Citrix Support Secrets: XenApp Migration Webinar Q&A

Posted by Thai Pham on

March 31, 2013 saw the End-of-Life of some versions of XenApp, so we held a special webinar to discuss how to migrate from version 4.5 and 5.0 on Windows Server 2003 to version 6.5 of XenApp.  During the webinar a series of questions were asked, see the answers below.


Q: Can we Migrate PS4.0 to XA6.5 ?

In short no, there is no direct path to migrate from Presentation Server 4.0 to XenApp 6.5 and the migration tool in XenApp 6.5 does not support migrating from Presentation Server 4.0

The Source system needs to be at XA 5.0 with minimum HRP5 in order for the XA 6.5 tool to work. The Operating system can be either Windows 2008R1 or Windows 2003.


Q: AppDNA is not a part of Enterprise Licesence though we are in process of migrating application to xenapp, we dont have tool to check application compatibility ?

XenApp aims for 100% application compatibility where applications are developed in line with Terminal Services development guidelines.


Q: Is there any way to check the application is support in Xenapp?

Once an application is developed within Terminal Services development guidelines, it will be compatible with XenApp and is capable of being published.  The Citrix XenApp application verification test kit is an excellent tool:


Q: Can I choose which publiched applicatins to migrate or do I have to take them all as a package?

Yes, using Powershell and the indirect method, you can specify object types and named objects to include and exclude from the migration. You can also explicitly specify 32-bit applications to be migrated; their paths will be converted to \Program Files (x86)\ so they will launch properly in the 64-bit farm environment.


Q: Can we download Xenapp 6.5 trial version from our Citrix website?



Q: Can we export the config from a presentation 4.5 farm?

No, there is no direct path to migrate from Presentation Server 4.5 to XenApp 6.5 and the migration tool in XenApp 6.5 does not support migrating from Presentation Server 4.5.  The Source system needs to be at XA 5.0 with minimum HRP5 in order for the XA 6.5 tool to work. The Operating system can be either Windows 2008R1, Windows 2008R2 or Windows 2003.


Q: Can we have the whitepapers on benifits using Xenapp 6.5?



Q: Can you do cross domain migration as long as you have admin in both domains?

Yes, it is recommended to have the same Domain Admin account across both servers during the migration process for best results. Zone information is not migrated.  Also check for Policy integration in Active Directory as the Citrix AD policys would need to be migrated if you are no longer in the same Domain.


Q: Can you migrated/upgrade on the same server. Meaning the source and destination are on the same server?

No, the farm migration is a database migration operation and would need a separate server to migrate to. XenApp 6.5 is not supported on a Windows 2003 Server.


Q: Does GIGO apply? If I have just started this job to retire old farms, and they’re generally poorly designed and deployed, it seems like I should just build out new properly designed farms.

In certain cases that might apply where the existing structure might not be suitable for migration and an entirely new farm might be the best solution. That choice would really be at the discretion of the network administrator/IT Planner


Q: Will there be any support for windows 2012 in the near future?

Yes, this is planned for a future release of XenApp/XenDesktop in Q2 2013, project Excalibur.


Q: I have read to improve HD performance, move user profile to another drive, is this recommended, and how would I go about it.

Initial application launches or (First Launch) can be slower especially in streamed applications due to profile management but this can be sped up by using a VHD as outlined on page 3 of this doc:

There are also Microsoft equivalents of this design as outlined on Microsoft TechNet.


Q: Does Xenapp 6.5 supports the older webclient which is used in Citrix 4.5?

Install the most recent version of any receivers, plug-ins, and agents you use. At the time of its release, XenApp 6.5 was tested with Receiver for Windows 3.0 (with plug-in 13.0). The Citrix Online Plug-in (Web and Full) 12.1 was also tested and can be used, but some XenApp 6.5 features will not be available. Older versions will not be available for download and would not be supported.


Q: Can I run a 6.5 server using my 4.5 license? Or do I need a new license?

Your older licenses should still work, however it is required to bring your license server version up to 11.9 for 100% compatability with XenApp 6.5.

Note: New versions of the license server are compatible with older versions of the product:


Q: I have both 4.5 and 5 xenapp servers in my farm. Can I create a new farm on a new 2k8R2 server using my existing license? Or do I need a new license? If I need a new license, that would make my migration that much harder.

Provided that you have valid licenses you can upgrade your version of License server and upgrade the license files to the latest version:


Q: Is it still possible to use the same front end (web interface/access gateway/netscaler) to access a xenapp 4.5 and a xenapp 6.5?

Yes, however it is recommended to run the latest versions of product software if possible to avail of security and feature enhancements:


Q: Is the indirect method used if upgrading existing farm (versus migrating to new servers)?

No, the indirect method allows migration in a phased approach using PowerShell. Effectively copying farm settings and then applying them at a time that suits the administrator, rather than one full migration between 2 networked XenApp Servers using the Migration tool GUI.


Q: Is there going to be documentation on how to “upgrade” existing farm versus “migrating” to new farm?



Q: If you are using version 6.0 on server 2008 r2, is there a way to do an inplace upgrade to 6.5?

No, however there is an upgrade utility:


Q: It’s stated that no users can be on the 6.5 farm.  Do users have to also be off the XA 5 farm as well when running the tool?

It is highly recommended for Data Base performance as much as any reason that as few users are connected to the XenApp server as possible. None connected would be the ideal situation.

This will also limit changes to the farm configuration being lost during migration and logon performance issues and decrease the chance of migration failing due to performance issues


Q: We have an application that works in 4.5 due to a UIhook setting in the registry; however, we have not been able to get it to work in 6.5.  What can you suggest for this?

Due to architecture changes in Windows 2008 and 2008R2 and also in XenApp 5.0, 6.0 and then 6.5 certain registry settings will have changed sufficiently that they will no longer work in the same way as they did in previous versions, indeed MMHooks are no longer necessary in XenApp 6.0/6.5 on as XA now uses Microsoft inbuilt drivers for Multi Monitor operations.

The best advice in this case would be to log a case with support to see if a newer version of the product has a fix for the specific issue or perhaps a different workaround will help in this case.


Q: We have configured loadbalancing based on site ip and worker group. but when we add the webserver to Netscaler for loadbalancing, Normal loadbalacing is not working.

The best option here would be to log a case with the Citrix NetScaler support team as they should be able to share best practice on how the NetScaler is handling the network traffic and influencing Load balancing in XenApp. It will really depend on how the NetScaler is configured.


Q: What happens to the source farm after migrating?  Does the migration tool “tear down” the old farm?  O does it leave everythign intact in the old farm?

The source farm will still be intact – the migration tool simply copy’s and moves data from one location to another in a very specific way.


Q: What if we are using an access datastore on XA 5? Do we have to migrate the db to sql first then upgrade to 6.5? Or access db will still work on 6.5?

To do this you would need to run the MigrateToSqlExpress Utility:


Q: What if you are already running some apps in the 6.5 farm, (most apps and users are still on 5, same app running on 5 farm), how will that be affected by doing the migration this way?

Not supported. To initiate the transition to XenApp 6.5, administrators must migrate to a new farm and thus have the following options: Create a new XenApp 6.5 farm and configure all settings manually.

Create a new  XenApp 6.5 farm and migrate settings from an existing Presentation Server 4.5, XenApp 5, XenApp 6.0, or XenApp 6.5 farm


Q: What if you have multiple farms, different versions, being migrated to 6.5?

In that case license files and license Server versions would need to be at the correct version which may incur a cost XenApp 6.5 further refines the installation and configuration process. Migrating to this new XenApp version is necessary due to architectural changes. Mixed farms and direct in-place upgrades from previous versions are not supported; however, Citrix provides the XenApp Migration Center and a PowerShell upgrade script to assist with ensuring a smooth transition.

These tools allow migrating farm settings from a source farm as well as automating the XenApp 6 uninstall and XenApp 6.5 install process for member servers, respectively. The Migration Center is explained later in this document.


Q: What points of concern should I be aware of when migrating 5.0 to 6.5 and the “Single Sign On” feature?

Covered on Page 21 of the migration guide:


Q: When migrating applications will they automatically be disable from view in new farm?

If the administrator chooses not to automatically configure worker groups and server mappings then the applications will not be visible until this is configured.

All applications are enumerated; however, for the corresponding worker group to be associated with the application, the application must be published to one of the servers specified in the server mapping file. Only users that can be resolved on the server in the new farm (account authorities that are trusted in the new farm) are migrated


Q: Will 6.5 work with Server 2012 and will the new er release work with 2008 R2?

XenApp 6.5 does not yet work with Windows 2012 Server but is fully supported with Windows 2008R2 Server. The first “XenApp” edition to support Windows 2012 will be Project Excalibur releasing in Q2 2013.


Q: Will it be possible to migrate a Farm settings from one data center to another? And which are the network/firewall ports need to be open to have communication?

For Direct migrations a firewall setting can block a migration and can cause a failure. At present a document does not exist mapping all of the necessary firewall options that need to be open, possibly for security reasons. An Indirect migration using powershell might be an alternative where access to firewall settings are a barrier to migration


Q: Is there any recommendation on Powershell version to use for XA migration ?

Yes, Powershell 2.0 or higher and at *64 bit level if possible.


Q: If the Migration failed, is there a way to rollback the changes ?

Not necessarily roll back the changes but it is possible to figure out what went wrong and then run the tool multiple times until successful.

Following the pre migration steps is the best defence against possible issues:

  • Update any configured FTAs
  • If the source farm uses file type associations for published applications, ensure they are updated by running the “Update file types from registry” option in the Delivery Services Console (AppCenter for XenApp 6.5)
  • Run DSCheck on the source farm with appropriate switches to ensure consistency
  • DSCheck /full apps
  • DSCheck /full groups
  • DSCheck /full servers
  • DSCheck /full folders
  • DSCheck /full printers


Q: Do you have any recommendations for 16-bit and 32-bit applications that are not supported by 64-bit Windows?

The best policy to follow in this case is to stay with Citrix Support recommendations on legacy application support be it for XenApp 5.0. 6.0 or 6.5.  It may be necessary to keep an older version of XenApp if 16bit published applications are a necessity going forward.


Q: Is there a best practices document for cloning XenApp 6.5 servers (both physical servers and virtual servers (Hyper-V))?



 Q: Will there be any migration for XenApp 4 on Solaris platform for Solaris 10 Update 9 x86 platforms?

Not at this time.


Q: Will there be any options for extended support for w2k3 R2 xenapp 4.5? We have applications that still run on 32bit?

Extended support is available on selected products, any Citrix Partner or Support Sales Representative will be to let you know the exact options available.


Q: You keep mentioning that the tool is “moving” the settings, is it truly “moving” the settings or is it “copying” the settings?  Does it actually modify the source farm or servers on that farm?

If you use the direct migration model it is effectively doing both: but should not change the settings on the source farm and source farm server registry settings will not transfer.

Source : Citrix's Blog
Citrix Support
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