About XenDesktop 7

Updated: 2013-10-31

Review the System Requirements and list of Known Issues carefully as you begin planning your deployment.

In addition, these new Citrix and Microsoft releases can be used with this release:

  • Citrix AppDNA (see the AppDNA documentation). Accelerates the migration and transformation of desktop and web applications for new environments and helps manage application change on a day-to-day basis. AppDNA provides automated analysis of applications for different Windows platforms and suitability for application virtualization through App-V, XenApp, or XenDesktop. Using AppDNA, you can model complex mixes of new technologies to determine the best plan of action and then automate the transformations.
  • Citrix StoreFront (see the Technologies > StoreFront documentation). This feature replaces Web Interface and provides authentication and resource delivery services for Citrix Receiver.
  • Citrix Receiver (see the Receiver documentation for user devices and platforms). Receiver is a universal software client that provides secure, high-performance delivery of virtual desktops and applications.
  • Citrix Personal vDisk improvements (see Personal vDisks in the XenDesktop documentation). This feature retains the single image management of pooled and streamed desktops while allowing people to install applications and change their desktop settings.
  • Citrix Provisioning Services (see the Technologies > Provisioning Services documentation). This feature allows computers to be provisioned and re-provisioned in real-time from a single shared-disk image.
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012 SP1. This Microsoft application deployment tool is supported by Citrix Machine Creation Services and Provisioning Services for virtual machines. This feature replaces the XenApp Power and Capacity Management feature to help reduce power consumption and manage server capacity.
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012 and 2012 SP1. These hypervisor versions are supported by Provisioning Services and provide improved performance and scalability with Hyper-V. This release also provides performance improvements for Machine Creation Services when using Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 on file servers with clustered shared volumes and Storage Area Networks (SANs).

For information about supported languages, see CTX119253.

What's new in XenDesktop 7

  • Machine Catalog Desktops and Applications
    • Desktops — Deliver managed desktops to multiple, simultaneously connected remote users. Server OS machine and Desktop OS machine desktops provide features such as SmoothRoaming, session reliability, license consumption, Receiver and Delivery Services authentication, and Desktop Viewer. This release introduces Windows Server OS machine catalogs and desktops as a cost-effective virtualization delivery solution because they provide a significant number of remote users per server and storage resource. This release also provides Remote PC desktops that let users access resources on their office PCs remotely, from any device running Citrix Receiver.
    • Applications — Integrate XenApp publishing capabilities within a deployment. Use this feature to deliver shared hosted applications to multiple, simultaneously-connected remote users.
  • HDX enhancements
    • Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 support — Deliver a high-definition user experience on Windows 8 virtual desktops and physical machines. HDX 3D Pro has also been upgraded to support Windows 8.
    • Desktop Composition Redirection — Extend the Aero Redirection feature introduced in XenDesktop 5.5 to provide users with a more fluid Windows 7 Aero or Windows 8 desktop experience by leveraging the graphics processing unit (GPU) or integrated graphics processor (IGP) on supported Windows user devices for local DirectX graphics rendering. This feature delivers rich multimedia applications to user devices, while maintaining high scalability on the server.
    • Windows Media client-side content fetching — Enable a user device to stream multimedia files directly from the source provider on the Internet or Intranet to improve network utilization and server scalability.
    • Multicast support — Reduce bandwidth consumption when streaming live video to branch offices. Multicast support enables a single Windows Media source transmission to support multiple users.
    • Real-time multimedia transcoding — Enable audio and video streaming to mobile devices, improving the way that Windows Media content is delivered. Host-based transcoding provides a seamless user experience, even in extreme network conditions. To improve server scalability, if the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) has a supported graphics processing unit (GPU) for hardware acceleration, transcoding is done in the GPU.
    • User Datagram Protocol (UDP) audio for Server OS machines — Extend support for audio delivery over UDP/RTP to Server OS machines. This feature delivers superior audio quality for real-time applications like video conferencing and streaming media, even in environments when there is packet loss or congestion.
    • Webcam video compression — Reduce bandwidth consumption to improve performance when using supported video conferencing applications.
    • HDX 3D Pro — Deliver applications with graphics processing units (GPUs) for hardware acceleration to the desktop. This includes 3D professional graphics applications based on OpenGL and DirectX.
    • Server-rendered Rich Graphics and Video — Deliver rich graphics (including Windows 8 or Windows Aero) to virtual desktop users on any client, platform, and bandwidth condition by rendering the content on the server. When users have the latest Citrix Receiver, they will also notice improved performance for server-rendered video.
    • Improved Flash Redirection — Determine when to redirect Adobe Flash content to the user device for local rendering based on the user's network type and environment. Flash Redirection helps reduce server and network load, resulting in greater scalability while ensuring a high-definition user experience.
  • New installer — Use a single, streamlined installer to guide you through installing the core components (Delivery Controller, Studio, Director, StoreFront, and License Server) and VDAs.
  • Profile management — By default, Citrix Profile management 5.0 is installed silently on master images when you install the Virtual Delivery Agent, but you do not have to use Profile management as a profile solution.
  • Configuration Logging — Capture Site configuration changes and administrative activities to a Configuration Logging Database. You can view the log in Studio using a variety of filters and generate HTML and CSV reports.
  • Director — Monitor and troubleshoot deployments using Director's redesigned user interface with integrated EdgeSight features:
    • A new help desk view offers an improved troubleshooting experience for help desk administrators, allowing user, machine, and application issues to be resolved quickly.
    • Full administrators have access to other views, including a newly designed Dashboard to provide a graphical summary of your deployment in a central location, and a Trends page to provide improved, in-depth, graphical monitoring and troubleshooting of the entire deployment with various time ranges.
    • EdgeSight performance management provides the historical retention and trend reporting. With historical retention of data versus the real-time assessment, administrators are able to create Trend reports, including capacity and health trending.
    • EdgeSight network analysis leverages HDX Insight to provide an application and desktop contextual view of the network. With this feature, Director provides advanced analytics of ICA traffic in their XenDesktop deployment.
  • Delegated Administration — Group objects into administrative scopes. This feature provides an enterprise-class administration model with role-based access control, custom roles with configurable permissions, and fine-grained, object-based control.
  • StoreFront replaces Web Interface — Create centralized enterprise stores to deliver desktops, applications, and other resources to users on any device. This feature provides authentication and resource delivery services for Citrix Receiver.
  • Delivery Controller auto-update — Automatically notify Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) when Controllers are added to and removed from the Site. This feature helps prevent VDA rejection of sessions that are launched by unknown Controllers, and VDA startup delays or errors caused by invalid Controller information. For information about how to preserve the CNAME functionality, see CTX137960.
  • Client Folder Redirection — Change the way client-side files are accessible on the host-side session. When you enable only client drive mapping on the server, client-side full volumes are automatically mapped to host drive letters. When you enable client folder redirection on the server and then the user configures it on the user device, only the portion of the local volume that is specified by the user is redirected.
  • Improved Virtual Desktop Access Control Settings – Control user access to both Server OS Machines and Desktop OS Machines in a simple and unified way with a new, streamlined group of security settings.
  • Improved and integrated error reporting — Studio error reporting links directly to the Citrix Support website. When users encounter an error situation, choosing the Get Advice option submits information about the error to the Citrix website. The information is analyzed and the user is redirected to a Website containing remedial advice.
  • StoreFront enhancements
    • Desktop Appliance sites — Access Desktop Appliance sites through a website on the StoreFront store. The site is created automatically when a store is created. If, for example, the store has a path of path/Citrix/Store, the Desktop Appliance site path is path/Citrix/StoreDesktopAppliance. Users can restart their virtual machine-hosted desktops on Desktop Appliance sites.
    • Database as a service — Write user subscription data for each store to the local disk on the StoreFront server by using the new subscription store service. The data is then propagated across the server group.
  • IPv6 support — Connect to clients and core components on IPv4, IPv6, or dual-stack (IPv4/IPv6) environments.
  • Personal vDisk — Personalize your virtual desktops. In addition, a dedicated storage disk is created, before logon, so that users can store their data on the desktop, including any applications they install.
  • Machine Creation Services (MCS) support for Microsoft Key Management System (KMS) activation — Each virtual machine (VM) created with MCS provides a unique activation for the Windows operating system and Office 2010, which enables the KMS system to record each VM as a separate machine.
  • Support for group policies configured in Citrix Mobility Pack — These policies for Citrix Receiver for mobile devices include Start menu redirection and removing common programs from the Start menu. For details, see Configure policies for mobility features.
  • Multi-touch support — Touch functionality is supported on multi-touch computers, including Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 workstations and Windows Server 2012 for VDAs.
  • Remote PC Access — Automated administration of Remote PC Access is fully integrated into the core functionality of the XenDesktop Delivery Controller and Studio. One Remote PC machine catalog and one Remote PC Delivery Group are created automatically when you set up a Remote PC deployment; you can add more machine catalogs or Delivery Groups later using Studio. This process replaces the XML configuration file and PowerShell scripts used by Remote PC Access in XenDesktop 5.6 FP1. The current release also adds the ability to remotely access office PCs running Windows 8.
  • Support for Fast User Switching using RDP connections — This Microsoft Windows feature makes it possible for multiple users to share a desktop without closing programs or logging off existing users. Administrators can take advantage of this feature to troubleshoot problems and install updates, without interrupting tasks or programs in use by the logged on user, by initiating an RDP connection to the VDA.
  • Compatibility with AhnLab keyboard encryption used in Korea — This release is compatible with keyboard encryption that is installed on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) hosts.
  • Universal Print Server — The Delivery Controller now includes the Universal Print Server functionality. You need only install the Universal Print Server on your print servers. The Universal Print Server includes support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.

See also:

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