Take our Citrix's XenDesktop 4 licensing survey. (Unlike them, we'll share results publicly)

It's been less than a week since Citrix announced that they were changing their XenDesktop licensing from "per concurrent user" to "per user" without a change in price.

[UPDATE: Gabe has just published the results of this survey.]

It's been less than a week since Citrix announced that they were changing their XenDesktop licensing from "per concurrent user" to "per user" without a change in price. While they have called it "simpler," just about everyone in the community thinks it sucks. In case you were out last week, here's my original article about XenDesktop 4 (with 39 comments - most complaining about licensing) and my follow-up artlcle which focused specifically on the impact of the licensing change.

Citrix is certainly hearing the outrage, and to that end they've put together an online survey asking customers to share their opinions about what this licensing change means. (Basically they want to know whether people are actually getting screwed by this, or whether it's just a few squeaky wheels on BrianMadden.com. :)

Unfortunately, Citrix just confirmed with us that they will NOT be sharing the results of the survey publicly!?!

So I've created an identical copy of the survey here, the results of which I'll post in a few days. (If you end up taking both surveys, please provide the same answers so we can make our little rip-off as "scientific" as possible.

BrianMadden.com's XenDesktop 4 Implementation Survey: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s/190142/brianmadden-com-xendesktop-4-implementation

[UPDATE, WED OCT 14 -- I want to update everyone on the status of Citrix's version of this story. Since I wrote the original article, Citrix has decided that they will publish their own results too. They're claiming that they never "confirmed" that they wouldn't (like I had written), but instead that they just weren't sure and then after we talked to them that they decided they would publish the results. I don't want to get into a "he said/she said" thing with them. Suffice to say they think that I acted irresponsibly in my post claiming they said they wouldn't, and I think they're just trying to save face by putting a spin on it after I made a big deal out of it. Either way, I hope they do end up publishing their results and I'm curious to see how they compare to ours.]

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the same boob at citrix that decided to move to one distributor must have come up with this new licensing!!


Great idea with the survey.  

This per user crap with XD4 is licensed only to protect the cash cow of XenApp.  Per user licensing will only make sense to PCs of knowledge workers that do not share their workstations (ideal VDI use case?).  Why? Because no one will justify a per user VDI solution for shift workers that share endpoints.  So in use cases where stateless, pools of virtual desktops can make better sense for some task workers with shared endpoints, Citrix will force architects to continue to shoe-horn users into XenApp solutions.

When licensing affects ideal architectures, the aroma of skunk fills the air.  


@Sean - I think you are SOOOOO right!

Too many people new to this field jumps on the sexy VDI when what they really need is TS!

If license change is the thing that will make them "see the light" then I say go for it!

I think that XenApp will optimally serve the majority of cases that can benefit from a CCU license.  (Time shift workers, App Silos, Branch workers, Tellers, etc..)

Of course it still means that XenDesktop4 (Per-User) is MORE expensive than XenDesktop3 (CCU) which might drive the cost considerably too high for some organizations who really does need VDI. (As I assume that in most cases even "knowledge workers" do not all work simultaneously around the clock  :> )


I think that Citrix will change the licensing model for XenApp next from CCU to Per-user.


That would be awful!


Citrix has always been expensive and now it is getting to the point of being ridiculously expensive. I do not question the need for per user licensing for vdi - as VDI  replaces traditional desktops per user licensing makes more sense.

however, the fact that Citrix continues to charge exorbitant prices is a show stopper for many prospects. They could get away with it with presentation server as there was no real competition, but now with so many competing products that are just as good or better Citrix is shooting themselves in the foot.

Everybody's waiting for Vmware View's  Teradici implementation - that will be new and exciting compared to Citrix's regurgitation of Speed Screen that's been around since Windows NT. Call it HDX or whatever else (XenScreen anyone??) but to me it''s legacy tech trying to fit a square into a circle. Citric has been and remains a great solution for remote access but PCoIP is going to blow them out of the water for desktop replacements.


@system.fracture Please stop drinking the PCoIP OJ and do some testing to find out what it really does. It does not even run on TS so the TCO blows out for many. It sucks BW, and the hardware solution is much better. BW even on a LAN is not free. Without WAN performance, so many benefits of VDI are lost. I do however agree with you Citrix is shooting themselves in the foot. However that is because they don't offer a CCU option for XD. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb those XD folks.


@appdetective: I am excited about PCoIP because it has great potential. never mind it's shortcomings right now. ICA and speedscreen are legacy technologies invented 20 years ago that are now fading in their usefulness. To your comment about ICA still being superior for high latency WAN: I agree BUT take that one advantage away and what else is there??


@system.fracture. I think MS with RDP has not been able to catch Citrix forever. Even with Calista, will they catch ICA? With Calista not running on ESX how will PCoIP ever justify the TCO for the masses on a custom hypervisor with no physical blade support? WAN is a huge deal, and the series of technologies that Citrix has built within ICA have stood up to the test of time. Marry that to remote access etc, and it just works, people have it. Mainframes are still around because they work well and are needed. It's also not true that ICA is not getting better they have done a bunch of stuff recently. http://hdx.citrix.com/  their know how is untouched in this area. I expect to make this even better over time given they are going after the Desktop  market now. I have no confidence that VMware has any future in this space given their lack of vision, strategy and investment from what I can tell. For broad adoption ICA meets the most use cases, followed by RDP which is getting better and third parties are extending. Also note Vmware does not own PCoIP so there is a limit to what they can do with it, and I don't see them buying teradici. Soooooo, that said good to see choice, but I just don't see PCoIP standing a chance given they are designed to SUCK BW and are not proven. By the time they get there, if ever, it won't matter, ICA/RDP will be everywhere.


@appdetective: as far as rdp not catching up to ica I believe it has more to do with politics rather than anything else. Citrix is a strong Microsoft partner who contributes to Microsoft's bottom line without any cost of sales to microsoft (via TS license sales that accompany every Citrix deal). MS would bury Citrix if they accelerated RDP dev -- just look at the past i.e. bear paw and W2K8 RDP roadmaps that were eventually shelved.

We are now in a new world - VDI is a totally different beast and ICA protocol will not cut it.

also, Citrix will no longer be able to count on Microsoft's ongoing support - because now even Microsoft's fortunes are at stake and they will certainly not protect citrix at their own peril (Microsoft is facing a massive threat from the combination of new technologies that are better/newer etc -- represented by such vendors as Google/Vmware/Salesforce  but also from IBM and Cisco.

re: your comment about IBM mainframe - it is not a good example. IBM is a massive and powerful corporation who easily blocked the dev of competing technologies to keep mainframe sales afloat. but now even they feel the heat. There are a few lawsuits against them specifically about them  using their power to block the ascent of technologies that could potentially eliminate mainframe. Citrix is very very very small peanuts compared to IBM and they certainly do not wield any power to block competing technologies the way IBM or Microsoft do.


I remember the days where people said RDP wont cut it for using servers remotely. It is rubbish and a bad idea because its base came from netmeeting and netmeeting was crap.  Now people are using it for virtual desktops (VMware).

I mean they changed the implementation of it to do something completely different.

I wonder if Citrix with their ICA protocol that was built for this purpose can continue development :)  And there is RDP support with XenDesktop 4 also, so if ICA doesn't cut it, you can use RDP.  It looks like they may incorporate other protocols for different use cases in later releases.


@system.fracture ICA is a protocol, HDX is a bunch of new stuff on top. Why is their a false logical appeal to emotion that new is better with PCoIP. PCoIP sucks balls when I tested it.

I agree with you MS could do this or do that. But they don't, they don't need to. They do the basics and let others extend. It stops them getting sued, and actually makes good business sense. MS should just use HDX and stop confusing the market with RDP which sucks balls over the WAN. MS does not innovate, they buy innovation. Look at Softgrid. Great product, bought, sits for three years and nothing. Now they are coming out slowly with a full court press, and it's still not as good as the others. Chip away and dominate is the MS way. There are even crazy people out there who buy all the BS of Med-V that was a FUP Kidaro buy.

VDI is many things, and one of those is remote presentation, which Citrix has done forever and VMware has done for like 6 weeks. Where would I place my bets......I'd rather bet with RDP extensions if I wanted to adopt something else. I also don't want to be locked into ESX that is $$$$$$$$$$$$


@appdetective: every company out there practices vendor lock-in. I don't get your comment re: ESX lock in. What about if you make an investment in xendesktop? isn't that a vendor lock in as well? potentially you can switch to any product out there at any point, the only factor being high price to step out.

ESX is a wicked product years ahead of Xen platform or Microsoft crap - people buy ESX because it works and is proven in big production unlike Xen (Open Source BS) or HyperCrap (Microsoft software = crap that never really works).

Open Source is good for educational segment. Look at Linux = 1,000 distros 99% of them not supported by products from any serious commercial vendor; only supported distros are ones you have to pay for like RH or Suse). Nobody invests in open source because they don't make any money from it. Xen is a nice free toy for test or edu but it will never be taken seriously...

What version of teradici have you tried? the product is unreleased so we can't say for sure what View4 will look like but from what I have seen so far it will be very innovative and powerful.


Its time that VMWare just cut to the chase, dump that crap they call VIEW and BUY CITRIX.  Perfect, hardly any overlap.  VMWare has better customer service, they do listen better to their customers, their forums are well visited, website is easy to navigate and they are innovative.  

But plain and simple, at this time, VIew does bite.  It has good potential, but Citrix XD is the one to catch in the VDI game, as ESX is the one in the server arena.

PS.  When they buy Citrix, fire the marketing and licensing departments.  A few of the VP's as well.


great post Thanx