Are you an existing Citrix XenApp 6.5 customer?
Are you concerned about your options for migration moving forward when XenApp 6.5 hits its End of Life (EOL)? Your situation is difficult. I know because I used to be an engineer in the XenDesktop product team. Now I'm working with many companies on their XenApp migration strategy. In this article, I'll go over your 3 options to migrate from XenApp 6.5.
First let me share why most XenApp 6.5 customers are in this quandary. Customers hesitate migrating to XenApp 7 because of the massive change in architecture.
XenApp 6.5 and lower versions were built on the Independent Management Architecture (IMA). However, in 2011 Citrix released XenDesktop 5 based on a new architecture: Flexible Management Architecture (FMA). XenApp 7.x was ported onto the new architecture. During this change, XenApp 6.5 customers, like you, were left behind wondering what to do next.
(1) You can rip and replace XenApp 6.5 infrastructure with XenApp 7.x.
Citrix created a chart (below) that lists options for upgrade/migration for XenApp/XenDesktop customers. Note: For customers facing XenApp 6.5 EOL, there is only one option to upgrade. Basically, you need to rip-and-replace your existing XenApp 6.5 infrastructure with XenApp 7.x. The problem with this option is that there are a number of key feature gaps in the solution, including cross-site capabilities. Another problem with this option is that XenApp migration costs tend to be very high.
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(2) You can migrate to VMware Horizon App.
In 2015, VMware released Horizon App, which is supposedly equivalent to XenApp. Like Option #1 above, this is also an expensive rip-and-replace option. Unless you are already using VMware Horizon, this option does not make sense. Here are 5 reasons to consider before switching from Citrix to VMware, according to a former VMware account manager.
(3) You can migrate to Workspot + Microsoft RDS.
In our opinion, this is your best option for XenApp 6.5 migration. With XenApp, you are already paying for Microsoft RDS. As a result, you have the CALs. RDP 10 is a very good protocol, and it is comparable to Citrix HDX for the majority of use cases.
Workspot can help you with this option. Our solution is built on top of RDS and enables some key capabilities:
(a) All of your applications are aggregated: With 1-click you can aggregate applications that run on XenApp or RDS, custom web applications, packaged web applications, SaaS applications, and network file shares. The Workspot solution is a cloud-native, webscale control plane architecture.
(c) You also get consistent access from any location: The Workspot client bundles in a VPN and SSO capabilities. The client automatically detects when the end user is inside or outside the corporate network and appropriately routes traffic through the VPN.
I've written a step-by-step migration guide to help you go from XenApp 6.5 to Workpot + RDS. You can download it below.
In the next post in this series, we discuss the 5 reasons why you should migrate from XenApp 6.5 to Workspot.
Learn more about the simplest option for migrating from XenApp 6.5 without ripping and replacing anything.