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Mixed Xen App 5 (4.5) W2k3 and Xen App 5 W2k8 Farm

Posted on 2012-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-03-30
I have a Citrix farm running Xenapp 5.0 on W2k3, which is essentially XenApp 4.5.   This is the highest version of Xenapp that works on W2k3 servers.    I am introducing a new W2k8 application server, which can run the latest greatest version of Xenapp but it's my understanding that Xenapp 6.0 and higher cannot coexist in the same farm as Xenapp 5.0.    Can I run Xenapp 5.0, FP 3 on my W2k8 box?  Or should I stay at plain Xenapp 5.0 without the feature pack?   Are there any other farm level compatibility issues i should be worried about?  Thanks in advance.
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Question by:alexsupertramp
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by:Carl Webster
ID: 37717674
There is a version of XenApp specifically for Server 2008.  I personally would not run a XenApp 5/2008 server in the same farm as my 4.5 servers.  You can create two farms and use Web Interface to aggregate the farms and applications for the users.  The users will not know which farm or server is running which application.

http://carlwebster.com/using-one-citrix-web-interface-site-with-multiple-xenapp-farms-3/
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by:alexsupertramp
ID: 37717707
Carl, right, I will be using the server 2008 version of Xenapp regardless of what version of xenapp I use.    I can foresee issues in the future if I have to maintain separate 2003 and 2008 farms, like managing separate citrix policies, but if it's the best recommended practice then I will work around it.
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Carl Webster earned 300 total points
ID: 37717721
There are differences in farm properties and policy settings between XenApp 5 on 2003 and XenApp 5 on 2008.  If you put both versions in the same farm and therefore using the same data store, you can run the risk of making a change on a 2008 server from a 2008 console that changes a 2008 policy setting and then someone else opening up the policy on a 2003 server, not seeing the policy setting there, thinking something is wrong and screwing up the policy.

Better to have two farms, each managed from their own specific console.  You will be much happier in the long run.  Plus CitrixTools.net has utilities to export the policies and published applications from the 2003 farm and import them (what can be imported) into the 2008 farm.  That will ease the original hassle of setting up the 2008 farm.
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by:alexsupertramp
ID: 37718067
Do you know if there is an issue then, if I install the latest greatest version of Citrix available to me, which would be xenapp 6.5?  Or Should I stick with a more similar version, like 5.0?  Even though it will be a separate farm regardless
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by:Carl Webster
ID: 37718125
I would go 6.5 if your apps support it.
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by:Ayman Bakr
Ayman Bakr earned 100 total points
ID: 37718325
The reason behind not to have your XenApp 5 2003 and 2008 in one farm is that there is a big architectural differences between both Windows operating systems. One big difference is that profile related policies in 2003 are built around V1 profiles while in 2008 they are built around the new V2 profiles. This is apart from architectural differences in calling procedures to RAM and various hardware resources. Definitely you will run into issues in the long run.

I would really recommend that you go to 6.5 for two main reasons:

1- Benefit from the various improvements made and enhancements added in 6.5 which eases administration and gives you better performance (HDX improvements, introduction of Work Groups, integration of policies with Active Directory etc....)

2- Eventually you should be shifting away from XenApp 4.5/5.0 as the support will be ending somewhere around June 2013.
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by:Coralon
Coralon earned 100 total points
ID: 37720394
Carl & Mutawadi have covered it pretty well, but let me lay this out more directly for others who might be looking..

Win2k3 - MF 1.8, MF XP, PS 3.0, PS 4.0, PS 4.5, XA 5.0
Win2k8 - XA 5.0; can share the same farm as Win2k3, but generally shouldn't, cannot share profiles with Win2k3
Win2k8R2 - XA 6.0; Cannot share the farm with any other platform, can share profiles with Win2k8, but generally shouldn't.
Win2k8R2 - XA 6.5; Cannot share the farm with any other platform, can share profiles with Win2k8, but generally shouldn't.

Hope this helps :-)

Coralon
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Author Closing Comment

by:alexsupertramp
ID: 37788942
Thanks for the great answers.  Completely answers my request.
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