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Citrix new licensing approach: Good or Bad?

A few months ago we got word from Citrix about a change in their licensing model as it relates specifically to XenDesktop.

In the past all of the Citrix application delivery products (XenApp, XenDesktop, etc.) have been done on a concurrent license model with a license server that monitors use.  At any given time you are able to go to the license server and see where you are with your licenses.  This gives you the ability to know when your usage is growing and helps planning for additional license purchases.

For a healthcare organization the concurrent model tends to work well.  Due to the workflow of 3 shifts and having several “shared” workstations on every unit.  We may have several thousand employees but at most there is only a third of users actually running applications at any time.  This approach has served us well.

Citrix has now made a change to move from the concurrent approach to a per user license or per device license.  When looking at only the per user license, change to that model would cost a healthcare organization more in up front license as well as on going Subscription Advantage (SA) renewals.  You could go from having 2500 XenApp Platinum concurrent licenses that fit your organization, to 7500 per user licenses that have a per license yearly SA cost.  To deal with this issue Citrix then came up with the per device license option, which is more reasonable approach for healthcare as well as some other industry categories.

To make this license transition easier to handle for existing customers, Citrix came up with an “upgrade” path for XenApp concurrent licenses.  You are able to take your 2500 XenApp Platinum (under SA of course) and do a 1 for 2 trade up to XenDesktop per device or user license.  So you 2500 XenApp licenses turn into 5000 XenDesktop licenses.

Why move Citrix XenApp to a XenDesktop license?

VDI market share.  This is a great way for Citrix to boost the number of XenDesktop licenses sold.  Not a bad idea, plus some customers may actually start using XenDesktop more.  Overall, I think this will help lower the cost for all VDI solutions overtime.

There are many other blogs, etc. on this topic (, etc.) for more detail information.

January 24, 2010 - Posted by | Citrix | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Here is a comment from Keith, a good Citrix rep. in my area with some info on XenDesktop 4 . . .

    The Citrix XenDesktop-4 licensing model will not make financial sense for every use case compared directly with the XenApp Concurrent model, however, as Mike points out, it does make sense for healthcare organizations that have shared “kiosk” devices on the floors.

    It should also be noted that XenDesktop-4 includes all the Desktop and Application delivery models that make Citrix unique in the market. These include:

    – XenApp Published Apps (the most common use case in healthcare around the world)
    – XenApp Published Desktops (also common in healthcare and the best Virtual Desktop – I’m just sayin…)
    – XenApp Streamed Offline Apps
    – XenDesktop (Virtual Machine Desktops)
    – XenDesktop (Streamed LAN based Desktop – very low cost model for healthcare)
    – XenApp VM Hosted Applications (for those apps that don’t like Terminal Services and need an XP OS to run well)
    – XenDesktop Client Side Virtual Desktop (online or offline)

    For many organizations in healthcare and across all industries there is typically no one size fits all that will cover every use case. When considering XenApp Concurrent licensing vs. XenDesktop-4 Licensing customers should consider all the use case scenarios and assign value to these products accordingly.

    So, it makes sense to consider the value of these technologies as they relate to your requirements. Simply comparing up front cost and SA costs is only valid if your goal is to stick with XenApp only. If you want/need the flexibility to leverage all these delivery models then XenDesktop-4 is worth considering despite the lack of Concurrent Licensing.

    Comment by Keith Qualter (Citrix Rep for NC) | February 1, 2010 | Reply

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