XenDesktop 7, are XenApp Advanced customers left in the dark?

left in the darkI’m sure it didn’t escape you, but this week Citrix announced XenDesktop 7 (formally known as Excalibur), I think it’s awesome that XenApp and XenDesktop finally melt together as one, XenApp is not disappearing but it is just a simple VDA agent you install on top of RDS 2008R2 or 2012. What is disappearing is the whole IMA architecture, this is taken over by the FMA architecture known today in current releases of XenDesktop.

The 2 main editions of XenDesktop 7 are:

– XenDesktop 7 Platinum (lots of added value here)
– XenDesktop 7 Enterprise

Besides that there are 2 other editions :

– XenDesktop 7 VDI Edition (basic VDI functionality)
– NEW : XenDesktop 7 App edition (XenApp functionality only)

Citrix released a blog post regarding XenDesktop 7 and what it means for current XenApp customers, at the bottom you can find :

XenApp Enterprise and Platinum customers with active Subscription Advantage can update to this (XenDesktop app) edition at no additional charge and migrate their environments at their own pace.

So what can we conclude here and what does this mean for XenApp Advanced customers with Active Subscription?

1: This customers cannot upgrade to Windows 2012, as XenApp 6.5 is the last edition they can use and it’s only supported on 2008R2
2: This customers are stuck with IMA and cannot integrate it with the new FMA architecture of XenDesktop (think hybrid environments, with different license use cases)
3: This customers can upgrade their XenApp 6.5 environment with rollup pack 2, which is released at the same time as XenDesktop 7, while this brings a lot of the same functionality of XenDesktop 7 App edition to XenApp 6.5, will this be the case on ongoing basis?

This is what the main benefit of Citrix Subscription Advantage is according to Citrix :

Get free version upgrades:  download new version releases at no additional cost. These updates include any major changes to the underlying product architecture as well as updates to the feature set of a given product platform. (source)

As you can read, this includes any major changes to the underlying product architecture, can we translate the underlying architecture to Windows? or just the Citrix product? either way XenApp Advanced customers with an active subscription has disappeared from the radar since the XenDesktop 7 announcement.

Comments are already filling on their blogpost, so hopefully Citrix will provide more information about this later (UPDATE: see this article for more information), I think a decent trade-up (and not the existing trade up to the named license model) for this customers should be in place. So they can use it the same way as today (CCU), after all it’s not their choice that there will only be one edition of XenApp left (XenDesktop App edition), so it’s not really fair to left them behind in the dark while paying a fair amount of subscription fee to get the latest versions (Citrix) on the latest platform (Windows).

Please note that the information in this blog is provided as is without warranty of any kind.

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