In the purpose of generating more value for the customer and making it easier to provide a great employee experience, Citrix added new features specifically designed to improve the user experience and the IT experience associated with Citrix most popular Workspace service, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.
Let’s take a look.
Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Adds New Self-Service User Integrations
For the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, they’ve added new integrations that enable users (and admins) to search for and perform self-service actions directly from Citrix Workspace.
Users can check the status of associated machines that are faulty and perform operations such as restart, disconnect, and log off. These self-service features can greatly reduce help desk support tickets. Here’s a brief description of what each of the three key functions enable you to do:
- My Desktops: Search for your faulty Citrix Virtual Desktops and perform self-service actions such as restarting from Citrix Workspace.
- My Sessions: Search for your Citrix virtual sessions and perform self-service actions from Citrix Workspace such as logging off and disconnecting.
- Virtual Desktops (Admin Mode): Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops admins can look up faulty machines, view their details, put machines into maintenance mode, and restart them, all from Citrix Workspace.
These self-service integrations from Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service are currently available for all customers with microapp service entitlements.
Easy DaaS Capabilities for All Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service Customers with Citrix Managed Azure
The Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service continues to be the go-to solution for customers on a cloud journey, regardless of where they are on the hybrid-cloud spectrum. Citrix’s goal has always been for customers to bring together on-premises deployments alongside public-cloud hosting to meet their business needs and move to the cloud at their own pace.
With their new Citrix Managed Azure offering, customers now have the option to deploy DaaS workloads directly from their Citrix Cloud consoles.
If you are using Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service today with an on-premises workload deployment and are eager to make the transition to the cloud, this is a great place to start.
Citrix Managed Azure offers the fastest path to hybrid-cloud benefits. You can add consumption-based Citrix Managed Azure funds to your account and be up and running with your new apps and desktops in a matter of minutes. If you want to make things even easier, you can purchase Citrix Managed Azure directly from the Azure Marketplace.
Connect SAML as an Identity Provider to Citrix Cloud (Preview)
Citrix Cloud now supports using SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) as an identity provider to authenticate subscribers signing in to their workspaces. (Please note, this is currently in preview status.) Use the SAML provider of your choice — provided it supports SAML 2.0 — with your on-premises Active Directory (AD). Learn more here.
Citrix Workspace App Improvements for Windows and Linux
The Citrix Workspace app teams are constantly innovating to enable the latest features and enhancements on any device and platform. In March, they’ve had some big new enhancements to the Citrix Workspace app for Windows and Linux. Here’s a brief description:
- Windows: Citrix Workspace app for Windows now runs in an emulator mode on ARM64 devices, including the Microsoft Surface Pro X. ARM64 device users can get a powerful digital workspace solution that provides the flexibility and freedom they need. Organizations benefit from centralized management, which ultimately enables the delivery of a superior employee experience.
- Linux: With the latest release, they have increased virtual channel capacity from 32 to 64. That means customers and partners can add more custom virtual channels for virtual apps and desktops. To enhance the experience for users who leverage multi-monitor setups, they’ve added screen pinning to improve productivity. This is especially relevant for financial traders who use multiple desktops, because now they can easily launch virtual desktops with the layout they prefer and retain it every time.
Citrix Analytics for Security Adds Geofencing Controls
Geofencing is now available with Citrix Analytics for Security. Customers can use preconfigured custom risk indicators to enable this feature. When configured, Citrix Analytics for Security evaluates the geographic location of every user attempting access through Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix Gateway, or Citrix Content Collaboration. Admins can set up implicit deny lists to ensure that anyone attempting to access corporate resources from an unauthorized location is denied.
If a user attempts to log in from an unauthorized location, an authorization request is sent to them. If the user doesn’t acknowledge the request or confirms they didn’t request access, the account is locked. This new capability is a must-have for any Citrix customer implementing a zero trust security model.
With the increase in remote work, it’s become more important than ever to understand the locations from which users access Citrix resources. The Access Assurance dashboard, now in preview, can help admins visualize access requests. The dashboard provides the total number of logons, unique users, number of countries with logins, and more. If administrators detect access requests from unauthorized locations, they can implement the newly-released geofencing capability to deny all requests from those locations.
Citrix Analytics for Performance Adds New Actions, Insights, Enhanced Visibility
- Availability Insights — We’ve had the ability to see whether VDAs are registered but no real insights into overall VDA availability/unavailability and how that affects the environment. Now we have this data and the corresponding insights.
- Actions — Previously, if admins needed to take actions on VDAs (e.g. restart, maintenance mode, etc.), they would have to use Director or Studio and leave the Analytics console. Now they can take these actions from Citrix Analytics, including properly draining users from machines for maintenance.
- Executive Visibility — Admins can now create executive-focused reports from search queries, save them, and schedule them to be run and emailed as required.
Citrix App Layering Adds Support for Google Cloud
Citrix App Layering is a Windows Operating System and application management solution designed for on-premises private clouds and public clouds. Citrix App Layering’s underlying technology enables all components of a virtual machine to be independently assigned, patched, and updated.
They have officially released Citrix App Layering support for Google Cloud! This support is the culmination of months of engineering effort and is the sixth platform that Citrix App Layering natively supports. Our customers now are able to consolidate and simplify app and image management in Google Cloud, just as they can with Azure, VMware, Hyper0V, Citrix Hypervisor, and Nutanix AHV.
Additional updates to Citrix App Layering include:
- The app layering management console is moving away from Silverlight to a more modern platform in a phased approach.
- They did exhaustive benchmarking to gain a deeper understanding of the interdependencies that are introduced with user layers, and we came away with more specific best practice guidance.
Citrix Web Studio Now Generally Available!
Citrix is pleased to announce that all Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service customers now have access to the new Citrix Web Studio! They’ve alluded to this feature in previous blog posts and incorporated your feedback into developing a robust admin experience when it comes to managing your Citrix services. This updated version brings new improvements and a visual refresh that will help admins simplify app and desktop management tasks.
With the new Citrix Web Studio, we experience interactions that are 15 percent faster across the board as compared to the previous Studio console. Customers in the preview have seen performance gains of up to 2x. They’ve also introduced new features, such as machine restart schedules. This feature was built for scenarios in which the restart schedules can be set around an end user’s usage patterns instead of rigid restarts based on set times. For more information on Web Studio, see our recent blog post.
Stayed tuned for next month’s What’s New with Citrix Workspace update. We’ll have another list of exciting new features for Citrix Workspace and we’ll show you how Citrix solutions can empower your users to do their best work, regardless of work location.
“BPS” in collaboration with “Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal organized a webinar entitled “Cloud Talks 2021”, to discuss the services and applications offered by cloud computing providers in order to empower digital business transformation while preserving security, privacy and compliance with laws and regulations. Over 120 persons representing senior executives from 12 different countries participated in the webinar, which hosted experts from leading companies and technology providers from the MENA region.
The Digital Transformation Journey
Mahmoud Moussa -Senior Cloud Solution Architect for Data & AI, Microsoft – confirmed, during his participation in the webinar, that the “Azure IoT Edge” technology provided Microsoft allows the delivery of sensors from all the company’s departments and its use in order to connect to another backend related to the Internet of Things where the data is sent after being initially processed. He explained that cloud services seek to enable digital technology through several domains, most notably: The Internet of Things and Edge technology, advanced analytics, artificial and cognitive intelligence, graphic technique, Blockchain technology, digital workplace and 3D imaging.
For his part, the Sales Manager at Citrix, Abbas Ali-Ahmad pointed out that success will go to the organizations and companies that will be able to provide a stable and safe work experience. He emphasized on the importance of knowing how to support any type of users wanting to access information; whether they were employees, contractors or business partners, and the possibility to work from any place, using any type of device or computing system.
As for Eiad Al-Aqqad -the Principal Solution Architect at “VMware Cloud Providers Program”- he discussed the vision of “VMware Cloud” in the world of cloud computing, he explained that their vision allows users and cloud service providers to activate any application on any device of any kind.
Cyber Security and Cloud Computing
In a panel discussion, moderated by Parthasarathy Pillairkulam – EVP-Chief Information Security Officer at First Abu Dhabi Bank- General Manager of Capital outsourcing, Chadi Ghazal, indicated that his company was the first to own a cloud platform in the MENA region since 2000. He explained that cloud computing is a virtual process for hardware, software, networks, storage spaces and services used by developers to implement complex operations. Adding that when using cloud computing, companies are not compelled to purchase any new devices or services, however they need to upgrade their virtual storage for a certain fee.
As for Alain Sawaya -General Manager of the Jordanian “Zain Datapark”- he explained that his company is an entity that was founded to enable “Zain Group” to provide cyber security and cloud computing services everywhere. He added that every country aspires to have its own cloud located within its territory for multiple reasons: legitimacy, data sovereignty and to secure data especially for governments. Furthermore, he announced the transfer of severl financial and banking applications to private cloud servers.
On his behalf, Mohamed Ayad, Vice President and Business Development Manager of “Libyan Spider” considered that country cloud and public cloud approaches are closer to each other today more than ever, indicating that “Microsoft” is expanding this service very quickly.
Ayad pointed out that there have been concerns about data security and privacy from the very first day of the cloud model’s birth, which has greatly affected companies’ work. He continued adding that many companies have switched to using public cloud more than before due to the flexibility with which entrusted public cloud providers work.
On the other hand, General Manager of “Gulf Infotech” in Oman, Yahya Zakir Sait, said that the largest companies providing cloud services have neglected the Middle East region in 2009 due to the low adoption of cloud solutions, pointing out that the high demand for adopting these solutions has created a quantum leap for the region in general.
“BPS” and Digital Transformation
BPS provides vendors with multiple licensing programs, services and technical supports to partners in order to develop their businesses, in addition to “SAM” consultations. The company focuses on supporting MSP focused channel, telecom companies, internet service providers, database centers, service providers, integrated systems, managed services, software companies and IT distributors who are heading towards digital and cloud transformation.
The company always strives to add more services to its own affiliated program. It started its operations as a cloud distributor in 2005 and has earned years of local experience in the cloud channel business, to become today a pioneer in this field in the MENA region.
Citrix and Microsoft make desktop management more secure, flexible, and efficient.
A modern digital workspace is built on solutions from Citrix and Microsoft, including Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, the Citrix Virtual apps and Desktop Service, and Citrix Workspace.
If you run some or all your Citrix workloads on-premises, here are 5 great reasons why migrating to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops on Microsoft Azure can accelerate your digital transformation and amplify IT cost savings.
1 | Migrate on your terms.
When migrating to the cloud, datacenter investments may keep you grounded. Only Citrix cloud services enable you to manage existing on-premises Citrix deployments alongside new Windows Virtual Desktop VMs in Azure. Deploy a hybrid cloud mix of technologies or go all-in with a fully cloud-hosted deployment, so you can make the most of existing datacenter investments while leveraging the cost savings benefits of Citrix Cloud with Azure Windows Virtual Desktop. Customers can realize savings of up to $98 per-user per-year compared to other standalone management, performance, or monitoring add-ons.
2 | Simplify management and adapt faster.
Using the Citrix Centralized management plane, business disruptions do not have to mean service interruptions. In times of global uncertainty, or even routine maintenance, you can deploy additional workloads on Azure across multiple regions or data centers. Scale to the cloud with flexible IT management, maintaining on-premises investments, resources, and policies. Simply put, you can extend the reach of IT while maintaining business continuity and keeping users productive.
3 | Accelerate Azure time-to-value with Citrix Cloud.
Deploying traditional software on-premises can be complex and time consuming. Hardware procurement delays, manual installations, configurations, and staging steps all take up valuable time and resources. But with streamlined cloud-based deployment and operations tools, customers can increase cloud-based deployments and operations tools, customers can increase the speed with which services can be deployed. Citrix Cloud services on Microsoft Azure vastly reduce ( or eliminate) the costs and delay associated with deployment, so customers can quickly serve their internal line-of-business customers. When migrating Citrix workloads to Azure, customers can save up to 30-50% on operational Costs over three years.
4 | Deliver secure workspace experience.
Stop spending hours installing the latest feature updates, security enhancements, and performance optimizations. Using our services offerings, your Key Citrix infrastructure components are always up to date. Your end users always get the best experience, and your environment stays secure without having to manually run updates and patches. The Citrix real-time policy engine adapts to changing access conditions, including location, identity, device, and threats. Adaptive security and performance settings are automatically applied on-premises and in Azure.
5 | Maximize ROI.
With dynamic workload management tools that help you balance on-premises and cloud deployments; you can optimize operating expenses while delivering a high-performance environment for your users. Burst to cloud from on-premises when needed maximizing the utilization of your current datacenter investments and keeping the CFO off your back. Additionally, optimize Microsoft Teams and Office 365 to take collaboration to the next level. Unlock up to 70% savings over three years by leveraging Citrix Cloud with Windows Virtual Desktop as compared to a legacy, on-premises Citrix and Microsoft deployment.
Download Citrix e-book Today.
There have never been so many ways for people to get work done. Mobile devices and apps allow employees to be productive from anywhere, at any time. That’s certainly great for the business—but it complicates life for IT.
The more options people get, the more diverse the enterprise environment grows. Plus, the more difficult it becomes for IT to secure, provision, patch, update, repair, and maintain all the software and hardware now in use across the workforce.
Welcome to the painful reality of today’s distributed enterprises the world over.
Some might say that these headaches are simply growing pains on the path to a cloud-first world. That once you centralize and standardize on a single cloud platform, all the headaches will go away.
Unfortunately, that’s just wishful thinking.
The fact is, we like choice, even in clouds. In fact, a majority of organizations that already in the cloud are in multiple types—whether on-prem, off-prem or hybrid. (A recent study put the percentage at almost 73 percent, with that number rising every year.) The reason? Flexibility, pure and simple. One cloud platform might work well for content collaboration, but it doesn’t necessarily do what you need for delivering apps or services to distant users.
The surprise for most, however, is that you don’t have to give up all the choices and flexibility to avoid the dreaded complexity that today’s distributed infrastructures create.
With a secure digital workspace, you can get both, making work and IT simpler. That’s because a secure digital workspace provides a single place for people to securely access all their apps, desktops, and data from anywhere.
Employees become more productive and engaged because they get a consistent single sign-on experience, no matter how or where they work, including:
• Any device
• Any cloud
• Any network
• Any type of app—cloud/SaaS, web, mobile, Windows
On the back end, a secure digital workspace gives IT unified security and control without the cost and complexity of managing myriad point solutions. Plus, they can simplify endpoint management and security, which is a good thing since the number of network-connected devices is expected to be almost 50 billion connected devices by 2020.*
More importantly, a secure digital workspace can help you increase business agility. Because you can onboard employees and offices faster and roll out new services and apps in less time, you—and your users—can respond to new opportunities in ways you never thought of before.
So if you’re finally ready to make the leap into the cloud, be sure to deliver a strategy that works not only for the business, but your workforce as well. To learn more about how a secure digital workspace can make your users more productive, simplify IT and deliver the security and agility your organization requires download this Ebook now !
Are you finding it difficult to scale your hosting business due to difficulty managing multiple XenApp and XenDesktop domains? Is it difficult to audit customer service assignments and perform business analyses? Is your go to market strategy and multi-customer management affected by the complexity in setting up multiple offerings?
If you are finding yourself in any of the above situations, we have some good news for you. The latest release of the Hosted App and Desktop Service (HAaD) in CloudPortal Services Manager will wipe these challenges off your plate.
What is the Hosted Apps and Desktops Service?
CloudPortal Services Manager Hosted Apps and Desktops Service enables Citrix Service Providers to deliver and manage multi-tenant hosted XenApp and XenDesktop services from a single management interface – reducing complexity and helping scale across multiple customers/tenants.
Get Optimized Multi-Tenant Hosted Apps and Desktops Delivery with Latest HAaD Service
With the latest HAad Service, adopt enhanced ways to grow your margins, strengthen your portfolio and drive customer satisfaction:
- Deliver Hosted App and Desktop Services: Deliver hosted offerings at lower cost and with higher margins using a multi-tenant architecture and comprehensive control panel.
- Easily Scale a Multi-Tenant Hosting Business: Quickly scale your business with simplified onboarding, powerful automation and design flexibility – all managed within a single platform.
- Increase Technical Bench Productivity: Enable fast access and management of app and desktop services – 10x faster performance when managing service offerings.
- Simplify and De-risk Upgrades: Gain peace of mind with a flexible multi-site architecture that reduces downtime and improves risk management during upgrades and delivery of services.
New Features Supported in the Updated HAaD Service
- Here is how the latest HAaD service will empower you:
Easily Scale Multi-Tenant Environments and Maintain Version Flexibility
- Multi-site Support: Scale your infrastructure independently while maintaining flexibility with multiple versions of XenApp and XenDesktop.
- Upgrade via Migration: Independently manage multiple XenDesktop sites within a single platform – allowing a simple low risk upgrade and migration path.
Multi-site management for hosted apps and desktops.
Co-existence of Multiple Versions: Version agility allowing the use of existing infrastructure and onboard new customers to latest version of XenApp and XenDesktop.
Streamline Service Delivery with Simplified Management
- Simplified/Faster Onboarding: Quickly onboard new customers and applications with simplified app onboarding and bulk user provisioning.
- Optimized Service Delivery and Usability: Identify and assign offerings as shared or private in a couple of click without the need for a complex naming convention.
- Simplified Offering Management: Quickly understand offering assignment across all multi-tenant sites and Shared/Private modes from an intuitive management portal.
Deliver Multi-Tenant Offerings Faster with Improved Performance
- 10X Faster Performance for Delivery of Offerings: Rapidly deliver offerings in a muti-tenant environment for “A” customer and “B” offerings across a set of “C” users.
- Detailed Usage Insights: Gain detailed insights into service usage and customer assignments – helping decisions that enable faster delivery of services.
Site deployment, usage and assignment.
Achieve continuous delivery of services
- Robust Design and Architecture with Enhanced Support: Independently update various versions of XenDesktop, StoreFront and VDA versions by leveraging flexible architecture.
- Risk Management: Manage upgrade risks by independently validating update and migration procedures thereby eliminating downtime.