XenApp 7.13 & XenDesktop 7.13 extends the capabilities of our industry-leading HDX user experience technology while also simplifying the administrative experience.
The XenApp 7.13 and XenDesktop 7.13 release includes new versions of the Windows VDAs and new versions of several XenApp and XenDesktop core components.
XenApp 7.13 is the industry-leading solution for virtual application delivery, providing Windows apps to workers on any device, anywhere. By centralizing control with XenApp 7.13, you can give your team the freedom of mobility while increasing security and reducing IT costs.
XenDesktop enables employees the freedom to work from anywhere while cutting IT costs. With industry-leading XenApp built in, XenDesktop can deliver full virtual desktops or just apps to any device.
This release marks a major milestone with significant enhancements to HDX. With new Adaptive Transport Technology, users benefit from faster, more responsive sessions across all functions by up to 10x — even over challenging network conditions. Furthermore, overall bandwidth consumption is reduced by up to 60% using the default graphics settings. Performance and scalability is improved when running on Intel graphics platforms and expanded USB tablet integration opens up new possibilities. Admins benefit with simplified setup of NetScaler Gateway, quick identification of inactive sessions and expanded Linux support.
- Install or upgrade a XenApp 7.13 or XenDesktop Site
Use the ISO for this release to install or upgrade all the core components and Virtual Delivery Agents. This allows you to use all of the latest features, summarized below.
- Install or upgrade VDAs in an existing Site
If you have a XenApp 7.13 or XenDesktop deployment, and aren’t ready to upgrade your core components, you can still use several of the latest HDX features by installing (or upgrading to) a new VDA. This is often helpful when you want to test enhancements in a non-production environment. New and updated features in the VDAs are summarized below.
XenApp 7.13 and XenDesktop 7.13
The product release includes the following new and enhanced features.
New page in VDA installers:
The graphical wizards of the VDA installers (except VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe) have a new page named Additional Components. This page lists several components that can be installed.
User Profile Manager
User Profile Manager WMI Plugin
Machine Identity Service
AppDisk and Personal vDisk
By default, all of these additional components are selected if you select “Create a master image” on the Environment page of the VDA installation wizard. If you select “Enable Remote PC Access” on the Environment page, none of the additional components are selected by default.
This feature brings the graphical and command-line interfaces of the VDA installers into closer equivalency. Each of these components can be omitted from a command-line installation by using the /exclude option. (By design, the VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe VDA installer cannot install any of these components.)
If you upgrade a VDA that does not have those components already installed, default settings could result in those components being installed during the upgrade, unless you specifically exclude them or use the VDAWorkstationCoreServices.exe installer.
Installing Citrix App-V components when installing a VDA:
Previously, you enabled or disabled installation of the Citrix App-V software on the Features page of the VDA installer wizards (except VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe). To disable Citrix App-V software installation from the VDA command line, you used the /no_appv option.
Now, you enable or disable Citrix App-V software installation on the Additional Components page of the VDA installation wizards (except VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe). To disable Citrix App-V software installation from the command line, use the /exclude “Citrix Personalization for App-V – VDA” option. (The /no_appv command-line option is no longer valid.)
If you enable the Citrix Personalization for App-V – VDA check box, the “Citrix AppDisk / Personal vDisk” components are automatically selected. This is a known issue in this release. You can prevent this by installing the VDA from the command line containing the /exclude “Personal vDisk” option.
Additional UDP ports opened in firewall during VDA installation:
If you enable the new HDX adaptive transport policy setting, UDP ports 1494 and 2598 are automatically opened in the Windows firewall by default when you install or upgrade a VDA using the graphical interface. (These ports are listed on the Firewall page of the installation wizard). These ports are used for communication with the Delivery Controller.
When installing a VDA from the command line, specify the new /enable_hdx_udp_ports option when using the new adaptive transport policy setting.
Note: TCP ports 1494 and 2598 are opened automatically for use during fallback or when the adaptive transport feature is not used. Those TCP ports are already covered with the existing /enable_hdx_ports options.
You can now configure Application Groups so that application session sharing is disabled between applications in the same Application Group. In some circumstances this may be desirable: for example, you may want users to start non-seamless applications in full size application windows on separate monitors. In this mode applications in the Application Group always run in separate sessions which are indistinguishable from each other for subsequent brokering and reconnection purposes. If a disconnected session exists which is already running the requested application, it is reconnected. You can disable application session sharing using the PowerShell SDK only.
See Installation above for details about installing Citrix App-V components when installing a VDA.
AppDisk includes the following new features and enhancements:
- Updated logging mechanism. An enhancement to the AppDisk logging and support paradigm allows an administrator to obtain diagnostic information and optionally upload it to the Citrix Insight Services (CIS) website.
Session Recording includes the following new and enhanced features:
- Database names are configurable. You can use a custom name or the default database name for the Session Recording Database and for the Administrator Logging Database.
- Database high availability. Session Recording supports three solutions for database high availability based on Microsoft SQL Server.
Director includes the following new and enhanced features:
- Application-centric troubleshooting. This enhancement facilitates troubleshooting of active application instances in a XenApp 7.13 and XenDesktop Site with the introduction of a new Application Instances slice-n-dice page in the Filters view. The page displays all active application instances on VDAs of Server OS, and their idle state information.
Additionally, the Sessions slice-n-dice page is extended to include the session idle time metric enabling easy identification of idle sessions. You can sort and filter the session and application instances based on their idle time measurements and select instances to log off or disconnect.
The Application Instances filter page and idle time measurements in the Sessions filter pages are available if Director, the Delivery Controller(s), and VDAs are version 7.13 or later.
- Transport protocol on Session Details panel. The Director Session Details panel is enhanced to display the transport protocol in use for the session. The protocol is displayed as TCP or UDP for the HDX connection type based on the new HDX adaptive transport technology.
For more information about the representation in Director, see Monitor Sessions in Monitor Deployments.
Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) 7.13
- Adaptive transport. Adaptive transport for XenApp 7.13 and XenDesktop optimizes data transport by applying a new Citrix protocol called Enlightened Data Transport (EDT) in preference to TCP whenever possible. Compared to TCP and UDP, EDT delivers a superior user experience on long-haul WAN and internet connections. EDT dynamically responds to changing network conditions while maintaining high server scalability and efficient use of network capacity. EDT is built on UDP and improves data throughput for all ICA virtual channels, including Thinwire display remoting, file transfer (Client Drive Mapping), printing, multimedia redirection. If UDP is not available, adaptive transport automatically reverts to TCP.
Enable it using the HDX Adaptive Transport policy setting. The same setting is applicable on both LAN and WAN conditions. This feature requires Citrix Receiver for Windows 4.7 or Citrix Receiver for Mac 12.5. For external secure access, it requires NetScaler Unified Gateway 11.1.51.
- HDX 3D Pro support for AMD GPUs. Use HDX 3D Pro graphics acceleration technologies with AMD Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) on the AMD FirePro S-series server cards. This release includes support for multimonitors (up to a maximum of six), console blanking, custom resolution, and high frame rate. For more information, see GPU acceleration for Windows Desktop OS and AMD Virtualization Solution.
- Access to a high-performance video encoder for Intel Iris Pro graphics processors. The Use hardware encoding for video codec policy setting enables the use of hardware encoding for Intel Iris Pro graphics processors (new in 7.13) and for NVIDIA GRID GPUs (introduced in 7.11). For Intel Iris Pro graphics processors, hardware encoding is supported with VDAs for Desktop OS (in standard or HDX 3D Pro mode) and VDAs for Server OS. For NVIDIA GRID GPUs, hardware encoding is supported with VDAs for Desktop OS in HDX 3D Pro mode.
- Enhanced drawing features on Wacom tablets. Wacom drawing tablets can connect to published desktops on a remote desktop service (RDS) VM when redirected with generic USB redirection. Though you can use the tablet’s pen device as a mouse device while it is redirected, we recommend that you also maintain a standard USB mouse, which is not redirected, to allow access to local client functions. The redirected device is active only inside the session and doesn’t have control over the local client. Install the driver for the Wacom devices on the hosting RDS OS and the same driver must support each device connected to the server.
- Enhanced support for Asian languages. Enables the local Input Method Editor (IME) from the client device for entering text into a virtual desktop or application instead of the pre-deployed IME on the server. Using the local IME enables additional language choices because of the various IME brands available for the client. Using the local IME affords you convenience when using client touch keyboards, and an experience that is the same as using a native application. To enable or disable the local IME on the client, use these commands on the command line interface: wfica32.exe /localime:on to enable it and wfica32.exe /localime:off to disable it.
- Auto client reconnect and session reliability consistency. Auto client reconnect and session reliability allow users to reconnect automatically to their Citrix Receiver sessions after recovering from network disruptions. Updates to auto client reconnect and session reliability policies in Studio are synchronized from server to client, which helps maintain reliable connectivity.
- Bidirectional content redirection. Enables administrators to specify client to host and host to client URL redirection using group policies. Server policies are set in Studio, and client polices are set from group policy.
- Client drive mapping. File copying performance is enhanced.
VDA installation and upgrade changes:
- See Installation above for changes to the VDA installers.
- The 7.13 VDAs contain several new and enhanced features, as described in this section. However, after upgrading your VDAs from version 7.9, 7.11, or 7.12, you do not need to update the Machine Catalog’s functional level. The default (“7.9 (or newer …)”) remains the current functional level. For information, see VDA versions and functional levels.
- SAML authentication through StoreFront. Administrators can configure StoreFront to integrate with a SAML Identity Provider in Manage Authentication Methods > SAML Authentication.
- Import multiple NetScaler Gateway vServer configurations. Administrators can import multiple vServer configurations from the StoreFront management console (Manage NetScaler Gateways > imported from file) or using PowerShell.
- Configure two URLs for the same NetScaler Gateway using the StoreFront PowerShell SDK. In 3.9, administrators can set a new optional paramater, -gslburl, on the GslbLocation attribute. This simplifies the NetScaler Gateway administration in StoreFront.
- Support for adaptive transport.
- Citrix Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). You are now automatically enrolled in CEIP when you install StoreFront.
Provisioning Services 7.13
- PVS-Accelerator. This feature enables a PVS proxy to reside in the XenServer’s Control Domain on a host where streaming of a Provisioning Services vDisk is cached at the proxy before being forwarded to the virtual machine. Using the cache, subsequent booting (or any I/O requests) of the virtual machine on the same host can be streamed from the proxy rather than streaming from the server over the network. Using this model, more local resources on the XenServer host are consumed, but streaming from the server over the network saves resources, effectively improving performance.
- Linux streaming. You can now provision Linux virtual desktops directly in the XenDesktop environment.