So after the storm announced yesterday, people all over the world started complaining about the new licensing that came out with XenDesktop 4. This also prompted a heated discussion within the CTP community, with some explaining why they were frustrated with such licensing changes.
For sure I can understand the issue for certain customers. For example, for some educational institutions with 25,000+ users but willing to deploy a VDI solution using XenDesktop 4 for only 1,000 people, what do they do? If it is licensed per user, how does this work now? Do they need to pay for 25,000+ licenses?
Using the old Concurrent User licensing, all they needed was 1,000 licenses. And that is where the discussion with the others CTP started from my standpoint. 🙂
I am posting here exactly what I told all the other CTPs. First of all I think Citrix wants to change the idea that XenDesktop is a remote access solution. They want to make the market aware XenDesktop is actually a desktop replacement solution, going head-to-head with what we call today ‘physical desktop’. In that sense, if you have 1000 PCs in your office and you want to go VDI you need 1000 hosted desktops. So if we do see XenDesktop as a replacement for the physical desktop, 1:1 licensing makes sense. And again, from a marketing perspective it makes sense if you want to get rid of the old stigma of being a ‘Remote Access’ solution.
If you have 10,000 users and you want to have only 100 connecting remotely to your hosted solution, it is clear to me you are really trying to deploy a remote access solution and for that, there is XenApp. Many, including my friend and fellow CTP Joe Shonk, argued XenDesktop brings simplicity to the table as you do not have to worry about your apps, what you do when using XenApp. Well my take on this is simple and I ask you to provide me feedback on this in the comments area.
As of today, at least for my customers (note I have been doing TS/Citrix since they were born as products, so at least 10 years), in 99% of the cases we were able to make the applications work. Sure, some we had to tweak but the bottom line is they worked. And as of today, with application virtualization, there is a chance you will get the ones that did not work, working. So the whole “XenDesktop is app friendly and XenApp is app hater” does not cut for me. Add to that the fact that several XenDesktop customers are using Citrix own app virtualization/streaming solution to package and deploy the apps so in this case, that exact same app could be used on XenApp, making it not better or worse than XenDesktop.
Even though using XenDesktop as a remote access solution works and works properly, I see this as using the wrong tool for the job in most cases. I do know I can load a web server on my iPhone but should I use it to then host my website? You get the idea.
I am aware in some very special cases XenApp may indeed not work and XenDesktop or similar alternatives would be the only way to go. If you are on that boat, good for you.
But for most cases, nope. XenApp delivers it. And it has concurrent licensing. 🙂
The good news is Citrix is listening and is dealing with such cases, people that are trying to use XenDesktop in weird ways (sorry I could not resist), on a case-by-case basis.
I also heard on the CTP program they are releasing a new version called XenRAS that is pretty much XenDesktop but tweaked to work as a RAS solution, only accepting dial-up connections and with concurrent licensing. Official announcement should come soon from Citrix.
Oh crap. That was under NDA.
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