Virtualization Technology News and Information
Citrix Releases XenDesktop 7.11 - Adds Microsoft Support, Improved User Experience, Simplified Management and More

This week, Citrix announced the release of XenDesktop 7.11, the follow-up version to XenDesktop 7.9 released in Q2 2016.  If you're wondering if you missed a release somewhere between 7.9 and 7.11 (a mysterious version 7.10 perhaps), the answer is -- no.  Allen Furmanski, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Citrix, told reporters that the company elected to skip numbering the new release as 7.10 because of possible confusion and conflicts that could occur with scripts and other programmatic references already being made to version 7.1 (it's the issue of 7.1 vs 7.10).

With this latest release of XenDesktop 7.11, Citrix has added quite a few new features and enhancements.  Some of which include:

Open Arms with Microsoft

XenDesktop 711 MSDay1 

Day 1 support for Windows Server 2016 VDAs

Version 7.11 is already able to work with the upcoming Microsoft Windows Server 2016 release.  As soon as Microsoft's next-generation server operating system is ready, users will be able to use XenDesktop 7.11 to take advantage of the new platform for server-based desktops.  While it may not be likely that most organizations will be rolling out Windows Server 2016 immediately upon release, the good news here is that Citrix is ready out of the gate this time, as opposed to playing catch up after the fact with a release that adds support for an OS that's been out for months.  This is a welcomed change that hopefully will persist down the road.

Leverage Azure Resource Manager

With XenDesktop 7.11, Citrix becomes more dedicated to Azure.  Users have the ability to leverage on-premises XenDesktop site to provision, via Machine Creation Services, desktop workloads to Azure Resource Manager.  Users can now create a new XenDesktop deployment entirely within Azure or extend an existing on-premises deployment to Azure with the scale and flexibility required – regardless of the location of the on-premises datacenter.

Simplified Management and Enhanced Monitoring

Zones Preference - Context-aware delivery

For organizations with multiple XenDesktop deployments distributed across the globe to help support an international workforce, it is possible to logically group site resources based on physical location or other factors to streamline management efficiency.

This is an extremely useful addition.  With zone preference, IT can deliver the best possible user experience while reducing network traffic.  Administrators can define how users connect to their desktops based on criteria such as the location from which the user is currently connecting from, what data center the desktop image resides in, or the location of the user's profile.

Simplified Management for Dedicated VDI

If you've ever had to provision a VM for an executive or a member of upper management, you've probably granted access to a dedicated virtual machine.  Execs want access to their own personalized virtual desktop, much more akin to a physical standalone machine.  Full clones for these type of machines allows IT to easily handle storage operations and migrations as required.  Now you can simplify the lifecycle maintenance of dedicated VMs by provisioning full clones using Machine Creation Services.

XenDesktop 711 machine creation 

Improved User Experience

What desktop virtualization solution would be complete without adding enhancements to the end user experience?

Citrix Profile Management

Optimizing user profile configuration can enhance performance and simplify administration within a XenDesktop site.  However, user profile corruption is a common reality in many organizations due to a variety of factors such as storage, malware, and application issues. 

To help solve the User Environment Management issue, Citrix acquired Norskale to beef up the user experience.

Graphics Improvements

Yes, of course this latest XenDesktop release has updates to HDX, its distinguished flagship feature which sets Citrix apart from the competition. 

The default overall graphics quality in XenDesktop 7.11 is noticeably sharper without any bandwidth increases.  Users will be able to conserve resources while providing a great user experience for advanced HDX 3D Pro graphics using NVIDIA’s NVENC hardware-based video encoding for NVIDIA GPUs.  This is available with Maxwell (for best performance) and previous generation Kepler series NVIDIA graphics cards.

Enhanced graphics performance is also made available via all-in-one CPU and GPU from Intel via HDX 3D Pro integration with Intel Iris Pro Graphics (CPUs with built-in graphics processing).  Citrix XenDesktop adds support for Iris Pro Direct pass-through and Iris Pro Virtual GPU sharing.  

Citrix has also added an optimized delivery method for mixed video and text content.  XenDesktop can intelligently adapt the user display for optimal graphics performance when users are running both video and text-based content to provide the best possible quality and server scalability.  The dynamic graphic optimization is based on content type: i.e. Video content makes use of H.264 (green - video and 3D graphics with high CPU usage); Images make use of Thinwire ( purple - low CPU usage); Text makes use of Overlay Lossless (blue - precise for text to avoid blur).

XenDesktop 711 optimized



For the above and so much more, Citrix customers with active Software Maintenance (SWM) or Subscription Advantage (SA), as of September 8, 2016, you are encouraged to download XenDesktop 7.11 today.

Published Friday, September 16, 2016 5:49 PM by David Marshall
There are no comments for this post.
To post a comment, you must be a registered user. Registration is free and easy! Sign up now!
<September 2016>