There are a lot of changes swirling around Windows operating systems this month, as we are on the cusp of the new Windows 10 release!

Just little more than a year ago, in April 2014, we were battling the end of Windows XP support, and that was just the desktop operating system. In the parallel universe of server operating systems, Windows 2003 is going end of life in July 2015 and Server 2008/2008R2 passed the end of mainstream support date earlier this year.

Much change can be exciting as new operating systems bring about new features and functionality, but moving critical business applications to a new operating system platform can be challenging—downright daunting–if you manually have to move hundreds or thousands of applications across platforms.

With all this change, IT organizations need application compatibility tools that can automate and streamline the application compatibility and migration process.  This is where the AppDNA component of XenApp and XenDesktop comes into play.

What is AppDNA? It is many things, but at its core, AppDNA is able to assess whether or not a particular application is compatible with an associated operating system and assigns an associated rating as to compatibility status of an application with the respective operating system.  In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words and you can see (in the image below) how AppDNA can determine if an application is likely to work on the target platform ‘as is’ or if remediation is needed.

If remediation is necessary, a simple click on the icon will display the AppDNA Remediation Report, which provides full details on the remediation steps that are required to get that application working on the target platform along with any applicable Microsoft fixes. That’s just the basics! AppDNA can also estimate the amount of effort to get an app compatibility issue resolved, model different deployment scenarios, identify application interdependencies and even integrates with App-V and System Center Configuration Manager, get the complete overview of AppDNA on Citrix eDocs.

AppDNA Console

Comparing worlds with and without AppDNA  

Without AppDNA, you might spend countless cycles going through manual application testing and remediation cycles for each application on each operating system platform.

With AppDNA, you can automate the whole process and categorize the applications based on their compatibility results.  If your organization is looking to migrate to Windows 10 (after it’s released) and you use AppDNA as part of your migration project, you can quickly:

  • Identify which business applications (Green status) will easily migrate over to Windows 10, and begin confidently migrating those applications to the new desktop image.
  • In many cases, businesses will be opting to deploy Windows 10 as a virtual desktop using XenDesktop.  XenDesktop will allow IT to rapidly deploy Windows 10 out to all their employees while integrating the compatible applications into the Windows 10 master image.
  • For applications that may have compatibility issues (Amber status) or those that most certainly have compatibility issues (Red status), application developers are provided with the remediation recommendations and can begin testing in the manner that most efficiently benefits the greatest number of applications in the long-term.
  • In the short-term, for applications that are not compatible admins should turn to XenApp.  If an application is not compatible with the new Windows 10 operating system, the app can easily be moved to XenApp and centralized in the datacenter.  Then via a Citrix Receiver client running on a Windows 10 device (coming soon) the employee would be able to connect to those applications in the datacenter from his/her Windows 10 device for instant access to all the applications.

I should also mention that XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum editions include AppDNA free of charge.  If you don’t have XenApp or XenDesktop, download the trial to give AppDNA a test drive.  If you are working with a Citrix Solution Advisor (or are a CSA) Citrix is offering CSAs access to AppDNA for a limited time to help organizations transition off of older operating systems and onto newer, feature-rich desktop and server operating systems.

If you are starting a Windows 10 migration project, leverage industry-proven tools from Citrix—AppDNA, XenApp and XenDesktop—to dramatically simplify and automate your new operating system deployment.  If you are already using AppDNA, we’d love to hear how AppDNA is simplifying your operating system migrations as well as streamlining on-going application management.