Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop 7.15 – Have you planned your upgrade yet?

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop 7.15 – Have you planned your upgrade yet?

It is less than a year until Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7.15 LTSR reaches end of life on August 15, 2022.  That is 291 days or 6,984 hours to be exact at the time of this posting. So if you haven’t started planning your upgrade to the next version of CVAD LTSR it is past time.

There are several options or versions to pick from for your upgrade from 7.15 LTSR.  You could decide to migrate to Citrix Cloud, or jump over to the regularly updated Citrix CVAD Current Release path, or like many you may opt to contine down the Long Term Service Release path.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1912 LTSR was release in December 2019 and the next version in the LTSR path is schduled to be released the first quarter of 2022.  The 2022 LTSR release will encompass the new features and updates from CVAD CR 2003 – 2112.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops versions are actually released in three different options.

  • Cloud Release
  • Current Release (CR)
  • Long Term Service Release (LTSR)

The LTSR versions are usually released every 2-3 years and are inteded for organizations and inudstries that require a long time to test and certify a new version before putting in in production and desire the consistency of not having to deal with upgrades on a more frequent schedule.  However, by using the LTSR version the organization does miss out on new features and improvements that are release in the CR path, until the next LTSR version comes out.

There are two options when it is time to upgrade, in-place or parallel.  This decision should not be made lightly as the stability of your Citrix enviornment hangs in the balance.  However resource availability can be a key factor in the final decision.

In-Place upgrade involves installing the newer software on your existing servers.  The largest benefit to the in-place upgrade is that it doesn’t require any additional server infrastructure, storage, or resources.  The risk is that if any issues are experienced during the upgrade your environment could be rendered useless until the issues are resolved.

Citrix documentation for a in-place upgrade can be found here.

The best practice for in-place upgrades is to test he upgrade process in a test (non-production) environment, however this requires additional hardware resources and the time to perform the in-place upgrade twice.

Below is an example flow chart from Citrix showing the process for an in-place upgrade.

In contrast to the in-place upgrade is a parallel upgrade.  In a parallel upgrade scenario a new infrastructure is built out seperatly using the new version of Citrix components.  The parallel approach does offer several advantages in that it is less risky in the event that there are issues during the build process.  The current production environment remains operational and users are still able to function until the build out and testing has been completed.  However, the parallel upgrades does requires a complete duplicate of hardware resources be available that can be used to build out the new version and moved to production.

In the event that your organization is looking to make other changes to the environment such as upgrade server hardware, storage, etc. then a parallel upgrade is a good all around solution that can emcompass the hardware that is being upgrade as well or be deployed as part of other changes.

The third “upgrade” option is to not upgrade at all but rather move to a Citrix cloud deployment.  In the Citrix Cloud model you no longer have to worry about upgrades as Citrix maintains the control and access layers for you.  You only have to worry about the resource layer (desktop and apps). Migration to Citrix Cloud can be deployed in a phased approach and doesn’t have to be done all at once.  Citrix Cloud also gives you the advantages of DRaaS by allowing you to house desktops and applications with other public cloud providers such as Azure, AWS, Google, and Nutanix as well as house resources, desktops, and apps in house on your own hardware by making use of the cloud connectors.

Regardless of whether you plan an in-place, parallel, or migration to Citrix Cloud to move to the latest CR or LTSR version the fact remains that in 291 days CVAD 7.15 LTSR will be end of life and decisions are going to have to be made.  If you haven’t started planning, now is the time.

Additional information from Citrix can be found is the Citrix Blog post here.

Does your organization need assistance evaluating the best version or upgrade path for your CVAD deployment?  Do you need some extra hands to help with your upgrade or prefer someone to just do the upgrade for you?  Reach out to Xenwerx Initiatives, LLC or another Citrix Partner for assistance making sure that you environment is up to date and healthy.