March 10, 2010 - Sven Huisman

Citrix announces XenApp 6!

Today Citrix announced XenApp 6, which will be available starting March 24th. XenApp6 will only be available on Windows 2008 R2 (x64 only). Alongside XenApp 6, Citrix will also make available XenApp 5 Feature Pack 3 for Windows Server 2003 and 2008. 

XenApp 6 offers major new enhancements that simplify computing for IT, including easier central management, enhanced enterprise scalability and seamless integration with Microsoft technologies like App-V and Windows Server 2008 R2. XenApp 6 also improves productivity for end users with extensive new high-definition HDX™ technology enhancements and simplified self-service access to apps from any device, including PCs, Macs, laptops and smart phones.

Read the entire XenApp 6 announcement.

Reasons to upgrade (IMHO):

  • AppCenter simplifies application management with a single, more intuitive console.
  • HDX RealTime collaboration enables real-time audio and video collaboration using Microsoft Office Communicator and VoIP softphones.
  • HDX Plug-n-Play for Windows portable USB devices ensures a seamless user experience with expanded USB support for POS interfaces, webcams, microphones, scanners and more.
  • App-V integration enables IT to manage and deliver both Citrix and Microsoft virtual applications on demand from a single point with Microsoft App-V.

Reasons NOT to upgrade:

  • Windows 2008 R2 = x64 only! You might have (a) business critical application(s) which won’t work on a 64-bit OS.

Virtual Applications / Virtual Desktop Citrix / XenApp /

Comments

  • Adam says:

    One issue with Citrix XenApp 6 is that, unlike previous versions, it doesn’t support mixed server farms (server clusters that contain more than one XenApp and/or Windows server version in the same farm.). That leaves 3 possible options for upgrading existing XenApp sites:

    Option 1: Upgrade all servers to XenApp 6 all at once (since XenApp 6 only runs on Windows Server 2008 R2). This is not easy to accomplish in a production environment, which can afford little or no downtime. And if you are hosting an application that isn’t very compatible with 64-bit platforms (Windows Server 2008 R2 is 64-bit only) then you’re truly stuck.

    Option 2: Create a secondary farm for the XenApp 6 servers; then distribute the clients between the two using a Web interface. This introduces 3 challenges: (1) Since XenApp 6 has new management consoles and a whole new way of doing configuration and scripting, each farm will need to be managed separately using a different tool-set. (2) Determining how to properly distribute the clients between each of the two farms requires close monitoring; otherwise users may not be able to connect to the proper farm. (3) In all likelihood the combined size of both farms will potentially be much larger than a single farm would have been.

    Option 3: Switch to Ericom’s PowerTerm WebConnect. With a three-tier architecture, PowerTerm WebConnect (certified by Microsoft for Windows Server 2008 R2) can support mixed farms containing Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2008 R2 and future versions of Windows as well. So it can actually be easier, safer and more cost-effective to not only choose this solution over Citrix’s in the first place, but even to upgrade an existing XenApp farm to PowerTerm WebConnect than to XenApp 6!

    You can read more and download a free evaluation at:
    http://www.ericom.com/citrix_alternative.asp?URL_ID=708

    Adam