Submit your questions for Citrix Access Essentials: the SMB version of Presentation Server

Citrix just announced a version of Presentation Server for small businesses called "Citrix Access Essentials" (CAE). This is something that the industry has been wanting for years, and we got the first glimpse of it at iForum in Scotland last month.

Citrix just announced a version of Presentation Server for small businesses called "Citrix Access Essentials" (CAE). This is something that the industry has been wanting for years, and we got the first glimpse of it at iForum in Scotland last month.

There have been a lot of news articles out there about this product, but they are all just re-hashing the press release from Citrix and the information on Citrix's Access Essential's home page.

Brian will be talking to Citrix's Access Essentials product manager Paul Burke next week. We'd like to ask you, the community, to suggest questions that he should ask him. Please post your questions to the comments section of this article. We'll take the top questions to Paul and post the answers (and Brian's full analysis of the product) next week.

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It's geared toward a single server solution only! Even small businesses would like two servers that are load-balanced for redundancy.

What happened to Citrix's promise of 'Concurrent' licensing? This product is per User per Server. Add a second server and I pay twice for licensing.. Add a third and I pay 3xtimes?

What value am I getting by using Citrix instead of straight terminal services? Value add-on like WTSPortal Pro (terminal-services.net) are MUCH cheaper and provide what CAE does.

$150 of the price accounts for the TS-CALs... Uhm, yeah.. TS-Cals can be had for 1/2 that price. CDW - 1 User TSCAL (User) is 79.67 for OPEN Level C.. You can get better pricing for bulk and select (http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=481643&RecommendedForEDC=481835&RecoType=alternate)

SMB version of Citrix is definately needed and wanted... But Citrix's ignorace/arogance on Licensing and Product features is appauling.
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I have done work for several small businesses and my experience is that most find redundancy is a waste of money. At best these companies implement some kind of backup solution.

As far as value over terminal services, here's a short list:
Published Applications
Web Interface
Secure Gateway
Seamless Windows
Wizard Driven Install and Setup
Simplified Printing
CPU Mgmt and Memory Optimization
Client platform support

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Though CAE seems to be interesting for small business i think that a "backdoor" for real sbc is important too. i can imagine a few customers that would be interested and realy like to get started with CAE. on the other side i can't tell my customers that they have the right to use CAE but when it comes to a second server the have to pay the full price for the advanced edition of presentation server.

and what about the subscription? are there any changes?
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What features of CPS4.0 will be in CAE? It would be a good move to offer Application Isolation, because all applications are gonna be on one box.
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Application Isolation will not make the list.
But features like cpu/memory management and virtual ip do, which are CPS4 advanced or enterprise features, so that's a nice compensation.

The bummer for those customers will be, when they descide to go from CAE to CPS4 Advanced when they outgrow their setup, and find out they loose functionality like cpu and memory management, but spend more money, and can only upgrade to Enterprise to remain it all, and grow the farm.

I think we're going to see quite some creativity on MS nlb and some scripting to grow the farm a CAE box or 1/2, but not go for the good stuff.
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Here we go again - another new name.

It is my impression that when the new version of Terminal Services comes out - CAE will not be a consideration for small business.
MS-TS will have a lot more scalability and functionality.
When? Perhaps Brian can give us an estimated time range.

Brian:
Please express to Citrix that they need to consider the market being a lot more competative in the future. ie. MS-TS and Sun with New Moon / Tarantilla.
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I Love how everyone "Knows" the SMB space. If redundacy was a big concern to SMB then why has MS been so successful at selling SBS? Ever had a SBS server go down for the count? I have and it's Not fun, but that's what SMB does! They buy what they feel they need! If they need redundacy then they have the option to buy CPSA, if they need more features they can buy CPSE. They have options just like SBS. As for TS why would MS want to hinder Citrix? They SELL MS Product FOR MS! There may be new features that come in TS but do you think they will be all that are included in CAE? I'm sure with Citrix pushing close to $1 Bil they might know what the market might look like in the future.
You can't please everyone but I think Citrix has a pretty nice product with CAE. Remember who wrote TS. It wasn't MS or Sun.
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You know as they say... If you sell $#!+ people will buy $#!+. That's precisely what Microsoft's popular SBS is... It also explains why AOL is so popular... I can't tell you how many SBS machine I've had to fix because of AOL... Too many to count.
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That argument makes absolutely no sense. You've stated an opinion and haven't presented any facts to support your statement. Typical anonymous coward....
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Why not have two versions of CAE?? A single-server version for X users and a dual-server only version for X + Y users?? And charge extra for the upgrade to Advanced or Enterprise if they want to go to three servers??

Why not an integrated CAE/SBS *bundle* for a third version?? Pre-packaged setup etc. etc.

I was disappointed to see that the Advanced version doesn't include AIE and the nice server optimization things (cpu, etc.), but I am sure those will be included in the Advanced version when PS 5.0 comes out in 2006. (Citrix seems to do a new rev once/year.)

Thank you,
Tom
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It's a simple fact that money talks... I've meet alot of SMB owners who are cheap. They learn of MS SBS and they buy that instead of a normal server because its cheaper... You can point out all day long that the ROI is much higher(because SBS is crap) but only when they see the support bill then they start to scream.
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Has anyone taken a look at this link?

http://support.citrix.com/kb/entry!default.jspa?categoryID=524&externalID=CTX107097&fromSearchPage=true

Can anyone explain why someone should buy this "crippled" product? I mean just the fact that CSG/WI, license server and presentation server have to run on the same machine is, imho, just a mad thought.
How will Citrix explain that they state in the admin guides that a dmz is advised and now they put all the things on one machine...
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Cost of hardware is a huge concern for small business, and thus why CAE has all components on one server.

I think you will find many small businesses don't have DMZ as you would see in larger companies. For those that do, CAE supports deploying the product with the Citrix Access Gateway.
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I think that as a reseller you have two choices with this product:
sell it to a customer and do never ever again try to talk to this particular customer, because he is so mad at you.
OR:
Try to make a resonable solution out of this product (according to CTX107097: using Citrix Access Gateway for VPN costing about 2500$ and xx$ per User) plus some other security solutions from 3rd party, resulting in a solution as expensive as other solutions we already had (using PS40).
But then the customer is not at risk getting attacked and all his valuable bussiness-data stolen from a server running in the internet wihout any protection!

I am not sure, if I want to loose all the trust my customers set in me, so I wonder if I will sell this product.

Regards Josef
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A good friend of mine runs a small software business where most of his clients are small business and don't have money for mucho-hardware.
However he does stress:
backups
backups
and then more backups

Most people have no idea how to backup their data.... This is where the value of the consultant comes in (shamless plug for us all?) Anyway CAE is an interesting approach but has ZERO value for larger companies. Even medium sized companies will be intersted in server farms. ISP won't use them, nor will financial firms. This MIGHT Be good for something like an internet kiosk. If you have your drive imaged right you could just have a tech re-image if the thing goes south, backups not required.
As far as the limitations on CAE, Citrix is of course worried that eveyrone would buy this product and run server farms if they put in any advanced features such as load balancing or network redundancy. This of course does limit the audience for this product. In addition the above notes on SBS are humorus to me.... I should point out that several years ago I went to a storage place to rent a storage bay and that they were operating their automtatic gate system on an Apple IIe. still running on 5.25" floppies (dual) No kidding........

L8r
-Sean
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Furthermore, many large organisations are realising that the basic firewalled DMZ offers little extra protection over a single layer of application aware firewall.

Take Microsoft, for example.
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Subscription should be decided when CAE purchaced. You cannot sign up for subscription later.
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we've just implemented Provision Networks PMF-Enterprise. We got all the features (seamless win, load bal, web interface, SSL for rdp, mem and CPU mgmt, app publishing, universal print, etc) for $99 per simultaneous user. www.ProvisionNetworks.com That is a solution for the SMB market.
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we've just implemented Provision Networks PMF-Enterprise. We got all the features (seamless win, load bal, web interface, SSL for rdp, mem and CPU mgmt, app publishing, universal print, etc) for $99 per simultaneous user. www.ProvisionNetworks.com That is a solution for the SMB market.
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Does that include a TSCal? I love how they copied all of the Citrix Marketing
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no it didn't. But we were told they were coming out with a completely configured appliance that includes all the features + the web interface / SSL gateway, OS, Office pre-installed and TS cals - all on one box with multiple NICs for DMZ etc. You could have multiple appliances load balanced - they were shooting for under $200 per user includes all the h/w and the OS.
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We just had those guys from Provision Networks in here doing a setup for us at the bank - 350 simultaneous connections across 24 branches in NC and SC. The product rocks. At $99 per license and with all these features, I couldn't be happier.
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Has anyone tried installing Access Essentials onto the Active Directory DC ?
I need to do this because I can only have one server and it has to run Exchange 2003, as well as Citrix (Access Essentials) - serving published apps or desktops to users. This kind of configuration won't be secure I guess, but otherwise ?
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Is this still going to happen? I'd be interested to see more information on this product other than just the press release - Brian, did you have the meeting with Citrix regarding it?
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Yes, I had the meeting. I have the software here, so I'll get on this and get something posted soon.
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Hellow everyone I have just came across this article today, has a realse date been set yet?
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i have tried to install access essentials on a DC and on standalone, ive tried every possible combination, also followed the install manual to the letter and the install fails at the same point everytime, dont know why as the 11mb text file it creates of the install is totaly useless. I know this doesnt answer your question but i am pulling out what little hair i have left trying to get this thing to work, any help would be very much appreciated.
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Brian,

Any progress on the update on the Access Essentials analysis?
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Brian - sorry to post here but there doesn't appear to be an Access Essentials Posting Section.
 
Do you know how to change the default port that gets presented to the client in the launch.ica file. In other Citrix products you can change the template.ica file to include the line SSLProxyHost=host.mycompany.com:8443 but this doesn't appear to be available in Access Essentials. In addition, I know you CANNOT change the XML port as this is not supported in Access Essentials so I am doing a port re-direct on the firewall. It all works great  if I save the launch.ica file to my desktop and edit the port manually - but I cannot figure out how to get the launch.ica file to present the correct port automatically.
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Anyone,       I have recently installed “Access Essentials” and installed it on a MS running Server 2003. It works perfect from the internal site configuration.  But clients try to connect from the External site using the Web Interface are getting the following error - "there is no citrix presentation server configured on the specified address'.  The clients login to the web interface ok but when they try to run any published application this error appears.       My configuration is a single static IP, port forwarding directly to the internal citrix server.  I have opened and forwarded these ports: 1494 – 1024 – 80 – 443, but I’m still getting the same fault.  Does anyone know what “access route” I should use in the External site, should it be “Direct, Alternate, Translated, Gateway Direct etc…   Also do I need to use the Firewall Translations with any off these setting?       Thanks       Brian Rea


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Hi there,


I have a client who has a a Blackberry Professional server running on a windows 2003 server whcih has about 16 handsets rrunning off it.


I have installed Citrix Access Essentials on the same server, when CAE is configured only for internal access both the applications cohabit without issue. when I enable CAE for external access, it also uses port 443, BES then stops workings and the handsets stop receiving email, if I revert citrix back to internal access only and reboot the server the handsets get mail again.


How can I get BES and CAE to coexist on the same server with CAE configuured for external secure access, can I change the 443 port that BES is wanting to use to 444, if this is possible, how do I go about making this change?


Cheers


Steve


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