Citrix unwraps XenApp, XenDesktop 7.9, adds centralized analytics to NetScaler

Citrix made a bevy of product announcements during its annual Synergy powwow in Las Vegas.

Citrix on Tuesday announced the release of XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9. The announcement was made during Citrix's annual Synergy powwow in Las Vegas.

Slated for availability in early June, the updated virtualization platforms will bring expanded authentication capabilities, as well as improved graphics support and printing features.

Citrix also introduced a new management platform called the NetScaler Management and Analytics System (NMAS). The platform is designed to centralize policy management across devices and applications, Citrix explained.

As for XenApp and XenDesktop, Citrix is adding secure single-sign on (SSO) and optimized central image management to the 7.9 release. The addition of SSO is mostly a convenience perk, as it allows XenApp and XenDesktop users to apply the same authentication method to all of their virtual and local apps.

In terms of graphics, Citrix has integrated support for Intel's Iris Pro graphics technology across the full Citrix app and desktop virtualization suite. This also includes the latest release of XenServer 7, which in a nutshell, offers the newly released Direct Inspect API, enhanced support for Microsoft Windows environments, and support for NVIDIA's vGPU with Linux virtual machines.

Citrix has also added Machine Creation Services (MCS) to XenApp and XenDesktop to reduce the amount of storage required for a virtual server.

On the mobile front, Citrix's XenMobile platform (latest release being 10.3.5) now offers password-free enterprise mobility management via certificate-based authentication or TouchID. XenMobile 10.3.5 also brings tightened integrations between the Citrix MDX container and Samsung Knox.

As for NetScaler, Citrix's web and application delivery controller, the new NMAS provides service automation and real-time analytics from a single platform:

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According to Citrix, NMAS will help IT administrators with troubleshooting while also reducing the time it takes to monitor application issues.

At last year's Synergy conference, Citrix launched the Citrix Workspace Cloud as the delivery platform for its family of virtualization products. Last week the company re-christened the platform as simply Citrix Cloud in an effort to further its overall cloud strategy, which began to take shape last November.

More specifically, Citrix revealed restructure plans that included the spin off its GoTo business and affiliated products. At the time, interim CEO Robert Calderoni Citrix would unload businesses that were not directly linked to the company's enterprise unit, which includes XenApp, XenDesktop, XenMobile, ShareFile and NetScaler.

"We're in the midst of significant transformation from being product-focused to become a solution provider to deliver services from the cloud," said Citrix CEO Kirill Tatarinov, during his Synergy keynote. "Our strategy is to build the world's best integrated technology services for secure delivery of apps and data, anytime, anywhere."

A planned analyst meeting later this afternoon should add some more color to the company's business roadmap, so check back for updates.

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