Hundreds of you from all around the globe tuned in on August 17th to our “What’s New and What’s Coming with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop” webinar (which just happened to coincide with my birthday). Thanks to everyone who attended and we hope you found the information helpful as you begin planning your app and desktop delivery strategy through the rest of 2017 and beyond.

If you missed the recording, or if you did attend and simply want to review what we covered, the on-demand recording is available at https://www.citrix.com/events/2017/whats-new-and-whats-coming-with-citrix-xenapp-and-xendesktop.html.

One of my favorite aspects of delivering these webinars is all the great questions that we receive from our attendees. We had the opportunity to answer several questions live during both of the sessions but there are always many more that we simply can’t get to. As we typically do, we’ve compiled, organized, and answered the rest of the questions below. In addition to these FAQs, we encourage everyone to review the following resources if you haven’t already done so:

I also encourage everyone to register for the September 20th webinar from Citrix Consulting Enterprise Architects where you’ll learn more about Current Releases and Long Term Service Releases with tips and insights from the field on upgrading, migrating and much more.

Upgrade/Migration

Can we upgrade 7.6 LTSR directly to 7.15 LTSR?

Absolutely! Refer to http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-15-ltsr/upgrade-migrate.html for additional details.

Can I upgrade from the 7.13 Current Release to 7.15 LTSR? Also, when the Q4 2017 CR comes out can I upgrade to that from LTSR 7.15?

Yes and yes! You can upgrade directly from any of the Current Releases to 7.15 LTSR. Once on 7.15 LTSR, you can choose whether you wish to standardize on it as a true LTSR per the requirements, or remain on it as a CR until a newer CR is available and upgrade then (this could be the Q4 2017 CR or another future CR).

Do we have the option of moving between LTSR and CR paths?

Yes, you can move a single site between LTSR and CR paths if you choose to do so. You may also want to consider having one or more LTSR sites and one or more CR sites.

We are currently on LTSR 7.6 CU3. Should we go to CU4 or straight to 7.15 LTSR?

Our recommendation is to move to 7.15 LTSR for the many additional features it brings. However, 7.6 LTSR is also a great platform, so if you are already on it and keeping up-to-date with CUs you’re in good shape.

We deployed 7.14 CR. Do we need to upgrade to the new 7.15 LTSR? Or will there be a 7.15 CR?

Our recommendation is for all CR customers to also upgrade to 7.15 LTSR to take advantage of all the included fixes and updates, though there are no real new features when coming from 7.14. 7.15 LTSR is primarily an LTSR release but can also be used in a CR capacity with CR customers eventually upgrading to a newer CR version once available.

CR/LTSR/Cloud Specifics

Can customers on Subscription Advantage upgrade to 7.15 LTSR as a CR, knowing they are not eligible for LTSR benefits (since they are not on Customer Success Services/Maintenance)?

Yes and it is recommended for CR customers to upgrade to 7.15 LTSR and use it in a CR capacity until a newer CR is made available.

Would it be a good strategy for CR customers to put a pre-production environment in Citrix Cloud to test the releases early before implementing them on-premises in production?

You can leverage the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud to explore the latest capabilities prior to implementing them on-premises with a CR, but please note that there are some feature differences between Citrix Cloud offerings and on-premises. Refer to the Release Feature Matrix for additional details. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the workloads themselves (e.g. Virtual Delivery Agents) is still customer-managed and must be at the latest version to experience all the newest capabilities.

What is included in Citrix Cloud? What components would I not be requiring once I move to Citrix Cloud (e.g. StoreFront servers, NetScaler Gateways, etc.?)

Running the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud lets you focus more on the actual app and desktop resources that you deliver while Citrix manages and updates the control plane (e.g. consoles, databases, licensing, etc.). The platform is very flexible and allows you to choose whether you would like to use our own cloud-hosted StoreFront and gateway or use your own for additional use cases such as customization and branding.

Does Citrix Receiver and XenApp need to be aligned for CR and LTSR? Can I be on CR for XenApp but LTSR on Receiver?

You can use any supported version of Citrix Receiver as per the Receiver Lifecycle Policy; however, we recommend using the latest supported current release of Receivers on all platforms. On Windows, you have the option to use the currently supported LTSR version of Receiver. That is the recommended approach when working with an LTSR XenApp and XenDesktop environment along with the latest Cumulative Update for Receiver.

If I have a CR VDA within a LTSR Site will it break the LTSR compliance? Is this supported?

The site will not be a true LTSR site in this scenario and we encourage consistency with LTSR baseline components such as the VDA. However, we will not deny support in this case. We may, however, as part of troubleshooting an issue specific to the mismatched VDA, ask to see if the issue can be replicated on the LTSR VDA version.

When will the first CU for LTSR 7.15 be out?

Cumulative Updates are typically released every 4-6 months but actual timings may vary and are not guaranteed.

Will you please share a link for the cumulative list of updates from 7.14 CR to 7.15 LTSR?

The list of fixed issues in 7.15 LTSR compared to 7.14 is available at http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-15-ltsr/whats-new/fixed-issues.html.

How are LTSR upgrades handled in Citrix Cloud?

The Citrix Cloud control plane is always the latest with incremental updates every few weeks. For the VDAs, customers are responsible for VDA updates as required from the LTSR VDA when using it with Citrix Cloud.

Is the mixed environment model only available within Citrix Cloud?

No. Both Citrix Cloud and on-premises deployments can have varying levels of component versions (e.g. controllers and VDAs) though the recommendation is to always be as current and consistent as possible.

How long will Windows Server 2012R2, Windows Server 2008R2, and Windows 7 be supported in LTSR 7.15? Does predictable mean there is a set schedule to the next LTSR?

All operating system platforms supported by 7.15 LTSR will be supported for 5 years of mainstream support plus an option for an additional 5 years of extended support for up to 10 years of total coverage. Customers are strongly encouraged to be active on support with Microsoft, which may include their Software Assurance program. LTSRs are typically released every 2-3 years but this can vary and is not guaranteed.

Is 7.15 LTSR the last VDA for Windows Server 2008 R2 and how long will that be supported?

Yes the 7.15 LTSR VDA is the last one that will support Server 2008 R2. Please refer to the Deprecation documentation page for additional details on this. Use of the 7.15 LTSR VDA in a CR capacity will be supported for the 18 month CR lifecycle.

How can we be proactively notified about Cumulative Update releases for LTSRs?

Cumulative Updates are made available on our product download pages where it is possible to set up RSS feeds. Cumulative Updates are also communicated through Citrix newsletters.

Features and Capabilities

Is Local Host cache back now with XenApp 7.x?

Yes! If you are used to the Local Host Cache with XenApp 6.5 and earlier, we re-introduced it in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.12 so it’s available in that version and all later versions including 7.15 LTSR. The new implementation is better than ever with no required administrative maintenance.

Can you tell me more about the release of Workspace Environment Management 4.4?

All the details about Workspace Environment Management are at http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/workspace-environment-management/current-release.html.

Is GPU Live Migration available now?

As of this writing, this feature is still currently available in a preview. See https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2017/05/22/unleash-your-xendesktop-graphics-workloads-with-xenserver-nvidia-vgpu/ for details.

Are GPU-related enhancements available on other hypervisors as well (outside of XenServer)?

XenApp and XenDesktop has broad support for graphics-accelerated workloads across major hypervisors. See http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-15-ltsr/graphics/hdx-3d-pro.html for details.

Does the Citrix HDX Ready Pi support Imprivata?

Yes. Imprivata and Caradigm single sign-on support is available from our partner Stratodesk via the “Healthcare Upgrade Package.” Refer to the bottom of https://www.stratodesk.com/products/raspberry-pi-thin-client for additional details.

Does Citrix App Layering work with XenApp as well?

Yes! Citrix App Layering works with both server and desktop operating systems. However, the User Layering capability (currently in Labs preview), is only available for VDI.

Can you mix Enterprise and Platinum licenses within a site?

License types per site can be mixed by product type (e.g. XenApp or XenDesktop) and/or licensing model (e.g. concurrent versus user/device). Different editions such as Enterprise and Platinum would require separate sites.

Can you set the different license types per site via the GUI or still only via PowerShell?

Multi-type licensing is set via PowerShell but this is very easy to do. See http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-15-ltsr/manage-deployment/licensing/multi-type-licensing.html for additional details and examples.

Can you please clarify which Director features require Platinum edition?

Director in XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum edition includes up to a year’s worth of monitoring data, customized reports, SCOM alerts, desktop and server OS usage reporting, proactive notification and alerting including SNMP integration, reboot warnings, Octoblu and NetScaler MAS integration and override control over roaming sessions. Refer to the feature matrix at https://www.citrix.com/products/xenapp-xendesktop/feature-matrix.html for additional details.

Can you now obtain GPU historical stats in Director or just live data?

Director 7.15 currently shows live, real-time data for monitoring NVIDIA GPUs.

Is it possible to use the 7.14 or 7.15 LTSR version of Citrix Director to monitor prior versions, specifically 7.11?

Yes it is possible to use a newer version of Citrix Director to monitor older site versions. However, you will not be able to benefit from all the latest Director features. Refer to the article at https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX224793 for additional detail on Director features by version and edition.

Can we feed data from Citrix Director and send it to our monitoring tools (e.g. HP Site Scope)?

Yes. Citrix Director has an OData API interface which allows integrating with 3rd-party applications as required.

What level of monitoring is feasible with the SCOM packs in the new LTSR? Do we have management packs for host and virtual machine layers?

The Citrix SCOM Management Packs are a compatible component with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR. Numerous packs are available including a XenServer one to monitor your hypervisor host and virtual machines. Additional details are available in the product documentation at https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/scom-management-packs.html.

Are the SCOM Packs available now for Enterprise licensing?

The SCOM Management Packs are available within Platinum Edition only.

We want to move to the LTSR program but use Personal vDisk. Does that mean we need to follow the CR path for now since this capability appears to be excluded? Is Personal vDisk deprecated at this point?

If you are currently using Personal vDisk, you would need to follow the CR path. Since Personal vDisk is an excluded component from LTSR it would render a site non-LTSR compliant. Personal vDisk will eventually be deprecated and is superseded by our Citrix App Layering technology.

With application layering you said you can patch the base image but how can you patch user installed applications in the “personal” layer? Would this be seen by standard reporting tools?

Any user-installed or modified apps and settings in the personal user layer can be managed by the user or IT either locally or using system management tools. Standard reporting will definitely show the apps and settings if run while the user layer is attached.

How does I/O performance affect Citrix App Layering?

If you have a slow network or disk hosting the layer you can have slow performance. Citrix App Layering is reading from the VHDs so you want to have a high performance network connection and disk hosting the layers. 

Is there any limit for the number of VMs that can be associated with a layer in Citrix App Layering as well as the number of layers to use for one VM?

As for maximum layers, the tested limits are 200 for a layered image and 500 for elastic layers. In practice, for practical reasons customers will never approach such high limits. 

Will Citrix App Layering fall under the LTSR program or are they in their own release cycle?

Citrix App Layering is presently a compatible component with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR.

Does 7.15 LTSR offer any built-in mechanism to schedule maintenance mode?  For example, the ability to put XenApp servers in maintenance mode every month from 1:00AM to 4:00AM on the second Tuesday.

Setting VDA servers to maintenance mode, as well as many other tasks, can be accomplished with the PowerShell interface for XenApp and XenDesktop. PowerShell scripts may be run as Scheduled Tasks and/or pushed out with third party tools as required.

Can the auto-update feature in Citrix Receiver have controls to stagger deployments? We have many sites and don’t want them to go all at once.

Citrix controls the rollout process of updates per site, which typically happens over 30 days. However, you can specify if you want to be part of the earlier phase or later phase for the rollout. This can be done by configuring the auto update roll out group value to be set to “Fast” or “Slow.” Refer to http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/receiver/windows/current-release/configure/config-xdesktop/config-auto-update.html for details.

Are there any plans for the Citrix Receiver Upgrade Service to use an on-premises storage repository for Citrix Receiver Update? Not all customers allow the clients to directly access the Web.

At present, the updates for Citrix Receiver are securely handled through the Web from two sites: https://downloadplugins.citrix.com to get the updates and https://citrixupdates.cloud.com for security validation.

Does the upgrade service need to be on for Receiver with the new LTSR to be compliant?

No it does not, but it is recommended to keep your Receivers updated. If you have Citrix Receiver for Windows 4.8, Citrix Receiver for Mac 12.6 or higher, you can get Receiver updates from Citrix. For LTSR and Receiver for Windows specifically, it is important to make sure you are current on Cumulative Updates for Receiver.

Is there an LTSR Receiver Desktop Lock version?

Yes Desktop Lock is supported in the 4.9 version of Receiver for Windows.

What printing enhancements are in 7.15 LTSR compared to XenApp 6.5?

There are quite a few enhancements to the printing subsystem in 7.15 LTSR compared with XenApp 6.5, including improved scalability, print server load balancing, print server failover, and stapling and paper tray selection with the Universal Print Driver.

What’s the solution for legacy applications (e.g. 32-bit and 16-bit apps)? Can we seamlessly move those applications on Windows Server 2016 OS with XenApp 7.14 or 7.15 LTSR?

32-bit applications should run fine on 64-bit server and desktop OSes with emulation. A 32-bit version of Windows 10 can be used to deliver 32-bit apps that require it as well as some older 16-bit apps.

Miscellaneous

Will Cloud partners have a new version of CloudPortal Services Manager with this LTSR?

No, there are no plans to release a new version of CPSM alongside XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR. However, the current version of Hosted Apps and Desktops Service for CPSM continues to support the latest XenApp and XenDesktop versions including 7.15 LTSR.

Are there certification documents available for FIPS and GDPR?

Citrix is updating the FIPS Compliance documents for the XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR release.  When complete, these will be posted at the same location as the 7.6 LTSR FIPS Compliance documents which was the last release where FIPS Compliance testing was conducted and our FIPS Compliance documents updated (https://www.citrix.com/about/legal/security-compliance/security-standards.html). The documents are listed under the “Security Standards Documents and Resources” section.

Are Citrix Cloud services now FedRAMP compliant?

Citrix ShareFile is FedRAMP Ready. See this blog and the FedRAMP site.
Citrix XenDesktop Service is not FedRAMP Authorized or FedRAMP Ready at this time.
Citrix XenMobile is also not FedRAMP Authorized or FedRAMP Ready at this time.

Is the 7.15 LTSR VDA considered compatible with Citrix Cloud? Particularly for VDA servers running on-premises along with Citrix Cloud services.

Yes. The 7.15 LTSR VDA is considered compatible with Citrix Cloud though please note that it is not eligible for the 5+5 support model.

What does it mean that Windows 10 build 1703 is supported by Citrix now for the VDA? What about Citrix App Layering?

Yes. Windows 10 build 1703 is supported for the VDA and Citrix App Layering. Refer to https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX224843 for details.

Does Citrix test releases on hypervisors other than XenServer? If so, which hypervisors?

Yes absolutely. While XenServer is our own and preferred hypervisor to run XenApp and XenDesktop, we also support and actively test Hyper-V through SCVMM, vSphere, AHV as well as Azure and AWS in the cloud. Refer to http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-15-ltsr/system-requirements.html#par_anchortitle_8a90 for details.

With a global implementation spanning different continents and countries are there any considerations for multiple XenApp and XenDesktop Sites to manage resource locations on-premises and in the cloud?

XenApp and XenDesktop is one single code base—with the same management tools—regardless of whether it is running on-premises or in the cloud with Citrix Cloud. Whenever you have multiple sites to manage, maintaining consistency is very important. The use of PowerShell scripts can greatly help in this area.

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