What is Long Term Service Release?

You’ve heard of Long Term Service Release, but what exactly is it?

Long Term Service Release allows you to keep the same base Citrix version for an extended (up to 10 years) period of time rather than having to update components to fix or get around bugs. For a Long Term Service Release you get 5 years of mainstream support (once an LTSR is made publically available) then up to 5 years (you choose how many of the 5 you want) of extended support through a separate contract. With LTSR the big difference is that Citrix will release fixes known as cumulative updates, regularly, and these updates only contain fixes and no new functionality. This allows you to better lock down your Citrix environment and decrease the risk of disruption brought by new updates. It also ensures you have a hardened product over time that does not impact service.

All editions of XenApp (Advanced, Enterprise, Platinum) and XenDesktop (VDI, Enterprise, Platinum) are eligible for LTSR. You must have a Customer Success Services (previously Software Maintenance) contract. XenServer 7.1 is also eligible for LTSR.

Cumulative Updates will be released for Customer Success Services LTSR customers to download through Citrix.com. Each new cumulative update pack will include the fixes provided by the previous pack. For example, CU2 will provide unique fixes plus all fixes from CU1. Citrix may ask that you update to the latest CU pack if they are troubleshooting a problem in your environment however will try to support your current CU level. The cumulative update release schedule is every 4-6 months.

Remember that Current Release (non LTSR) models are ideal if you want the latest features and functionality as soon as they are released. All new XenApp/XenDesktop releases will initially be released to Citrix Cloud, and then on to a Current Release. Upgrading to the latest release of XenApp/XenDesktop makes sure you receive any new feature and fixes from previous versions. You remain compliant with Citrix support if you continuously install and configure the latest XenApp/XenDesktop components. It’s not unlikely that Citrix will bring out new current releases every quarter. Reason being Citrix are looking to close the gap between the old IMA and newer FMA architectures since features were lost during the transiton, but also they are aiming to be highly innovative with the product.

LTSR Releases:

  • XenApp & XenDesktop 7.6 – Jan 11, 2016.
  • XenApp & XenDesktop 7.6.1000 (CU1) – May, 2016.
  • XenApp & XenDesktop 7.6.2000 (CU2) – Oct, 2016.
  • XenApp & XenDesktop 7.6.3000 (CU3) – Jan, 2017.
  • XenApp & XenDesktop 7.6.4000 (CU4) – Jun, 2017.
  • XenApp & XenDesktop 7.15 – Aug, 2017.

Additional points:

  • Customers can move an LTSR environment to Current Release. There are no restrictions.
  • Customers need a Customer Success Services (previously Software Maintenance and Subscription Advantage) contract for LTSR however a customer that still has a legacy active Subscription Advantage and Support Contract such as Premier Support, Enterprise Support or Preferred Support is also eligible for LTSR at this time.
    • Note: Keep in mind that with the new Customer Success Services program, Citrix may restrict LTSR to only this program in the future. It is the goal that Customer Success Services replace both Software Maintenance and Subscription Advantage. Customers with current Subscription Advantage contracts that have not yet expired will be able to continue upgrading to new Current Release components until the contract expires. Going forward Subscription Advantage is no longer for sale and customers with Customer Success Services contracts that are active and meet the eligibility date of the Current Release they want to upgrade to, will be eligible to upgrade as normal.
  • Citrix aim to release an LTSR version every 12-24 months.
  • The LTSR XenApp/XenDesktop compatible components are listed at http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-6/xad-whats-new/long-term-service-release.html?_ga=1.2543160.906435471.1460582171
  • Citrix allow customers to run Windows 10 within a LTSR 7.6 site, so long as the VDA version on Windows 10 machines is 7.9.
  • LTSR components are only supported to the full maximum of 10 years provided they are running on Operating Systems that are supported by the manufacturer. For example, Windows OS must be supported by Microsoft.
  • XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR supports Windows 10 1703 SAC (Semi-Annual Servicing Channel – the Current Branch model replacement).
  • Beginning XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR, you can install a 7.15 LTSR VDA within a Current Release site. Whilst the Current Release site will typically have an 18 month marker until EoL, the 7.15 VDA will continue to have 5 years before being marked as EoL.
  • Customers must sign up to the extended support contract 6 months prior to the expiry of mainstream support. Customers also need to run the LTSR compliance tool and LTSR extended support contracts are renewed on a 6 month basis meaning you must renew the contract with Citrix every 6 months.
  • An LTSR component scanner is available in the name of “LTSR Assistant”. This tool scans components within your XenApp or XenDesktop infrastructure to determine if they are LTSR compliant. You can get this tool from the latest Citrix Supportability Pack.
  • You can also run an LTSR component scan (not as comprehensive as LTSR Assistant as it only scans Delivery Controllers and VDAs for compliance) from Citrix Smart Check. See http://www.jgspiers.com/citrix-smart-tools/#Smart-Check-Schedules
  • LTSR FAQs – https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX205549

 


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