Upgrading XenDesktop 5 to SP1

By | May 15, 2011

This week, XenDesktop 5 SP1 was released. The most interesting improvement is support for XenServer 5.6 SP2 with IntelliCache. IntelliCache will reduce IOPS load on your storage with 90% according to Citrix. Because we are using XenServer, and want to use this new feature, the first step is to upgrade to XenDesktop 5 SP1.

If you want to upgrade XenDesktop 5 to SP1, it is mandatory to upgrade your Citrix license server to version 11.9. Upgrading the license server is straight forward. Download the XenDesktop SP1 upgrade package. The Delivery Controller Upgrade package of 141 MB also contains the license server upgrade. Start the autorun from the cd and choose to install XenDesktop. This will automatically upgrade the licenseserver.

Unfortunately, after upgrading I had some problems with XenApp servers contacting the license server. Disabling the firewall resolved it. The license server install should configure the firewall automatically. So I decided to uninstall the license server and did a fresh install. Now from the full XenDesktop 5 SP1 cd. There is no need to backup your license files if you install on the same location. The license files will be re-used automatically.

This time I was asked to open up the firewall.

After the fresh install, the license server is functioning properly. My XenApp servers now find the license server. In the firewall you find the license server rules.

As you can see, there is a block rule for Citrix licensing. This is for remote administration on port 8082. If you want to remote administer the license server, you should change the rule to Allow.

When you start the License Administration Console from the startmenu, it opens a webbrowser with the following message.

I don’t understand this message, because when I open my webbrowser and go to http://localhost:8082/dashboard?vendor=&licenseTab=&selected=, the License Administration Console will open. And, surprisingly, after that I opened the console in my webbrowser, I can also use the License Administration Console shortcut from the startmenu without the strange message.

It looks to me that the license server is not just a license server anymore, but an integral component of XenDesktop. In Control Panel, Programs you only find Citrix XenDesktop to uninstall, no license server anymore. And you can see that if you also install Desktop Studio on the license server. This also contains a Licensing node from which you can add licenses.

In the Action Pane you can choose the option Change Licensing Server.

As you can see, there is an option Take ownership of this license server. The license server is also used by XenApp, XenServer and other products, so why is XenDesktop claiming this server?

You can also notice that there is a warning on valid licenses. I will come back on that later.

Ok, now that my license server is working, it’s time to upgrade XenDesktop. I inserted the SP1 upgrade cd on my XenDesktop Controller and started the update. Please note that an upgraded controller is incompatible with the current database. Citrix recommends upgrading half of the controllers, and then perform a database upgrade. After that, the old controllers are incompatible with the database and should be upgraded then. If you only have one controller, you should upgrade outside business hours, because the clients cannot log in because of the license warning.

When finished, you can start the Desktop Studio console. You can choose to upgrade the database.

I select automatically. The upgrade is finished in a few seconds.

When you go to the Licensing node in the Desktop Studio console now, you will see that the license warning is gone now. The warning was a result of the change in licensing model. The database upgrade fixed this and can use the new licensing model.

After all, the upgrade of the license server gave me more trouble than upgrading XenDesktop. Next step will be upgrading XenServer.