Q

Benefits of Citrix in a Windows Server 2003 environment

What is the added value of Citrix in a Windows Server 2003 environment? Can these extras justify the extra cost of Citrix? (In order to use Citrix, I also have to pay for Terminal Server licenses anyway, so why not skip Citrix and cut costs...?)
Without knowing your exact situation, it's hard to say whether the extras can justify the extra costs. :) That said, there are two main classes of improvement in Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services. On the server side, it's now possible to manage some Terminal Services settings through group policies or through VBScript, which is a vast improvement over Win2k's requirement that you hand-tune user settings on an individual basis. Regarding the client experience, Win2k3 Terminal Services now supports full color, client drive mapping and sound when used with the Remote Desktop Client.

However, MetaFrame still has some bells and whistles that native Terminal Services does not, including more flexible

load balancing, some application-deployment tools, resource metering, a generic printer driver, delegated server administration and other server-side management tools. Some of these extras are dependent on the version of MetaFrame that you're using (MetaFrame XP comes in three different flavors), so I recommend checking out the Citrix Web site and reading the feature list for each version to determine how much it would cost to support your wish list.

This was first published in September 2003

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