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What's the difference between Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 & Citrix XenApp 5.0

Here at Whitehat Virtual Technologies we occasionally get questions related to Citrix.  The answers to thosefalse

April 2015

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Here at Whitehat Virtual Technologies we occasionally get questions related to Citrix.  The answers to those questions end up here on our blog. If you have a question you would like for us to answer, enter it here. 

Q. What's the difference between Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 & Citrix XenApp 5.0?

A: Citrix’s Presentation Server 4.5 got a name change with version 5.0, to XenApp.  Both Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 and XenApp 5.0 are for 32 bit applications only, meaning none of your current 64 bit applications will work on either these two platforms.

Almost every feature available in Citrix XenApp 5.0 is available to customers of Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 with active Subscription Advantage.  There are roughly eleven feature differences between the two software versions which I will detail, but the majority of the differences impacting companies today revolve around support.

One major difference between these two product versions today revolve around the supported Microsoft Windows Server OS they work with.  Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 is only supported on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (which reached End of Support July 31, 2010 and reaches End of Life July, 2015).  Citrix XenApp 5.0 is supported on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (Currently scheduled to reach End of Support January, 2015).

The single major difference between Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 and Citrix XenApp 5.0 today is that Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 went End of Maintenance (EOM) September 12, 2012 and went formally End of Life (EOL) March 31, 2013.  Citrix customers with 32bit only applications have to move to Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 to maintain a supported version of the product.  Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 went End of Life the same day Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 did, March 31, 2013.

Below is the full grid detailing Citrix XenApp versions and End of Support/End of Life dates.

Product/
Component Name

Version/
Model

Language

NSC*

EOS*

EOM*

EOL*

EOES**

Presentation Server for Unix

4.0

EN

TBA

N/A

TBA

TBA

N/A

Presentation Server for Windows Server 2003 (including R2)

4.5

EN, DE, FR, ES, JA

28-Aug-09
CTX122442

N/A

30-Sep-12

31-Mar-13

14-Jul-15

Presentation Server for Windows Server 2003 (including R2)

4.5 FP1

EN, DE, FR, ES, JA

28-Aug-09
CTX122442

N/A

30-Sep-12

31-Mar-13

14-Jul-15

XenApp for Windows Server 2003 (including R2)

5 and FP

EN, DE, FR, ES, JA

28-Aug-09
CTX122442

N/A

30-Sep-12

31-Mar-13

14-Jul-15

XenApp for Windows Server 2008

5 and FP

EN, DE, FR, ES, JA

26-Oct-12
CTX122442

N/A

13-Jul-14

13-Jan-15

14-Jan-20

XenApp for Windows Server 2008R2

6.0

EN, DE, FR, ES, JA

26-Oct-12
CTX122442

N/A

13-Jul-14

13-Jan-15

14-Jan-20

XenApp for Windows Server 2008R2

6.5

EN, DE, FR, ES, JA

26-Jun-13
CTX122442

N/A

24-Feb-16

24-Aug-16

14-Jan-20

*Lifecycle Milestones: NSC (Notice of Status Change), EOS (End of Sales), EOM (End of Maintenance), EOL (End of Life). **EOES (End of Extended Support).

 

Feature differences between Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 and Citrix XenApp 5.0.

  • HDX Plug-n-Play Special folder redirection: Available in XenApp 5.0 (for Windows Server 2008 only) and later editions only.

What it is: This feature enables special folders (i.e. My Documents and Desktop folders) to map to a hosted application session automatically.  This features helps make the Citrix XenApp session more like the traditional PC experience by including this functionality back to the end users.

 

  • Inclusion and exclusion rules:  Available in XenApp 5.0 and later editions only.

What it is: This feature enables administrators to limit the inclusion of specific files and folders or exclude unnecessary ones.  This features allows Citrix Administrators to manage and minimize the amount of data stored in the profile which improves performance, decreases network overhead and reduces logon times.

 

  • Extended Synchronization: Available in XenApp 5.0 and later editions only.

What it is: Allows IT to synchronize files and folders for the applications that are not storing user-related content in the user profile but instead somewhere on the device hard disk.

 

  • Folder redirection: Available in XenApp 5.0 (for Windows Server 2008 only) and later editions only.

What it is: Enables the users My Documents folder to be mapped to a central file store, maintaining the files in the data center and off of the local PC.

 

  • HTTP/S for Streaming: Available in XenApp 5.0 and later editions only.

What it is: Stream applications to servers and user devices via HTTP/S protocol. Port 443 is almost always open to allow for secure traffic.  Utilizing the HTTP/S feature allows for secure deliver of content, and a simplified path through the firewall via a port that is likely already open to deliver content to PC’s.

 

  • RADIUS support for Web interface: Available in XenApp 5.0 and later editions only.

What it is: Enables the Citrix Web Interface server to support 3rd party 2-factor authentication products that support the generic RADIUS protocol.

 

  • Kerberos authentication: Available in XenApp 5.0 and later editions only.

What it is: Kerberos simplifies user authentication and reduces logon points while ensuring logon chain integrity when users are accessing applications through the Web Interface server.

 

  • Clean image reboot: Available in XenApp 5.0 and later editions only.

What it is: Reboot a provisioned server to obtain a clean image in the event of OS corruption or failure.  If you are not familiar with Citrix’s Provisioning Server, Provisioning Services allows you to create a single gold image, or more if necessary, and boot all of your XenApp servers off of that image to keep them 100% consistent and eliminate managing a separate disk image for each XenApp server.

 

  • Preferential load balancing: Available in XenApp 5.0 (for Windows Server 2008 only) and later editions only.

What it is: Enables administrators to prioritize a user/group and application based on pre-established requirements. Ensures sessions are appropriately balanced to provide enhanced user experience.

 

  • XenServer Server Virtualization Platform: Available in XenApp 5.0 and later editions only.

What it is: Bare-metal hypervisor (similar to VMware or Microsoft’s Hyper-V) that enables virtualization of all components of Citrix XenApp as well as any other servers in your data center. Includes functions such as live migration of virtual workloads from one physical server to another without interrupting user operation.

 

  • Profile data capture: Available in XenApp 5.0 and later editions only.

What it is: Auto-detects and stores modified profile settings in the registry and file system and captures any modifications within the profile, preventing unintentional overwriting of user profiles using built-in logic to determine what data should be kept.

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