Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 packaging, pricing, and release details

It's official. Citrix has made several announcements about the upcoming 4.

It's official. Citrix has made several announcements about the upcoming 4.5 release of Presentation Server. I've read through the press releases, PowerPoints, partner documents, and talked to several people. This article highlights the important facts.

The quick highlights:

  • The "Access Suite" has been renamed to "Presentation Server Platinum Edition." (no joking!)
  • Standard Edition has been dropped. (Presumably since Citrix now offers Access Essentials.)
  • The products will be officially released on March 8, although they should be available for download on MyCitrix by March 1.

Remember that in the world of Citrix, the "Access Suite" was Presentation Server + Password Manager + Citrix Access Gateway (CAG) with SmartAccess. For 4.5, Citrix announced that Presentation Server Platinum edition would include all the features of Presentation Server plus Password Manager and CAG with SmartAccess. They're also including the EdgeSight application performance monitoring product which used to be an extra $75 per concurrent user (ccu). All of this is priced at $600 per ccu, which seems to be a pretty good deal.

The only thing weird about the Platinum edition is the name. (Maybe Citrix used the same marketing firm to name the products that Microsoft used to name the seven different versions of Vista?) The word "Platinum" is kind of weird in the context of an enterprise business software platform. "Platinum" conjures up images of high-limit credit cards and strip clubs, but since iForum is in Las Vegas this year I guess that's okay.

In looking through some of the new Platinum material from Citrix, I saw a slide in a presentation that actually talked about the "enterprise-class reliability" in the platinum edition. Seriously? I need the Platinum edition for enterprise features? What about the Enterprise edition? (They'll probably release a slide showing how it has a lot of "advanced" features.) In 2009 Citrix will say that you get platinum-level benefits in the new diamond edition.

Folding the whole suite into the "Presentation Server" name is also a challenge for me personally because I'm working on a new book about "Presentation Server 4.5." But now that Citrix is calling all of this stuff "Presentation Server," do I need to cover it all in the book? The short answer is 'no,' because if I did the book would be 2000 pages long and wouldn't come out until 2014. But I can already picture people sending me hate mails because they bought a "PS 4.5" book and it didn't include EdgeSight or something like that. I'll probably have to rename the book to "Presentation Server 4.5 Core Technologies" or something.

Which features are in which editions?

Citrix is dropping the Standard Edition. This makes sense because Standard did not support load balancing, and now Citrix has the Access Essentials (CAE) product for single-server environments. (It was always good entertainment to ask a Citrix sales rep why anyone would buy the "Standard" edition now that CAE is out.)

In 4.5, "Advanced" is the new standard. (har har!) It provides the baseline feature set, including load-balancing.

Similar to 4.0, the "Enterprise" edition of Presentation Server 4.5 adds Application Isolation Environments, Resource Manager, Installation Manager, and (new in 4.5), the Server Health Assistant and Citrix Application Streaming support (a.k.a. "Tarpon" a.k.a. "Citrix's version of Softricity.") A key to point out here though is that the application streaming built into the "Enterprise" edition of PS 4.5 is for streaming of applications to Presentation Servers only. If you want to stream applications to desktops, you need to buy those CCU CALs separately. Correction: The streaming included in the Enterprise edition is for workstations and Presentation Servers. The extra CCU CAL add-on is if you want to use the streaming functionality without using any Presentation Server apps via ICA.

And finally, as mentioned before, the Platinum edition has all the funtionality of the Enterprise edition, plus CAG SmartAccess, Password Manager, and EdgeSight for application monitoring. Like the application streaming support in the Enterprise edition, the EdgeSight component in the Platinum edition is for monitoring servers only. (It's called "EdgeSight for Presentation Server.") If you want to get the full EdgeSight end-to-end monitoring solution, you need to buy "EdgeSight for Endpoints."

Licensing still uses the concurrent user model and breaks down as follows:

  • Platinum: $600 per ccu / $75 for Subscription Advantage
  • Enterprise: $450 per ccu / $50 for SA
  • Advanced: $350 per ccu / $45 for SA

In all cases, the base price includes one year of Subscription Advantage. The SA prices are the renewal prices. It's also important to point out that these are just the suggested retail prices from Citrix. Resellers can charge whatever they want, and there are a bunch of different discount and volume programs available, so if you want to buy 1000 CCUs of Platinum I can guarantee you'll get them for less than $600 each

Technical Clarifications

A lot has been written on Presentation Server 4.5 over the past few years, so I figured I'd use this space to confirm some of the technical rumors and predictions that have been going around.

  • Presentation Server 4.5 is Windows Server 2003 only. The media kit will come with PS 4.0 for any Windows 2000 servers you might still have.
  • All three editions of Presentation Server 4.5 will be available in x64 and 32-bit versions. Since pricing is CCU-based, whether you use x64 or 32-bit on the server makes no difference price-wise.
  • Citrix is officially not doing service packs anymore. All bug fixes will be delivered via the hotfix rollup packs (HRPs). To that end, PS 4.5 is not a service pack upgrade for 4.0 like 4 was for 3. PS 4.5 is a wholly separate product.
  • Presentation Server 4.0 will stop being sold in May. It will be supported through December 31, 2009.

Finally, I'd like to share a note about some upcoming changes to the Citrix Access Gateway (SSL-VPN) platform. You may recall that Citrix has two lines of Citrix Access Gateways--the 2000 and 5000 series devices based on technology from Net6 and sold as the Access Gateway "Standard" or "Advanced" editions, and the 7000, 9000, and 10000 series devices based on technology from NetScaler and sold as the "Enterprise" editions. You may also recall that the Enterprise edition did not support SmartAccess.

This is changing on April 16. Citrix will release new firmware for their NetScaler "Enterprise" Access Gateways that will give them the SmartAccess functionality. With this you'll be able to use them with your existing Advanced Access Control servers or with the new Presentation Server Platinum Edition servers.

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I will be interested to see how much interest the extra desktop streaming licenses get, given that last I heard Microsoft is letting volume license customers have Softgrid CALs for around $19 per seat as a "desktop management pack" add-on.  Other than the integration with the Citrix infrastructure, SoftGrid functionality is superior to Tarpon at this point, so the extra $40 a seat seems a bit steep.
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Oh man.. well you're not gonna like this then, cause it's $60, not $40.
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Not really...   It's not $10 per workstation for Softgrid.  Its $10 more for whatever MS package that you buy for the workstations if your on an enterprise agreement.  CSS is $60 per ccu not per seat.  And if you are running PS then you have x number of ccu seat that come with it.  (You have 1000 ccu license of PS4.5, your entitled to 1000 ccu of CSS for use on PS4.5 or Desktop)
 
Softgrid is OK, but very very touchy and difficult to use when compared to Citrix Streaming server.  Citrix has done a great job at improving the product and integrating into PS 4.5.    You can modify the isolation rules (like AIE) unlike Softgrid which isolate All or nothing.  Packaging Apps is alot faster and easier that the Sequencer.
 
Personnally,  I think it's an easy sell to customer large and small.  Even over Softgrid.  And if I need better isolation support the CSS then there is always Thinstall.
 
Joe
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Just taking a look at your overview of Presentation Server 4.5. A couple of corrections.
Release - This product will not be available for download on Feb. 22nd. It will be released to web on March 1.
Streaming - Presentation Server Enterprise and Platinum Editions both include Application Streaming to the server and the desktop. The reason we provide additional add-on licenses is because we think customers may need to support additional desktops with streaming than they need for application virtualization which is truly CCU. With streaming, customers can make applications persistent on the user device. Hence the need for additional licenses. Add-ons are CCU licenses but depending on how customers deliver their applications (cached or temporary) then the CCU license becomes a device license for a configured amount of time.
Great job on the release though. I always appreciate your candor. =)
 
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Two more things...
 
Customers on Presentation Server Standard Edition with Active Subscription Advantage as of today are eligible for an upgrade to Advanced Edition at no charge.
Customers on Access Suite with Active Subscription Advantage are eligible for an upgrade to Platinum Edition at no charge. They also get a bonus. Subscription Advantage renewal is 3$ cheaper per CCU with the Platinum ($75/ccu) than it is with the Suite ($78/ccu). May not seem like much but it adds up when we start getting into 100's of seats.
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Hey-- I wonder what new Supermicro platform Citrix will use for their new CAG. har har
 
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500 users per server is a pretty bold statement.
 
No worries.  I am in the middle of a new deployment.  we will definitly test that claim.
 
Greg
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Oh cool.. Thanks for the correction. I have updated the article.

Brian
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What's wrong with using a SuperMicro box? It sure beats them trying to design and build their own...

Brian
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i'm with Brian on this one.  I don't care of the thing is runnnig recycled Packard-Bell inside as long as it works as advertised.  it's one less device Ihave to muck around with to get going.
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I made a correction to the article above. If you buy the Enterprise or Platinum edition, then you can stream to desktops too. The $60 add-on is only if you want to stream to extra users who are not using any ICA apps.

Brian
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"...Presentation Server 4.5 is Windows Server 2003 only. The media kit will come with PS 4.0 for any Windows 2000 servers you might still have...."  Are you certain on this -- even at Summit they were saying that there will be no version for Win2K OS...?
 
Thanks,
Joe
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Duh - never mind.  Helps when you read more carefully.
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My guess is that once the Netscaler platform is up and running with AAC, the supermicro will become obsolete and all of the Citrix VPN offerings will be based on Netscaler hardware.   Just a guess.
Ben
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Where does this leave users running multiple products such as Citrix Access Gateway Advanced v4.5, Presentation Server Advanced Edition v4.0, and EdgeSight for Presentation Server v4.2??  Is there some sort of a license consolidation path?
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Yes there is. I can't give you the exact details because it gives me a headache.. But yes, they have this spreadsheet that shows what you have and what upgrades are available based on where you want to go.

Brian
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Yeah I second that. The Net6 / Super Micro stuff ran hardened Linux, and the NetScaler boxes run some variant of BSD. So the main thing that kept the Super Micro stuff in the picture was they had the SmartAccess stuff.

So as you know, then Citrix released a CAG 5000 which was based on the NetScaler HW but still ran the Linux OS.

Now that Citrix is adding SmartAccess to the high-end NetScaler boxes, I assume (but it's just an assumption) that means that they ported the Net6/SmartAccess stuff to the BSD-like OS the NetScaler boxes run. If so, this means that there can be a single HW/OS platform, and then everything could just be "modules" that snap in. (This could even include things like Teros and WANscaler eventually.)

So that's my idea.. but it's just a guess..

Brian
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While you may question why Standard was still around when Access Essentials was out, were you aware that Access Essentials is not available in all markets? Here in Australia, where companies are a lot smaller than the US, they don't bring out Access Essentials but they push Net Scaler and Edge Sight, that are designed for large enterprises. Advanced was something most partners would sell anyway, but for customers who only needed a standalone Citrix server, now they are not having an option.
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But I am pretty exited about this release.
 
Granted, looking at core PS functionality, the graphics improvements holds most value and is key to differentiate against RDP. The other features are nice, but will not raise the interest dramatically.

From my perspective: the decisive factor is this: MS pushed the desktop license of SoftGrid behind Software Assurance, to raise the value of the SA program. This could open up the application streaming/virtualization market to the desktop for Citrix.
 
The license strategy for Streaming Server could help Citrix with seeding the technology into the enterprises not in the MS SA program. I can imagine, streaming server initially being used for “difficult” apps on the desktop, as a tactical solution. Although not cost effective, by allowing the PS 4.5 CCU license to be used at the desktop will make it highly accessible as a deployment solution for those nasty apps.  
 
Surely, streaming server is not as both technically and functionally mature in comparison to SoftGrid, but it has vital unique selling points, especially when Citrix is committed to the technology in the long run and steadily keeps improving it:
  Easy to introduce, especially in Citrix environments as the management and infrastructure is so similar to presentation server.Seemingly easier packaging of apps (although highly debatable)64 Bit Support (not available yet for SoftGrid)Vista Support (not officially available yet for SoftGrid)And lastly, the 60$ is based on concurrent usage, not per device or user: in many cases, especially when used as a tactical solution for difficult apps only: streaming server as a desktop solution could be cheaper or equally expensive.                                                                                                                            
In my humble opinion, Streaming Server is underrated, from a technical perspective, but also how it can benefit Citrix as a company (as a serious move into the huge desktop market, together with Ardence and the dynamic desktop initiative)


Jeroen van de Kamp
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Tarpon has some nice features but for my money, the flexibility of Thinstall is the way to go. Forget having to load a client for streaming or have a server backend. Just Thinstall the app and place it on a file share and you’re in business. I think a lot of folks haven’t realized that these guys are out there and are going to be real players.
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Okay, you've made two posts to this site and they were both pushing Thinstall....

Anyway, how does Thinstall handle figuring out how the users get the apps, and which users get which apps? For a complete solution, it has to be more than just "putting a file on the share."

That's where Citrix Streaming Server is cool.. it not only handles the virtualization/packaging of the app, it also takes care of delivering the apps to the users, showing the users which apps are available, etc.

Brian
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I wish they would pick a product name and stick with it.  I love Citrix, but their marketing department is vile.
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Thinstall has the same ability to set AD security within the package. You can specify AD group, domain and so forth. As for delivery from a share, consider our old friend “NTFS” permissions. You would be amazed how simple yet functional it is to use the product for any environment including Citrix. The primary idea is that the simplicity of the application is its strongest feature. Consider this when comparing;
 

Zero-footprint deployments without drivers or Admin rights
No client to install or manage
No server to install or manage
No package editing software to learn
 
I have spoken with Tim Graf and John-Marc Clark on how to position Tarpon in the field and the bottom line comes down to $$. The cost of using Citrix to accomplish something that I can do for around $29/user is just too big of a gap for most. On top of the need to have the server infrastructure and everything else to get Tarpon or Softgrid up and running. Most companies who have Citrix deployed are not in touch with the desktop groups like one would hope. They have exposure to applications groups because Citrix is looked at as a point solution by most. I’ve run all of these solutions and stacked them up against some of the more robust applications my clients use. In the end, Thinstall was the only one who could handle them. In fact, one application was able to run on a 64bit platform even though the manufacture said they haven’t been able to do that for the past 4 months in house with their development teams. The Power of Simplicity!!
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Just to clarify this. In April a new release of firmware for the Netscalar range of appliances will be available which will give Access Gateway functionality. "SmartAccess" technology will be built into the appliance so there is no longer any need for a windows based Advanced Access Contol server. URL rewriting and SmartAccess for Presentation server are included but there will be no extensible End Point Analysis archicture included in this release of the product.
 
Dave
 
 
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I looked on the Citrix site for the spreadsheet you mentioned, but couldn't find it - any chance you could provide a link?
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For companies that need simple configurations you have other options, such as the 2X line of products (http://www.2x.com) and the forthcoming LongHorn.  Considering Citrix's cost per CCU and necessary server infrastructure I would think that smaller companies would balk at the price.
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To add to the above info from Dave, this also means Live Edit and HTML Preview features will not be included anymore. I doubt that many people were using them, but if you are, be warned!
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Are Citrix now stating that you can't upgrade a PS4.0 server to PS4.5 by applying a Service Pack?
 
What will be the upgrade procedure? Remove 4.0? Install 4.5 over the top? Rebuild the whole server?
 
Regards,
 
Neil
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Vile?  That might be a bit harsh.  I do find the move away from the "It is all about Access" message rather interesting.  The "Platinum Edition" branding is just plain silly.  Are they going to have a special invitation only "Black Edition" for the very exclusive customers?...snicker.  I am wondering what their slide shows are going to look like now.  Are the going to drop the entire "Access Infrastructure/Access Strategy" patter that they have been preaching about for the last couple of years.  This begs the question, ; "I guess it wasn't all about access after all was it?"  Or "That Access strategy thing just isn't going to work?"  I think I would pay double the normal admission fee to see Brian ask that question of a Citrix presenter. 
 
 So now it looks like it is going to be “applications delivery” as the new Citrix message.  I guess that is OK, but it sounds like they are into software distribution and deployment business.
 
All of this JMHO.
Ben
  
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Any word on the life cycle of the secure gateway? This product works great for my client base, especially compared to the cost of a cag.
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What if the app has a footprint has a 200mb foot print and you only need to update a single dll? That is the brilliance of both SoftGrid and Streaming Server: it really helps deploying changes, which is vitally important in change intensive environments.

PS: why do you mess around with the font size?
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You’re right. And Thinstall can do the exact same thing. Thinstall writes out a capture of your application that you can manually manipulate too. Change a single file out, modify an .ini or add and remove other files and/or applications you see fit. The best thing is that you can do this all with Windows Explorer. You don’t have to have any additional software loaded to make changes. In fact, make your change and double click Build and you’re done! Not to mention  I get a 2-1 compression ratio when I build my .exe with Thinstall. Makes that 200MB footprint a lot more appealing. I might also mention that Thinstall apps don’t require server backend or clients loaded on the workstation for the apps to work. I even carry Office 2007 with me in my iPod.  (Since I lost my 2GB Thumb drive the other day…) Now I tell you, Tarpon and SoftGrid will never be able to do that. The key for application virtualization, in my mind, is flexibility. Having to have servers and client software along with needing to access an interface is going to have many restrictions in the viability arena. Either way you slice it, I put Tarpon and SoftGrid in the “Application Delivery” bucket and Thinstall in the “Application Virtualization” one. Even though virtualizing the apps occurs with the other two, it seems to me that the delivery mechanism is more of what they want you to buy. I would rather have a choice in this matter. Logon scripts, file shares, e-mail and so on. I might also mention that you can deploy Thinstall apps with both Tarpon and SoftGrid if you choose.
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ORIGINAL: spellinn

Are Citrix now stating that you can't upgrade a PS4.0 server to PS4.5 by applying a Service Pack?

What will be the upgrade procedure? Remove 4.0? Install 4.5 over the top? Rebuild the whole server?

Regards,

Neil

 
You will be able to do an in-place (or "automatic" as Citrix calls it) upgrade. First however the license server software must be upgraded to 4.5.
Then you upgrade the Farm Metric servers and any Access Suit consoles you may have installed remotely.
When that is done, you update the Data Collectors, Web Interface if you use it, and all farm members.
 
I however always prefer to do a clean rebuild of the member servers when doing such a significant change to the environment.
 
Another option would be a phased migration, where you build a new 4.5 farm alongside your old environment and use Web Interface to gradually switch over the applications.
 
If you're running on older stuff;  upgrading from 1.8 or XP is not possible in an in-place way. This can only be done with PS3.0 and 4.0.
And finally Windows 2000 is not supported anymore. So you are looking at phased migration if you need to do an O/S upgrade aswell.
Citrix does not survive or support an O/S upgrade, so rebuild is the only (logical) way.
 
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ORIGINAL: rufftop

Any word on the life cycle of the secure gateway? This product works great for my client base, especially compared to the cost of a cag.

 
This is a tricky one, cause Citrix also introduces the AES-128 and AES-256 cyphersuites in their SSL support in Presentation Server 4.5. But these are NOT supported through the Secure Gateway, only the CAG!
 
I consider this to be the first real sign of dropping support for Secure Gateway.
It wouldnt surprise me that in the next major update they will make the STA's inaccessible from the Secure Gateway, thus forcing you to get a CAG, with the additional licensing. Keep an eye on this..
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This is a tricky one, cause Citrix also introduces the AES-128 and AES-256 cyphersuites in their SSL support in Presentation Server 4.5. But these are NOT supported through the Secure Gateway, only the CAG!

I consider this to be the first real sign of dropping support for Secure Gateway.
It wouldnt surprise me that in the next major update they will make the STA's inaccessible from the Secure Gateway, thus forcing you to get a CAG, with the additional licensing. Keep an eye on this..

 
Ok a quick question on this point if someone has an answer.  Have a customer running a single PS 3 server (I know, small potato's) with Secure Gateway 3 and another server actiing as a STA.  From the way this answer is worded, Secure Gateway in some form will still work if I upgrade this customer (in place upgrade) to PS 4.5?  The secure gateway functionality is still included in this release?  It works great right now for their needs.  Thanks
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I would insist on confirmation of the URL rewriting before betting on it. I was hearing that it would not be available yet in April. Later in the year maybe.
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ORIGINAL: Jeff Rudacille

Ok a quick question on this point if someone has an answer.  Have a customer running a single PS 3 server (I know, small potato's) with Secure Gateway 3 and another server actiing as a STA.  From the way this answer is worded, Secure Gateway in some form will still work if I upgrade this customer (in place upgrade) to PS 4.5?  The secure gateway functionality is still included in this release?  It works great right now for their needs.  Thanks

 
Yes, Secure Gateway is still included in PS 4.5.
 
http://www.citrix.com/site/resources/dynamic/salesdocs/CitrixPresentationServerComparativeMatrix.pdf (see bottom of page 7)
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ORIGINAL: opunui25

Thinstall has the same ability to set AD security within the package. You can specify AD group, domain and so forth. As for delivery from a share, consider our old friend “NTFS” permissions. You would be amazed how simple yet functional it is to use the product for any environment including Citrix. The primary idea is that the simplicity of the application is its strongest feature. Consider this when comparing;
 

Zero-footprint deployments without drivers or Admin rights

No client to install or manage

No server to install or manage

No package editing software to learn


 
I have spoken with Tim Graf and John-Marc Clark on how to position Tarpon in the field and the bottom line comes down to $$. The cost of using Citrix to accomplish something that I can do for around $29/user is just too big of a gap for most. On top of the need to have the server infrastructure and everything else to get Tarpon or Softgrid up and running. Most companies who have Citrix deployed are not in touch with the desktop groups like one would hope. They have exposure to applications groups because Citrix is looked at as a point solution by most. I’ve run all of these solutions and stacked them up against some of the more robust applications my clients use. In the end, Thinstall was the only one who could handle them. In fact, one application was able to run on a 64bit platform even though the manufacture said they haven’t been able to do that for the past 4 months in house with their development teams. The Power of Simplicity!!

 
I am starting to know about Tarpon and Thinstall, but I have already a question. In both environment, it seems that you have just to point and take a file on a shared folder to run application. If you are able to execute the file, you can copy the file on your laptop, take away and stream by yourself at home or anywhere else.  I am fool or it's possible?
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You’re right in some respects. Both applications allow you to take programs with you offline. They just do it in different ways and use different levels of security to control it. Thinstall is the only one that is self contained. In order to take a Citrix streaming application, you have to logon to the Citrix environment via the web interface and then stream the app to your workstation. You will also need to have the Citrix Streaming client in order to access it. Thinstall, however, doesn’t require anything for you to use the application. As long as the security rights allow you to transport the application between machines you just need to copy the file and away you go.
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Someone knows which Password Manager edition will be included in PS 4.5 Platinum ? Enterprise Edition ?
 
Thanks
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Is there an upgrade path/price break from Enterprise to Platinum?
 
Thanks!
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Jeroen,

 

Can you explain what you mean by MS pushing the desktop license of softgrid behind SA and the way it could open up the streaming/virtualization market for Citrix ? 

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Then...  500 or less ???...
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I am a SI, and am looking to resell 5 licenses of the above mentioned server. I believe am not getting a good price on it. Can you please tell me what price I can expect to get, realistically for 5 licenes with 1 year SA? Am looking at US$220~230?

Thanks.

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