Product Documentation

About XenApp 7.5 and XenDesktop 7.5

Apr 26, 2015

In this release, XenApp and XenDesktop share a unified architecture and management. XenApp is an application and desktop virtualization solution that delivers Windows applications as a secure mobile service to any device, over any network, while providing a touch-enabled user experience that looks and feels native. XenDesktop delivers Windows applications and desktops as a secure mobile service to any device, over any network, and eliminates the cost and complexity of traditional PC management.

This document provides information about the new components and features supported in this release.

Note: The availability of some features depends on your product edition and licenses. For information on the features available with each edition, see this product web page.

Review the System Requirements and list of Known Issues in this document carefully before you begin your planning.

For information about supported languages, see CTX119253

What's new in XenApp 7.5

  • XenApp built on FlexCast Management Architecture — This release of XenApp is built on the FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA) used in XenDesktop 7.5. This means XenApp provides many features available in XenDesktop, including:
    • Platform support for application delivery, mobility, services, flexible provisioning, and cloud management.
    • The ability to use Citrix HDX technologies to provide a superior user experience on a variety of devices and networks.
    • A single management console (Citrix Studio) to deliver applications and desktops, for cloud and on-premises infrastructure.
    • A redesigned monitoring and troubleshooting console (Citrix Director) with integrated EdgeSight features.

    To better understand how moving to FMA has affected this release of XenApp, see How is XenApp 7.5 different from previous XenApp versions.

    Note: Because the architecture of this release differs from previous XenApp releases, you cannot upgrade to this release from previous releases of XenApp.
  • Cloud deployments — This release provides the ability for hybrid cloud provisioning on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or any CloudPlatform-powered public or private cloud. Cloud deployments are configured, managed, and monitored through the same consoles as deployments on traditional on-premises virtualization infrastructure.
  • Full AppDNA support — AppDNA provides automated analysis of applications for Windows platforms and suitability for application virtualization through App-V, XenApp, or XenDesktop. Full AppDNA functionality is available in some editions.
  • Additional virtualization resource support — Connections can be configured to VMware vSphere 5.5 hypervisors.
  • StoreFront 2.5 — The installation media includes a newest version of StoreFront.
  • Support for Web Interface 5.4 — This release supports Web Interface 5.4. No enhancements or additional operating system support have been added to Web Interface.

What's new in XenDesktop 7.5

  • Cloud deployments — This release provides the ability for hybid cloud provisioning on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or any CloudPlatform-powered public or private cloud. Cloud deployments are configured, managed, and monitored through the same console as deployments on traditional on-premises virtualiztion infrastructure.
  • Remote power control for physical PCs — Remote PC Access supports Wake on LAN, which adds the ability to power on physical PCs remotely. This optional feature enables users to keep their office PCs powered off when not in use, saving energy costs. It also enables remote access when a machine has been turned off inadvertently, such as during weather events.

    This feature is supported on PCs that support Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) or PCs that have the Wake on LAN option enabled in the BIOS. Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 provides access to invoke AMT power commands for the PC.

  • Full AppDNA support — AppDNA provides automated analysis of applications for Windows platforms and suitability for application virtualization through App-V, XenApp, or XenDesktop. Full AppDNA functionality is available in some editions.
  • Additional virtualization resource support — Connections can be configured to VMware vSphere 5.5 hypervisors.
  • StoreFront 2.5 — The installation media includes a newest version of StoreFront.
  • Support for Web Interface 5.4 — This release supports Web Interface 5.4. No enhancements or additional operating system support have been added to Web Interface.

To better understand how XenDesktop 7.5, XenDesktop 7.1, and XenDesktop 7 differ from prior releases of XenDesktop, read the sections below, and see Features not in this release.

What's new in XenDesktop 7.1

  • GPU — The Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) capabilities feature provides graphics virtualization, offering a superior experience for users who use graphic-intensive applications and often manipulate 3-D models. The GPU feature also can improve the graphics experience for a large number of users. Administrators can evaluate workflows for the creation of GPU-capable connections and machine catalogs created with an MCS-provisioned master image. If problems are encountered, then administrators may need to manually create the machines.
  • vGPU — The Virtual Graphical Processing Unit (vGPU) feature enables multiple virtual machines to directly access the graphics processing power of a single physical GPU. You can use hardware-accelerated vGPU access for Windows desktop VDI workloads. This true hardware GPU sharing provides full Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 SP1 desktops suitable for users with complex and demanding design requirements. Supported for NVIDIA GRID K1 and K2 cards, the GPU sharing uses the same NVIDIA graphics drivers that are deployed on non-virtualized operating systems.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 support — Deliver a high-definition user experience on Windows 8.1 virtual desktops and physical machines. HDX 3D Pro has also been upgraded to support Windows 8.1.
Note: The vGPU feature is not supported for virtual machines running Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1.

What's new in XenDesktop 7

  • Machine Catalog Desktops and Applications
    • Desktops — Deliver managed desktops to multiple, simultaneously connected remote users. Server OS machine and Desktop OS machine desktops provide features such as SmoothRoaming, session reliability, license consumption, Receiver and Delivery Services authentication, and Desktop Viewer. This release introduces Windows Server OS machine catalogs and desktops as a cost-effective virtualization delivery solution because they provide a significant number of remote users per server and storage resource. This release also provides Remote PC desktops that let users access resources on their office PCs remotely, from any device running Citrix Receiver.
    • Applications — Integrate XenApp publishing capabilities within a deployment. Use this feature to deliver shared hosted applications to multiple, simultaneously-connected remote users.
  • HDX enhancements
    • Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 support — Deliver a high-definition user experience on Windows 8 virtual desktops and physical machines. HDX 3D Pro has also been upgraded to support Windows 8.
    • Desktop Composition Redirection — Extend the Aero Redirection feature introduced in XenDesktop 5.5 to provide users with a more fluid Windows 7 Aero or Windows 8 desktop experience by leveraging the graphics processing unit (GPU) or integrated graphics processor (IGP) on supported Windows user devices for local DirectX graphics rendering. This feature delivers rich multimedia applications to user devices, while maintaining high scalability on the server.
    • Windows Media client-side content fetching — Enable a user device to stream multimedia files directly from the source provider on the Internet or intranet to improve network utilization and server scalability.
    • Multicast support — Reduce bandwidth consumption when streaming live video to branch offices. Multicast support enables a single Windows Media source transmission to support multiple users.
    • Real-time multimedia transcoding — Enable audio and video streaming to mobile devices, improving the way that Windows Media content is delivered. Host-based transcoding provides a seamless user experience, even in extreme network conditions. To improve server scalability, if the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) has a supported graphics processing unit (GPU) for hardware acceleration, transcoding is done in the GPU.
    • User Datagram Protocol (UDP) audio for Server OS machines — Extend support for audio delivery over UDP/RTP to Server OS machines. This feature delivers superior audio quality for real-time applications like video conferencing and streaming media, even in environments when there is packet loss or congestion.
    • Webcam video compression — Reduce bandwidth consumption to improve performance when using supported video conferencing applications.
    • HDX 3D Pro — Deliver applications with graphics processing units (GPUs) for hardware acceleration to the desktop. This includes 3D professional graphics applications based on OpenGL and DirectX.
    • Server-rendered Rich Graphics and Video — Deliver rich graphics (including Windows 8 or Windows Aero) to virtual desktop users on any client, platform, and bandwidth condition by rendering the content on the server. When users have the latest Citrix Receiver, they will also notice improved performance for server-rendered video.
    • Improved Flash Redirection — Determine when to redirect Adobe Flash content to the user device for local rendering based on the user's network type and environment. Flash Redirection helps reduce server and network load, resulting in greater scalability while ensuring a high-definition user experience.
  • New installer — Use a single, streamlined installer to guide you through installing the core components (Delivery Controller, Studio, Director, StoreFront, and License Server) and VDAs.
  • Profile management — By default, Citrix Profile management 5.0 is installed silently on master images when you install the Virtual Delivery Agent, but you do not have to use Profile management as a profile solution.
  • Configuration Logging — Capture Site configuration changes and administrative activities to a Configuration Logging Database. You can view the log in Studio using a variety of filters and generate HTML and CSV reports.
  • Director — Monitor and troubleshoot deployments using Director's redesigned user interface with integrated EdgeSight features:
    • A new help desk view offers an improved troubleshooting experience for help desk administrators, allowing user, machine, and application issues to be resolved quickly.
    • Full administrators have access to other views, including a newly designed Dashboard to provide a graphical summary of your deployment in a central location, and a Trends page to provide improved, in-depth, graphical monitoring and troubleshooting of the entire deployment with various time ranges.
    • EdgeSight performance management provides the historical retention and trend reporting. With historical retention of data versus the real-time assessment, administrators are able to create Trend reports, including capacity and health trending.
    • EdgeSight network analysis leverages HDX Insight to provide an application and desktop contextual view of the network. With this feature, Director provides advanced analytics of ICA traffic in their XenDesktop deployment.
  • Delegated Administration — Group objects into administrative scopes. This feature provides an enterprise-class administration model with role-based access control, custom roles with configurable permissions, and fine-grained, object-based control.
  • Delivery Controller auto-update — Automatically notify Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) when Controllers are added to and removed from the Site. This feature helps prevent VDA rejection of sessions that are launched by unknown Controllers and VDA startup delays or errors caused by invalid Controller information. For information about how to preserve the CNAME functionality, see CTX137960.
  • Client Folder Redirection — Change the way client-side files are accessible on the host-side session. When you enable only client drive mapping on the server, client-side full volumes are automatically mapped to host drive letters. When you enable client folder redirection on the server and then the user configures it on the user device, only the portion of the local volume that is specified by the user is redirected.
  • Improved Virtual Desktop Access Control Settings – Control user access to both Server OS Machines and Desktop OS Machines in a simple and unified way with a new, streamlined group of security settings.
  • Improved and integrated error reporting — Studio error reporting links directly to the Citrix Support website. When users encounter an error situation, choosing the Get Advice option submits information about the error to the Citrix website. The information is analyzed and the user is redirected to a Website containing remedial advice.
  • StoreFront enhancements
    • Desktop Appliance sites — Access Desktop Appliance sites through a website on the StoreFront store. The site is created automatically when a store is created. If, for example, the store has a path of path/Citrix/Store, the Desktop Appliance site path is path/Citrix/StoreDesktopAppliance. Users can restart their virtual machine-hosted desktops on Desktop Appliance sites.
    • Database as a service — Write user subscription data for each store to the local disk on the StoreFront server by using the new subscription store service. The data is then propagated across the server group.
  • IPv6 support — Connect to clients and core components on IPv4, IPv6, or dual-stack (IPv4/IPv6) environments.
  • Personal vDisk — Personalize your virtual desktops. In addition, a dedicated storage disk is created, before logon, so that users can store their data on the desktop, including any applications they install.
  • Machine Creation Services (MCS) support for Microsoft Key Management System (KMS) activation — Each virtual machine (VM) created with MCS provides a unique activation for the Windows operating system and Office 2010, which enables the KMS system to record each VM as a separate machine.
  • Support for group policies configured in Citrix Mobility Pack — For details about these policies for Citrix Receiver for mobile devices, see Configure policies for mobility features.
  • Multi-touch support — Touch functionality is supported on multi-touch computers, including Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 workstations and Windows Server 2012 for VDAs.
  • Remote PC Access — Automated administration of Remote PC Access is fully integrated into the core functionality of the XenDesktop Delivery Controller and Studio. One Remote PC machine catalog and one Remote PC Delivery Group are created automatically when you set up a Remote PC deployment; you can add more machine catalogs or Delivery Groups later using Studio. This process replaces the XML configuration file and PowerShell scripts used by Remote PC Access in XenDesktop 5.6 FP1. The current release also adds the ability to remotely access office PCs running Windows 8.
  • Support for Fast User Switching using RDP connections — This Microsoft Windows feature makes it possible for multiple users to share a desktop without closing programs or logging off existing users. Administrators can take advantage of this feature to troubleshoot problems and install updates, without interrupting tasks or programs in use by the logged on user, by initiating an RDP connection to the VDA.
  • Compatibility with AhnLab keyboard encryption used in Korea — This release is compatible with keyboard encryption that is installed on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) hosts.
  • Universal Print Server — The Delivery Controller now includes the Universal Print Server functionality. You need only install the Universal Print Server on your print servers. The Universal Print Server includes support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.

Manage multiple versions of XenApp and XenDesktop

If your environment includes earlier XenApp or XenDesktop versions in addition to the current version, you cannot use the current Studio version to configure and manage the earlier product versions. Similarly, you cannot use the earlier consoles to manage or monitor the current deployment.

However, you can use current Virtual Delivery Agents in deployments containing earlier versions of XenDesktop Controllers.

This version of Director can monitor XenDesktop 5.x VDAs; however, some data, including logon duration, will not be available with the XenDesktop 5.x VDAs.

Citrix recommends that if you continue running earlier XenApp or XenDesktop versions, you run them in parallel with the current Site, and continue running the management consoles with each release for that site.

Use StoreFront to aggregate applications and desktops from the different product versions.