Today, Citrix XenApp 7.6 was released (and XenDesktop 7.6). It addresses some features that have been "missing" from XenApp since the 7.x platform was released. If this release is all it's cracked up to be, I think you'll see most XenApp customers on 6.x (or those still on 4.5, you know who you are) will be looking to upgrade to 7.6 sooner than later.
So, what exactly is in 7.6 that changes this thinking?
- Connection Leasing - Remember the local host cache? Well most of my clients do, and have noted its departure on the 7.x architecture. Connection leasing is how Citrix is addressing it starting with 7.6. Though it doesn't offer quite the same functionality, and highly available databases are still recommended, it can keep the environment running and allow access to a user's commonly used applications and desktops while the database is down
- Anonymous Users - We have a handful of clients (Healthcare, I am talking about you) who leveraged the anonymous user capability in previous versions. It comes back with 7.6.
- Session pre-launch and linger - These features made a quick appearance in XenApp 6.5 then went away. Now they are back. Pre-launch offers an enhanced user experience for situations where published applications are launched from a desktop by a user after logging into their PC. It launches a session in the background, loads the applications, and keeps it in a disconnected state until the user opens it. Once the application is open, the user connects to an existing session, which is almost instantaneous. Linger keeps the session open (disconnected) longer after closing out applications so if another application is launched, the session is reconnected and the applications is loaded. Both features are designed to hide and/or eliminate the authentication/logon process from the user.
- Application Folders - You can now put applications in folders to allow for groupings of applications or suites. This was possible using keywords, but this version makes it easier to administrate.
- Application Usage in Director - Director can now report on concurrent application usage in the environment, like EdgeSight had in the past.
Of course, XenDesktop 7.6 also has these new features (at least the ones that apply) as they share the same foundation and architecture. So, features like Connection Leasing will help Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop customers.
Contact Gotham to discuss your upgrade to XenApp / XenDesktop 7.6!