How do I migrate a XenApp worker group structure


In XenApp 6.5, there is the concept of a worker group.  Before that, we called them load managed groups or application silos.  Basically, it is  group of XenApp servers publishing the same set of applications.  If you publish an app on one server, that published app is also available across every other server in the worker group.

workergroup

In XenApp 7.x, you can think of a delivery group like a worker group.  A delivery group is associated to a machine catalog, which is a group of XenApp servers.  If I publish an app within the delivery group, all XenApp servers in that delivery group also publishes the application.

deliverygroupThis is basic functionality, which has been around for a very long time.

However, worker groups also had an interesting characteristic in that XenApp servers could belong to multiple worker groups at the same time.

This means I could have a group of XenApp servers hosting a set of applications.  A subset of those servers could also belong to another worker group publishing another group of applications. The list of resources a particular XenApp server delivers is the sum of the apps from all assigned worker groups.

wgadvBased on this example,

  • XenApp servers 1 and 2 deliver applications 1-4 and 5-6.
  • XenApp servers 3 and 4 deliver applications 1-4 and 7-8.

With XenApp 7.x, the rules for a delivery group are more strict.  A XenApp server can only belong to a single delivery group.  In order to create the same structure in XenApp 7.x that we had in XenApp 6.5, we have to change our approach.

In XenApp 7.x, we need to create a superset of published resources and assign at the Delivery Group layer.  We then use VM and app group tags to create subsets by limiting which applications can be hosted from which XenApp servers.

dgadvThe result is the same as XenApp 6.5.

  • XenApp servers 1 and 2 deliver applications 1-4 and 5-6.
  • XenApp servers 3 and 4 deliver applications 1-4 and 7-8.

Remember this:

  • In XenApp 6.5, you create subsets and merge into supersets
  • In XenApp 7.x, you create supersets and divide into subsets

And to make your move from XenApp 6.5 to XenApp 7.x easier, use your XenApp 6.5 worker group names as your XenApp 7.x app group tags and VM tags.

If you wish to learn more, tune in to Tech Talks To Go, with the first episode focusing on Worker Groups.

Daniel (Follow on Twitter @djfeller)
Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 VDI Handbook
XenApp Best Practices
XenApp Videos

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3 thoughts on “How do I migrate a XenApp worker group structure”

  1. I know you’ve heard my complaint before, but I will say it again… the fact that you could base Worker Groups on AD Machine Groups is what made them most valuable. This is a poor man’s substitute :(. But hopefully someday it returns.

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    1. In 6.5, you link a XenApp worker group to an AD group. You add an AD computer account into an AD group, which means that computer is part of the worker group and starts publishing the appropriate resources.

      In 7.x, you add the VM into the delivery group and the VM starts publishing the apps defined by the delivery group.

      Isn’t the end result the same?

      One concern is that the 6.5 example requires the XenApp admin has Active Directory rights to add computer accounts to AD Groups. Plus, it requires a different console to manipulate XenApp server assignments.

      In 7.x, everything is contained within Studio.

      Like

      1. Not the same because having an AD-based worker group allowed you to have far more flexibility with your provisioning process. The same AD group could assign it to a worker group, give it access to SCCM installs, AppV packages, etc; You just had to drop the server in one place. You can say it’s essentially the same from the narrow Citrix point of view but that wasn’t the only reason for it. When you are running thousands of XenApp servers from PVS for example, AD-based was infinitely more flexibile.

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