3 Citrix IMA Upgrade Options to Avoid!

Author: Amitabh Sinha

Publish on: Jul 7, 2016 8:26:42 AM

There's Something Much Better Than FMA and Citrix Cloud

This is Part 3 of a three-part series.  (Check out Post #1 and Post #2.) 

The Citrix XenApp end of life (EOL) for the XenApp 6.5 IMA architecture is compelling Citrix customers to consider next steps. As the former GM for XenApp and XenDesktop and now currently the CEO of Workspot, I have the opportunity to work with these same customers. Talking to them daily, I've gotten some unique insights into how organizations are viewing the impending need to migrate from IMA. Here's what I’ve learned:

Options for IMA customers

If your organization is still on Citrix IMA, you have the following three options: 

  1. Migrate to the newer FMA architecture (aka XenDesktop / XenApp 7.x)
  2. Jump to Citrix Cloud
  3. Migrate to a product from a different vendor like VMware or Microsoft
I wouldn't advise migrating to any of those options. They're problemmatic, time-consuming, and costly. In the end, you'll be stuck with something either outdated or slow, and you'll be back to the drawing board before you know it.

Migration from IMA to FMA is challenging

Here are our four "Rs" for why FMA migration is challenging and not worth pursuing:

(1) Rip-and-replace upgrade will take you months and is usually expensive.

(2) Re-train all of your staff on FMA. There is even a book written on the FMA architecture by Bas van Kaam.

(3) Redesign around major feature gaps, such as creating and managing zones.

(4) Results in architecture designed in 2008 are already outdated.



Migration from IMA to Citrix Cloud has challenges too

During Synergy 2015, Citrix introduced a new cloud solution called Citrix Cloud. So for many customers who are hesitant to move to FMA, Citrix Cloud is an option. In it, Citrix hosts many of the components of the FMA architecture, which means you can avoid migration. Essentially Citrix creates an instance of a farm per customer and takes on the day-to-day management. 

Sounds great, right? But, consider this: Citrix Cloud is a hosting service built on the same on-premises FMA architecture. They have just moved the complexity to a hosted environment. Since they host all that complexity, all the challenges with patching, scaling, and managing are still present. Hundreds, or thousands of times, once for each customer.

Can you name another company that has successfully hosted an on-premises architecture and made it a cloud service?  No. Salesforce, Workday, and NetSuite, are all examples of cloud companies that abandoned the on-premises approach and started from scratch.

Jump out of the frying pan and into the fire with VMware or Microsoft

Switching to another vendor, like VMW or MSFT, has essentially all the previous listed downsides with no upside. It will be extremely time-consuming and costly. You will have to re-train the entire staff on the new solution, which is something neither you nor your staff will enjoy. At the end, you will still be left with an outdated solution.

Workspot to the rescue

If you have to migrate off IMA, you really should check out the Workspot solution. We have built a cloud-native solution that allows you to deliver enterprise-class VDI and app delivery in 1 day. Workspot enables you to deploy 50x faster, save 95% on CAPEX, and 50-90% on OPEX. We put together a handy, step-by-step migration guide. Download it today to get started.

Migrating Citrix XenApp 6.5 to Workspot Workspace as a Service 


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