With the impending end of life (EOL) for Windows XP SP3 (April, 2014), many customers are looking for ways to have applications run on Windows 7. The majority of applications that customers utilize today have Windows 7 compatible versions. Although in some cases, using the Windows 7 compatible version requires upgrades to backend infrastructure (Oracle, SQL, etc.) servers. For one of our customers, one application required a multi-million dollar upgrade just to run the Windows 7 version of the client.
Customers need to maintain legacy applications on Windows XP, which puts them in a tricky position. Customers want to move forward with their Windows 7 rollout however application compatibility is restricting them. Unfortunately there are no magic workarounds for this dilemma, but Citrix does offer a solution, called Citrix VM hosted apps.
Instead of publishing an application on a Citrix XenApp (XenDesktop App Edition) server, you would utilize a virtualized Windows XP desktop for application access. Users would access the application just like a published application, but instead of launching it locally or via a XenApp server, the application would launch from the Windows XP virtual desktop. The huge gotcha here is that Windows XP isn’t a multi-user aware operating system. This means for every user that requires access concurrently to a legacy Windows XP application, you would need the same number of Windows XP virtual machines. Obviously this can be extremely costly from a hardware and software standpoint. However, if we are talking about a handful of users, it isn’t a bad workaround.
Now does this get around the fact that Windows XP is still going EOL in April 2014? No, not at all, however this does allow companies to roll out Windows 7 to their user base while maintaining access to legacy Windows XP based applications.
For more information about Citrix VM hosted apps please contact your Gotham account manager.