30/11/2018
Neil Edkins

In case you weren’t aware, as of June this year, Citrix XenApp 6.5 is now end of life and Citrix support is now only available under Extended End of Life. And only if you are willing to pay an additional fee. So, what are your options if you don’t want to pay extra for XenApp 6.5 support?

Below I explain three ‘possible’ Citrix options:

 

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#1 Upgrade to Citrix XenApp 7.15 LTSR

With this option you create a new XenApp 7.15 LTSR site, on-prem or even in Azure. You perform an in-place upgrade of the Citrix software on your existing XenApp 6.5 workloads to 7.15 LTSR adding them to the new site.

My view

This option is relatively short-lived and should only be considered as a tactical solution. The Windows Server 2008 R2 server platform the solution will be running on, will itself reach Extended End of Life in January 2020.

(Though Microsoft are offering Extended Security Updates for free for Azure workloads and for a fee, if still on-prem) and XenApp 7.15 LTSR (Long Term Service Release) will reach End of Life in August 2022.

My rating

This is the least preferred of the three options and something I don’t see our clients doing. This approach should only really be considered if your applications will not run on a newer Windows Server operating system.

#2 Migrate to Citrix Virtual Apps 7 1808 CR

Earlier this year Citrix rebranded their product portfolio. XenApp became Virtual Apps and rather than the version 7 releases being shown in increments, for example 7.15 to 7.16, they started to use the format Year and Month, for example 1808.

Migration to Virtual Apps 7 1808 (now the latest Current Release) essentially means a complete rebuild of your Citrix site and workloads. For example, installing a new operating system, Virtual Apps software and all your applications. As with option 1, you can do this on-prem, in Azure or even a hybrid environment.

My view

Migrating will provide you with the longest period of support, especially if Windows Server 2016 is used as the operating system.  Moving to the latest current release of Virtual Apps will also ensure you have the best Citrix user experience.

My rating

If your Citrix requirements haven’t changed then this is a good option and something I see our clients doing.  But, remember, you will need to consider your application compatibility with a Windows Server 2016 operating system.

The current release versions will reach End of Maintenance 6 months after general availability and End of Life 12 months after this. The good thing is that in-place upgrades are now a far simpler approach for updates.

#3 Move to Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops 7 1808 CR

Like many of our clients, your requirements may have changed and delivering apps and desktops from a Windows Server platform simply doesn’t meet your complete IT requirements anymore.

Perhaps VDI may be a requirement for certain types of users, such as developers or CAD designers. Or, you may want to address application compatibility when using a server platform.

As with option 2, this gives you everything Virtual Apps does, but in addition, Virtual Apps & Desktops (the new name for XenDesktop) gives you the ability to run apps and desktops from Window desktop platforms as well such as Windows 10.  And once again, you can do this either on-prem, in Azure or a hybrid environment.

My view

This option is perfect if additional use cases have been identified that are better served from a desktop operating system, rather than the traditional server operating system.

My rating

Many clients love the scalability and flexibility of apps and desktops being delivered from a server platform. However, as their workforce has evolved, the use case for VDI in some instances has arisen, requiring a desktop platform.  This is an approach we are seeing many of our clients taking up.

Next Steps

Unsure which option is right for you? We’re already helping lots of clients analyse the best choice. And for many we have found Citrix Cloud is also a good option.

If you’re not familiar with Citrix Cloud, it is a cloud-based platform in Azure used for hosting and administering Citrix services – Virtual Apps & Desktops being just one of these.

Citrix themselves manage and maintain the platform, meaning it is always in an “evergreen” state and highly available, leaving you to simply perform the day-to-day administration and look after your apps and desktops workloads.

We are a Citrix Gold Solution Advisor and Microsoft Gold Partner across Apps and Infrastructure making us perfectly placed to guide you on your journey.

Do you have a plan now that Citrix XenApp 6.5 is now end of life? Get in touch to arrange your

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