With Citrix Synergy 2016 behind us, we’ve compiled a few key takeaways for law firms. Overall it was an excellent event filled with great content, including some particularly relevant to LegalIT.
1. XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9
XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9 come with a number of enhancements, even for the recently released 7.8, including:
-MCS Write Cache in RAM: a tremendous new feature that makes MCS a more viable alternate to PVS among law firms.
-Logon duration reports allowing firms to drill into the logon process in order to troubleshoot slowness.
-Enhanced Windows 10 access for firms looking to leverage RemotePC on Secure Boot Windows 10.
-XenApp Secure Browser edition.
2. HDX Proxy
Free replacement for the Citrix Secure Gateway. For years firms have used the small, free, Windows-based install of the Citrix Secure Gateway in order to proxy traffic from outside the firm to the internal Citrix environment. Over time Citrix moved on from this free utility to a NetScaler running NetScaler Gateway functionality. While Citrix does provide a free version of NetScaler (VPX Express), all but the smallest firms were forced to purchase a NetScaler in order to run the gateway functionality. So while we expect most clients to stick with their NetScaler investments, it is nice to see that the free proxy utility is back for limited use cases.
3. NetScaler SD-WAN and MAS
Citrix announced that CloudBridge will now be called NetScaler SD-WAN. The offering will allow firms to monitor and measure the performance of WAN links in real time and instantly adapt to network issues. When run in conjunction with a NetScaler, the solution allows firms to bond different connections including MPLS, internet VPN, or even a mobile connection, and allow for dynamic connectivity between the bonded group.
NetScaler MAS, or NetScaler Management and Analytics System, was also announced at Synergy 2016. This solution allows enterprises to streamline the management of multiple NetScaler ADC or SD-WAN implementations into a single pane of glass management system. This will be very helpful for firms who have multiple VPX or MPX implementations in their environment.
4. ShareFile for Outlook Email Body and Attachment Encryption
A long awaited feature to help protect data and meet security and compliance standards.
5. HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 2.1 & Skype for Business
Set for release in late June 2016, the HDX RealTime Optimization pack 2.1 will build on last year’s version 2.0. Some key features in this version will include support for Skype for Business 2016, Endpoint Identification for Location Services (emergency 911), control over systray balloons (always a huge issue at firms), and additional performance optimizations around video quality and two-party calls.
6. Windows 10 Instances Available in Azure
Citrix and Microsoft announced they will now allow SA customers to host Windows 10 Enterprise Current Branch for Business environments on Azure through Citrix’s XenDesktop offering. This is a drastic departure from Microsoft’s previous policy, which only allowed Windows 7 or Windows 8 on Azure for testing purposes.
We look forward to implementing the features above and seeing how they play out across the LegalIT space.