Are you an existing Citrix XenApp 6.5 customer?
You're probably concerned about your options for moving forward when XenApp 6.5 hits its End of Life (EOL). If you're not, I'd like to respectfully suggest that you should be. Time is ticking and your situation is difficult. Essentially, you have two options for an on-premises deployment: Citrix 7.x FMA or VMware Horizon. And you have two all-cloud options: Workspot or Amazon WorkSpaces.
In this article, I'll go over your top 3 planning considerations for migrating from XenApp 6.5.
(1) 100% Cloud
Should you consider going for a 100% cloud deployment? Yes, for greater agility and faster time-to-value.
We have all experienced months long expensive on-premises deployments. Our estimates are that with on-premises deployment of Citrix or VMware solutions, the first pilot user will be live in about 9 months and will cost nearly $200k in consulting, software and hardware costs. With all-cloud solutions from Amazon and Workspot, you can have live pilots in a day for a fraction of the cost. Increasingly, we find that our customers ask "Why would I ever do an on-premises deployment again?" They want to get out of the business of managing a datacenter, especially when cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure can do a better job for less money.
(2) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
With on-premises implementations, you are responsible for the capital expenses of buying software, storage, servers, and networking. You have to hire consultants to help you design the solution architecture, and then you have to create a deployment team to deploy the solution over many months. Finally, once the solution is live, you are responsible for operating it. On-premises VDI deployments have a long history of unpleasant OpEx surprises because these solutions are complex and that complexity just grows and grows. More complicated maintenance and troubleshooting = higher OpEx over time.
The alternative is an all-cloud solution from Workspot or Amazon WorkSpaces. You can be live in a few days and it will cost you a fraction of what the total spend would be for an on-premises implementation. Your time-to-value will be 100x better; that's a really compelling number! And since you are not responsible for operating the service, you and your team can stop micromanaging legacy VDI and spend time contributing in more important ways that are strategic to the business. Your team can even take some time to learn new Azure skills!
When you chose XenApp many years ago, the ICA (or HDX) protocol was the best. It was leaps and bounds better than RDP. I should know. I used to be the GM for the Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop team and used to own the protocol. But in the last few years, multiple protocols have caught up, including PCoIP, BLAST and RDP.
In fact, even as many as 5 years ago when I was at Citrix, in our "Coke vs. Pepsi" tests between different protocols and different bandwidths, most users could not tell the difference in performance between the protocols - in some cases HDX was better, in other cases PCoIP was preferred and in other cases RDP/RemoteFX performed better.
Unless you have extreme use cases, like very low bandwidth (100Kbps), or high latency (>120ms), or high packet loss (>1%), I would not worry about the protocol. If you do have one of those scenarios, I would still recommend testing the protocols for your use cases because you will be surprised at how close the results are.
The Workspot team is simplifying life for IT teams everyday. We're so confident that our Cloud Apps solution is the best choice for migrating off Citrix XenApp 6.5 that we offer our innovative No-Risk Customer Engagement Model. This means that with Workspot, success is your only option. We'd love to tell you more! Find 15 minutes on your calendar and we'll show you how it works.