Citrix: CVAD Current Release on-prem will no longer support cloud-hosted VDAs

Customers are advised to use Citrix Cloud or the CVAD LTSR.

Last week, Citrix announced a significant product change, which has drawn some ire, but could drive more customers to Citrix Cloud.

Starting with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) 2003 Current Release, workloads (VDAs) running in public cloud providers will not be supported. The news came from a Citrix Support Knowledge Center article posted last Friday.

As justification, Citrix cited the challenges of frequent changes in public clouds, which result in frequent upgrades for CVAD Current Release customers. Citrix is encouraging customers to use Citrix Cloud, or to remain on the CVAD 1912 Long Term Service Release, which will be supported for about five more years.

In CVAD 2003 Current Release, running workloads in a public cloud provider will simply be an unsupported configuration. However, the changes will be enforced in future releases, via “multiple enforcement mechanisms including changes in meta-installer, Studio and VDA registration processes.”

Citrix went on to clarify that customers can still run the CVAD Current Release in a public cloud and connect to workloads/VDAs running on premises.

What does this mean?

At one level, there’s some logic to Citrix’s argument, as this would eliminate some support challenges for both Citrix and their customers.

But naturally, customers are upset. Citrix is suddenly taking away a deployment option, with essentially no lead time for customers to plan for it. The situation would have been somewhat different if the change was announced six months or a year in advance, giving customers more time to plan.

In addition, there are other considerations. For example, customers may have a data residency requirement that they can’t meet with Citrix Cloud, as Jo Harder mentioned yesterday in her article on Citrix Gateway Service.

I assume that Citrix knew that customers would be upset, because there was no blog post, press release, or announcement at Citrix Summit or Citrix Synergy. Instead, the update was posted on a Friday, a common tactic for news that organizations know is going to be unpopular. Most of us learned about it from a tweet by Thomas Poppelgaard.

This is another move that will push customers to Citrix Cloud, which is good for their bottom line. But so far, most of the customer reactions are negative, and I agree with them.

I reached out to Jo Harder for her thoughts, and she shared some comments, writing:

“Like many, I disagree with this stance.  While I agree that Citrix Cloud has many benefits, there are some technical and business reasons why some enterprises can’t or won’t move their infrastructure to Citrix Cloud, yet their VDAs are hosted in Azure, AWS, or GCP.  It’s disappointing that Citrix doesn’t state any technical reasons why this change is necessary, other than ‘this delivers the best experience for our customers and the most value for their user community.’”

Jo also pointed out that the time frame is problematic in light of all the extra work that customers recently had to do to deal with the Citrix Gateway vulnerabilities.

With all the news in the world this week, it seems like not everybody has seen this change yet, so I’m curious to hear more reactions. Please share your thoughts below or on Twitter.

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