-based compression algorithm
    • 2x increase in frame rate
    • Half the bandwidth
    • Up to 10x reduction in bit rate when playing HD videos over a low speed connection

Integrated PC Remote Access: Integrated remote access assignment of users to corporate PCs

HDX Seamless Local Apps: Seamless integration of local Windows apps

  • Citrix Receiver for nested apps
  • DVD burners
  • Non-secure web browsers
  • Cloud based video collaboration

6. Citrix XenDesktop App Edition/ XenApp 6.5 FP2

Citrix XenApp is transitioned into Citrix XenDesktop 7 App Edition. The XenDesktop App Edition deliver server-based apps & desktops:

  • Delivers server-hosted desktops & apps, VM-hosted apps from FMA architecture
  • Enables use of MCS to provisioning, deliver apps & desktops from Windows Server 2012 with latest HDX enhancements
  • Works along side existing XenApp-IMA deployment
  • Available to XenApp Enterprise and Platinum customers
  • Built for cloud

But Citrix did not discontinue XenApp as a stand-alone while introducing the Citrix XenDesktop 7 App Edition, instead announced the new feature pack 2 with new features:

  • Experience
    • Unified app store for desktops, apps, mobile & data (XenMobile & ShareFile)
    • New support for audio & video on mobile devices
  • Acceleration
    • OpenGL support
  • Compatibility
    • AppDNA usage
    • Lync 2013 optimization pack
    • XenApp connector SCCM 2012
    • Hyper-V support
    • XenDesktop 7 Apps edition
  • Performance
    • 4X faster downloads/uploads

7. XenDesktop/ XenApp changes

XenDesktop changes

  • Desktop dropped from components names
    • Desktop Delivery Controller = Delivery Controller
    • Desktop Studio = Studio
    • Desktop Director = Director
  • Windows Server 2012 & SMB 3.0 storage support
    • Enable CredSSP from Delivery Controllers to Hyper-V Hosts
  • StoreFront Services replaced web interface
    • Desktop Appliance Sites
    • Database as a Service
  • More granular delegated administration through roles and scopes
  • Configuration logging & monitoring data stored in site db by default
  • KMS support for MCS
  • Deprecated support for Windows XP & Vista

XenApp changes

  • IMA replaced FMA
    • Singel architecture for XA & XD
    • Farm concept replaced by sites
      • No more Zones
      • No more Zone Data Collectors
      • No more Local Host Cache
    • SQL Server DB only
    • Application publishing workflow
  • MCS for Windows Server OS
  • Remote Assistance for shadowing
  • StoreFront services replaces Web INterface
    • Access Gateway replaces Secure Gateway
  • Microsoft App-V 5 replaces Citrix Application Streaming
  • Smart Auditor replaced by Citrix Ready solutions
  • Single Sign-on – Windows 7 & Server 2008 R2 only

Check out more videos at Citrix TV.

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