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Upgrade an existing farm to XenApp 6

April 24, 2010

Since March 17th, a week before the release of Citrix XenApp6, on the community blog was posted an interesting article about the transition of an existing farm to the latest release.
This article, also reported at this page of Brian Madden’s blog, says that, because XenApp6 runs only on 2008R2, “as with past XenApp releases, Citrix doesn’t support upgrading the OS and then upgrading XenApp. Because Windows Server 2008 R2 is based on x64, this platform change means a bit more than just 32-bit vs. 64-bit applications.
Core XenApp 6 requires migration to a new farm. To be clear, this means a new data store and a new farm installation. I can already see the yellow flags . . . but hold on. Citrix will be releasing a Migration Tool to enable administrators to export setting from the old farm and import them into the new farm.

This Migration Tool is now available here as beta release using a myCitrix account. “XenApp 6 Migration Tool is comprised of PowerShell commands packaged as a PowerShell 2.0 module. Citrix Administrators can leverage the use of these PowerShell commands to export all server and farm settings/policies, applications, folders, load evaluators and administrators to quickly setup a new XenApp 6 environment that inherits these settings.
Reading the pdf guide included in that download you can see that “You cannot transfer the following settings using the Migration Tool:
– Zones
– Printer management
– Configuration Logging settings
The migration process ignores the following settings:
– Deprecated settings, such as AIE or VIP.
– Permissions that do not exist in the XenApp 6 for Windows Server 2008 R2 release, whether they correspond to a deprecated feature or a configuration setting that is now supported as a policy.

Beside this, consider that
You can migrate a single XenApp 5 farm (multiple farm consolidation to a single farm is not supported).
– The servers in the legacy farm must be running XenApp 5 for Windows Server 2003 with Hotfix Rollup Pack 5 (HRP5) or XenApp 5 for Windows Server 2008.
– The servers in the new farm must be running XenApp 6 for Windows Server 2008 R2.

If you want to learn more, there is an interesting video on Citrix TV and it was also created a dedicated section on the corporate website, under the support forum.

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