A goal of Citrix is to deliver new features and product updates to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service customers when they are available. New releases provide more value, so there’s no reason to delay updates. Rolling updates to the service release approximately every three weeks.
This process is transparent to you. Initial updates are applied to Citrix internal sites only, and are then applied to customer environments gradually. Delivering updates incrementally in waves helps ensure product quality and maximize availability.
For details about the Service Level Agreement for cloud scale and service availability, see Service Level Agreement. To monitor service interruptions and scheduled maintenance, see the Service Health Dashboard.
Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs): VDAs for Windows machines generally release at the same time as the on-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops product.
- For information about new VDA and HDX features, see the What’s new and Known issues articles for the current on-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops release.
- For information about VDA platforms and features that are no longer supported, see Deprecation. That article also includes platforms and features that are scheduled to be unsupported in a future release (such as which operating systems support VDA installation).
New and enhanced features
Hypervisor alerts monitoring. Alerts from Citrix Hypervisor and VMware vSphere are now displayed in the Monitor > Alerts tab to help monitor the following states/parameters of hypervisor health:
- CPU usage
- Memory usage
- Network usage
- Hypervisor connection unavailable
- Disk usage (vSphere only)
- Host connection or power state (vSphere only)
For more information, see the Hypervisor alerts monitoring section in Alerts and Notifications.
Communications over earlier TLS versions. To improve the security of the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, Citrix will block any communication over Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1 as of March 15, 2019, allowing only TLS 1.2 communications. For details, see TLS versions. For comprehensive guidance, see CTX247067.
Application Groups. Application Groups let you manage collections of applications. You can create Application Groups for applications shared across different Delivery Groups or used by a subset of users within Delivery Groups. (The “restrict by tag” feature is not currently available.) For details, see Create Application Groups.
Logon Performance - Profile Drilldown. The Logon Duration panel in the User Details page within Monitor now includes information on the Profile load phase drill down of the logon process. Profile Drilldown provides useful information about user profiles for the current session that can help administrators troubleshoot high profile load issues. A tool tip with the following user profiles information is displayed:
- Number of files
- Profile size
- Number of large files
A detailed drill down provides information about the individual folders, their size, and the number of files. This feature is available on VDAs 1811 or later. For more information, see Diagnose user logon issues.
Microsoft RDS license health. Monitor the Microsoft RDS (Remote Desktop Services) license status on the Machine Details panel in the Machine Details and the User Details page for Server OS machines. An appropriate message is displayed for the license status. You can hover over the info icon to see further details. For more information, see the Microsoft RDS license health section in Troubleshooting Machines.
Application Probing. This feature automates the assessment of the health of Virtual Apps published in a Site.
To initiate application probing:
- On one or more endpoint machines, install the Citrix Application Probe Agent
- Configure the Citrix Application Probe Agent with the credentials of Citrix Workspace and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service.
- Configure the applications to be probed, the endpoint machines to run the probe on, and the scheduled probe time in Monitor > Configuration of the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service.
The agent tests the launch of selected applications via Citrix Workspace and reports back the probe results on the Monitor tab of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service in:
- the Applications page – the last 24-hours’ data and the Trends > Application Probe Results page
- the historical probe data along with the stage when the probe failure occurred - Workspace Reachability, WorkspaceAuthentication, WorkspaceEnumeration, ICA download, or Application launch
The failure report is emailed to configured email addresses. You can schedule your application probes to run during off-peak hours across multiple geographical locations, and use the results to proactively troubleshoot issues related to provisioned applications, hosting machines or connections before the users experience them. For more information, see Application Probing.
New and enhanced features
Delegated Administration with custom scope. Monitoring now supports custom scope for built-in delegated administrator roles. For more information on the available built-in roles for monitoring and how to assign them, see Delegated administrator roles.
- The date after which Citrix will block communication over Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1 has changed from December 31, 2018 to January 31, 2019. For details, see Deprecation of TLS versions.
New and enhanced features
Machine historical data available using OData API: Historical data containing machine analytics is now available through the OData API. This data is collected on an hourly basis and rolled up for the day.
- Number of powered on machines (for power managed machines)
- Number of registered machines
- Number of machines in maintenance mode
- Total number of machines
The data is aggregated for the time period during which the Monitoring Service is running. For more information on the usage of the OData API and examples, see Citrix Monitor Service 7 1808. The database schema is available at Monitor Service Schema.
Logon Performance - Interactive session drilldown: The Logon Duration panel in the User and Session Details view includes information on the Interactive Session phase of the logon process. The time taken for each of the three subphases (Pre-userinit, Userinit, and Shell) is displayed in the Interactive Session bar as a tooltip. This provides more granular troubleshooting and remediation of this phase of the logon. The cumulative time delay between the subphases and a link to the documentation is also provided. This feature is available on Delivery Controller version 7 1808 or later. The Interactive Session drilldown bar shows the time duration for the current session only. For more information, see Diagnose user logon issues.
Logon Performance - GPO drilldown: The Logon Duration panel in the User and Session details view contains the GPO (Group Policy Objects) duration. This is the total time taken to apply the GPOs on the virtual machine during the logon process. Now, you can see the drilldown of each policy applied as per CSEs (Clients-Side Extension) as a tool tip in the GPO bar. For each policy application, the drilldown displays the status and the time taken. This additional information eases troubleshooting and remediation of issues involving high GPO duration. The time durations in the drilldown represent the CSE processing time only and do not add up to the total GPO time. This feature is available on Delivery Controller version 7 1808 or later. For more information, see Diagnose user logon issues.
Custom report queries saved during monitoring are not available after a Cloud upgrade. [DNA-23420]
New and enhanced features
- Applications: Limit per machine. You can now limit the number of application instances per machine. This limit applies to all machines in the Site. This limit is an addition to the existing application limit for all users in the Delivery Group and the limit per user. This capability is available only through PowerShell, not in Studio. For details, see Configure application limits.
- Windows Server 2019. You can now install VDAs for Server OS on Windows Server 2019 machines, as noted in System requirements.
New and enhanced features
Delegated Administration. With Delegated Administration, you can configure the access permissions that all of your administrators need, in accordance with their role in your organization. For details, see Delegated Administration. Monitoring supports allocation of built-in roles; they are currently available with full scope. For more information on the available built-in roles for monitoring and how to assign them, see Delegated administrator roles.
Configuration Logging. Configuration Logging allows administrators to keep track of configuration changes and administrative activities. For details, see Configuration Logging.
Several PowerShell cmdlets in the Remote PowerShell SDK that were previously disabled are now enabled, for use with Configuration Logging:
Local Host Cache. Local Host Cache is now fully available. Local Host Cache enables connection brokering operations to continue when a Cloud Connector in a resource location cannot communicate with Citrix Cloud. For details, see Local Host Cache.
Citrix Provisioning. To provision VDAs, you can now use Citrix Provisioning or the existing Machine Creation Services. For Citrix Provisioning information specific to the cloud environment, see Citrix Provisioning managed by Citrix Cloud.
In earlier versions, when using Azure on-demand provisioning, all VMs were deleted when powered-off. Now, only pooled VMs are deleted. Persistent (dedicated) VMs are not deleted when powered-off.
New product names
If you’ve been a Citrix customer or partner for a while, you’ll notice new names in our products and in this product documentation. If you’re new to this Citrix product, you might see different names for a product or component.
The new product and component names stem from the expanding Citrix portfolio and cloud strategy. Articles in this product documentation use the following names.
- Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops offers a virtual app and desktop solution, provided as a cloud service and as an on-premises product, giving employees the freedom to work from anywhere on any device while cutting IT costs. Deliver Windows, Linux, web, and SaaS applications or full virtual desktops from any cloud: public, on premises or hybrid. Virtual Apps and Desktops was formerly XenApp and XenDesktop.
- Citrix Workspace app: The Citrix Workspace app incorporates existing Citrix Receiver technology as well as the other Citrix Workspace client technologies. It has been enhanced to deliver additional capabilities to provide end users with a unified, contextual experience where they can interact with all the work apps, files, and devices they need to do their best work. For more information, see this blog post.
- Citrix SD-WAN: NetScaler SD-WAN, a crucial technology for our customers and partners transforming their branch networks and WANs with cloud technology, is now Citrix SD-WAN.
- Citrix Secure Web Gateway: As the Citrix Networking portfolio expands, we’re proud to offer our robust Citrix Secure Web Gateway service, previously known as NetScaler Secure Web Gateway.
- Citrix Gateway: Our robust NetScaler Unified Gateway, which allows secure, contextual access to the apps and data you need to do your best work, is now Citrix Gateway.
- Citrix Content Collaboration and Citrix Files for Windows: The advanced access, collaboration, workflows, rights management, and integration features of ShareFile are now available in the Citrix Content Collaboration component set in our secure, contextual, integrated Citrix Workspace. Citrix Files for Windows allows you to access your Content Collaboration files directly through a mapped drive, providing a native Windows Explorer experience.
- Citrix Hypervisor: The technology from XenServer for virtualization infrastructure, based on the XenProject hypervisor, is now Citrix Hypervisor.
Here’s a quick recap:
Is Was Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops XenApp and XenDesktop Citrix Workspace app Incorporates Citrix Receiver and extensive enhancements Citrix SD-WAN NetScaler SD-WAN Citrix Secure Web Gateway NetScaler Secure Web Gateway Citrix Gateway NetScaler Unified Gateway Citrix Content Collaboration ShareFile Citrix Files for Windows ShareFile Desktop App, ShareFile Sync, ShareFile Drive Mapper Citrix Hypervisor XenServer Citrix Provisioning Citrix Provisioning Services
Implementing this transition in our products and their documentation is an ongoing process.
- In-product content might still contain former names. For example, you might see instances of earlier names in console text, messages, and directory/file names.
- It is possible that some items (such as commands and MSIs) might continue to retain their former names to prevent breaking existing customer scripts.
- Related product documentation and other resources (such as videos and blog posts) that are linked from this product’s documentation might still contain former names.
- For Citrix Hypervisor: The new name will be used on the Citrix website and in informational product materials from September 2018. You will also see the new name in the administrator consoles of some Citrix products, such as Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. The XenServer product release and technical documentation materials will continue to use XenServer 7.x until early 2019.
Your patience during this transition is appreciated.
For more detail about our new names, see https://www.citrix.com/about/citrix-product-guide/.
Product and component version number changes
Citrix installs and manages most of the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops components, so you won’t be concerned with those version numbers. However, you might see version numbers when installing Cloud Connectors, and when installing or upgrading VDAs in resource locations.
Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops product and component version numbers are displayed in the format: YYMM.c.m.b
- YYMM = Year and month when the product or component released. For example, a September 2018 release appears as 1809.
- c = Citrix Cloud release number for the month.
- m = Maintenance version (if applicable).
- b = Build number. This field is shown only on the About page of the component, and in the OS’s feature for removing or changing programs.
For example, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1809.1.0 indicates that the component released in September 2018. It is associated with Citrix Cloud release 1 in that month, and is not a maintenance version. Some displays show only the version’s year and month: for example, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop 1809.
In earlier releases (7.18 and earlier), version numbers were displayed in the format: 7.version, where version incremented by one for each release. For example, the VDA release following XenApp and XenDesktop 7.17 was 7.18. Earlier releases (7.18 and earlier) will not be updated with the new numbering format.
Deprecation of TLS versions. To improve the security of the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, Citrix will block any communication over Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1, effective December 31, 2018. For details, see Deprecation of TLS versions.
Google Cloud Platform virtualization environment. The Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service supports the ability to manually power cycle Virtual Apps and Desktops VMs on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). For more information, see Google Cloud Platform virtualization environments.
- Export of Filters data. You can now export real-time monitoring data in the Monitor > Filters tab to CSV format files. The export feature is available from the Machines, Sessions, Connections, and Application Instances Filters pages. You can select a predefined custom filter or select suitable filter criteria, choose required columns in the table, and export the data. Data of up to 100,000 records can be exported. The exported CSV files give a comprehensive view of the real-time data, and helps ease analysis of large data sets.
- Azure Resource Manager connections. In the Studio connection creation wizard, the Azure environment selection on the Connection page includes all Azure Clouds that are valid for your Azure subscription. General availability for Azure US Government Cloud and Azure Germany Cloud replaces the preview versions of those two environments in earlier releases.
Azure Quick Deploy. When your resource location uses Azure Resource Manager machines to deliver applications and desktops, you can now choose a deployment method:
- Full Configuration: This existing method uses the Studio management console, which guides you through creating a machine catalog and then creating a Delivery Group.
- Azure Quick Deploy: This new option offers a simpler interface that offers faster deployment of apps and desktops.
For details, see Azure Quick Deploy.
Citrix Health Assistant link. The Machine Details page of an unregistered machine in the Monitoring console now contains a Health Assistant button. Currently, the button links to the Troubleshoot machines article in docs.citrix.com and to the Knowledge Center article, Citrix Health Assistant - Troubleshoot VDA Registration and Session Launch where you can download the tool. Citrix Health Assistant is a tool to troubleshoot configuration issues in unregistered VDAs. The tool automates a number of health checks to identify possible root causes for common VDA registration, session launch, and time zone redirection configuration issues.
Interactive Session drilldown. In the monitoring console, the User Details view > Logon Duration panel now includes information on the Interactive Session stage of the logon process. To provide more granular troubleshooting and remediation of this phase of the logon, Interactive Session now has three sub-phases: Pre-userinit, Userinit, and Shell. In this release, hovering over Interactive Session displays a tooltip showing the sub-phases and a link to the documentation. For a description of the sub-phases and how to improve the performance of each phase, see Diagnose user logon issues.
Application instance prediction (Preview feature). This is the first monitoring feature based on predictive analytics. Predicting resource usage patterns is important for administrators to organize resources and the required number of licenses on each resource. The Application instance prediction feature indicates the number of hosted application instances that are likely to be launched per Site or Delivery Group over time. Machine learning algorithms based on data models created with existing historical data are used to do the prediction. Tolerance level indicates the prediction quality.
Delivery Groups APIs - Tech Preview
The Delivery Groups APIs Tech Preview provides a set of REST APIs that you can use to automate the management of Delivery Groups. The complete set of available APIs can be viewed and tried out in the Citrix Cloud APIs documentation at https://developer.cloud.com/index.html.
Web Studio authentication
The service management console on Citrix Cloud now uses a bearer token to authenticate customers. The bearer token is needed to authenticate access to the Delivery Groups REST API.
Access Monitor Service data using OData Version 4 API (Preview feature)
You can create your customized monitoring and reporting dashboards based on the Monitor Service data by using the OData V.4 endpoint. OData V.4 is based on ASP .Net Web API and supports aggregation queries. Use your Citrix Cloud user name and bearer token to access the data with the V4 endpoint. For more information and examples, see Access Monitor Service data using the OData v4 endpoint in Citrix Cloud.
Share your feedback on the utility of this feature in the Citrix Cloud discussion forum.
- You can rename, move, and delete application folders. [#STUD-2376]
- RDS license check. Creation of machine catalogs containing Windows Server OS machines now includes an automatic RDS license check. Any RDS license issues found are displayed, so that you can take the appropriate steps to prevent a gap in service. For details, see Create machine catalogs.
- Access to machine console from Monitor. The Machine Details panel from Monitor now provides access to consoles of machines hosted on the XenServer hypervisor version 7.3. You can now troubleshoot issues in VDAs directly from Monitor. For more information, see Machine Console access in Troubleshoot machines.
New and enhanced features
Citrix Workspace. Citrix Workspace is now available for new XenApp and XenDesktop Service customers. For more information, see Workspace Configuration.
Applications Analytics. You can now analyze and monitor the performance of applications efficiently with the new Application Analytics page available from Monitor > Applications tab. The page provides a consolidated view of the health and usage of all applications published on your Site. It shows metrics such as the number of instances per application, and faults and errors associated with the published applications. This feature requires VDAs Version 7.15 or later.
For more information, see Application Analytics section in Director.
New and enhanced features
- Local Host Cache. Local Host Cache enables connection brokering operations to continue when a Cloud Connector in a resource location cannot communicate with Citrix Cloud. For details, see Local Host Cache.
- Azure Managed Disks. Azure Managed Disks are now used by default for MCS-provisioned VMs in Azure Resource Manager environments. Optionally, you can use conventional storage accounts. For details, see Microsoft Azure Resource Manager virtualization environments.
- Help desk administrator. When managing service administrators for a Citrix Cloud customer account, you now have a new choice: Help Desk Administrator. A help desk administrator can access the Monitor functions in the service. For details, see Manage.
- You can now use the service management console wizard to create a Remote PC Access machine catalog. In earlier releases, you had to use a PowerShell cmdlet to create a catalog (as documented in CTX220737). Then, you had to return to the management console to create a Delivery Group. Now, you create the catalog and the Delivery Group sequentially in the management console.
- MCS-created catalogs can use existing Active Directory machine accounts. [#DNA-24566]
- When monitoring a deployment, scrolling in a sorted Trends > Sessions table displays accurate results. [DNA-51257]