Best way to migrate a licensing server from Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 to XenApp 6 or 6.5

As most of you know, Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 End of Life support is quickly approaching.

According to Citrix, March 31st 2013 is the deadline. A lot of companies will need to migrate their Citrix infrastructure from PS 4.5 to the newer versions such as 6.0 and 6.5 (Hint: when you get the subscription advantage license from Citrix, it is good for any version of the product.So, why bother upgrading to 6.0? Go with the latest version: XA 6.5. It is more stable and has more features!)

A good rule of thumb when migrating your Citrix environment is to follow these steps;

1. Go to the site 

2. Enter your Mycitrix credentials (if you don’t have one, just register to get one; it is free)

3. Click the Choose a Toolbox menu and select Manage License

4. Click on the Reallocate button and select the required licenses from the list provided and click Continue

5. You need to specify some details in the configuration page such as:

  • Host ID Type –  Host ID type can be hostname, IP address, MAC address, and fully qualified domain name. Most people choose hostname (which should match identically (case sensitive) the host name of the server that will host the Licensing Server
  • Host ID – Update the Host ID. (if you pick hostname, enter the hostname here)
  • Quantity/Available – If this is a partial reallocation, update this field. Enter the quantity of license you might allocate.
     Some licenses do not allow partial allocation. In such scenarios, the Quantity/Available field cannot be edited
  • 6. Click Confirm and Continue. You should get a message stating that the re-allocation was successful and prompting you to download the new license file. click save to save the new license file

7.Download the Licensing server zip file from the Citrix downloads page  and Install the License Server.  As of October 2012, the latest version is 11.10 (Package size is 26.2 mb; link here: License Server 11.10 ). The installation will create a subfolder called Licensing, inside of the C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix folder and will install the Licensing Management Console (LMC), accessible via Web Interface

8. After the installation is complete. open the LMC and import the license file. It will place the license file into the folder My Files, inside of the Licensing folder

9. Now you are ready to install XenApp 6.5

10. Download the  XenApp 6.5 install ISO media from the MyCitrix site.

11. Install your first XenApp 6.5 server. Follow the instructions on the install. You will use XenApp Role Manager to complete the installation and initial configuration of XenApp Farm. One of the steps is to enter the host id (or hostname) of the Licensing server. Make sure to enter the hostname you use during the Licensing reallocation procedure which should match the hostname of the Licensing Server.

12. Once you install and perform the initial configuration, Open Apps Center (or Delivery Services Console in XA 6) and make sure the basics are working (See if you can run discovery and publish Notepad)

13.  If you install the Web interface (WI) Server on the same server as XenApp, open the WI Management Console (WIMC) and create a web site and a services site

14.  Perform a quick test and see if the site opens successfully, make sure you can log in successfully; Check to see if Notepad enumerated properly; Then click on it and see if it launches properly; if it does, CONGRATULATIONS, you did a marvelous job!)

15, Go to a CLI on the server and type Qfarm /load. The load should be 100 or 200; If the load is 20000 you have a licensing issue!

NOTE: You PS 4.5 farm will continue to work properly and the users will continue to launch their apps without any issues, using the old licensing server and the old licence file BUT your company will be out of compliance with Citrix, so you eventually need to go to the AMC of your PS 4.5 and change Farm Properties-Manage Farm Properties-Manage Licensing Properties and then change the name of the licensing server there.

Backup License Servers…

A lot of Citrix administrators don’t feel confortable having only one License Server in a Citrix environment, so they look for redundacy solutions. Keep in mind the following:

1. If the Licensing Server fails. Users will still have a 30 day grace period where they will login just fine

2. Rebuilding a Licensing Server is a very easy thing to do;  The install won’t take more than 10 minutes to complete if you have a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 ready to go. The most important thing is to name the new licensing server with the same hostname as the Licensing server that failed. Keep in mind the hostname of the Licensing server is stored in the license file and if you want to change it you need to go to and reallocate the license

3. So why bother? As a Citrix admin you have 30 days to rebuild a server that takes 10 minutes or less to complete. The important thing are license files; so make sure you have a copy of the licensing files stored somewhere on your network in case of the server failure; Once you rebuild the license server just import the good license files via the Licensing Management Console using the IMPORT option. Even if you don’t have a copy of the license file, Citrix keeps a copy on its site; Just logon to it and re-download it.

4. You can make a duplicate of the Licensing Server and keep it offline; when the Licensing server fails for some reason just boot up the duplicated copy and you are ready to go

5. Or you can even keep another copy of the Licensing Server on the network (as long as the 2nd Licensing Server has a different name than the original one; As you know, using two identical hostnames in an AD environemnt is a big NO NO! and of course it is not supported by Citrix either). So, when the original server fails, change the hostname of the 2nd licensing server to match the original one, change the IP address to match the original server and reboot it. You should be back in business again. (I like option 4 better because it saves power resources if the server is a physical server and it even saves time since it is already configured with the same IP address and the same hostname as the original Licensing Server, so there is no sweat; It is truly a turn key option!)

6. Finally some people like to complicate things and create a clustered Licensing server environment. That option also works, but for the smart and lazy people out there option 4 or 5 should be more than sufficient

7. Check out this Citrix document that explains what I just mentioned here:  Backup License Servers or clustered solutions here

Good link:

Reallocation of a License File

and good luck!


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