Last week I attended Citrix Synergy 2016 in Las Vegas. Prior to the start of Citrix Synergy we had the regular Citrix CTP meetings were we as Citrix Technology Professionals get the latest updates by several Citrix Product Managers. Two days packed with interesting content and excellent discussions. More info on the Citrix CTP program: https://www.antonvanpelt.com/wow-im-a-citrix-ctp/
Citrix Synergy 2016
After two days of CTP meetings Citrix Synergy 2016 started in the massive hotel Venetian & The Palazzo Congress Center and Sands Expo and Convention Center. The event itself is split over 3 days. Prior to those days there are already several meetings, labs and demo’s going on. Day 1 and day 2 usually starts with a keynote were all the announcement and changes get public. Also several award winners get announched.
Around and during Citrix Synergy there were a lot of announcements. In this blogpost I will make a overview of them.
- Citrix Cloud
- NetScaler Gateway Service
- Secure Browser Service
- Two new Citrix Lifecycle Management Services
- XenApp & XenDesktop 7.9
- XenApp Federated Authentication Service
- Provisioning Services 7.9
- StoreFront 3.6
- AppDNA 7.9
- HDX Ready Pi
- NetScaler HDX Proxy
- NetScaler Management & Analytics System
- NetScaler SD-WAN
- XenServer 7
- ShareFile Drive Mapper
- XenMobile 10.3.5
- Citrix and Microsoft Partnership
Citrix Workspace Cloud (Citrix Cloud)
Last year at Citrix Synergy 2016 Citrix launched Citrix Workspace Cloud, were at that moment 2 cloud-based services were avalailable. The week before Citrix Synergy 2016 Citrix announced that Citrix Workspace Cloud will get renamed to Citrix Cloud. At the moment there are 5 Cloud-based services available within Citrix Cloud those services will get renamed too.
NetScaler Gateway Service
Citrix now also will make NetScaler Gateway Service available within the Citrix Cloud this means that you don’t need a on-prem NetScaler Gateway when using the XenApp & XenDesktop Service.
More info: www.youtube.com/HZefM
Citrix Secure Browser Service
Also the Citrix Cloud Secure Browser service got a refresh with several new features.
- Support for internally hosted web applications
- Option to add authentication to externally hosted web applications
- Ability to choose resource location region
- Traceability through a Usage Meter in the user interface
- Option to watermark browser apps for added security
- Upgrade to Citrix Receiver for HTML5 2.0
- URL Whitelisting
Two New Citrix Lifecycle Management Services
Citrix also announced two new services within the Lifecycle Management service.
- Update Service
- Smart Scale
The Update Service is ment to offer customers a automatic Update Service for their XenApp and XenDesktop environment. Update Service will be able to do a snapshot base upgrade to allow roll back if needed. Update Service will also be able to check the compliance for the LTSR (Long Term Service Release) program.
The Smart Scale service will allow admins to automatically scale up or scale down their environment based on real time usage statistics. Main purpose of the service is to save cost on resources that are not being used from time to time.
XenApp & XenDesktop 7.9
Citrix announced the release of XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9
XenApp & XenDesktop 7.9 contains the following new / enhanced features:
- Analytics are collected and stored locally when you install components.
- If you install a VDA and do not specify Controller addresses, you are reminded that the VDA cannot register until Controller addresses are provided.
- If you specify one or more Controller addresses when you install a VDA, the installer verifies whether a connection can be made between the VDA and the Controller, and reports the outcome.
- The installation wizards no longer offer Citrix Customer Experience Improvement Program enrollment; participation is assumed.
- The core component and VDA installation wizards now offer enrollment in Call Home.
- You can now install the Federated Authentication Service from the full product installer’s graphical interface.
- VDA: Load balancing for Citrix Universal Print Server (UPS)
- VDA: Stapling and paper source selection for Citrix XPS Universal print driver
- VDA: Universal Print Server and CEIP VDA: LPT and COM port redirection policy settings in Studio
- VDA: Extended HDX 3D Pro support for Intel CPUs with Intel Iris Pro graphics
- VDA: Support for Windows 10 in the HDX 3D Pro VDA
- VDA: Support for Secure Boot for Remote PC access on Windows 10
- VDA: New default setting for Use video codec for compression
- VDA: Generic USB redirection for mass storage devices on XenApp
- Provisioning: MCS I/O storage optimization
- Provisioning: Nutanix integration in Studio
- Publishing: Application Groups
- Citrix Insight Services: Installer analytics
- Citrix Insight Services: Call Home
- Citrix Insight Services: Citrix Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)
- Director: Logon Duration improvements
XenApp Federated Authentication Service
One of my personal favorites is the Citrix Federated Authentication Service.
FAS relies on AD Certificate Services for the authority to generate secure certificate credentials that AD will accept for interactive session login. To Windows on the VDA, it’s as if the user has a normal smart card, but the private key is actually held securely on the FAS server (or in an HSM if you prefer) and is never in the user’s possession. Even the VDA never has possession, but is merely allowed to use the credential for logon, based on a FAS trust policy that can be audited.
Provisioning Services 7.9
Together with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9 Citrix also released Provisioning Services 7.9
Provisioning Services 7.9 contains the following new features:
- Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)
- Changing your CEIP participation setting
- BDM support for UEFI through the XenDesktop setup Wizard
Together with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9 Citrix also released StoreFront 3.6
StoreFront 3.6 contains the following new features:
- Load balance non-identical farms
- Non-domain joined server deployment
- Simplification of NetScaler Gateway configuration
Together with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9 Citrix also released AppDNA 7.9
AppDNA 7.9 contains the following new features:
- Import applications workflow enhancements
- Compliance Manager module
- Web client access to application attributes forms
HDX Ready Pi
At Citrix Synergy also the Citrix HDX Ready Pi was released. The HDX Ready Pi is a low-cost, high-performance end-user computing device.
The HDX Ready Pi package contains:
- HDX System-on-Chip
- Citrix Receiver optimized with GPU offloading
- Flash card with secure Linux operating system
- Device management software
- Power supply
As a Citrix CTP i felt lucky getting one of these HDX Ready Pi before the start of Citrix Synergy. Special thanks to Chris Fleck @ChrisFleck and team who brought this gadget to the CTP meetings!
NetScaler HDX Proxy
Citrix also announced the NetScaler HDX Proxy. A free basic NetScaler that offers ICA Proxy only. This means that we finally can say RIP Secure Gateway!
NetScaler Management & Analytics System (NMAS)
NMAS is the new management and analytics system for Citrix NetScaler. This will replace NetScaler Command Center. NMAS means Automation, Data Driven and Platform Freedom.
With NMAS you are able to manage the following products:
- NetScaler MPX
- NetScaler VPX
- NetScaler Gateway
- NetScaler SDX
- NetScaler CPX
- NetScaler SD-WAN
- ByteMobile Traffic Director
Citrix CloudBridge is now renamed NetScaler SD-WAN to be part of the NetScaler product and features. NetScaler SD-WAN can also be managed via the new announced NetScaler Management & Analytics System (NMAS)
At Citrix Synergy 2016 Citrix release XenServer 7. The new features shows that XenServer is still a gameplayer:
- First With Support for Intel Virtualized Graphics
- NIVIDIA vGPU Improvements
- Automated Microsoft Windows VM driver management
- Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) support
- Docker containers in Windows Server 2016
- New Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) management pack
- Microsoft Active Directory integration within XenServer has been improved
- Templates for Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 preview
- Integration with Citrix Lifecycle Management
- VM protection from the hypervisor layer
The ShareFile team announced the Information Rights Management (IRM) feature. IRM gives users more control on Authentication and Authorization. ShareFile IRM will offer the following options:
- Protected file viewers for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and an online web viewer
- Support for more than 60 file types, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, text files, image files, AutoCAD and Visio
- Protected Microsoft Office files open in their native Office application on Windows
- Support for secure editing of protected files, with action controls and a “sandboxed” clipboard
- Secure, watermarked printing permission can be allowed
- Grace period for offline access to protected files
Another great feature for ShareFile is the Office 365 Co-Editing feature. Now you can finally work together on the same document and see where the other users are working in the document.
ShareFile Drive Mapper
ShareFile Drive Mapper will become the new ShareFile tool for XenApp and XenDesktop. This tool will replace the on-demand sync tool when working via XenApp or XenDesktop. The Sync tool for Windows and Mac will remain the same.
The ShareFile Drive Mapper:
- Fully supported for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop environments
- Present ShareFile content as a mapped windows drive
- Reduced dependency on UPM and profile management, expanding supportability while reducing administrative complexities
For XenMobile Citrix released version 10.3.5. This version contains the following features / enhancements:
- New-MAM only mode deployment
- XenMobile Server 10.3.5 cloud updates
- Dynamic permissions for Android M
- Touch ID authentication in iOS
- Enrollment profiles for Android
- Changes in device limits per user
Citrix and Microsoft Partnership
One of the most important parts of the keynote was the Citrix and Microsoft Partnership announcement. Bill Burley and Brad Anderson were on stage to explain this parnership in more detail. There are 4 areas for this partnership to focus on:
- Help accelerate the move to the Cloud
- Help accelerate the move to Windows 10
- Help accelerate the move to Office 365
- Help further empower users on mobile devices
For Windows 10 this means:
- Microsoft will push Citrix AppDNA for Windows 7 to Windows 10 migrations
- XenDesktop VDI Solution on Azure!
For EMM this partnership means:
- Citrix apps will be EMS enabled
- NetScaler will be EMS enabled (on-prem data access!!)
- XenMobile integrating EMS scenarios
- Microsoft embedding NetScaler into EMS MAM
- Citrix building EMM service on Azure
Brad Anderson also created a video blog on the partnership announcement with all the details:
Keynote day 1:
Keynote day 2:
This blogpost was intented to be a short update but in the end a lot of updates were announced. It is still the short version of 3 days Citrix Synergy in Las Vegas :-), hope you enjoyed it.
Next year Citrix Synergy will be back in Orlando!