I had a customer meeting last week with someone who has existing Citrix products that have reached their end of life (EOL). That got me thinking about other customers that I have run across who are having a similar challenge. I have found that there are several reasons for customers to run EOL products, such as: the new version is a huge change for their users, the new version of the existing product is missing a key feature of the previous version, or simply they may not have enough bandwidth to perform a major upgrade. Out of all of the reasons I come across, probably the most popular reason for running an EOL product is for supporting legacy applications. Let's take a quick look at the Citrix product support phases.
Support for Citrix products come in three phases:
- Mainstream Maintenance - During mainstream maintenance, the product is eligible for hotfixes (critical and non-critical), feature enhancements, security patches, and paid technical support through Citrix. All products immediately fall into this phase the moment they are available to the public.
- Extended Maintenance - During this phase, the product is eligible for security patches, and paid technical support through Citrix. But it is not eligible for new hotfixes, or feature enhancements. This phase is the phase meant to keep your existing infrastructure running but nothing much more than that.
- End of Life - This is the last support phase for a product, meaning that there are NO hotfixes, NO feature enhancements, NO security patches, and NO technical support.
If there is no need for customers to support legacy applications, now is a good time to upgrade to a new release. XenApp and XenDesktop have been out for a while and are very stable at this point. I know that many customers were hesitant on making the jump on initial release as many features were not migrated over to the new 7.x platform. Most of the features that didn't make it into the initial 7.x release have made it over. So, for the vast majority of customers, there really is no reason to hold back on upgrading at this point. Don't run an unsupported, in-secure environment!
Citrix or any other vendor can't be expected to provide support for their products indefinitely, yet there are many customers who run an end of life production environment and need to be able to reach out to someone with expertise to support them. That's where we come in. Our support policy is a "best effort" policy for end of life products. Meaning that if you are forced to maintain a legacy product, you can call our support desk and we will try our very best to resolve whatever problem you may be experiencing. In many cases, "best effort" support is better than not having any support at all. Especially since we have engineers on staff who have worked for 10+ years with Citrix solutions and are very capable of providing expertise should an issue arise.
Citrix has done a very nice job at putting together a Product Lifecycle page, explaining all of this in detail. While you are there, make sure to check out the Product Matrix and the Legacy Support Matrix.