XenDesktop 4 vs XenDesktop 5, differences ?

· 2 min read

If you’re used to check the IMA service and verify if everything is running fine on your XenDesktop 4 or XenApp environment, you won’t find any IMA in XenDesktop 5. This is one of the huge changes Citrix have done in the new XenDesktop, this is a major change because no more IMA means many things in term of architecture and product functionality.

So as I just mention, no IMA in XenDesktop 5 Controller (DDC), which means there is no IMA data store or local host cache (!!!) No more XML Blob, there is no more Active Directory Configuration Wizard or Farm OU, XenDesktop 5 doesn’t need Terminal Services any more, everything is stored in a brand new SQL database and there is no support for Oracle or Access. <– Wow ! These are a big changes right ?  I will explain more the impact of these change regarding what we’re used to and the consequences.

First thing first, when you want to install XenDesktop 5, you have choice between the “Quick Deploy”, “Join existing deployment”,  “Desktop deployment” and “Application deployment”. You can also notice the installer is simpler than the one in XenDesktop 4

  • “Quick deploy” option is the fastest way to deploy a fully functional XenDesktop installation. All in one box, Citrix License Server, the DDC, and Database.
  • “Join existing deployment” add a XenDesktop Controller to an existing site.
  • “Desktop deployment” advanced installation for large deployment, to use with Citrix Provisioning Services.

Regarding the installation, on the server side, XenDesktop Controller supports Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 only, exit Windows 2003.

If you want to use the “Quick Deploy” mode, then all components must be on same box, it also assumes SQL Express is installed on same machine. Microsoft PowerShell 2.0 is downloaded during the installation, you will need to manually install PowerShell 2.0 if you don’t have internet access. (more…)