Citrix officially entered the hardware market on Tuesday by releasing the 1U "Citrix Access Gateway" appliance. This box is basically a re-branded Net6 box. (Citrix acquired Net6 in November 2004 for about USD $50M.) I haven't seen any actual photos of one of these things yet, but here's a computer rendering from Citrix's promo literature:
The Citrix Access Gateway is basically a hardware SSL-VPN (even though Citrix claims it's not) that supports any protocol or application (unlike Citrix's current software-based Secure Gateway product which only supports the ICA and HTTP protocols).
The Citrix Access Gateway will be licensed like other Citrix products, based on concurrent user connections. However, since there’s a hardware component involved, customers will have to pay for that as a separate line item.
The hardware itself is USD $2500, and then you pay for each concurrent connection at $100 on top of that. Concurrent connections can be spread across multiple appliances. This means that you could, for example, spend $5k for two gateway appliances and then buy 100 connection licenses. Your connection licenses could be used on either appliance.
The $100 connection licenses include a year of subscription advantage. Additional years are $13 per user. In this case, Subscription Advantage only covers software updates to the gateway itself. Future new gateway products will require an upgrade license (which is a bit different than the way that Subscription Advantage works with Citrix software).
Entering the hardware market means that Citrix will have to deal with warrantees and repairs. Citrix is treating these devices as appliances, and they’re not user-serviceable. They come with a one-year warrantee, and additional warrantee time can be purchased.
“Power Up” Promotion
To celebrate the launch of the Access Gateway, Citrix has a pretty cool promotion where they’re giving away free Access Gateway connection licenses to people who already have MSAM licenses. (Well, if anyone out there actually has MSAM licenses. :-) ) The basic deal is that if you pay the $2500 for the hardware, Citrix will give you as many connection licenses for the gateway as you have for MSAM.
So, is anyone out there using these gateways yet? I’d actually like to get my hands on one. I think it would be pretty cool although I’m not sure how much it has to do with server-based computing or how tightly (if at all) it integrates with Presentation Server. It will also be interesting to see how this plays out versus Citrix Secure Gateway. We'll have to figure out when you would use one or the other.