Friday, January 31, 2014

Getting to know Citrix XenApp 7.5


Here are the key differences between XenApp 7.5 and XenApp 6.5 and earlier.

Windows server 2008 R2 and higher – yes all 64 bit

All management is via Citrix Studio instead of Delivery Services Console, CMC etc

No IMA data store as XenApp 7.5 uses technology from XenDesktop, so Microsoft SQL Server database as the data store for both configuration and session information.

XenApp Farms are now known as Sites. Sites should (generally) be contained within one data centre.

Delivery Controllers connect you, the incoming user, to the correct application on the correct server.

Zone masters are automatic and distributed evenly across all Controllers in the site.

Replace folders and Worker Groups with a combination of machine catalogues, Delivery Groups. While this works it is not as flexible and will require some rethinking of large scale deployments.

To build Delegated Administration us the built-in administrative roles, such as help desk, applications, hosting, and catalogue.

Remote Desktop Services Client Access Licenses (RDS CALs / TS CALS) are not required on the Controllers server.

You still need RDS CALs on the servers that are hosting and delivering your applications ie the terminal servers.

Citrix Director monitors the environment — You can monitor the environment, shadow user , and troubleshoot issues

Shadowing uses Microsoft Remote Assistance to connect to user machines.

Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) is the installed service that you put on the server BEFORE installing applications.

Machine Creation Services (MCS) or Provisioning Services (PVS) are used to manage the server OS for medium and large scale deployments.

There is no XenApp any version to XenDesktop 7.5 upgrade.

The process of publishing application has changed:

In XenApp 7.5 now, you use the Studio component to create and add applications to make them available to users who are included in a Delivery Group.

Using Studio, you

  1. In your site,
  2. create and specify machine catalogues,
  3. create Delivery Groups within those machine catalogues. Delivery Groups are then used to determine which users have access to the applications you deliver.
  4. then create an application to specify which Delivery Groups, they are detected or manually added

To balance application load on server Load Management assigns the user to the server best able to handle the request. This is based on:

  1. Server maintenance mode
  2. Server load index (based CPU, memory, disk)
  3. The number of sessions (allowed number of concurrent requests to log on to the server).

Some of the technologies still to come:

  1. Session pre-launch
  2. Session linger

Brief video of Citrix XenDesktopApp 7.5 Video

Everything is subject to change once the final product is out.

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