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Citrix XenApp 6.5 Instant App Access

One of the coolest features of Citrix XenApp 6.5 has got to be the new Instant App Access feature, what this does is dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to launch published applications. So instead of the traditional login and wait for your profile to be created locally, settings to be applied, policies and so on, Instant App Access gives instant access to your applications -- as soon as you click on an application you are ready to use it.

The magic behind this functionality is quite simple. As soon as you login to Citrix Receiver and your applications are enumerated, an empty session is opened in the background for you on the XenApp server. This is an empty session, but it manages the entire pre-launching functionality so that when you are ready to click on a published resource, you get that resource instantly without waiting. It is a very smart and intuitive way of masking the process and significantly enhancing the user experience.

I'm sure you have a ton of questions. Here's one you might be wondering about: What happens if I silo my applications on servers? Because each application gets its own set of servers and I have 10 silos, does that mean that the user will have an empty session on each silo of servers? The answer is simply, yes. If you are in a silo that is exactly what happens, and there is really no way around this.

Now, of course if the application silo contains 10 servers, it will open up one session on the least busy one, not a session on every server. That being said, your second question might be: Will that not consume resources on my XenApp servers? Again, the answer is yes it will. But in this case, the resources are minimal and considering XenApp 6.5 is a 64-bit only application, I don't see the resource issue being as big a deal as it is in the 32-bit versions. And if you are worried that this might consume a license, you are correct -- it does! However, keep in mind that the user logged in to launch applications. The good thing is if the user does not launch an application within a given time, it puts that empty session in disconnect mode, which then releases the Citrix license.

This is just one of the features of the new XenApp 6.5. In the future, I'll cover some other new features such as the multi-stream ICA protocol. Stay tuned!

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 12/12/2011 at 12:49 PM


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