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Citrix xenapp vs xendesktop

Posted on 2010-08-18
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I have a client that is currently using Presentation server 4.0 which needs to be replaced. It's running on the following:

Windows Server 2003 standard 32bit
HP Proliant ML350 G4p
2 x single core 3.2
4gb ram

I need to upgrade soon and have heard good things about both XenApp 6.0 and ZenDesktop 4 but I don't know which is the best solution. We have 12 users in the office and 20 users in the field accessing throught the web portal. Here are some questions
1. If I use XenApp what is the recommend requirements for CPU & Ram with 40 users?
2. What is the average cost of XenApp?
3. Do I have to purchase anything else? Licensing? XenServer?

4. If I use XenDesktop what is the recommend requirements for CPU & Ram with 40 users?
2. What is the average cost of XenDesktop?
3. Do I have to purchase anything else? Licensing? XenServer?
4. Is XenDesktop cheaper than XenServer?
5. Which one provides the best performance / speed for users in the field?
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Question by:cnmgt
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>1. If I use XenApp what is the recommend requirements for CPU & Ram with 40 users?
HP has a sizing tool if you are getting a new HP server.  http://h20338.www2.hp.com/ActiveAnswers/cache/70245-0-0-0-121.html
>2. What is the average cost of XenApp?
That's a hard one.  They don't publish prices.  Expect to pay $150-$250 per concurrent user and 20% of that per year for renewals.  If you've stayed current on your Presentation Server renewals though then you don't have to pay anything!  XenApp is the new edition of Presentation Server
>3. Do I have to purchase anything else? Licensing? XenServer?
Yes, you will require Windows Server licenses, Windows CAL's and one Terminal Services CAL for each of your users if you are upgrading to 2008.  If you are staying at 2003 you can use what you have.
>4. If I use XenDesktop what is the recommend requirements for CPU & Ram with 40 users?
XenDesktop is XenApp with remotely deployed applications that run on client devices instead of remotely so it is the same or less depending on how you publish your apps.  Be aware that XenDesktop is per user licensing, not concurrent user licensing so if you don't have a lot of concurrency you might have to buy a lot more XenDesktop licenses then XenApp licenses for the same number of users.
>2. What is the average cost of XenDesktop?
I believe it is ~2/3 the cost of XenApp per license, but see my comment about the different types of licensing in the last answer.

>3. Do I have to purchase anything else? Licensing? XenServer?
Same as above, but if you distribute apps and desktops instead of running them on servers you may not need as many Terminal Services licenses
>4. Is XenDesktop cheaper than XenServer?
Yes and maybe No depending on your user concurrency.  See the answer above on concurrent or per user licensing.
>5. Which one provides the best performance / speed for users in the field?
You'll get the best performance (and the ability to run disconnected) with XenDesktop assuming you have powerful devices in the field.  That will raise your XenDesktop costs though.  Using just XenApp you can buy dirt cheap thin clients and still get good performance if you have powerful centralized servers.
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Another thing to note is that you can use both.  You could buy XenApp licenses for the office and XenDesktop licenses for the field or mix and match on the same servers.
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I should also mention that a couple of the applications that are used are Timberline Accouting and Estimating which are very large databases housed on another server. There already are slow apps that have to remain connected to the database server.

By current licensing do you mean that if I have 30 users but only 15 at a time it's cheaper with XenApp because with XenDesktop the licenses are tied to the user?
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You can use a mixture of published (XenApp style apps) and distributed apps with XenDesktop.  That would allow you to treat you Timberline software differently than say Microsoft Office.

Concurrent licensing (XenApp) is per active user while XenDesktop is tied to named users the same way Terminal Services CAL's are.  In my organization we only have 500 XenApp licenses, but require 750 Terminal Services licenses because of the different licensing models.
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Wow, you have a big citrix network. We only have the one server. It runs slow with constant complaints. Printers failing even with the UPD. I'm hoping that the XenApp or Desktop runns better than presentation 4.
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With XenDesktop are the applications loaded on the client side and streamed through the Citrix connection or do you log onto the citrix xenserver and then when you launch the application it uses client side resources/
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If you only have one server then you might as well use Terminal Services alone.  It will be a lot cheaper.  XenApp adds a few network efficiency items, but the big value add in my opinion is the centralized management.

We had terrible luck with the Citrix UPD, but I've heard its improved (we're currently at 4.5 and testing 5.5).  We use the HP Universal Print Driver for all HP printers and the Brother Universal Print Drivers (one for color and one for b&w) for Brother printers.  The brother drivers have been a dream.  Two drivers work across every model they have.  The HP drivers are pretty good, but don't work entirely with some older devices, particularly our HP LJ4000n's.

With XenDesktop you can present apps Presentation Server Style or stream executable bundles (kind of like virtual machines, but for applications) to the client that are cached and run locally even while disconnected.  The former uses server resources while the latter uses client resources (and a lot of up front bandwidth).  You can choose which of these options you want on a per-app basis.
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How do you feel about TSWeb Access in comparison to XenApp?
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Well Terminal Services won't give you the XenDesktop functionality, but if all you require is XenApp on one server then it is pretty close.
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Yeah, I'm still kind of confussed about the main differences between XenDesktop and XenApp. I think XenDesktop gives you better management capablities, and which one has better speed and performance to the end users 50 miles away? Most of our apps can't be streamed. I'll like to see a high def video of the two.
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This might help you resolve the differences.  I don't know about a video.

http://support.citrix.com/article/ctx125515
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