by Theresa Miller

Virtualization of applications and even desktops (VDI) is not a new thing, and organizations have been able to implement technology that will do this for over 20+ years. Although in time technology changes and improves. Not only that our end-user expectations of what they can and cannot do evolves and forces us IT professionals to think outside of the box and find new ways to meet the needs of our customers. With virtualization there are many product options and considerations and the way that a company uses virtualization will be approached in different ways. Some organizations choose to put virtualize their one-off applications, others prefer to virtualize their major applications, some only do published desktops, others may choose to do VDI for their mobile workforce, some may not do anything at all. Regardless of your organizational needs there is some form of virtualization option that can be considered.

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Taking this statement a little bit further I did want to expand on a business example surrounding VDI and the Citrix platform as the virtualization option. Where can some of the benefit be seen with a VDI solution? In this example, I am referring to that critical application that your company relies on to do its daily business and isn’t a benefit that is limited to moving to a newer version of the product such as version 7.6. This is an overall benefit of application virtualization. Let’s say your organization has 5,000 computers and most users in the organization uses that main primary application that makes the business function. After doing some baselines it has been learned that this application could run all 5,000 users on 100 Citrix servers. Now a new patch has been released for that application and instead of pushing updates to 5,000 workstations only 100 servers need to be updated. Employees now have time for other project work that they otherwise would not have been able to do. Centralized management of systems can also be largely beneficial to organizations. By setting up and securing corporate data in the datacenter provides greater protection of organizational data.

All that aside, let’s talk about what is new in Citrix 7.6 and what other considerations there are to moving to the latest Citrix product version.

Session prelaunch and Session Linger – This feature is Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 specific and if your organization is looking to reduce login times for your users then this is the feature for you. Session prelaunch will open sessions in the background before they are requested and Session Linger keep sessions active even after the user closes their application. Both of these features allow for expedited access to

XenApp 6.5 migration – Also a Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 feature, we can now consider migrating to the latest version. There are several steps to this process and is only recommended for very organizations that run large quantities of applications and Citrix group policies. The goal being to reduce the amount of errors when moving applications, but if your original deployment was thoroughly documented including application installs then this may not be necessary. Review this process and your existing environment before determining what method of migration you may choose.

Enhanced Connection throttling settings – This Citrix 7.6 enhancement allows the Citrix administrator specify the number of simultaneous actions, how many Personal Storage Inventory and more. More detail on how to configure this feature can be found here.

Remote PC Access – Not new in 7.6, but cool.  Connect back to your office PC through Citrix and work within the comfort of your own workstation. And of course, depending on your organizational design this could be done from just about any device your work from through Citrix Receiver.

More good stuff – I only covered the features that are standouts to me, but your organization may enjoy some of the other new features. For a list of all the new items, check out this link.

Product Matrix – Reviewing this product matrix can also be helpful when determining which features are available to your in your licensing model.

So, just a few things to consider with respect to virtualization and whether or not moving to the latest version of Citrix will benefit your organization. Enjoy!

 

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