As part of XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 Feature Pack2, the first release of Framehawk technology is now generally available. Framehawk introduces a new ICA virtual channel.
Mobile users of desktop virtualization often experience sluggish performance on wireless and Internet connections. People these days are very mobile. Moving around campus or within a building with the laptop, tablets. They need access to there workspace on XenApp or XenDesktop. Spectral interference is a common problem.
So Framehawk targets broadband etwork connections with packet loss, high latency, jitter and congestion. With there current HDX (High Definition Experience) Citrix is leader. With the Framehawk technology Citrix is raising the bar towards more and better UX (User Experience). In user perspective it is all about:
- Fluidity /FPS
- Click response
- Visual response
- Minimal mouse lag
- Network tolerance
So what’s supported and needed.
- New UDP based virtual channel
- VDA add-on for XenDesktop 7.6 and XenApp 7.6
- Citrix Receiver 4.3 for Windows
- Interoperability with NetScaler Gateway 11 (UDP)
- New Policies for Studio
- Compatible with Director, CloudBridge and NetScaler HDX Insight
Thinwire will still be used as the primary display remoting channel in the ICA protocol. Framehawk is turned off by default. And should be turned on within Studio policies
Citrix Receiver needs to be able to intemperate what a user is doing. For example, when a user is scrolling text or even webpages. For a user it is not so important that the text or images is not that perfect. But when scrolling stops, this text should perfect. So we can read.
Framehawk is an added feature and interact with some components. We will look at upgrading the components step by step.
I am using my Home lab which consist of an Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V environment with a Citrix Xen App/Desktop 7.6 in place. Machine Creation Services and Provisioning Services.
After the download of the Framehawk76FP2.zip package the following components are available.
|Virtual Delivery Agent|
|ICAWS760WX64022.msp||For x86 machines Desktop OS|
|ICAWS760WX86022.msp||For x64 machines Desktop OS|
|WMIProxy_x86(x64).msi||Citrix Director 7.6.300|
|HDXWMIPROV220WX64001.msi||Citrix HDX WMI Provider hot fix|
|GPMx240WX86002.msi||GPO update for x86 machines|
|GPMx240WX64002.msi||GPO update for x64 machines|
|XDPoshModule760WX86002.msi||Director 7.6.300 x86|
|XDPoshModule760WX64002.msi||Director 7.6.300 x64|
|DesktopDirector.msi||Update for x32 machines|
|DesktopDirector_x64.msi||Update for x64 machines|
|CitrixReceiver.exe||Citrix Receiver for Windows 4.3|
First we are going to update the VDA in a master image
|Log in to you’re master image and select the correct appropriate version of the VDA upgrade package|
|Choose for “Run”|
|Choose Next to continue|
|Click on “update”|
|Click Finish to continue|
|At this point restart the master image VM|
After the Hotfix you should also install the WMIProxy for the right OS.
The Citrix HDX WMI Provider HDXWMIPROV220WX64001.msi is installed during the upgrade of the VDA. When a server operating system is used, this should be installed separately.
In my lab environment I am using Citrix Studio on the Citrix Desktop Delivery Controller..So here I am going to install the GPO update package on this machine.
Configuration of Citrix Policy
The Framehawk virtual channel is disabled by default. After completing the GPO installation update, you must configure the policies to enable Framehawk for appropriate users. When enabled, the server attempts to use the Framehawk channel for user’s graphics and input. Otherwise the server falls back to ThinWire
|Start studio and create a new policy for the Framehawk Virtual ChannelSelect the options as presented in the example|
|Associate the policy with the correct delivery group|
|Name the created policyAnd click on Finish to continue
Updating the Machine Catalog
At this point my master image for Windows 8.1 is updated with latest VDA. And now I need to update other desktops in my lab envirioment.
I am using MCS (Machine Creation Services)
|Log in to Studio and select Machine Catalogs. Right click and choose update machines for the correct catalog group|
|Select the master image with the latest version of VDA|
|Click finish to continue|
|Upgrade will proceed.|
Updating Citrix Director
Starting a desktop session and checking the configuration.
|Log in to StoreFront with a testuser and start a desktop session|
|After login to Director, you can see that Framehawk is enabled.|