by Shane Kleinert & Scott Osborne,
Citrix 7.15 LTSR Upgrade Options
Has your business started planning its upgrade to the latest version of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops? If not, now’s the time because end of is scheduled for XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR on August 15, 2022.
Upgrading maintains supportability, unlocks new features, and fixes. But we understand it’s not always the easiest thing to do, especially when you have multiple upgrade options from which to choose.
The good news is your Citrix 7.15 LTSR upgrade doesn’t need to be overwhelming—or avoided.
In-Place or Parallel Upgrade? Here’s How to Decide
Which upgrade option is right for your organization? Here’s an overview of the differences between in-place and parallel upgrade strategies as well as Citrix Cloud migrations. Hopefully, it will make the decision clearer for you.
Citrix 7.15 LTSR In-Place Upgrades
A typical in-place upgrade process involves running the newer software installer on top of an existing server component. The greatest advantage of this strategy is it doesn’t need additional server infrastructure. While in-place upgrades are appropriate for many companies, there are situations where the upgrade fails and requires a rollback.
In general, you should choose an in-place upgrade when you’re able to first test it in a non-production environment that mimics the actual production environment. The benefits of this approach include:
- Citrix support is available for a wide range of version upgrades.
- Less planning and design work are needed.
- You don’t need to invest in additional server resources.
Before selecting an in-place upgrade, consider these four potential issues:
- Planning for downtime is usually required.
- In-place upgrades tend to have more problems and troubleshooting them is typically more complex.
- Testing an infrastructure component upgrade is difficult, and the production environment may be impacted.
- Because there are so many VDAs, the upgrade often takes much longer than an infrastructure upgrade.
Citrix 7.15 LTSR Parallel Upgrades
Parallel upgrades differ from in-place upgrades in that a new infrastructure based on the latest version is built separately from the existing component. Once the new infrastructure’s been tested, you can either rebuild or move production workloads to the site.
The main benefit of choosing a parallel upgrade is the new environment starts with a clean slate; you don’t need to worry about garbage-in, garbage-out setbacks. Also, you can manipulate and migrate workloads to the new site without users knowing.
If your organization plans to introduce other significant changes during the upgrade process, a parallel upgrade can be the most appropriate choice. For instance, some enterprises want to include an upgrade from a soon to be legacy operating system in Windows 2012 R2 (Oct. 10, 2023) to 2019/2022.
You benefit in four key ways when you pick a parallel upgrade:
- The production environment isn’t affected by installing new servers and components.
- The parallel upgrade is a more granular phased migration.
- Testing is isolated and more straightforward.
- Fresh builds prevent unintentional configurations from being carried forward.
Are there drawbacks to a parallel upgrade? No solution is without its potential obstacles, so here’s what to consider with this approach:
- Meticulous planning and design work are imperative.
- You’ll need additional server resources to build the new infrastructure.
Citrix Cloud Migration from 7.15 LTSR
Cloud adoption, including hybrid versions, is increasing rapidly as many organizations appreciate the benefits it gives them with respect to user experience, security, and customer choice. The cloud upgrade process is not unlike the parallel upgrade one, with organizations able to transfer or rebuild workloads.
Ways you can benefit from the Citrix Cloud and Citrix DaaS Service options include:
- Citrix manages the control plane as a service.
- It aligns with future Citrix product direction.
- It can be a terrific solution for connecting to public cloud environments.
- Overall Citrix management is simplified and reduced.
- The latest features are introduced on the cloud first.
- There will be a reduced need for future infrastructure upgrades.
- You can stay on an LTSR version of the VDA to support mission-critical workloads.
Before diving into cloud migration, be sure to consider:
- Citrix Cloud requires a new licensing model.
- High availability and uptime are dependent on the Citrix Cloud service.
- The Automated Configuration Tool doesn’t support every scenario, and you might need to perform manual configuration.
So, Which Upgrade Option Off 7.15 LTSR Is the Right One for Your Organization?
Every organization has its specific needs and acceptable risk levels.
- Citrix Cloud helps you reduce overall management and future infrastructure upgrades while supporting your overall cloud goals.
- In-place upgrades tend to afford the fastest path to supportability.
- Parallel upgrades are ideal when you want to transform other IT functions.
You might also find that now’s a good time to explore alternative approaches, such as Microsoft AVD (Azure Virtual Desktop), to validate Citrix’s hybrid cloud delivery approach is still the right delivery model to securely access critical applications your workforce needs.
Our team at Choice Solutions is uniquely skilled in the industry to help if you have additional questions and need access to trusted professionals that can guide you through the best approach to move forward for your organization, applications, and future strategy. We have an exceptional in-house technical staff that is comprised of some the top expertise in the industry across multiple technologies and cloud solutions in End User Computing (EUC) space. Additionally, we offer Advisory Services that are ideal for customers that, in addition to upgrading off 7.15 LTSR, may be striving to confirm their modernized architecture and approach for securely delivering applications, desktops and data to hybrid workforce all while navigating changes associated with the shift to hybrid cloud adoption and modern authentication approaches.
Contact us for a complimentary discovery session to answer more of your questions around planning for a successful transition.