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It has been a long time since I wrote last post on my blog. For last few months I was quite busy with projects only partially related to Citrix products and I had no time to update my site. Taking the opportunity that new version of XenDesktop was recently published for download I would like to update myself with new features available in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.14.

Let’s start the story ….

Important notice: If you downloaded the original XenApp and XenDesktop 7.14 ISO or 7.14 VDA’s  published before June 9th, discard those files and download version 7.14.1. When visiting Citrix download page go to section XenDesktop 7.14.x.

XenDesktop 7.14,  to be exact version 7.14.1 introduces a number of enhancements and new features which increase infrastructure security, optimize user experience and more….

Workspace Environment Management 3.4

The main changes include:

  • Site management – in  previous releases, site settings were stored on the agent side and it was possible to change them from the agent GPO. Workspace Environment Management 4.3 introduces a different approach to site management which improves product security. Sites are now assigned to machines (or Security Groups or OUs) by the infrastructure service (broker) using a new Machines page in the administration console. A new Registrations tab under Administration>Agents in the administration console indicates machines which are bound incorrectly to multiple sites, so that you can take the appropriate action to remove the duplicate binding. A new Registrations tab on the Agents page shows agent registration information.
    From this release, Workspace Environment Management “sites” are referred to as “configuration sets” in the user interface and documentation.
  • Agent localization improvements the session agent user interface is now localized for the following languages: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Russian, Traditional and Simplified Chinese.
  • User interface improvements – various text labels and messages in the installation wizards, administration console, and GPO templates have been rationalised and made mutually consistent to improve the user experience. For example, fields used to enter the same parameters in different installation wizards now use the same labels.

AppDNA 7.14

AppDNA 7.14 includes the following enhancements and new features:

  • Update to default OS images – all default OS images have been updated to capture extra .NET information for the FIPS analysis in the Compliance Manager module.
    The following default OS images have been removed. An install will no longer add these default OS images, however an upgrade to 7.14 will not remove or update these default OS images:

    • Microsoft Windows XP (64-bit)
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (32-bit)
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (64-bit)
  • Expanded security analysis – the Compliance Manager module helps you understand if applications that you are planning to deploy into your IT infrastructure might introduce security risks. In this release, the Compliance Manager module expands its scope of security analysis. New algorithms identify and report on FIPS compliance, NTLM authentication, and compatibility with Credential Guard on Windows 10. To view the algorithms, click Configure > Modules > Compliance Manager.

Enhanced monitoring with new Citrix Scount

The latest XenDesktop comes with Citrix Scout version 3.0. Scout is used to collects diagnostics from Delivery Controllers and VDAs and can be used as a basic tool for proactive maintenance and for troubleshooting purposes. This new version is installed automatically when you install or upgrade a Delivery Controller or a VDA.

For more details, see detailed post writen by Bas van Kaam:  Citrix Scout 3.0 and Citrix documentation: Citrix Insight Services

Citrix Smart Tools agent

When installing or upgrading a Delivery Controller, you can connect to Citrix Smart Tools (formerly Citrix Lifecycle Management), which installs a Smart Tools agent. Smart Tools enables you to automate deployment tasks, health checks, and power management. You can also enroll in Call Home, as in earlier releases.

The Smart Tools page in the installation wizard replaces the Call Home page. When installing a VDA, you are prompted to enroll in Call Home. The wizard page is retitled Smart Tools because Call Home is a part of Smart Tools.

For more details, see Citrix documentation: Citrix Insight Services.

Local Host Cache

The main changes include:

  • In a VDI deployment, the number of VDA’s that can be handled effectively during an outage has increased:
    • In a single-zone VDI deployment, up to 10 000 VDA’s can be handled during an outage. In the previous version, LHC was tested and validated to successfully manage 5 000 VDA’s.
    • In a multi-zone VDI deployment, up to 10 000 VDA’s in each zone can be handled during an outage, to a maximum of 40 000 VDA’s in the site. For example, each of the following sites can be handled effectively during an outage:
      • A site with four zones, each containing 10 000 VDA’s.
      • A site with seven zones, one containing 10 000 VDA’s, and six containing 5 000 VDA’s each.
  • In earlier releases, power-managed desktop VDA’s in pooled Delivery Groups that have the ShutdownDesktopsAfterUse property enabled are placed into maintenance mode when an outage occurs. That remains the default behavior. Now, you can override that default behavior by running PowerShell cmdlets for the Site and the affected Delivery Groups. If you enable this feature, you cannot rely on power management during an outage, and the desktops might contain data from a previous user.
  • Default settings for connection leasing and LHC after upgrade to version 7.14 or newer still remains the same.
    For more details, see Connection Leasing explained and

For more details, see post: Connection Leasing explained and Citrix documentation: Local Host Cache.

Session Recording

Session Recording includes the following new and experimental features:

  • Session Recording integrated into the XenApp and XenDesktop full product installer. With this feature, you can install Session Recording by using the unified XenApp/XenDesktop installer. For more information, see
  • Load balancing for Session Recording. This is an experimental feature to support load balancing across the Session Recording Servers. Citrix recommends that you leverage Citrix NetScaler for load balancing.

For more information, see Citrix documentation: Install, upgrade, and uninstall Session Recording and  Configure Session Recording with load balancing.

Director

Director includes the following new and enhanced features:

  • Disk Monitoring. Director provides IOPS (I/O operations per second) and disk latency measurements of Server and Desktop OS VDAs. Both measurements are important performance measurements of a disk.
    • The Machine Utilization panel is extended to display the real-time average IOPS and disk latency for a selected VDA as graphs.
    • The Historical Machine Utilization to view and export the average IOPS and disk latency measurements for a selected time period. This data helps you troubleshoot disk-related issues on a machine.
    • The Trends -> Resource Utilization tab in Director is extended to display the historical IOPS and disk latency metrics for all VDAs in the selected Delivery Group. The graph displays the average IOPS for the last 24 hours, last month, and last year time periods. The table displays the average and peak IOPS, and the disk latency per machine. This data helps you size and plan disk capacity. This feature requires Delivery Controller(s) and VDAs version 7.14 or later.
      For more information, see Monitor deploymentsTroubleshoot machines, and Monitoring policy settings.
  • GPU Monitoring. Director provides monitoring of the NVIDIA GPU infrastructure in the environment.
    • The Machine Utilization panel on Director is enhanced to display real-time NVIDIA GPU monitoring graphs. The graphs include percentage utilization of the NVIDIA GPU, the GPU memory, and of the Encoder and the Decoder of the Server and Desktop OS VDAs. For VDAs that access more than one GPU, the average of the GPU metrics collected from the individual GPUs is displayed.
      This feature requires Delivery Controller(s) and VDAs version 7.14 or later. GPUs are monitored on VDAs running 64-bit Windows, with NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPUs and running Display Driver version 369.17 or later.
      For more information, see Citrix documentation: Monitor deployments, and Troubleshoot machines.

Multi-type licensing

Multi-type licensing supports consumption of different license types for Delivery Groups on a single XenApp or XenDesktop site. Type is a single combination of Product ID (XDT, MPS) and Model (UserDevice, Concurrent). If multi-type licensing is not configured, different license types can be used only when configured on entirely separate sites.

For more details, see Bas van Kaam post: XenDesktop & XenApp 7.14 multi-type licensing and Citrix documentation: Multi-type licensing.

Virtual Delivery Agents

Version 7.14 of the VDA for Server OS and the VDA for Desktop OS include the following enhancements to HDX technologies:

  • Update to the auto-created client printers setting – the Printer driver mapping and compatibility setting is configured to exclude Microsoft OneNote and XPS Document Writer from the auto-created client printers list.
  • Audio volume persistence – In XenApp, any previous playback volume settings are not lost when you reconnect to a session. For XenDesktop, to restore the volume settings when reconnecting, use the Audio volume persistence tool.
  • Tablet mode in Windows 10 using Windows Continuum – Windows 10 introduced the tablet mode enhanced user experience. Tablet mode supports touch screen devices like phones, tablets, and laptops and optimizes the look and behavior of the apps. When you start a VDA on a touch screen device, the Start screen, and all apps you start, automatically display in tablet mode. All Citrix Receiver platforms support tablet mode. Tablet mode is enabled by default on touch-enabled devices.
    For more information, see Tablet mode for touch screen devices in the HDX article.

VDA installation and upgrades:

  • The 7.14 VDAs contain several new and enhanced features, as described in this section. However, after upgrading your VDAs from version 7.9, 7.11, 7.12, or 7.13, you do not need to update the machine catalog’s functional level. The default (7.9 (or newer …)) remains the current functional level.
    For more information, see Citrix documentation: VDA versions and functional levels.