Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 2303
About the release
This Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops release includes new versions of the Windows Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) and new versions of several core components. You can:
Install or upgrade a site: Use the ISO for this release to install or upgrade core components and VDAs. Installing or upgrading to the latest version allows you to use the latest features.
Install or upgrade VDAs in an existing site: If you already have a 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. Upgrading only the VDAs can be helpful when you want to test enhancements in a non-production environment.
After upgrading your VDAs to this version (from version 7.9 or later), you do not need to update the machine catalog’s functional level. The 7.9 (or later) value remains the default functional level, and is valid for this release. For more information, see VDA versions and functional levels.
For installation and upgrade instructions:
- If you are building a new site, follow the sequence in Install and configure.
- If you are upgrading a site, see Upgrade a deployment.
Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) 2303
TLS 1.3 support
Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops now supports the TLS 1.3 protocol for TCP-based connections between components. For more information, see Transport Layer Security (TLS).
HDX Direct (Preview)
With this feature, you can automatically establish a secure direct connection with the VDA when direct communication is available while you access your resources through Workspace and Gateway Service.
Enhanced EDT congestion control (Preview)
A new congestion control algorithm is introduced to optimize the protocol. This implementation allows EDT to achieve higher throughput and reduce latency for an enhanced user experience.
The location and sensor virtual channel service supports the updated Windows location APIs and now compatible with all applications.
Support for configuring session roaming
Previously, PowerShell was your only choice to configure session roaming for applications and desktops. You can now do that using Web Studio. For more information, see Manage delivery groups.
Renamed some actions to better align with their actual meanings
We’ve renamed the following actions in Machine Catalogs and Delivery Groups. The workflows for performing those actions remain unchanged.
- Update Machines renamed to Change Master Image
- Rollback Machine Update renamed to Roll Back Master Image
- Upgrade Catalog renamed to Change Functional Level
- Upgrade Delivery Group renamed to Change Functional Level
- Undo Upgrade Catalog renamed to Undo Functional Level Change
- Undo Upgrade Delivery Group renamed to Undo Functional Level Change
Use a machine profile turned on by default for Azure catalog creation
When creating Azure machine catalogs using Web Studio, the Use a machine profile option is now selected by default. For more information, see Create a machine catalog using an Azure Resource Manager image.
Annotate an image when updating machines
In Web Studio, you can now annotate an image by adding a note for it when updating an MCS-created catalog. Each time you update the catalog, a note-related entry is created whether you add a note. If you update the catalog without adding a note, the entry appears as null (-). To view note history for the image, select the catalog, click Template Properties in the lower pane, and then click View note history. For more information, see Change the master image for a catalog.
You can now create configuration partitions within a single Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops site. You achieve that by creating tenant scopes in Administrators > Scopes and associating related configuration objects, such as machine catalogs and delivery groups, with those tenants. As a result, administrators with access to a tenant can manage only objects that are associated with the tenant. This feature is useful, for example, if your organization:
- Has different business silos (independent divisions or separate IT management teams) or
- Has multiple on-premises sites and wants to maintain the same setup in a single Citrix DaaS instance.
Also, you can filter tenant customers by name. By default, the console displays information about all tenants. To create tenant customers, first create scopes and then configure custom access for the respective administrators. For more information, see Create and manage scopes.
Improve performance by preserving a provisioned VM when power cycling
We’ve added a setting, Retain VMs across power cycles, to the Machine Catalog Setup > Disk Settings page. The setting lets you preserve a provisioned VM when power cycling in Azure environments. For more information, see Create a Microsoft Azure catalog.
Proxy mode for Web Studio
Previously, the Web Studio console had to communicate with both the Web Studio server and Delivery Controllers when managing sites. With proxy mode, the Web Studio server can now act as a proxy for Delivery Controllers, thus becoming the only access point for the Web Studio console. For more information, see Configure Web Studio as a proxy for Delivery Controllers.
Some of the preceding information sources direct you to the Citrix DaaS documentation. In Citrix DaaS, Web Studio is known as Full Configuration. We are in the process of updating the current documentation to cover Web Studio. Implementing the updates is an ongoing process. Your patience during this transition is appreciated.
Browse for apps to add manually
A Browse button is now available on the Add Application Manually page. With it, you can easily browse for and select an app from a VDA in the delivery group. For more information, see Create delivery groups and Applications.
Failed Machines alert
The Proactive Notification and Alerting feature of the Director is enhanced to include a new alert, Failed Machines (in %) based on the percentage of failed machines in a delivery group. The new alert condition, allows you to configure alert thresholds as a percentage of failed machines in a delivery group. For more information, see Failed Machines section in the Alerts article.
Machine Creation Services (MCS)
Support for customizing power on behavior at storage type change failure
At power-on, the storage type of a managed disk could fail to change to the desired type due to a failure on Azure. Previously, in these scenarios, the VM would remain off with a failure message sent to you. With this feature, you can either choose to power on the VM even when storage cannot be restored to its configured type or choose to keep the VM powered off. For more information, see Customize power on behavior at storage type change failure.
Support for Azure disk encryption at host
With this feature, you can now create an MCS machine catalog with encryption at host capability. Currently, MCS supports only the machine profile workflow for this feature. You can use a VM or a template spec as an input for a machine profile. For more information, see Azure disk encryption at host.
In this type of encryption, the server hosting the VM encrypts the data and then the encrypted data flows through the Azure storage server. Therefore, this method of encryption encrypts data end to end. For more information, see Encryption at host - End-to-end encryption for your VM data.
Support for GCP instance template as an input for machine profile
With this feature, you can now select a GCP instance template as an input for the machine profile. Instance templates are lightweight resources in GCP, therefore are very cost effective. To do this, use PowerShell commands. For more information on using PowerShell commands to create and update machine catalogs by selecting a GCP instance template, see Create a machine catalog with machine profile as an instance template.
Support for MAK activation
You can now provision persistent and non-persistent machine catalogs with VMs activated through the Multiple Activation Key (MAK). With this feature, now MCS can also communicate with provisioned VMs. This implementation helps in activating the Windows system without losing activation counts. For more information, see Volume licensing activation.
Support for allowing security identifiers while creating virtual machines
Previously, while creating new virtual machines with the configuration specified by a provisioning scheme, you could not add a security identifier (
ADAccountSid) to the NewProvVM command. With this feature, you can now add the parameter ADAccountSid to uniquely identify the machines while creating new virtual machines. For more information, see Add SIDs while creating virtual machines.
Ability to get warnings associated with MCS catalogs
Previously, you did not get any information indicating that there are issues with your machine catalog. With this feature, you can now get warnings to understand issues with your MCS catalogs and fix those issues.
Warnings, unlike errors, do not cause an initiated provisioning task to fail.
To get warnings, use PowerShell commands. For more information, see Retrieve warnings associated with a catalog.
Support for using an image from the Azure Compute Gallery to create and update an MCS catalog
You can create and update an MCS machine catalog using an image from the Azure Compute Gallery. You can use Citrix Studio or PowerShell commands to create or update machine catalogs. For more information, see Create machine catalog using Azure Compute Gallery image.
Add informative description for image updates
Previously, there was no option to add a description to an image update. With this feature, you can now add notes to describe images used for creating or updating a machine catalog. You can also retrieve these notes. This functionality is useful when you want to maintain records of the image updates. These records are helpful for audits. Using PowerShell commands, you can create and view the description. For details, see Adding descriptions to an image.
Support for changing the storage type of existing VMs to a lower tier on shutdown in Azure environments
In Azure environments, you can now save storage costs by changing the storage type of existing VMs to a lower tier when the VMs are shut down. To do this, use the StorageTypeAtShutdown custom property. For more information see, Change the storage type of existing VMs to a lower tier on shutdown.
Microsoft Teams Optimization
Audio quality for legacy codecs has increased
We have three options for audio redirection: medium quality, high quality, and adaptive audio. More bandwidth has been allocated for medium and high audio codecs. Medium bandwidth increased to 24 kbps and high bandwidth increased to 224 kbps.