Category Archives: VDI

Citrix Netscaler Gateway 11.0 What’s New

What’s New.

 

NetScaler Gateway 11.0 adds the following new features and enhancements:

NetScaler with Unified Gateway

This feature extends NetScaler Gateway connectivity with access to any web application through a single URL, along with seamless single sign-on and sign-off. Single URL access can be configured for:

  • Internal organizational web applications
  • Software as a Service applications, including SAML based single sign-on when available
  • Outlook Web Access and SharePoint as clientless applications
  • Load balanced applications served through NetScaler load balancing virtual servers
  • XenApp and XenDesktop published resources.

The feature can be configured and managed with the Unified Gateway wizard in the NetScaler configuration utility. [#00552862, #0438356, #0519875, #0519875]

SmartControl

SmartControl allows policy-based management decisions for ICA connections through the VPN. SmartControl policies can be applied at the session level to control user’s ICA environment and to further manage ICA connections with SmartGroup sorting decisions.   [#0525947]

Portal Customization and EULA

The Portal Customization options have been expanded to allow end-to-end customization of the VPN user portal. Administrators can apply themes to their VPN portal design or use themes as a foundation for their own customization or branding. An option to present VPN users an End User License Agreement (EULA) has also been added to the portal design. Portal themes and EULAs can be bound to a VPN virtual server or specified as global VPN parameters.  [#0489467]

New and Updated Gateway Clients

NetScaler Gateway release 11.0 adds new plug-in clients for the following operating systems:

  • Android 4.1 or later
  • iOS 7 or later
  • Linux (Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04)

Each of these clients provides full SSL VPN tunnel functionality through NetScaler Gateway and supports all authentication methods available in NetScaler Gateway.

Additionally, the Mac OS and Windows plug-ins have been refreshed and updated for the 11.0 release, including OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) support for the Mac OS X plug-in. [#0495767, #0520483]

Plug-in Version Decoupling

The NetScaler Gateway client plug-ins are no longer coupled to the NetScaler release versioning. Settings for version requirement per client OS type can be configured globally and within session policies.  [#0236620]

Plug-in Icon Decoupling from Citrix Receiver

The desktop client plug-ins icons can now be configured to operate independently from Native Citrix Receiver clients. Settings to manage Receiver integration with the NetScaler Gateway Plug-ins can be configured globally and within session policies.   [#0406312]

Disabling Automatic Update for the Windows Gateway Client and EPA Plug-ins

This enhancement adds an option in client Endpoint Analysis (EPA) to prevent automatic client updates by disabling the “EnableAutoUpdate” registry key.  [#236620]

Striped Cluster for NetScaler Gateway in ICA Proxy Mode

This feature allows administrators to deploy NetScaler Gateway with XenApp and XenDesktop in a striped cluster configuration. Administrators can use existing Gateway configurations and scale seamlessly in a cluster deployment without having to restrict the VPN configuration to a single node.

Note that this feature is limited to ICA Proxy basic-mode virtual servers and does not support SmartAccess. [#0490329]

Clientless VPN support for Outlook Web Access 2013 and SharePoint 2013

NetScaler Gateway has improved support for access to Outlook Web Access 2013 and SharePoint 2013 through Clientless VPN (CVPN) sessions. [#0494995]

WebFront

WebFront is an alternative integration point for XenApp and XenDesktop deployments served by StoreFront. Resident on NetScaler, WebFront uses caching and packet flow optimization in the distribution of user stores. These techniques improve end user experience for Receiver for Web users and speed up single sign-on for native Receiver users. In the NetScaler configuration utility, the WebFront feature is on the Configuration tab at System > WebFront. [#0497619, #0497625]

ICA Proxy Connection Termination after Session Time Out

Automatic session timeout can be enabled for ICA connections as a VPN parameter. Enabling this parameter forces active ICA connections to time out when a VPN session closes.  [#0358672]

Support for Common Gateway Protocol (CGP) over WebSockets

NetScaler Gateway virtual servers have improved intelligence for handling CGP traffic destined for the common CGP port, 2598, over WebSockets. This enhancement allows Receiver for HTML5 user sessions through NetScaler Gateway to support Session Reliability. [#0519889]

SPNEGO Encapsulation for Kerberos Tickets

NetScaler now uses SPNEGO encapsulation on Kerberos tickets that are sent to back-end web applications and servers. [#404899]

Cross Domain Kerberos Constrained Delegation 

This enhancement adds support for cross-domain Kerberos constrained delegation when both the user and the service realm have a two-way shortcut trust. That is, if the user and service belong to different domains/realms, constrained delegation fails. However, if a user logs on with a user name and password, Kerberos Single Sign-On works for cross-domain access, because the NetScaler Gateway appliance does Kerberos impersonation with the user password. NetScaler Gateway currently does not otherwise support cross-domain constrained delegation. [#444387]

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Huawei – Vendor Strengths and Cautions – Gartner

http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-2JFZ1KP&ct=150715&st=sb Huawei Huawei started its enterprise business in 2011. Its market base is stronger in Brazil, Russia, India and (primarily) China, and it mainly targets telcos and emerging markets. FusionSphere is virtualization infrastructure software and is one element of Huawei’s portfolio of network, storage and compute infrastructure. Although it can be supported on third-party hardware, most references are deployed on Huawei’s FusionCube. FusionSphere includes a Xen-based hypervisor, as well as extended input/output, availability and recovery products and capabilities. Furthermore, Huawei is developing a KVM product suite, and this is their stated technology direction. Huawei FusionSphere first entered the Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure in 2014. An up-and-coming product in emerging markets, Huawei FusionSphere claims hundreds of references in emerging economies. It also has references from Western Europe and Singapore, among other mature markets. However, Huawei has more customer references from China than elsewhere. It is predominantly appropriate for Huawei hardware users. Users of other x86 servers should validate the level of certification and local support. In late 2013, Huawei became a Gold Member of the OpenStack Foundation. It has already become a top 10 feature and code contributor, and it is leveraging OpenStack across both FusionCloud and FusionSphere, which may expand its market awareness while also increasing its appeal as cloud infrastructure. Huawei has established its position in telecommunications companies and for networking technology. During the past few years, Huawei has shown great ambition to expand into enterprise markets in mature economies. However, national security concerns have resulted in obstacles, particularly in North America. Its continuing growth will likely originate from emerging markets, Asia/Pacific and Western Europe — where FusionCloud and FusionSphere are being evaluated in test/development and pilots for cloud infrastructure. Strengths

  • Huawei provides an increasing breadth of product sets tied to FusionSphere and FusionCloud, leveraging open source and OpenStack.
  • Huawei has a complete stack in terms of server hardware and virtualization software.
  • Huawei is a disruptive alternative vendor with good momentum in emerging countries.

Cautions

  • Huawei is challenged in mature markets that are sensitive to geopolitical issues.
  • Execution is strongest in select geographies and vertical-industry markets (telecommunications).
  • Huawei must further develop partnerships with third-party vendors (especially in the U.S.) and grow its channel business.
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Citrix – Vendor Strengths and Cautions – Gartner

http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-2JFZ1KP&ct=150715&st=sb

Citrix

In recent years, Citrix has executed a number of fundamental changes that refocus and reposition XenServer as a platform for cloud infrastructures and desktop virtualization more than data center use. More recently, though, Citrix has also shown it will respond to market feedback. With the release of XenServer 6.5 in January 2015, numerous features have been brought back from retirement, or avoided retirement or deprecation.

Irrespective of these moves, it is clear Citrix is no longer investing to keep up with market leaders VMware and Microsoft — at least for traditional server virtualization in the data center. Instead, it is focusing on making XenServer an attractive hypervisor for cloud infrastructure (optimizing integration with its own CloudPlatform offering) and for desktop virtualization (supporting XenDesktop and XenApp).

For cloud infrastructures, the Xen hypervisor will remain the most widely used architecture for public infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud providers, if for no other reason than it is used by Amazon Web Services. The goal for Citrix is to leverage cloud providers to grow its business with Citrix CloudPlatform (the commercially supported version of Apache CloudStack). Enterprise adoption of open-source cloud infrastructure remains nascent, and Citrix’s strongest competitor in terms of technology and market perception is OpenStack, which has traditionally been associated with Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM). Moving XenServer to full open source was a required step not only to become competitive in this market, but also to potentially rejuvenate community investment in XenServer. At the same time, Citrix continues to demonstrate its commitment; it manages the open-source project and community for XenServer. However, while CloudPlatform has several hundred customers (about half being service providers, which makes monetization challenging), Citrix has hurdles to overcome. These include the community support, industry buzz and vendor marketing muscle being put behind OpenStack. Unless Citrix can increase its own community, or gain alliances with major vendors, it will struggle.

In desktop virtualization, XenApp and XenDesktop are widely used, but VMware vSphere continues to be more broadly used as the underlying hypervisor. Citrix, with a free back end, has an opportunity to reduce VMware’s influence and to potentially make Citrix-only desktop and server virtualization attractive (especially with smaller customers). While this is a good defensive strategy for Citrix, monetizing this strategy for growth remains a challenge. Furthermore, the growth of Hyper-V as a back end adds another challenge.

Citrix and Microsoft have an intriguing relationship. While Citrix supports Hyper-V and has a long-term partnership with Microsoft, winning at the desktop layer is important if Citrix wants to further expand its management, automation and cloud business. As a result, Citrix’s go-to-market strategy regarding how XenServer both competes with and complements Hyper-V remains confusing for many customers and channel partners. Regardless, it is apparent that Citrix is willing to sacrifice the server platform to maintain its desktop virtualization business.

For server virtualization alone, the reduction in virtualization functionality weakened XenServer’s competitiveness. XenServer 6.5 addresses most of these concerns. However, Gartner inquiries on XenServer for server workload virtualization have declined. Time will tell if the repositioning in XenServer 6.5 is enough to rejuvenate market interest for enterprise server virtualization.

The success of CloudPlatform or XenDesktop/XenApp is less reliant on the success of XenServer; however, as a core underlying virtualization technology for these products, XenServer can potentially help accelerate Citrix’s success in both areas, and enterprises can rely on Citrix to maintain investments in XenServer that specifically help their CloudPlatform or XenDesktop businesses.

Strengths

  • XenServer is a good product offering at zero cost (except for paid support).
  • Citrix has a large opportunity in the telecom and cloud service provider markets that rely heavily on open-source Xen today.
  • Citrix has a large reseller channel.

Cautions

  • Marketing execution and reach are limited for XenServer, while industry perception favors competitors.
  • Citrix faces open-source software (OSS) competition from KVM and OpenStack, and it must further develop the community and vendor support.
  • XenServer does not have a strong business model for monetization to cover future investments.

GA for XenDesktop 7.5 26th March 2014

As of today, XenDesktop 7.5  is now available  for downloads on Citrix portal

xendesktop 7.5

 

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