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Introducing XenApp 6
The new Citrix XenApp 6 runs only on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Citrix rewrote the code completely for the Windows 64-bit platform. This job provided a great opportunity to optimize the code for performance and scalability (Citrix tested XenApp 6 farms with over 1,000 member servers and 100,000 concurrent sessions) and provided new features.
Here are some of the highlights of the new XenApp 6:
- Citrix Delivery Services Console is the new single management console. Only one console is something all users wanted for years. The new management console has been completely redesigned. We still need a separate console to manage web interface servers and licensing.
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- Citrix Receiver: The new Citrix Receiver for Windows supports eight languages and provides support for new plugins including Single sign-On, WAN acceleration, App-V, and more. Also, there is a new receiver for Mac and mobile users. We can use this receiver on iPhone, iPad, Android, or Blackberry to access applications hosted on XenApp 6.
- Citrix Dazzle: Citrix called Dazzle the first self-service “storefront” for enterprise applications. Dazzle allows corporate employees 24×7 self-service access to the applications they need to work. End users now can subscribe to XenApp applications (including App-V packages) using Dazzle on PC or Mac.
- Active Directory Group Policy integration: Now, we can manage XenApp policies and configure XenApp servers and farm settings using Active Directory Group Policies (GPO).
- PowerShell Support: We can use Microsoft PowerShell to automate common XenApp management tasks. Citrix dropped support for MFCOM (the programming interface for the administration of XenApp servers and farms on previous versions) as the favorite option for developers and added PowerShell 2.0 support.
- Windows service isolation for streamed applications: This new feature allows applications to install Windows services and they can be profiled and streamed. This new option increases the number of streamed applications supported. Applications like Microsoft Office 2010 or Adobe Creative Suite install a windows service. Now we can profile and stream them, and other applications, using the new service isolation technology.
- Citrix HDX technologies: Provide better multimedia and high-definition experience with support for more USB devices than ever before. Citrix HDX offers great improvements in both audio and video quality. New video conference capabilities and advanced Adobe Flash support are included too. Also, HDX provides multi-monitor support, improving application compatibility when we use multiple monitors.
- Support for Windows portable USB devices: This feature allows our users to plug in their USB devices like cameras, scanners, and other devices and access them from their published applications on XenApp 6. The Role-based Setup Wizard simplifies server deployment and reduces installation time. The new redesigned setup makes installation simple, fast, and intuitive. Now we can install XenApp 6 in a few clicks. Also, by separating the installation from the configuration, we simplified XenApp deployments using Provisioning services or other image management solutions.
- Microsoft App-V integration allows us to manage and deliver both Citrix and Microsoft application delivery from a single point. Also, App-V managed applications can now be delivered via Citrix Dazzle. Administrators can now distribute App-V plugin to end-point devices using Citrix Receiver.
- Multi-lingual User Interface (MUI): XenApp now supports MUI. This feature allows multinational companies to deploy one XenApp server to serve users who need access to their applications in their local language.
In addition to these major features and enhancements, XenApp 6 included other features like great Web Interface, Single Sign-on, and SmartAuditor enhancements, new 32-bit color support, Windows 7 smart card support, and so on.
XenApp feature overview
This section provides summary descriptions of some of the most popular XenApp features. This section will help new Citrix customers to understand major features on the last three versions of XenApp (XenApp 4.5, 5.0, 6.0).
- Access applications from any device, anytime, anywhere: We can deliver any published Windows application to an extensive variety of user devices and operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, UNIX, DOS, Java, and mobile devices like iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Android devices.
- Active Directory Federation Services support: We can use ADFS to provide business partners access to published applications.
- Application gateway: Citrix provides SSL-proxy, using both hardware (Citrix NetScaler and Citrix Access Gateway) and software (Citrix Secure Gateway) solutions, to allow remote users to access published applications in XenApp, securely.
- CPU utilization management: This feature prevents users and their processes from utilizing the CPU too much and guarantees a consistent performance level for all users on the XenApp server.
- Installation Manager: This feature allows us to remotely install applications to multiple XenApp servers simultaneously.
- Network Management Console Integration: XenApp supports SNMP monitoring and integration with third-party network management tools, including Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), IBM Tivoli, HP OpenView, CAUnicenter.
- Novell eDirectory and NDS Support: XenApp 6 provides support for Novell eDirectory and Domain Services for Windows, allowing XenApp to authenticate Novell users.
- Power and capacity management: We can create system policies to manage server power consumption. This feature can turn on/off XenApp servers. As users log off and idle resources increase, idle servers are shut down. When users arrive in the morning and they log on to the farm, servers are powered up. Also, we can schedule time for powering on and powering off servers.
- Single Sign-On: This feature (formerly known as Password Manager) provides single sign-on access to Windows, web, and terminal emulator applications. The self-service password reset feature included in single sign-on allows users to reset their domain password or unlock their Windows account.
- SmartAuditor: Uses policies to allow us to record the on-screen activity of any user’s session, over any type of connection, from any server running XenApp. SmartAuditor records, catalogs, and archives sessions for review.
- Web interface: The web interface allows users access to published applications and content on XenApp through a standard web browser or Citrix Plug-in. Web interface provides built-in support for two-factor, RADIUS, and Smart Card authentication, simple customization through the management console and multilingual support, for the following languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), and Korean.