Are you still running XenApp 6.5 as your Application & Desktop delivery platform?
James Kindon looks at the impending end of life of XenApp 6.5, advises that it’s time to seriously be looking at moving to the supported FMA Architecture.
Over the last few years there has been hesitation for many customers to move to the 7.x FMA based Architecture. This has been due to the perceived complexity of the move, supportability of applications and often a feature disparity between the older IMA architecture in 6.5 and the newer FMA architecture in 7.x
XenApp and XenDesktop features are now on par
Thankfully, with the release of XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 Long Term Service Release (LTSR), we can now comfortably say that it is on par from a feature set perspective. From an application viewpoint, did you know that the FMA architecture allows you to support applications running on all server platforms since the 2008 R2 release? This makes porting legacy applications into the FMA architecture a snap knowing that you don’t have to complete an entire Operating System migration (though 2008 R2 does come with its own set of challenges).
For XenApp 6.5 customers, XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR has all the key enterprise capabilities you’re accustomed to plus much more, including cloud integration, simplified image management and expanded platform support among many other things. It’s also a common architecture for both XenApp and XenDesktop, allowing XenApp customers to continue with hosted-shared apps and desktops and the ability to easily add in VDI later, by simply upgrading the product license, when needed.
A new lifecycle strategy
In January 2016, Citrix announced a new Lifecycle strategy for XenApp & XenDesktop products. They outlined that future XenApp & XenDesktop releases will be separated in two release paths, with ‘Current Release’ bringing new features every few months, and ’Long Term Service Release’ bringing feature stability with support up to 10 years.
Whilst we have focused on the 7.15 LTSR Release as the turning point for feature parity, it is important to note that 7.16 is already in production with a wealth of new and improved features.
But being on an LTSR release does not mean you do not have to patch and upgrade to stay in compliance and support. In fact, CU1 has already been released for the 7.15 LTSR release. It does however, mean you will have no new features whilst you operate in the LTSR stream, which is a major consideration given then speed of development we are currently witnessing.
Couple this with technologies such as Workspace Environment Management and Citrix App Layering, now is an exciting and important time to be looking at moving to a modern, well-supported platform, and reaping all the benefits that comes with it.
The key reasons to make the move
Citrix have published a list of top reasons for moving to XenApp 7 – and it is solid:
- Fast ramp to cloud service
- Cloud flexibility
- Image management for everyone
- Optimised use experience
- Expanded use cases
- Extend and secure user access
- Easier future upgrades
And in particular, the 7.15 LTSR release has a shopping list of features that are worth exploring.
What will you do next?
What are your plans to address the end of life for XenApp 6.5?
Is it time to look at Citrix Cloud?
Is it a time to be looking at what a Citrix Service Provider can offer you as part of your strategy?
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About the Author
James is technical consultant focused on the design and implementation of Microsoft, Citrix and VMware virtualisation technologies. He has a broad range of skills across cloud and infrastructure, inclusive of EUC, mobility, storage, networks and data center operations. James is a keen contributor to the community and also publishes his own blog.James Kindon