More and more often I hear that our partners are looking to say goodbye to Citrix. They think it is too expensive, because of the extra licenses on top of Microsoft, or they choose for a 'Microsoft-only' strategy with Microsoft 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD).
But is this true? Is Citrix indeed too expensive? And what does a 'Microsoft-Only' strategy mean?
That depends on the business case of course. There are partners who opt for a 'Microsoft-Only' strategy, but more about that later. As Insight we see that a lot of partners are interested in Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) formerly Windows Virtual Desktops (WVD). Microsoft has made great strides in the world of remote desktop with AVD. Especially with the Windows 10 Multi-Session option.
Unfortunately, it is not always well researched what the exact costs are if you are going to use AVD or which virtual machine type fits best. Microsoft's cost calculator is missing several important parts. For example, Azure Monitoring. A very important part which provides you insight into your users. We often hear that AVD offers not enough management options, so additional software such as Nerdio is needed. This is a shame since partners have already built up all the knowledge with Citrix and need to rebuild the knowledge with AVD and another management tool. These kinds of tools are certainly not free of charge…
But when will it be interesting to use Citrix? Citrix has several parts that allow you to save costs:
With Workspace Environment Management (WEM) you can ensure that you can accommodate more users on a multi-session machine compared to AVD. This ensures that you need fewer virtual machines (workers) and therefore lower compute (storage, vCPU and memory) costs. By using WEM you can also use lesser specifications of the virtual machines, and therefore lower costs. And WEM also provides a performance boost for users by dealing optimally with 'noisy neighbours'.
Citrix Autoscale is a sophisticated power management tool that leads to significant consumption savings. Autoscale handles it with an agent more efficiently than the scripts that are available in native AVD and as a result the Citrix Worker (virtual machine with a VDA installed) are emptied of the users faster, which in turn saves money.
Provisioning Services will soon be available on Azure. By presenting an image to a Worker in this way, makes it possible to use even less storage than with the current Machine Creation Services way. Booting a Worker will also be a lot faster and saves users time that they must wait for logging in!
By using Citrix on top of AVD it’s therefore possible to save more costs than you would save by not choosing for Citrix licenses on top of the Microsoft.
There is also more to save in terms of operational costs if Citrix is used, but this is often difficult to make transparent because partners don’t have an overview. But know that you can work more efficiently with Citrix, just like it was the case in the on-premises world.
Using a Citrix and Microsoft calculator, which they developed together, it’s possible for Insight to provide insight into the costs for partners. I'll be happy to take the time to explain it to you.
Partners who have often switched to a 'Microsoft-Only' strategy and therefore choose to place everything on Azure, discover that there are quite a few hidden costs attached to a public cloud and that VDI machines with a vGPU are certainly quite expensive. For example, the costs for these machines, for 50 users, can be very high over a period of 3 years, while the hardware costs in your own datacentre are many times lower and can also be settled over a longer depreciation period.
And what do we see happening in the market right now?
We also see partners distance themselves again from the public cloud. This means that you have to think about where your environments and applications will be placed. We are increasingly opting for a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy, which makes it difficult with a 'Microsoft-Only' strategy. Microsoft doesn’t have a hybrid or multi-cloud. For them, only Azure counts and the services that go with it are important.
Citrix makes it possible to realize a multi-cloud strategy. With the Citrix Workspace as a portal for all applications, both legacy and SaaS apps, it becomes possible, with security as a guideline, to create a truly modern workplace where all applications come together. AVD is just a technology change and not a modern workplace vision…
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to know what Citrix can do for you?