After delivering the XenApp 7.6 Upgrade webinar, I received a few questions asking if it is a good idea to upgrade from XenApp 7.5 to XenApp 7.6. My first reaction is, “Of course you should. Why wouldn’t you?”
But I’m a little biased J
You need to ask yourself if the new features within XenApp 7.6 are important enough to upgrade. Look at the following subset of features and determine if they are something that would be valuable for your users and admin:
- Unauthenticated Logons: This feature allows a user to access an application without being required to authenticate. This feature is mostly used in healthcare. If you need this, you must go to XenApp 7.6 feature
- Connection Leasing: You ever watch Star Trek and you hear the engineers talk about having secondary backups? A secondary backup won’t let your starship reach Warp 9, but it will keep your ship from exploding. That is essentially what connection leasing does for your XenApp site. Your first layer of backup is configuring your database to be highly available (mirroring, clustering or AlwaysOn). If that fails, you want to have a secondary backup, which is connection leasing. Another XenApp 7.6-only feature
- App Usage: Provides additional reporting capabilities for admins so they can see usage patterns for the applications. It’s good to know what your users are using.
- Fast App Access: “Patience you must have, my young padawan” is great if you are a Jedi. Unfortunately, my patience decreases waiting for my logon. A Windows logon includes a list of things (policies, logon scripts, drive mappings, etc.) that must execute before you can get to an application. Fast App Access essentially does all of the session creation processes before you request an app, greatly reducing logon times. In a production environment, the logon process that the user experiences is as follows:
Take a look at the Session Prelaunch video to see how it is configured and functions.
What’s nice about being on XenApp 7.5 and upgrading to XenApp 7.6 is that the upgrade path is very easy. At a high-level, you essentially do the following:
You will notice that these are all upgrades. No need to rebuild. Of course, if you want more detail and guidance, then take a look at the following eDocs article.
The XenApp 7.5 to 7.6 upgrade is probably one of the smoothest upgrades I’ve ever done, and I’ve been upgrading since WinFrame.
From the virtual mind of Virtual Feller