XenServer 7 was released last month on May 24th. It’s a phenomenal release, featuring some great new product enhancements that help XenApp and XenDesktop customers derive increased value from their Citrix investments.

Inevitably, though, some older XenServer releases are coming to the end of their supported lives, and as I know there remain some customers still using these product versions, I want to draw attention to those releases here.

The Citrix product matrix covers all lifecycle dates, and from the XenServer table below, I’d like to draw your attention to XenServer versions 6.0, 6.0.2 and 6.1, all of which are due to go end-of-life (EOL) this coming September.

XenServer Edition Upgrades

XenServer 6.0 & 6.0.2 are already out of maintenance (EOM), and I honestly hope XenServer admins have already updated these infrastructures to a more recent version, as there is currently no technical support for them. For XenServer 6.1 infrastructures, the supportability dates have already been extended well beyond the original intention, and whilst there still remain a few months of support left, at the end of September 2016 the 6.1 release will go EOM & EOL!

With the above product lifecycle dates in mind, if you make use of any XenServer versions prior to 6.2, you should be mindful of license structure changes made at that time. These older versions used per-host based licenses, which changed to per-CPU socket licenses in XenServer 6.2, matching the market trend of hypervisor and complementary product licensing at the time.

Customers still using per-host based licensing will need to upgrade those licenses via their Citrix My Account portal. License upgrades are subject to active software assurance (SA) and exchanged on a 1:2 basis (for each host license, you get two CPU socket licenses). As a part of the license swap, you must agree to rescind the older per-host licenses, however customers can continue to use their the host licenses during the XenServer resource pool upgrades, rescinding them once that process is complete.

From a product edition perspective, any XenServer 6.1 licenses (regardless of edition) roll-up into XenServer 6.2, and with active software maintenance (SWM introduced by Citrix in XenServer 6.2 as an alternative to separate SA and 24×7 Technical Support) can then upgraded to XenServer 6.5/7 Enterprise edition. There are no license swap outs required from XenServer 6.2 to 6.5 or 7, as the the 6.2 licenses will simply be recognized by the license servers as applicable for Enterprise edition against any 6.5 or 7 infrastructure.

How XenServer editions rollup across newer product versions

This covers the XenServer licensing and key product lifecycle dates that need to be considered for some upgrades. What is the best process for completing the host upgrades? Well that’s worth a blog in its own right in the future. There are a few technical considerations to take into account based on your deployment, the criticality of workloads, and is a subject upon which there are plenty of opinions!

If your XenServer infrastructure is reaching near the end of its support, reach out to your local authorised Citrix partner for advice on how best to proceed.

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