Have you heard of Microsoft Service Packs?
Citrix Roll UP Packs are the same equivalent, but in the Citrix world.
Citrix provides several types of hotfixes for its line of products
Private release hotfixes, which are of very limited range, they address specific issues for a small subset of customers. Only offline and escalation engineers are allowed to provide those hotfixes, so you need to open a support case with Citrix
Limited release hotfixes. These are broader range type of hotfixes but not available to the general public, unless you sign on to Mycitrix.com account (which is free, but you need to register to get one). Some customers and partners can download these, but those customers who don’t see the “download” button on the page, they need to call Citrix Support and the front line engineer should be able to provide them with the hotfix
Public release Hotfixes. As the name suggests, they are available to the general public. Citrix Roll UP Pack packs are examples of public hotfixes. However, not all public hotfixes are roll up pack hotfixes; they can be individual hotfixes that usually contain fixes for specific components. Example: Printing related, performance related, (BSOD, slowness), USB related, graphics related, and so on so forth.
In the IMA (Independent Management Architecture) based line of products, the latest rollup pack is Roll Up Pack 07 (R07 for short)
Note: currently, as of September 2016, only XenApp 6.5 is supported in the IMA based architecture. The support should end in August 2018 (source: Citrix page )
Private hotfixes can become limited release hotfixes or public release hotfixes, depending how “popular” they become.
Roll up pack hotfixes may contain past private (or formerly private), limited and public release hotfixes or even hotfixes never released before and obviously, were not part of any previous release hotfixes or roll up packs
R07 contain 20 hotfixes post R06
R07 contains 8 hotfixes post R05
R07 contains all previous rollup pack hotfixes (from R01 to R06)
R07 contains 28 unique hotfixes
To identify which Roll Up pack is installed in your Citrix environment, the easiest way is to open the XenApp 6.5 Apps Center console, open the “Servers” container and on the right pane click on the Hotfix Details page. It will list the current Roll UP Pack hotfix installed on each server. As best practices all servers should be n the latest Roll UP pack. If not doable for any reason, at least the Zone Data Collectors should be on the latest version of the Roll up pack.
What about Citrix FMA (Flexcast Management Architecture) based hotfixes?
FMA is a newer technology used on newer version of Citrix Products
Usually called the 7.x family of products, which includes the following versions
XenDesktop 7.0 Apps Edition
XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 LTSR (currently 7.1.1000)
XenApp/XenDesktop 7.11 (coming between Sep and Dec 2016 (source)
Note: When you install XenApp/Xendesktop you re installing the exact same binaries. The main difference between the two is the type of license in use. The XenDesktop license will allow both Desktops (Server and Desktop OS’s) and apps to be launched; The XenApp license alone won’t allow you to launch Server OS’s and apps published on these Server OS’s. (see the features differences here). The licenses are divided in concurrent and user/device
See this FAQ for detailed info on licenses: FAQ XA/XD Licensing
One of the reasons for so many “SUB” releases is the inclusion of hotfixes plus new features combined. As one of the Citrix blogs put it:
“…Each release also contains hotfixes from previous releases, making it a better quality release. There are dedicated engineering resources on upgrades who have helped increase upgrade test and automation coverage to 100% of the upgrade path table above, which has added significantly to confidence in the upgrade quality.”
and some more reasoning:
“…The inclusion of hotfixes, plus full end-to-end testing during releases, reduces the risk of errors. Being able to upgrade directly (for example, from 7.1 to 7.8) without intermediate upgrades, reduces administrative costs and lowers the probability and risk of unknown failures….” (source: Citrix blog: XenApp & XenDesktop Upgrades are Now Easy as Pie )
I hope you have enjoyed this article!