Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1912 LTSR is out now

1912 LTSR

The new Long Term Service Release of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is now available. It contains many new features compared to the last Current Release and of course more regarding the last LTSR.

New Features

The following new features have been added compared to the last current release.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1912 LTSR

User Personalization Layer

This function replaces Personal vDisk, which has been discontinued for some time. When installing or upgrading a single session VDA, you can now include the User Personalization Layer component. This function is provided by Citrix App Layering and ensures that on non-persistent machines, the personal data and locally installed applications of the user can be stored and made available across sessions in a VHD. Like PvD, the User Personalization Layer also works with Citrix Provisioning and Machine Creation Services (MCS).

Citrix User Personalization Layer

To enable the mounting of user layers within the virtual delivery agents, use the configuration parameters in the Citrix policies:

  • User Layer Repository Path
    • Enter a path in the format “\\Servername\Sharename”
  • User Layer Size GB
    • Changes the default value from 0 to the maximum size (in GB), the user layer can grow to. If the default value is used, the maximum size of the user layer is 10 GB.
User Layer Repository Path User Layer Size in GB

Changing the size of the user layer in the policy does not change the size of the existing layers.

vhd UserLayer
Computer Management Layer

SQL Server Express Version

When installing the first Delivery Controller, you can select whether Microsoft SQL Server Express should be installed or not. This is used for the site database. This release uses SQL Server Express 2017 with Cumulative Update 16. Upgrades from existing farms will not install the newer version of SQL Server Express.
For the LocalDB (Local Host Cache) of a new controller, the new version of Microsoft SQL Server Express 2017 is automatically installed. This installation is separate from the SQL Server Express used for the site database. Here the SQL Express Server is also not updated for existing controllers.

SQL Server Express 2017 Version

Support Windows 10 x86

Windows 10 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) operating systems are supported. The 32-bit Windows 10 operating system is not supported in Current Release 1909 and there are currently no plans to support it in future releases. For Windows 10, Citrix recommends 64-bit (x64).

Local Security Authority (LSA)

Now the use of the Local Security Authority (LSA) on a multi-session server and single-session desktop operating system is supported. On Windows, you can now configure additional protection for the LSA process to increase security for the credentials, it stored and managed.

Rendezvous Protocol

In environments using the Citrix Gateway Service, the Rendezvous Protocol allows HDX sessions to bypass the Citrix Cloud Connector and connect directly and securely to the Citrix Gateway Service.

Rendezvous Protocol
  1. Navigate to the Citrix Workspace
  2. Enter credentials into Citrix Workspace
  3. When Active Directory on Prem is used, the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service authenticates the credentials with Active Directory via the Cloud Connector
  4. Citrix Workspace displays assigned resources from the Citrix Virtual Apps and the Desktops Service
  5. Resource from the Citrix Workspace is selected. The Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service sends a message to the VDA to prepare for an incoming session
  6. Citrix Workspace sends an ICA file to the endpoint containing a STA ticket generated by Citrix Cloud
  7. The endpoint connects to the Citrix Gateway Service, provides the ticket for connection to the VDA and the Citrix Cloud validates the ticket
  8. The Citrix Gateway Service sends connection information to the Cloud Connector. The Cloud Connector determines whether the connection should be a rendezvous connection and sends the information to the VDA
  9. The VDA establishes a direct connection to the Citrix Gateway Service
  10. If a direct connection between the VDA and the Citrix Gateway Service is not possible, the VDA establishes its connection to the Cloud Connector
  11. The Citrix Gateway Service establishes a connection between the end device and the VDA
  12. The VDA verifies the license for the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service via the Cloud Connector
  13. The Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service sends session policies to the VDA via the Cloud Connector

REQUIREMENTS

  • Access to the environment via Citrix Workspace and Citrix Gateway Service
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service (Citrix Cloud) as Control Plane
  • VDA version 1912 or higher
  • Enabling the Rendezvous Protocol in the Citrix Policy
  • Virtual Apps and Desktops Machines must have access to the Citrix Cloud Websites
  • DNS reverse lookup zone with PTR entries for Virtual Apps and Desktops machines
  • Configure the SSL Cipher Suite Order in the VDA
    • Start the Group Policy
    • Go to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Network > SSL Configuration Settings > SSL Cipher Suite Order
    • Select this order:

IMPORTANT

The Rendezvous protocol does not support transparent or explicit proxies. To use proxies, continue to use the Cloud Connector for ICA traffic.
If rendezvous is enabled and the VDA cannot directly reach the gateway service, the VDA performs a fallback to the cloud connector.
If all requirements are met, perform the following steps to verify that the rendezvous protocol is being used:

  1. Starts a PowerShell or CMD within the HDX session
  2. Executes the ctxsession.exe -v command
  3. If the rendezvous is used, the local address is 0.0.0.0.0.0 followed by a 5-digit port number (e.g. 0.0.0.0.0.0:50345)

Linux machines under AWS

Citrix Studio now supports the use of Machine Creation Services (MCS) to deploy Linux machines to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

StoreFront App Protection Policies

StoreFront 1912 supports App Protection Policies as long as the other Citrix components such as Workspace App and Delivery Controller (version 1912 or higher) also support it. App Protection Policies can be activated at the Delivery Group level. When StoreFront receives requests from a Workspace App where the HTTP header contains X-Citrix-AppProtection-Capable, it automatically sends a smart access tag to CVAD indicating that it supports the App Protection Policies. It is not necessary to manually enable the App Protection Policies in StoreFront.

REQUIREMENTS

Use the PowerShell SDK to enable the following properties for the App Protection Delivery Group:

  • AppProtectionKeyLoggingRequired: True
  • AppProtectionScreenCaptureRequired: True

To check this, run the following cmdlet:

In addition, XML Trust must be activated:

IMPORTANT

If an older version of the Citrix Workspace App or Citrix Receiver is used, these policies will not be activated.

Support Desktop Appliance Sites

From this release, Desktop Appliance Sites are no longer supported, and it is recommended to use Citrix Workspace App Desktop Lock for all non-domain-joined use cases.

IMportant

When upgraded to StoreFront 1912, all Desktop Appliance Sites in the Citrix farm are automatically removed.

Update

Important note on upgrading VDAs.

If the Personal vDisk (PvD) component has ever been installed on the VDA, this VDA cannot be upgraded to version 1912 LTSR or higher by inplace upgrade. To use the new VDA, uninstall the current VDA and then install the new VDA. This also applies if the PvD component was only installed and has never been used before.
If it is not known whether the VDA has installed PvD, start the installation program for the new VDA on the machine.
When PvD is installed, a message appears indicating that there is an incompatible component.
If PvD is not or was not installed, the upgrade will continue.

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