Upgrading a XenDesktop 7 (Part 2)

by [Published on 6 Oct. 2016 / Last Updated on 6 Oct. 2016]

In this second article I will continue with the Citrix StoreFront stand-alone upgrade, followed by the VDA upgrade.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to Upgrading a XenDesktop 7 (Part 1).

Introduction

In the first part we started the article series with upgrading the XenDesktop environment to a higher version (in this article to version 7.9). We started discussing the upgrade order, showing there are multiple paths to a successful migration. The article continued with the upgrade steps of the Delivery Controllers, followed by Citrix Director and StoreFront.

Citrix StoreFront

In the first part we upgraded StoreFront installed from the ISO of XenDesktop. However StoreFront is also available as a separate installation executable which is often used to install StoreFront. It’s a best practice to update via the same installation process as the original. So if you installed StoreFront using the installation executable, also update using the same process. For XenDesktop 7.9 this means we are using the StoreFront 3.6 installation executable. After double clicking the installation executable (StroreFront-x64.exe) the upgrade process will start with the License agreement, which logically should be accepted before the upgrade wizard will continue.

Image

The second step is already showing which will be installed (including prerequisites if required, but most will be already there).

Image

Just as the other Citrix installers the progress is shown during the upgrade.

Image

When the component is successfully upgraded the installation wizard will notify you.

Image

After pushing finish the upgrade is finished. If you look at the installation wizard it looks like the installation is a new install, however all your settings are retained. If you start the StoreFront administration console you will see that your earlier configuration, Store and Receiver for Web settings are still available, while you can see that the StoreFront version is on a higher level.

Image

If you need to do additional configuration steps really depends of which version of StoreFront you were running before. If you upgrade from a StoreFront 2.x to a StoreFront 3.x version you need to decide if you still want to use the Green Bubble look and feel or would like to change it to the Unified Gateway view. If you are already on a StoreFront 3.x and using the Unified Gateway you don’t have to do anything. What is really nice is that when you used the new way of branding/customizing the Receiver for Web these customizations are preserved, so your customized Receiver for Web is fully available after the upgrade.

VDA

The first thing is about the way you are provisioning the VDAs. You can use PVS, MCS or your own technique. In this article I'm not going into details for each methodology (an article about upgrading PVS will follow after this series). I also presume you don’t have any active users on the machine. Logically the action should be executed on a machine that is not being used. The upgrade also requires a reboot.

I will start at the point you are ready to actually upgrade the VDA software bits. This can be done via two ways.

Using the autoselect on the ISO or download the executable VDA<<type>>setup.exe. In this article I’m using the software for servers (XenApp), but the steps are the same for the workstation based VDA software. When using the ISO the start screen is shown where in the middle pane Upgrade Machine and Images will be shown.

Image

If you choose this option the same installation process is started when using the executable. The steps shown are exactly the same for both methods.

The upgrade starts with providing the option to configure the firewall automatically or perform the action manually. As these settings should already be in place (maybe you miss the framework ports if you upgrade from a lower 7.x version). When you use the MS Firewall I would use the automatic option.

Image

Next a summary is shown with what information will be used during the upgrade. Also if prerequisites are applicable those will be shown (and automatically installed during the upgrade). As I’m upgrading from 7.8 to 7.9 no prerequisites are already in place (same prerequisites for XenDesktop 7.9 as 7.8).

Image

After choosing the Upgrade button the software will be updated. Just as with the other components the progress is displayed during the upgrade.

Image

Also for the VDA the Call Home function can be enabled or disabled. Changing it later on can only be done with a PowerShell cmdLets.

Image

After configuring the Call Home, the installation process is finished and a summary will be displayed showing a successful upgrade. To finalize the upgrade the VDA needs to be restarted.

Image

When the VDA is started again you check within Studio if the VDA is reporting the correct version. You need to select the column agent version via Select Columns button. In my case the machines are now upgraded to 7.9.0.101.

Image

When all VDAs are upgraded within a Machine Catalog, you can upgrade the Machine Catalog. This will enable possible enhancements on this level. To start the upgrade of the Machine Catalog you select the catalog within Machine Catalogs and choose Upgrade Catalog out of the right mouse button menu or use the action pane on the right side of the console.

Image

To upgrade a machine catalog the VDAs in the Machine Catalog need to be upgraded. The upgrade catalog wizard is checking that the VDAs are on the right level. If one or more is not on the required level the wizard will mention that and even shows which machines are not on the right level. However you can continue upgrading the machine catalog.

Image

After pushing the upgrade button there is no feedback of the upgrade process. Personally it would be nice if there was a quick message that mentions that the upgrade of the catalog is successful.

The same steps need to be executed on the Delivery Group. For this part you select the corresponding Delivery Controller and choose Upgrade Delivery group available in the right mouse button menu of the right pane called actions.

Image

Also for the upgrade of the Delivery Group the VDAs should be on the correct software level. This is the same as at the Machine Catalog level checked by the upgrade wizard of the Delivery Group. If the level of the VDA is not correct a warning appears, but you can continue the upgrade if you want.

Image

No message is shown about the result of the Delivery Group upgrade, the same as for the Machine Catalog. If you have more Machine Catalogs and/or Delivery Groups you need to repeat these step for each Machine Catalog and/or Delivery Group.

After all Machine Catalogs and Delivery Groups are upgrade we also ended the upgrade steps for XenDesktop. If using the current release you only have to wait for the next quarter to redo these steps for the next version.

Wrapping things up

In this article series I described the upgrade steps of a XenDesktop environment. In part 1 we started with the upgrade of the Delivery Controllers, followed by Citrix Director and Citrix StoreFront. This second part described the upgrade steps of the stand-alone Citrix StoreFront installation and the upgrade of the VDAs, the Machine Catalogs and the Delivery Groups. Citrix made the upgrade pretty smooth and easy, which logically was a requirement if you release a new version each quarter. Because the process is smooth and easy I don’t see any issues to keep up to date using the Current Release lifecycle of XenDesktop for many organizations.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to Upgrading a XenDesktop 7 (Part 1).

See Also


The Author — Wilco van Bragt

Wilco van Bragt avatar

After working for a couple of consulting firms as a senior technical consultant and technical project leader Wilco started his own freelance company VanBragt.Net Consultancy in April 2008. Wilco is certified n Citrix (CCIA, CCEE/CCEA, CCA), Microsoft (MCITP, MCTS, MSCE, MSCA) and Prince2 (Foundation). Wilco is also a RSVP (RES Software Valued Professional), Citrix CTP (Citrix Technology Professional) and a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) on RDS.

Advertisement

Featured Links