MetaFrame XP Feature Release 1

Citrix released Feature Release 1 for Citrix MetaFrame XP for Windows in October 2001. This release is a significant upgrade. Take a quick look at some of its most important features.

Printing upgrades. To make printing easier, Citrix has added a Citrix Universal Print Driver. When installed on a server, the driver lets users print to client-side printers from applications running on a terminal server—without needing to install the client-side printer drivers on the terminal server. This capability can also reduce the amount of network traffic required to send print jobs to client printers over slow connections.

Application management. Application management is a large part of any terminal server’s administration. To make the task easier, Feature Release 1 adds a few features that make applications less breakable. CPU Prioritization, available for MetaFrame XPa and MetaFrame XPe, lets you assign CPU priorities to applications. Because higher-priority applications get more CPU time than lower-priority ones, this ability can help keep less important applications from elbowing out more important ones. The Citrix Program Neighborhood Agent prevents users from reconfiguring their ICA clients—links pushed with the agent are nonconfigurable. MetaFrame XPe users can also take advantage of Enhanced Application Publishing and Delivery, which lets administrators group servers by OS and function when pushing applications and software updates to those servers.

Content publishing. With MetaFrame, you can publish connections to applications but can’t control what content those applications present (beyond what you can permit or restrict through file permissions). With Feature Release 1, you can actually publish content and create links to content that you can store and update from a central server. You manage this published content from the Citrix Management Console’s Applications section, from which you also manage published applications.

Connection management. Feature Release 1 includes two features—one for users and one for administrators—to make connections easier to manage. Auto Client Reconnect automatically attempts to reconnect users who are accidentally disconnected from their sessions (perhaps because of line failure). Connection Control, which MetaFrame XPa and MetaFrame XPe support, lets administrators limit the number of concurrent sessions for a predefined user or application, thus conserving server resources. Feature Release 1 also includes ThinWire performance enhancements that Citrix designed to reduce per-connection bandwidth requirements for 24-bit color sessions—an important ability when working over slow links. Finally, MetaFrame XPe administrators can monitor ICA-session bandwidth usage at the channel level to determine how they’re using bandwidth and how they can use it better.

Console enhancements. When you install Feature Release 1, you can also install the updated Citrix Management Console. The new console has additional sections in the Licensing and Server sections, as well as new dialog box options to accommodate the changes that Feature Release 1 makes to the software. You also have the option of adding the Citrix Web Console, which lets you manage server farms from a browser.

Support for NFuse 1.6. Feature Release 1 supports Citrix NFuse 1.6, which in turn supports Novell Directory Services (NDS—Feature Release 1 also directly supports NDS). NFuse 1.6 also lets you specify additional backup authentication servers; supports secure logout, thus preventing applications from being available to anyone who pushes a browser’s Back button; offers easier navigation; supports the Program Neighborhood Agent; and offers better support for anonymous users.

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