With Citrix’s recent XenDesktop trade up program announcement and adding concurrent user licenses for XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum, will XenApp licenses no longer be sold in the future?  Will we soon see the end of XenApp being sold as separate product and only sold with XenDesktop licenses?  In this blog post I am going to go over why I think XenApp will start being sold only as part of XenDesktop licenses.

Why do I think XenApp will only be sold with XenDesktop?

With XenDesktop licenses I mean the entire flexcast model.  Not just desktops, but XenApp usage as well.  After all, with XenDesktop you can use any flexcast usage scenario with Enterprise or Platinum licensing.

  • Now that Citrix offers XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum licenses in a concurrent user model, all XenDesktop license use cases/scenarios are covered.  If you had shift workers across the globe/different time zones, there wasn’t really a XenDesktop license model that would work.  XenDesktop users in the US working one shift could not share a XenDesktop license with users in Europe working another shift.  Now with the new XenDesktop concurrent Enterprise and Platinum license models, users across the globe/different times zones could share XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum licenses.
  • New license purchases/additional license purchases will most likely be XenDesktop Enterprise or Platinum concurrent user licenses instead of XenApp Enterprise or Platinum licenses.  If you are purchasing new/additional licenses why purchase just XenApp Enterprise or Platinum licenses when you could pay a little more and get XenDesktop Enterprise or Platinum concurrent users licenses?  When purchasing XenDesktop licenses you get flexcast with different options for delivering desktops and applications.
  • Having a single product license would make licensing less complex.  You would no longer have to worry about XenApp vs XenDesktop, concurrent vs per user/device.  You would decide how you need licensing in a single product for concurrent or per user/device and not have to worry about XenApp vs XenDesktop licenses.  Purchase a XenDesktop license that best fits your needs and decide how you want to use flexcast.
  • Everything is now about the desktop, everyone is focused on the desktop, and everyone is interested in the desktop.  Even on Citrix’s website there is a product category where XenApp is listed under the desktop category.

I don’t see concurrent user licenses as the only license option.  Per user/device licenses make sense for most environments.  Concurrent user licenses make sense for some environments.   Examples would be environments that have over 4 to 5 users to 1 license concurrency rate and/or environments that users aren’t accessing XenApp or XenDesktop for long periods of time.

What about XenApp Fundamentals and Advanced Edition?

For XenApp Fundamentals I could see that staying as is.  XenApp Fundamentals is for very small business’s and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  I don’t come across XenApp Fundamentals a lot. Most customers I deal with for XenApp are Advanced, Enterprise, or Platinum edition.

Now XenApp Advanced edition I could see changing a few different ways.  I see XenApp Advanced licensing changing in one of the following ways:

  • XenApp Advanced edition being included with XenDesktop VDI edition only.  No longer available to be purchased separately.  Only allowed to be used for delivering XenApp applications to a virtual desktop.  No flexcast.
  • XenDesktop VDI edition being changed to XenDesktop Advanced edition.  Flexcast for XenDesktop Advanced but your options are only hosted virtual desktops, hosted shared desktops on XenApp, hosted applications on XenApp, and streamed applications from XenApp.  No streaming to physical desktops using Provisioning Services or offline desktops with XenClient.  Basically XenApp Advanced edition features + XenDesktop VDI edition features but with Provisioning Services for virtual desktops and virtual XenApp servers along with Profile Management for both XenDesktop and XenApp.  Go back to the XenDesktop licensing model of Express, Advanced, Enterprise, and Platinum editions.

With Citrix now selling XenDesktop concurrent licenses for Enterprise and Platinum editions, I could see  the only way to get XenApp in the future could be as part of a XenDesktop license.  I have already been asked this by a few people and have seen some others tweet the same thought since the latest XenDesktop trade up program announcement.  Now don’t get me wrong even if in the future XenApp will only be sold as part of a XenDesktop license, I still see XenApp as the use case for the majority of users out there.  Just because there could possibly only be one license, doesn’t mean there is only one use case.  You will still have flexcast and all the delivery options that come with it.

Now XenDesktop really has “flex licensing” to go along with flexcast.

What are your thoughts on the new XenDesktop concurrent user license options?

If you have found this article interesting or if you have any other insights, please feel free to contact me via email.