XenApp 7.6 Gives Us More Features
In a previous blog, I discussed migrating from previous releases of XenApp and XenDesktop to version 7.x. In short, I recommended Migrating to XenDesktop 7.x because it was a good step forward. With XenDesktop, we were offered more features and improved performance. However, my thoughts on XenApp 7.x were the opposite. Unless you had a requirement to migrate to a Windows 2012 server implementation, I could not justify going to XenApp 7.x. Though there were a number of reasons for this, the primary reason was the loss of features.
Features we were used to in previous versions of XenApp were not there in version 7.x. In versions 7.1 and 7.5 we were given back a couple of features and introduced to some new ones, but still not enough to change my mind. Now that XenApp 7.6 has been released, I am going to recommend giving it a look. It still may not be worth the migration from XenApp 6.5 for some organizations because XenApp 6.5 is fairly solid. Keep in mind that, for now, XenApp 6.5 has product maintenance through February 24, 2016 and has an end of life date of August 24, 2016 according to Citrix. That is about eighteen months from now. For smaller infrastructures, making a migration may not need that much time. However, larger infrastructures probably want to start making plans and testing. Those organizations on the verge of migrating may be more willing to make the move now that XenApp 7.6 has been released.
Previously, I had listed reasons not to make the move to XenApp 7.x yet. With version 7.6, I am saying to consider it. Here are some reasons for migrating to XenApp 7.6:
- Windows Server 2012 support.
- Much easier installation which lends to easier expansion.
- A clearly defined path for migrating from XenApp 6.5 with the tools to bring over previous configurations.
- Missing features are back:
- Application Folders in StoreFront and Web Interface.
- Session Prelaunch.
- Session Linger.
- Support for anonymous users (kiosk mode).
- Ability to function when the database is offline (connection leasing).
- Virtual IP and virtual loopback.
- New and improved features:
- Improved reporting features.
- Improved Remote PC Access.
- SSL/TLS connections.
- A tool for converting Citrix Application Streaming profiles to App-V 5 packages.
(XenApp no longer does application streaming. You need to incorporate Microsoft’s App-V to gain the same functionality.)
- Improvements to Director:
- Licensing Alerts.
- Monitor hotfixes.
- Director is compatible with XenApp 6.5
- View hosted application usage.
Keep in mind that a proof of concept is the proper course for determining if XenApp 7.6 will support your organization’s needs. There are also tools like Citrix’s AppDNA to help determine compatibility of applications before you migrate. So, as I have said, now is a good time to look into migrating to the latest version of XenApp.
Questions? As always, please post your questions or comments below.
Craig R. Kalty (CCIA, CCEE, CCA, MCITP:EA, MCITP:SA, VCP)|
Sr. Network Consultant
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