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Citrix user costs

Posted on 2012-03-29
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Last Modified: 2012-03-30
Can I ask a novice question about the costs involved in setting up users for access to the network via an access gateway. So you have 1000 users. 900 of them have access to the network from a physical desk (internal access), the other 100 access the network from home via a citrix access gateway (remote access). Management decide this flexible working means they dont need as much premises, as many more can work from home. So they want to up the remote users to 500 from 100. Internally it isnt a thin client citrix setup its a physical PC per desk.

1) What $$ costs are involved "per user" to get them setup, in management speak with a breakdown?

2) How much work is required to set a user up so they can access a citrix gateway offsite? Minimal or is it quite complex?

3) Why do the costs go up when you implement 2-factor authentication. Or do they? Say you have 500 users all currently using single factor when logging in to the CAG, if security decide erm we need a proper 2-factor solution here, does this add to the per user cost for remote access, or not really?
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Question by:pma111
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Cláudio Rodrigues earned 500 total points
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Couple comments:

1. You need to determine first how many users will be connected at the SAME time to your Citrix solution. Let's say you have 1000 users but only 200 will be on at any given time. That means you need 200 CONCURRENT user licenses for XenApp. But that is just PART of the deal. As Citrix runs on top of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services it means you need RDS CALs as well and here is the interesting part. Microsoft does NOT have Concurrent Licensing so if you have 1000 users you now have to ask yourself this: will these users connect from more than one device each (i.e. from office PC, from his iPad, from his home PC, from his home laptop, from his corporate laptop, etc). If the answer is yes it means you have way more devices than users so financially it is better to purchase RDS CALs per USER. In this example, 1000. If users will SHARE devices (i.e. workers working in multiple shifts) where all these 1000 will only logon from 400 different devices it is better to purchase RDS CALs per DEVICE.
2. Costs: Citrix varies according to the edition. Expect anything from $350 - $650 per concurrent license. RDS CALs are perpetual (one time cost) and estimated MSRP is around $100-120 per license (user or device). Citrix has recurring costs for their Subscription Advantage, estimated at 20% per year. So for 1000 users, 200 concurrent, this means around $100,000 - $120,000 for RDS CALs (could be less if you have way less devices as in the example I gave) plus another $100,000 for XenApp Enterprise Licenses.
Add to that the Windows Server OS licenses required, Windows Client Access Licenses AND the one that people usually forget, SQL Client Access Licenses as XenApp requires SQL server and as Microsoft considers Citrix a "middleware" app that means if you have 1,000 users you need 1,000 SQL CALs and NOT as many as you have XenApp servers (as people usually do - wrong and illegal). Of course in that case SQL per Processor licensing is cheaper but expect another $6,000 per Processor cost for SQL.

3. The work is not complicated IF you know what you are doing. Plus, and that is another thing people forget, installing applications properly on RDS Session Host and UNDERSTANDING how they work on RDS (i.e. shadow keys, etc) is not like installing/troubleshooting apps on PCs. Also depends which Citrix components you want to leverage (i.e. Citrix Provisioning Services). In terms of consulting time I usually put a solution like this together for 5-10 applications (as long as they are 'well behaved' apps) in 2-4 weeks (also varies depending how much documentation and how deep the documentation has to go). Budget wise that means around $12,000 $24,000 on consulting. That is for a Senior Citrix resource that knows what he is doing, from A to Z and clearly understands Microsoft Remote Desktop Services in a deep level. You will find cheaper resources for sure but at the end you will get what you paid for. Keep that in mind. There is a reason why companies around the globe come to me for their RDS/Citrix deployments :-).

4. When two factor authentication comes to the picture, prices go up for one simple reason: Citrix does NOT provide such functionality out of the box what means you need to go after a third party solution. How much that will cost you will depend on the solution you choose. Can range from free to $100+ per user, some with yearly recurring costs.

Hope this helps.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
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by:pma111
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Re point 4 what are the company a ctually paying the hundred bucks per yeat for in terms of 2 factor. Is it a form of 2 factor liscence that costs the hundred bucks a year?
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by:Cláudio Rodrigues
ID: 37783759
Read it again. I wrote $100+ per USER. That is to start. Some will require an yearly fee per USER as well. Like $18-20 per user per year. So for 1,000 users you may have to spend $100,000 to start and then $18,000-$20,000 per year on a two factor authentication product.
Again it will vary a LOT from vendor to vendor.
And finally, yes, this is all on top of whatever you will pay for Citrix licenses, Microsoft, etc.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
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by:pma111
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Yikes !
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by:pma111
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Hang on, re the above. Is the 100 per yeat the liscence. And then the 20 per year sort of a liscence maintenance, or is it basically 120 per year as the liscence. Ie what does the 100 represent \ get you, and what does the 18 represent \ get you? Excuse my ignorance!
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by:pma111
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So just to clarify, if a concurrent user liscence is purchased, it doesnt matter if the user is accessing the citrix Xenapp system from the PC on their desk at work, or from home via the gateway - its just 1 liscence? Whereas if they were device based liscences, access from work and access from home via an access gateway is 2 liscences. ??
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by:Cláudio Rodrigues
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Yes but again Citrix does have per concurrent licensing for XenApp so if you purchased that what you mention is irrelevant. What you need to check really is what you have in terms of RDS CALs (if per user or per device) keeping in mind these are NOT concurrent.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
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