Citrix centralizes management, adds Android with XenApp 6

XenApp version 6 will also get improved scalability, according to Citrix

Citrix Systems has launched version 6 of XenApp, its platform for centralized application delivery that features centralized management and access to Windows applications from Android-based smartphones and Apple computers, the company said on Wednesday.

XenApp lets users access programs running on a server, and applications can be streamed to the client. It can also be used as an integrated part of XenDesktop, Citrix's platform for desktop virtualization.

Macs and Android-based smartphones have been added to the list of devices that are now compatible with Citrix's Receiver client, according to according to Magnus Toft, product marketing manager at Citrix Nordic.

The Receiver client was launched in May last year. It uses a number of plug-ins to support different features including online and offline application usage, password management and WAN acceleration, Toft said.

Previously, Citrix offered the ICA client, its protocol for server based applications, for Apple computers. The Citrix technology still uses ICA, but the Receiver has been engineered to let administrators choose and add plug-ins without reinstalling the whole client.

By letting Mac users access applications running on the server, companies can get around any management and application compatibility issues with Windows, according to Toft.

Also, Macs can now be used with Citrix's Dazzle, a self-service "enterprise application storefront" that is controlled by the IT department and lets users pick the applications they want access to, according to Citrix.

Also, Citrix has expanded the number of USB (Universal Serial Bus) devices that can be attached to computers, including webcams, microphones, digital cameras and scanners.

Several of the new features in version 6 of XenApp aim to make life a little easier for the IT department. XenApp's new management console, AppCenter, lets administrators manage applications from a centralized spot using one tool, according to Toft. Previously, the IT department has had to use a number of different consoles to maintain their XenApp environment, including Licence Manager and Web Interface.

Full support for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 will also simplify management, including the initial installation of XenApp and profile management, according to Toft,

Performance enhancements made by Microsoft in Windows Server 2008 R2 lets Citrix improve the scalability of XenApp, as well. XenApp has been verified to scale up to more than 100,000 concurrent users in a single server farm, according to a statement from Citrix.

XenApp 6 has also been integrated with Microsoft's App-V, which now can be used to stream applications in a Citrix environment, according to Toft.

XenApp 6 release will be available for download beginning on March 24, and new licenses of will cost from $350 per concurrent user.

In addition to XenApp 6, Citrix is introducing XenApp 5 Feature Pack 3 for Windows Server 2008 R1 and Windows Server 2003.

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