Migrating To Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops: What Do I Need To Know?

By March 23, 2021Cloud Computing

migrating to citrix virtual apps and desktops from on premises2020 was very much the year of the pandemic. And even in 2021 we’re still seeing it takes its toll on the world. But 2020 from a technology perspective, was very much the year of cloud.

As remote working became the norm, an accelerated move to cloud was not just inevitable, it was critical.

And with flexible working already forming a significant part of our future, many businesses are now taking the time to rethink their infrastructure, security and their overall data management, so they can not only enable their users to embrace this new approach, but in the process, take the opportunity to streamline their environment.

However, before any business can reap the full benefits of cloud, you’ll need to make a successful transition first. A secure digital workspace smooths your migration so you can make sure your users stay productive, your data is safe, and your management is simplified.

In this feature, Evros Citrix Consultant, Cormac Long, discusses the considerations you need to make in moving an on-premises deployment to Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops.

 

What is Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops Service?

Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops Services is a hybrid-cloud solution which allows customers to migrate the management components of an on-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployment into the Citrix Cloud Control Plane. Citrix takes on the responsibility for management and ownership of these components thus greatly reducing the on-premises footprint and administrative effort involved in a traditional Virtual Apps and Desktops (XenApp/XenDesktop) deployment.

Below is a high-level overview of the change in architecture between Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops vs On-Premises Virtual Apps and Desktops:

citrix virtual apps and desktops migration

Why migrate an on-premises deployment of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops into CVADS service in Citrix Cloud?

There are a number of reasons why a business would migrate from on-premises to Citrix Cloud services. For example, there may be an upcoming hardware refresh and you may want to reduce the on-premises footprint across the organisation. Another reason is the skills and effort required to manage the existing CVADS deployment. By migrating to CVADS service in Citrix Cloud, you reduce the requirement for managing and maintaining components such as Delivery Controllers, ADC, Storefront, Microsoft SQL. Not only the day-to-day management but also the patching and upgrade cycles of these components.

 

Preparing for migrating to Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops

 

Is there any difference to the licencing models with Citrix Cloud compared to on-premises?

Yes. Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops is a subscription-based service available in either User/Device or concurrent models. This is different to how the licencing works for on-premises deployments (currently) which is a perpetual model, meaning you buy the licence and own it forever, you only renew the support maintenance. Keep in mind that Citrix recently changed their licencing, and you can no longer purchase perpetual licencing, only subscription based (more info here – Citrix end of availability (EOA) of perpetual licenses for the on-prem Workspace products).

As a Citrix Service Provider, we provide CSP licencing for both on-premises and cloud allowing you to scale up or down flexibly from month-to-month. You can also take advantage of transition/trade-up opportunities when migrating to Citrix Cloud allowing you to trade in your existing on-premises perpetual licencing for Cloud licencing.

 

Do I also need to migrate my entire Citrix environment and connected infrastructure to the cloud?

No. Only the CVADS management components are hosted in Citrix Cloud. All of the user workloads + data, identities (active directory) and back-end application servers all remain under your control in your on-premises datacentre or public/private cloud. This is known as the Resource Location in a Citrix Cloud deployment.

 

What effect will there be on my end users?

Very little. Depending on the migration process, the users will likely be connecting to the same applications or desktops as before, except they will now be doing it via Citrix Cloud control plane services. This will allow them to take advantage of a wider range of new features and services that are available in Citrix Cloud but not in an on-premises deployment. These features and services include things like Security, Analytics, Endpoint management, Content Collaboration, Microapps and much more.

 

What else should I do prior to beginning a Citrix Cloud CVADS migration?

As with any major change, a good deal of planning time needs to be invested. It is no different for a CVADS migration. You should identify the different options and consideration for migrating to Citrix Cloud. You should then review the process for migrating policies and settings from the on-premises deployment into Citrix Cloud. You should also plan the process of migrating Machine Catalogues and Delivery Groups to Citrix Cloud.

This is something the Citrix team at Evros can help you with – the initial migration as well as the management and adoption of the environment post migration.

 

Maintaining and Managing a Citrix Cloud CVADS deployment

 

If Citrix now hosts my environment in the cloud, do I still need to worry about managing and maintaining it?

Yes. Citrix is responsible for maintaining the management infrastructure of the deployment. However, you still need to administer it via the Cloud Administrator portal and also, you still have full control of the resource location components. This requires a particular skillset and where a Managed Service Provider or Citrix Service Provider can add real value. The ability to provide that skillset not only for Citrix but also the connected services such as Active directory, files and storage, hypervisor etc. is vital and something that the Citrix Consultants at Evros can help you with.

 

My organisation would like to go All-Cloud. With Citrix Cloud, am I restricted to always having the Resource Location on-premises?

No. With Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops Service you have the flexibility to host Resource Locations on-premises or in Public/Private cloud such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform. Deploying Resource Locations in public cloud opens up a huge number of opportunities for scaling and flexibility. This is something you can only do in an on-premises deployment if you are running Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1912 LTSR. The functionality has been deprecated in the current release version and will likely be deprecated in the next LTSR version.

 

Find out more

As a Citrix Partner and Gold Solution Advisor and Microsoft Azure Expert MSP, we can manage your Citrix Cloud Control Plane as well as your public cloud resource location containing the user workloads.

In addition, we have the product-specific technical expertise to provide you with a secure digital solution, so you can manage your environment, no matter how large or complex.

 Want to know more? Send us a message and we’ll be in touch shortly. Or learn more about Citrix Cloud vs Citrix on-premises.