Version V5.2 is now ready for prime time.  The focus of this release was to support the latest hypervisors and Citrix components.   Actually we did a lot more because we added a few features that our users have been clamoring for.

 

Support for the latest hypervisors:

As always we need to stay current and so version 5.2 supports vSphere 5.1, XenServer 6.1 and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012.  The latter should  increase desktop density quite a bit.  We’d love to hear your experiences along those lines.  Please post on the forum what sort of density increases you are experiencing.

 

Unified access to VDI-in-a-Box desktops and your applications and data:

Version 5.2 now supports Citrix’s Cloud Gateway and allows you to access VDI-in-a-Box through it.  Cloud Gateway provides a unified application and data store allowing you to access Windows, web, SaaS and Mobile applications seamlessly and so we felt it important that VDI-in-a-Box work with this application and data aggregation service.

 

Real-time collaboration with Microsoft Lync:

In addition, we support Microsoft Lync via the Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Microsoft Lync.  Now users can seamlessly participate in audio-video or audio-only calls to and from other HDX RealtTime users and other standards-based video desktop and conference room systems.   This is especially good for call centers and the like who want wide ranging soft phone functionality with their virtual desktops.

 

Highly available Personal Desktops with PVD:

Many had asked that we provide some form of high availability for Personal (PVD) desktops.  We provide this by allowing you to place PVD desktops on shared storage.  Here’s how it works.  You specify a third datastore which resides on shared storage and VDI-in-a-Box will honor this request and store all Personal desktops using PVD on it.

 

Turn old desktops into locked down thin clients:

Kids will be kids and so many school lab administrators have asked that we provide a way to lock down the devices used in their labs.  Now, you can download the Desktop Lock from the VDI-in-a-Box download page on the Citrix web site.  It will allow you to lock down the physical device and essentially turn your old desktops and workstations into a thin client that connects directly to VDI-in-a-Box and keeps the kids from doing any mischief.

 

Fully automated software update with our Touchless DTagent:

And since we’re always looking for ways to make things simpler, with V5.2, we now have a fully automated way for you to upgrade the VDI-in-a-Box software.  We had two issues in the past.  First, you had to manually install the VDI-in-a-Box desktop agent on a golden image (that is then used to stamp out multiple desktop instances).  Second, when you upgraded the VDI-in-a-Box software, you had to manually update the agent on each existing golden image.  In Version 5.1, we automatically install the agent on all new images.  With V5.2, we now provide you a list of existing golden images whose agents need to be updated and once you click yes, we walk you through a wizard to automatically upgrade the agent and test the golden image.   For more details on this, see the blog by David Liu:  http://blogs.citrix.com/2013/01/22/viab-5-2-makes-updating-desktop-agents-easier/.

 

Stay tuned for still other blogs that are coming soon:

  • Richard Khan will be posting a detailed blog on the 3rd datastore and how it can be used for PVD and to help increase density.
  • Zoltan Kovacs will be posting a blog on how you can access VDI-in-a-Box side by side with your apps and data using Cloud Gateway.

Finally, those of you who have been frequenting our forum: http://forums.citrix.com/category.jspa?categoryID=287 … a hearty thanks!  Our developers spend a good deal of time there and find your feedback and suggestions very helpful.  I hope the forum is useful for you as well.