Category Archives: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop Service

Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops 7 2012 Unlocking Potential with What’s New

The following article blends describes feature capabilities and changes to the Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (CVAD) 2012 Current Release (CR) either used on-premises or via the CVAD Service in Citrix Cloud platform – http://citrix.cloud.com/. The current documentation is officially accessible under the current release node within Citrix eDocs at What’s New* accessible at –
https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/whats-new.html.

Suggested Upgrade Guidance to CVAD 7 2012
Citrix have published the following micro site “Citrix Upgrade Guide” – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/upgrade, it is worth mentioning when using this web tool to understand the source vs. target release strategies, you’ll need to factor in the name change from e.g XenApp to Citrix Virtual Apps when using the tool.

It is advisable prior to embarking on any potential upgrades as a good leading and practical practise, perform due diligence review of connected endpoint ecosystem, thus ensuring and avoiding any potential blockers. Every Citrix Administrator (Admin) should bookmark the following online PDF document entitled – “Citrix Workspace app Feature Matrix” https://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/data-sheet/citrix-workspace-app-feature-matrix.pdf.

Alternatively if you are finding it a challenge to successful prepare a plan to upgrade your CVAD environment from its current release cycle to the current 2012 release, then perhaps you should be evaluating a shift towards consuming your on-premises Access and Control Layers as a Service operating model from Citrix Cloud CVAD Service. There is a detailed online document available at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops-service/migrate.html and if you require a reminder of who manages what then before sure to read the following technical security overview for the CVAD Service available at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops-service/secure.html#security-overview which covers off the high level architecture, credential handling and the follow of data and isolation.

Overview of What’s New and Changes to CVAD 7 2012 Current Release (CR)

IT Administration
1.While this is NOT new please be minded that hosting connections to public clouds e.g CloudPlatform, AWS EC2, Azure and of course GCP are not supported with CVAD current releases (CR) – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/upgrade-migrate/upgrade.html#remove-pvd-appdisks-and-unsupported-hosts, if you require this capability you’ll need to adopt a Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (CVAD) Service operating model from the Citrix Cloud or standardise on the last Long Term Service Release (LTSR) which is 1912 – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/1912-ltsr.
2.Citrix Workspace Environment Management (WEM) 2012 agent is now bundled into the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) installer for the GUI – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/install-configure/install-vdas.html#step-7-wem-agent and for automation purposes – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/install-configure/install-command.html#command-line-options-for-installing-a-vda which allowing you to configure WEM ACL f/w; agent port/cache location/data sync port; connectors vs. WEM server. The agent now includes new cache utility options (-RefreshSettins or -S; Reinitalize or -I); An optimised startup workflow which been resolved including a new Citrix Cloud connector behavioural awareness strategy; WEM agent is retiring associated legacy agent cache sync service inline with the End of Life (EoL) Microsoft Sync Framework 2.1 see – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/workspace-environment-management/current-release/whats-new.html for move details and remediation readiness.
3.Support for transparent and non-transparent proxies for “Rendezvous” check out – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops-service/hdx/rendezvous-protocol.html#proxy-configuration, to validate the configuration launch “cut session.exe. -v” in console and evaluate the output referencing – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops-service/hdx/rendezvous-protocol.html#rendezvous-validation. If you are using a data/network redirection agent to fwd your network traffic to cloud like ZScaler Private Access (ZPA) be mindful of the current leading recommendations – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops-service/hdx/rendezvous-protocol.html#additional-considerations. If you are not familiar with what and why “Rendezvous” then learn and understand how it works which includes a detailed connection flow diagram – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops-service/hdx/rendezvous-protocol.html#how-rendezvous-works.
4. The 2012 Linux VDA supports Machine Creation Services (MCS) on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) which you can learn to setup and configure at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/linux-virtual-delivery-agent/current-release/installation-overview/use-mcs-to-create-linux-vms.html#use-mcs-to-create-linux-vms-on-gcp; continuing efforts to remote physical standard vs. high-end workstations sat in the Workplace the Wake on Local Area Network (LAN) capability is now available for Linux endpoints; finally support for new Linux distro releases Ubuntu 20.04 and RHEL 7.9 and 8.3; you can learn more about what else is new at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/linux-virtual-delivery-agent/current-release/whats-new.html.
5.Citrix Provisioning Service (PVS) 2012 includes a wealth of fixed issues – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/provisioning/current-release/fixed-issues.html.

Employee Experience
1.Drag and Drop to copy files between your local endpoint and the delivered Citrix virtual app and or desktop. To learn more check out the “CTXDND” under “Multi-Stream virtual channel assignment setting” at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/policies/reference/ica-policy-settings/multistream-connections-policy-settings.html#multi-stream-virtual-channel-assignment-settings, also be mindful or the current known limitations in the What’s New for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) 2012*.
2.Web Camera redirection issues resolved for Microsoft Surface Pro 4 endpoints*.
3.Support for the Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) API framework allows and enable scanning/imaging Citrix virtual apps feature and function access on scanning endpoints themselves.* You can learn more at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/devices/twain-devices.html.
4.The Linux Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 2012 release introduced a macro amount of meaningful experience features like automatically MTU discovery to avoid performance degradation and session connection failures of CVAD ICA/HDX sessions; support for the “Rendezvous protocol” allowing Linux ICA/HDX to bypass the Citrix Cloud Connector when using the Citrix Gateway Service with CVAD Services.
5.Drag and then drop files between a Citrix ICA/HDX session and the employees local endpoint*, this feature requires Windows CWa 2002 for Windows.

Security
1.Familiarise yourself withy the Deprecation announcements – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/whats-new/removed-features.html.
2.*While the drag and drop files features in CVAD 2012 offers a brilliant and frictionless employee experience, you should consider the security risks, prior to implementation for example do all employee’s require this feature? Evaluate who actually would benefit from the capability and do they have a managed endpoint which IT controls? I would also ask yourself to assess the risk by the employees role and function within the organisation e.g key revenue generating employees?
2.CTXS licensing server build 33000 now includes updated versions of Apache 2.4.46 and OpenSSL 1.1.1g and new conf options for usage telemetry, which cover off Personally Identifiable Information (Pii) options and associated descriptions, learn more at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/licensing/current-release/citrix-licensing-manager/settings.html#configure-usage-telemetry.
3. Federated Authentication Service (FAS) 2012 fixes a disconnect-on-lock feature ref [AUTH-787] if you are experiencing this issue you can find more detail at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/federated-authentication-service/whats-new/fixed-issues.html.
4. Session Recording (SR) 2012 adds a wealth of good new features and continues to keep employees working from home compliant in regulated industries or it can be used for internal training. Some of the new features incl support for blocking of sensitive information – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/session-recording/current-release/log-events.html#sensitive-information-blocking;

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix.

Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops or CVAD Service Migration Strategies

The path to operating from the Citrix Cloud Platform for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops often can appear like your need to climb to the summit of K2, this is purely because for IT its foreseen as another key yet, rapid IT Transformation project to solve a multitude of business and business IT challenges (its different organisation by organisation). I’ve therefore put together a simple blended digital doodle on this very topic highlighting some key learnings, leading practises from the field and my own thoughts and thinking on this very topic.

If you want to go deep or even get started on your own migration project today, then i strongly recommend that you read and review the “Proof of Concept: Automated Configuration Tool” available at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/tech-zone/learn/poc-guides/citrix-automated-configuration.html, which covers off a step by step guide from installation to migration of on-premises CVAD configurations to the CVAD Service operating and run in the Citrix Cloud Platform – https://citrix.cloud.com. The following series of TechZone articles list at – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/tech-zone.html#citrix-virtual-apps-and-desktops will also add value in your pivot to the CVAD Service.

If you have the right subscription access at https://training.citrix.com, then you can also complete the following on-demand eLearning course “eCWS-2014 | Automated Configuration Tool for Virtual Apps and Desktops” – https://training.citrix.com/elearning/coursequests/1/quest/184, which took me around 45 minutes to complete.

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix.