The King Is Dead; Long Live The Citrix King!September 30th, 2013 by BrightCloud
At Citrix Synergy this year it was announced that XenApp 6.5 FP2 would be the last release of the XenApp product line; the future being XenDesktop 7. So does this mean that the product line, which millions of customers have used through its various name changes since the mid-nineties, will be gone forever?
The easiest way to answer this question is with a short history lesson.
Citrix released its first multi-user version of Microsoft Windows NT (3.51) back in 1995. Called WinFrame, the code was later licensed back to Microsoft, who then used it to create Terminal Services with the launch of Windows NT 4.
At this point Citrix released MetaFrame, a set of management tools, alongside the all-important ICA protocol, which combined to make Terminal Services scalable for enterprises. The product became MetaFrame XP, then Presentation Server (as the underlying Windows platform changed to Server 2000 and then Server 2003). It was finally renamed XenApp in 2008.
In 2009 Citrix released XenDesktop, a VDI product where user sessions are provided via dedicated virtualised client machines (virtual PC’s typically running Windows XP, 7 or 8). This product line has matured alongside the XenApp product where user sessions are provided via a shared server operating system -Terminal Services and more recently Remote Desktop Services, which Gartner calls Server Hosted Virtual Desktops (SHVD).
The release of XenDesktop 7 in June did NOT herald the end of server hosted virtual desktops. These live on in the new product where server operating system based machines sit alongside client operating system based machines.
XenDesktop 7 effectively merges the core of the XenApp product into the architecture of XenDesktop, which means that you can deliver SHVD or VDI to your users from a single delivery infrastructure – and manage it all from one pane of glass.
For those customers who do not want, or need, VDI there is XenDesktop 7 App Edition, which is the functional equivalent to the XenApp product, but delivered via a different underlying architecture. So no, the Citrix King not dead; he lives on!