BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
Citrix shops want to take advantage of a new feature to help improve virtual desktop performance for remote workers with weak network connections.
Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13 include major improvements to the company's HDX remote display protocol technology. The new HDX Adaptive Transport feature optimizes bandwidth to allow the remote display protocol to work better in low-connectivity scenarios.
"Now, you get better reliability," said Omer Palo, CEO of MaviSky Technology Services, a XenApp and XenDesktop customer and partner in Miami. "It's a huge benefit for businesses trying to reduce the cost of connectivity of apps and is satisfying to end users."
'A huge improvement' to Citrix HDX
Prior to the general release of HDX Adaptive Transport last month, MaviSky used a preview version for its 11 full-time employees and five contracted workers on remote desktops and apps. The company saw improvements in bandwidth utilization and user experience over high-latency networks, and it's now working on deploying the new versions of XenApp and XenDesktop, Palo said.
Citrix HDX Adaptive Transport in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13 analyzes the strength of a network, uses algorithms to predict errors and lags before they occur, and proactively corrects them. Adaptive Transport makes HDX up to 10 times faster and uses 60% less bandwidth than the previous version, Citrix said.
"Those are huge claims, so that's a huge improvement," said James Nicol, senior engineer at BIT Direct Inc., a Citrix partner in Tampa, Fla. "If you are not worried about bottlenecks on your servers, you can work on other issues in your environment."
Adaptive Transport goes mainstream
Robert Youngresearch analyst at IDC
VMware last month released a similar upgrade to its Blast Extreme protocol, called Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport (BEAT).
"Users want access in high-latency environments, LANs, WANs and 3G networks," said Robert Young, research analyst at IDC. "Citrix and VMware are realizing that users want to deploy [virtual desktops and apps] anywhere and have them accessible no matter what type of network they're on."
With Citrix HDX Adaptive Transport and VMware BEAT, users will get the same experience as they would in the corporate office, Young said.
"If they weren't, they're not going to use it," he added. "That would be a nonstarter for me, if my IT department gave me a virtualized desktop and apps, but said the performance will be terrible if I'm on a lagging network. You can't have inconsistency in experience."
AppDNA gets faster
Also new in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.13 are performance improvements to AppDNA, which lets administrators test applications before deploying them to users. AppDNA is now a 64-bit application, and Citrix improved the app import time, allowing admins to test apps faster, the company said.
"Citrix understands that they need capabilities around testing, so IT knows what apps work in virtualized environment and which may not," Young said.
When to use XenDesktop with VDI
Four spots IT needs to watch in Citrix HDX
How to improve XenDesktop remote security