Citrix Extends XenApp 5 End of Life By 2 Years – Admins Applaud

Citrix announced last week that XenApp 5.0 had been granted a reprieve.  Always the red-headed stepchild of the XenApp lineup, most companies never really found a need to move to XenApp 5 since 4.5 was essentially the same thing.  Additionally Server 2008 32bit was not particularly embraced as an OS by server administrators which led to the perfect storm of a XenApp version that just languished on many IT shelves.  Well, all that is liable to change.  Originally slated to be EOL in April of 2013 Citrix has breathed new life into the XA 5 platform by extending the EOL to a whopping January 2015!

So what prompted this sudden change in direction?  Quite simply, the market penetration of XenApp 6 and 6.5 has been significantly lower than what Citrix had anticipated.  They found out what most of us already knew… despite the Microsoft sales pitch a heck of a lot of apps just don’t run well (or at all) on 64bit!  For several years this cliff has been looming and with the EOL of XenApp 4.5 in March and 5.0 in April Citrix was putting many customers in the position of either paying for VERY expensive extended support contracts or running with no support at all.  There is the added complication that Server 2008 32bit isn’t even EOL itself, which is the argument they made for EOLing XenApp 4.5 on Server 2003.  So they have decided to make a half step in the direction of eliminating 32bit platforms by forcing you to upgrade to 5.0 on 2008.

Unfortunately for most of us that isn’t much of a choice in large organizations.  You can’t directly upgrade servers to 2008 so they have to be rebuilt anyway.  You have to build an entirely new farm, migrate all your apps and settings over (with NO migration tools available) and then limp that platform along until you once again reach the cliff.  Still, for many organizations, the inconvenience will far outweigh the costs in forcing app developers and 3rd party vendors to make all of their software 64bit compliant.  It may be a devil’s bargain, but better the devil you know 😉

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