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XenDesktop & XenApp 7.7 Whats New

 

XenApp 7.7 and XenDesktop 7.7

Prior to the upgrade or fresh install of XenDesktop/XenApp 7.7 you must upgrade or install a new CTX license server with the

he latest version of CTX Licensing Server.

Which you can download from the following location:

https://www.citrix.com/downloads/licensing/license-server/license-server-version-11131-for-windows.html

After the installation you can start the console and this latest build should be presented.

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You could also check the following registry key, or look at installed programs location.

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You can also see from which version you have upgraded, in my Home-Lab this was from 10.1.0.14100.

New Install or Upgrade Delivery Controllers.

At this time we will have the option to do an upgrade or new install of the Citrix Delivery Controllers. First you need to download the appropriate software resources:

https://www.citrix.com/downloads/xendesktop/product-software/xendesktop-77-platinum.html

After downloading the ISO. Run the following executable.

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I will not go in to much detail about the installation. There are a lot of blogs or white papers out there, just search google…

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I will not go in to much detail about the installation. There are a lot of blogs or white papers out there, just search google…

What’s new

This product release includes the following new and enhanced features.

Zones 

In previously releases with IMA we had the availability of so called zones. But in FMA this was missing. So with XD/XA 7.7 this future is returning.

Resources such as Delivery Groups, Controllers and Host Connections can now reside in branch locations (Satelite). Should a local resource for instance a Delivery Controller fails.  The resources will failover to the primary location.

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At this point there are some limitations

  • Branch Offices (Satellite Zones) with no local Delivery Controller or Storefront server will have an Single Point of Failure if the WAN connection is broken.
  • Because the Database is not replicated to Satellite Zones. One needs to implement the Connection Leasing option.

 

For more information, see the Zones article. Or this powerpoint

https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2015/12/29/xenapp-xendesktop-7-7-intro-to-zones-within-fma/

Improved database flow and configuration

When you configure the databases during Site creation, you can now specify separate locations for the Site, Logging, and Monitoring databases. Later, you can specify different locations for all three databases. In previous releases, all three databases were created at the same address, and you could not specify a different address for the Site database later.

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You can now add more Delivery Controllers when you create a Site, as well as later. In previous releases, you could add more Controllers only after you created the Site.

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For more information, see the Databases and Controllers articles.

Application limits

In earlier versions of XenApp, (XenApp 6.5) we where able to configure application limits, so we could prevent users launching multiple instances of an application. This could help for instance for licensing compliancy. With XenApp/XenDesktop 7.7 Citrix is re-introducing this future.

Applications Limits could also help customers to control instances of resource intensive applications, and with this option controlling the load on XenApp Servers.

By default, the XenApp does not impose any limits on the number of instances. Application Limits can be accessed from the Delivery Tab in Applications Settings.

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Applications Limits can be monitored from the following 3 available options:

  • A user will get a generic message “Cannot Start Application”
  • From Director in the Failed Connections Report.
  • From the Event Viewer on the Delivery Controller.

Come to think of it, I don’t think this will work when Leased Connection is used.

For more information, see the Manage applications article.

Multiple notifications before machine updates or scheduled restarts

You can now choose to repeat a notification message that is sent to affected machines before the following types of actions begin:

Updating machines in a Machine Catalog using a new master image

Restarting machines in a Delivery Group according to a configured schedule

If you indicate that the first message should be sent to each affected machine 15 minutes before the update or restart begins, you can also specify that the message be repeated every five minutes until the update/restart begins.

For more information, see the Manage Machine Catalogs and Manage machines in Delivery Groups articles.

API support for managing session roaming

By default, sessions roam between client devices with the user. When the user launches a session and then moves to another device, the same session is used and applications are available on both devices. The applications follow, regardless of the device or whether current sessions exist. Similarly, printers and other resources assigned to the application follow.

You can now use the PowerShell SDK to tailor session roaming. This was an experimental feature in the previous release.

For more information, see the Sessions article.

API support for provisioning VMs from hypervisor templates

When using the PowerShell SDK to create or update a Machine Catalog, you can now select a template from other hypervisor connections. This is in addition to the currently-available choices of VM images and snapshots

Support for new and additional platforms

See the System requirements article for full support information. Information about support for third-party product versions is updated periodically.

By default, SQL Server 2012 Express SP2 is installed when you install the Delivery Controller. SP1 is no longer installed.

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The component installers now automatically deploy 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 runtimes, as well as 2008 and 2010 runtimes. Visual C++ 2005 is no longer deployed.

You can install Studio or VDAs for Windows Desktop OS on machines running Windows 10.

You can create connections to Microsoft Azure virtualization resources.

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The other 2 options which are new in my opinion:

Configuration Manager Wake on LAN;

For a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfMgr) Wake on LAN connection type, which is used with Remote PC Access, enter ConfMgr Wake Proxy, magic packets, and packet transmission information.

No Machine Management

This could be used in combination with for example Nutanix Acropolis

http://support.citrix.com/article/ctx202032?_ga=1.230996767.163420134.1410611670

In the near future there will be an MSI available from Nutanix from which you will have the option to select Nutanix Acropolis as an Hypervisor…

The product ISO no longer includes versions of the Citrix Receiver for Mac and the Citrix Receiver for Linux. You (or your users) can download and install the Citrix Receivers from the Citrix website.

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Alternatively, you can make those Citrix Receivers available from your StoreFront server (see the Make Citrix Receiver installation files available on the server section in the StoreFront 3.0.x documentation, or the equivalent documentation for the StoreFront version you are using).

Citrix Director

The Director version provided with this release contains the following new and enhanced features:

  • Proactive monitoring and alerting

With this new feauture you can configure a Email Server. Furthermore you can make policys with threshold settings etc….

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For more information, see Alerts and notifications.

  • SCOM integration

This feature introduces the ability of Citrix Director to query the SCOM 2012 R2 server for any health and performance alerts that have been configured.

For more information, see SCOM alerts.

  • Windows Authentication

This feature allows the use of the currently logged on users’ credentials to pass-through and log into the Citrix Director sit

For  more information, see Use Director with Integrated Windows Authentication.

  • Desktop and Server OS usage

This option provides insight regarding usage for the XenDesktop and XenApp Site.

For more information, see Monitor historical trends across a Site.

 

REFERENCE MATERIALS USED: CITRIX.COM, SUPPORT.CITRIX.COM AND THE E-DOCS WEBSITE.