Worker Groups and Policies are some of the feaures included in Citrix XenApp 6. I know this version isn't deployed wildly and tehre are many reasons I won't speak about here; you can still read a blog and very interresting comments about that here : http://www.archy.net/2010/09/21/citrix-xenapp-6-why-it-doesnt-spread/ I work with Citrix Education to build exams for XenApp 6 Basic Administration and Advanced Administation and in order to do it, I needed to know every XenApp 6 new features. I tried everything with the Technical Preview release when XenApp 6 was still XenApp for Windows 2008 R2. Now I want to share and blog about two major features, Worker Groups and Policies because I think it can dramatically improve your productivity and accelerate your deployments. What are Worker Groups ? Worker groups are collections of XenApp servers, residing in the same farm, that are managed as a single unit. Using worker groups, you can: Streamline application publishing to multiple farm servers Load balance access to published resources Filter policies so that settings are applied only to sessions hosted on a specific set of farm servers When using worker groups, consider the following: A farm server can belong to multiple worker groups A worker group can include any number of XenApp servers or none at all Only servers that belong to the same XenApp farm are included in a worker group Above writting is the Citrix definition, I made a shorter version bellow : Manage XenApp servers collectively as “worker groups” Assign published applications and policies to worker groups Worker groups contain farm servers or domain OUs Servers added to a worker groups inherit settings, policies, applications  and Load Balancing Policies Using Worker Group to publish applications The "old" way to publish application is : adding a new XenApp server then opening each published application properties to add the new server. The new server is on the right and multiple actions need to be taken before making the server available to users with the same published application as the other XenApp serveurs. You can still publish your applications this way with XenApp 6. The "new" way using Worker Groups is much more simple. Instead of publishing your application to XenApp servers, you choose a Worker Group. The Worker Group I created is based on Active Directory OU, so every time a XenApp server is move in to the correct OU, as published applications are…

Citrix XenApp 6 is one year old product already and still not wide deployed (In my country at least, France). Why ? I think about two reasons : Mostly because you can install XenApp 6 only on Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 which is only 64Bits operation system from Microsoft and because there are many features just disappearing from this version but a lot of new ones. XenApp 6 : No more Installation Manager (Just remain a read only console to deploy past packages) No more Resource Manager (EdgeSight is suppose to do the job) No more Access database for the DataStore, now it's replace by MS SQL Express 2008 No possibilities to have mixed farms Farms settings are now store in IMA and/or Global policies New feature, Worker Groups New feature, Global Policy (XenApp Policies in the Active Directory) New management console (Only one !) Citrix Delivery Services Console, at last ;) Simplified Install HDX RealTime Collaboration & HDX RealTime audio These is the main part, I think admins and Engineer used to XenApp 5, 4.5, Presentation Server 4, Metaframe Presentation Server 3, Metaframe XP, Metaframe 1.8 etc... are used to have new features but no new way to think their XenApp architecture and administration. Introduction Worker Groups dramatically change the way of thinking publishing application, settings policies up, configuring a farm or several farms. It might be a too radical change for most of us even if you still can think, administrate using the "old" way. Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 is a 64Bit system, and I can assure you, it doesn't bite ! I don't understand why so many Engineers and Consultants I went to meet are afraid to try this OS, just because you need to test applications. Of course 16Bits applications will remain in 32Bit Windows 2003 or Windows 2008, but why on earth guys are afraid to try ? We are using Citrix XenApp, don't forget most of the accesses are made through a Web Interface and you can still have the possibility to keep a PS4/XenApp 5 farm aside a XenApp 6 one. Finaly if you're really not familliar with application migrations and processes to follow, you can still call me ;) This blog is an introduction to the next one Fast Provisioning Citrix Xenapp 6 with Worker Groups and Policies