Citrix Partner Summit - HDX Enhancements - Excalibur release

While I am fortunate enough to be out at Citrix Partner Summit to get updates on Citrix's pending release of Excalibur (XenDesktop 7), as well as Merlin and Avalon (feel like I'm in Camelot), NDAs prohibit discussing the specifics until a couple of days from now, when Citrix hosts the general audience and all attendees at Citrix Synergy 2013.

I did sit through a session on HDX graphics enhancements that showcased some major announcements, my notes are below:

HDX updates – part of the Excalibur release – focus on mobility/3D graphics

    - 2x increase frame rate on 3G connections at 800kbps
    - 10x reduction in bit rate over low speed connections
    - HW aceceleration for windows multimedia decoding – smooth playback but less power consumption
    - 100% increase in bandwidth efficiency – WAN link scalability at the same video quality for low bandwidth connections

    - H.264 encode enhancements (HDX SuperCodec)
        - released in 2009 as part of XD
        - enhances adaptive display
        - dynamic adaptability to network conditions - LAN/WAN/Cell
        - less power consumption - great for mobile devices
        - VDI and hosted-shared (RDS) workloads

    - Windows media redirection
        - extended to Mac, IOS, and Android
        - client-side content fetching with Multicast (directly from media source to requesting client) OR
        - client-side content fetching with Unicast (local cache server)
    - Video caching with Cloudbridge 7 (AKA branch repeater)
        - http object-level caching
        - acts as a local media server at the branch

    - Unified Communication Approaches
        - Generic - Media over ICA
        - Optimized - Peer-to-peer
            - modified soft phone
            - voice/data goes directly to the end device (no hair pinning)
        - Enhancements for MS Lync
            - supports MS new Lync VDI plug-in (for PCs and Windows-embedded TCs)
                - dynamic virtual channels
            - MEET NOW feature is now supported
            - futures: HDX optimization pack for Lync 2013 on Linux, Mac
        - Cisco Jabber client enhanced – VXI solution
            - Cisco VXME – Virtualization experience media engine
                - enables Jabber to run virtually
                - supported on Windows TCs
        - Avaya – VDI communicator
            - SW only is an option

    - Graphics
        - full support for Windows 8 ( 7 Aero and Desktop)
            - Server - HW GPU- enhanced is XD7 – HCX 3D Pro
            - Server - SW GPU
            - Client - Desktop composition redirections – redirection of DirectX 9+ to the client
        - Open GL SW accelerator
            - faster than Windows
            - leverages SSE4.1 and AVX
            - supports OpenGL 2.1
        - HDX 3D Pro with GPU sharing on Hosted Shared (multiple sessions from single GPU)
            - direct NIVIDIA HW access (Q6000 vs. GRID K2)
            - GPU sharing for VDI (single-user windows desktop Vms)

    - Seamless Local App Access
        - GoToMeeting example
        - iTunes example (iTunes local but accessible via VDI session)
        - RDS-hosted apps in the VDI
            - eliminates the double hop penalty
        - run any app and display within the VDI session (but runs locally)

Lots of other info obtained, so wait until Wednesday for GA release by Citrix.

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