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How to upgrade Citrix PS4 to XenApp5?

MikeTheRed6 asked
We recently renewed our Citrix licenses but I have been unable to upgrade our Citrix software because I don’t understand what steps need to be taken. Our server is currently running Presentation Server 4.0 on Windows 2003 Server. I have access to a bunch of downloads from Citrix's website and I think I need XenApp 5.0 installed on the server but would like confirmation. Our clients are XP machines running Program Neighborhood 9.0. I have new Windows 7 computers sitting here for all our client users but cannot deploy them until I solve the Citrix upgrade issue.

Our users currently connect via a Custom Connection from Program Neighborhood, so they get a “second desktop” on their computer when they connect to the server and have access to applications through that. I need to know what Citrix software will enable the same desktop view we are used to since my understanding is that Program Neighborhood no longer exists. I definitely need to have the “shadow” capability as well.

It seems like this would be an easier process if we had upgraded to each version along the way because now everything is so different. I downloaded Citrix Receiver and Receiver Enterprise on a Win 7 machine for testing but have been unable to figure out the software to connect to our server.

I'm a bit lost as to where to start... If I start by upgrading PS4 to XenApp5 will the older clients still be able to connect? Is there a newer client that can connect to PS4 until I upgrade the server to XenApp5? What the heck do I do with these licenses I bought? From what I've read they somehow need to be installed on the server.
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Top Expert 2010

1. Before doing any changes to the existing environment, make sure you take a backup of the datastore and the servers, in case if you have messed something and would like to restore it.

2. This document will help you to plan, migrate or upgrade, steps to be taken before upgrades etc:


Answering your question, it should work but always upgrade the Citrix client to the latest to take full advantage of the new features. Citrix online plugin which is the new name for PN is available with Xenapp 5 software. I'm assuming you are trying for an upgrade to Xenapp 5 2003 and not 2008. If 2008, then migration is required.
If you are in SA - Subscription Advantage then you are eligible to upgrade you environment without buying a new license.
CoralonSenior Citrix Engineer
This is a major jump obviously.

The older clients can still connect, however, they cannot use the newer features without upgrading.  It also becomes more and more difficult to connect the older the client version is.

Program Neighborhood was removed from the client a while back (v11 I think?) so the custom connection method goes away.  The replacment methodology is Web Interface, which allows you to login to a website and initiate a connection from there.  The PNAgent interface is still available, and is managed as part of the Web Interface.

You will definitely want to go to XA5, assuming you have kept your Subscription Advantage up.  If you have not, you will have to buy all new licenses.

The new licensing methodology is a License Server that is installed on a separate IIS box, and can easily coexist with other websites.  The license files are issued on the MyCitrix site and installed on the Licensing Server.  It is important to note that when you redeem your licenses on the MyCitrix site, the licenses are tied to the hostname of the Licensing Server, and the name *is* case-sensitive.  (The recommendation is to just use the hostname command to get the name exactly correct).

You'll want to upgrade your DataCollector(s) first, followed by the rest of your servers.  It is important to get them updated as quickly as possible, since a mixed farm is susceptible to weird problems.  The XA5 server immediately becomes the DataCollector in an election unless it is forced not to be (not recommended obviously).  

Generally, you do not want to upgrade, you are better off with a new install.  Generally, what you will do is uninstall PS4 from one of your servers, and then do a clean install of XA5.  (A full rebuild is the best option, but is frequently not practical).   Join it to the farm and make it the DataCollector.  Then continue on with the process.  And as mentioned above.. make sure you backup your database before you start.  



Thank you for the replies. The more I learn the worse it looks. I definitely need to read up on the farm mechanics and data collectors. I'm embarassingly not well-versed in Citrix speak and had the existing setup thrown at me with only minor software functionality training.  Some more thoughts and questions...

I am upgrading to XA5 on 2003, not 2008. I only have one Citrix server, the one that currently has PS4.

I'm worried about the "online plugin" that replaced PN. My understanding from your statements is that the connection will be initiated from within a web browser. Will that somehow execute to a new desktop instance view or will it stay in the browser window?

I have new licenses ready to download from MyCitrix, just didn't know what to do with them. Can I install the License Server software on the same machine where XA5 will be installed?
I can tell you that we use our WI as the License server. I seem to recall something about not running License Server on A server with Xen App installed nor should it be on your farm. you simply download the file and place them in the MyFiles folder on the license server.

I know also that there is no Xen App 5 for server 2003. However XA 4.5 HRP5 is essentially the same thing as XA 5. (Citrix's superfun marketing plan).
Thanks, basraj, for plugging my white paper!

If your PS4 is based on Windows 2000 Server, can't get to XA5/2003 from there; must be Windows Server 2003.  Being that you only have one server, easiest and best bet is to just create a new farm.  You'll want that farm to have some redundancy (it will be a really bad day if your single server goes down for any reason!), so plan to implement two servers.  From a licensing perspective, it doesn't matter how many servers you have.

So far as co-locating components, you can technically put the License Server (Citrix and Terminal Services) on the same box as XenApp, as well as Web Interface.  From a security perspective, you may not want IIS on a XenApp box, but that's your call.

But, before you do all that, if your user count is small and serviced on a single server, why not just use XenApp Fundamentals?  Everything in one quick and easy setup.  Licensing is different, so you'll want to get in touch with the Citrix licensing folks if you decide to go down that path.
CoralonSenior Citrix Engineer

Jo is a serious Citrix expert.. she's a former Citrite, and is now with Claros Systems at last report :-)  

But, as to your other questions --

PNAgent requires a webserver, but it is *not* initiated by browsing to the site.  It sits in the system tray and at logon (can be passed through or can be prompted) it will connect and gather the list of available apps (based on credentials).  The old PN interface just enumerated them all by broadcast and did not directly filter.  

In truth, this is not a bad process to do, and Jo is right, you would be best served by building a new farm.  If that is not practical, then your next option is to build a new server & join it to the farm, and then upgrading your original server.  

XA5 is a very worthwhile upgrade over PS4.  Any good Citrix partner can do that upgrade pretty quickly :-)



I would definitely be interested in XenApp Fundamentals since it sounds like it's a lot easier to setup. However I don't have the budget for a 2008 Server and will have to stick with my current box running Server 2003.

I keep seeing suggestions to create a new farm or uninstall the current farm, but my farm is one single server. Does that mean I just have to uninstall PS4 and then install XA5?

I'm still most confused about how the clients will connect without a Custom Connection from Program Neighborhood. We don't use published applications. They connect to a desktop view (it looks very similar to coming in via Remote Desktop Connection) and can access everything from that. Does that functionality still exist?
Top Expert 2010

You can install a Citrix web interface on the server. As you have only one Xenapp server, you can install Citrix WI on the same server. Add the farm name to it, so the published application will become available. User have to type URL and access the application.

However, in your case I believe you do not have a web interface server and user click on the PN on their desktop, which connects to a published desktop ( similar to RDP). With new Citrix PN which is now called as plugins you cannot create custom ica as before. However you can still use some ica creator tools to create custom ica. Users can still use the older clients to connect to new xenapp server.

If you plan to upgrade you can use the same farm but recommend you to take backup of the datastore.
Top Expert 2010

@Jo: Just noticed... It's yours;-) share us more like that.
Senior Citrix Engineer
Fundamentals is basically a version for SBS - it is limited to 75 users, and has a startling number of limitations :-\  

with only the one server, then an uninstall and reinstall of Citrix is going to be the easiest route.  Make a backup that you can restore for sure :-)

I've written scripts and I know there are plenty more out there that can leverage MFCOM and backup your farm settings.  (Mine didn't do the policies, I just didn't need them).  

Backup your server
Run a backup script
Uninstall PS4
Install XA5
Run restore script

Not including the backup, the whole process can be done in probably less than 2 hours.  The key is you will lose your farm settings and have to re-establish them (things like published apps, etc.)  But with only 1 server, the farm is probably not that complicated.  

The only thing that would make this tricky is if your database is running on a local copy (access or sql server express).