RDP Connections to MetaFrame 3.0 Servers Consume Citrix Licenses

If you connect to a MetaFrame Presentation Server 3.0 (MPS3) via RDP, you’ll consume a Citrix connection license.

If you connect to a MetaFrame Presentation Server 3.0 (MPS3) via RDP, you’ll consume a Citrix connection license. Most people thought this was a bug, but in fact it’s by design.

In previous versions of MetaFrame, RDP connections did not consume Citrix licenses.

One of the new features of MPS3 is that users can connect via the Web Interface using ICA or RDP. Since RDP users are “managed” using Citrix tools, Citrix figured that people should pay for that management by requiring that RDP connections consume Citrix connection licenses.

The MPS3 Administrator’s Guide mentions that RDP web connections consume Citrix licenses, but it doesn’t mention anything else. However, in the real world, a MetaFrame server can’t tell the difference between RDP connections that connect via the Web Interface and RDP connections that connect via the standard Remote Desktop Connection client. Therefore, the server has to “charge” you either way.

In the real world, this probably will not affect too many people, since most people who spend the money for Citrix choose to connect via ICA to get the most value out of their investment.

However, it’s important to understand this new licensing change. Even though RDP sessions don’t use the advanced Citrix features, you pay for them as if they did.

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This message was originally posted by John byrne on May 8, 2004
I don't this behavior makes sense and Citrix should provide administrator control over this. Many shops are deciding to use both protocols and should not be penalized for this.
This message was originally posted by Jesse on September 30, 2004
I for one think that Citrix is charging way to much per user. This change makes a big difference to our strategy, I see us not renewing our licenses because of this and staying on MF2.0 until support expires.
Maybe I'm the only one, but this was a bad move on Citrix's part for us.
This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on November 1, 2004
It's nice that Citrix now holds you hostage for every single connection regardless of type. It relieves you from counting how many RDP connections you would have versus ICA connections. I can't wait for the next version of Metaframe where they will scan your network and charge for every "possible" connection you might make. After all, they would have no way of knowing if that machine will connect or not, so they might as well charge you in case.
This message was originally posted by Graeme D on November 15, 2004
This makes sense (for Citrix at least) as a way of ensuring revenue from the customers who have large sites with multiple servers using only RDP. Many of these sites install XPe on these servers only to enable the use of Installation Manager, so they buy a few XPe licenses to deploy across servers but use no other Citrix functionality. It's one hell of a way to address the issue and I'm not sure how it would stand up to legal scrutiny. If Citrix can't tell the difference between a web RDP connection and an internal RDP connection then it is a result of poor design and customers should not be penalised for a Citrix screw up. If this "screw up" is intentional then it is even worse.

How difficult would it be to determine if the RDP connection comes via the Web Interface, which runs on servers with known addresses/host names?
I honestly think there's another motive behind this, Citrix had absolutely no reason to enable RDP to connect published apps (this was just a cover up). They made a huge mistake with XP when they removed server licensing, you could install 200 servers with XPe with a 5 user license and then use IM, RM etc. on those servers while connecting with RDP.
Citrix made that decision, it was short-sighted and now everyone is getting nailed.
I have heard that Citrix has this issue under product review, hopefully they will come to there senses
To many good alternatives now for a fraction of the cost.
Citrix keeps circling the wagons with more ridiculous overhead/solutions, the stock will stay up a couple more years though.
Can someone just sue Citrix?  I am afraid that Citrix one day will charge for every single key stroke that I made on my computer.