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Citrix Licensing Quick Guide 2015

This licensing quick guide aims to give you a basic understanding of Citrix products, their license types and how to manage Citrix licenses.


Citrix have been providing server, application and desktop virtualisation software since 1989. Based out of the USA, they currently have over 300,000 customers around the world.

Citrix software borders on the line between being a Tier 1 and Tier 2 software vendor for most organisations. Depending on the infrastructure of the organisation it may be a Tier 1 vendor and a high priority for license and vendor management.

We are confident that no matter what industry you are in you have used a Citrix product before; whether that is internally or by joining an external meeting, Citrix software is a vital part of a number of organisations.


Citrix Products

There are a number of products that Citrix provide dependant on the IT environment. We have listed the main product groups and their license types below.


Product Family Editions Available License Types
XenDesktop Platinum, Enterprise, VDI User, Device, Concurrent
XenApp Platinum, Enterprise, Advanced Concurrent, Named User
XenClient Single Edition User, Device
VDI-in-a-box Single Edition Concurrent
AppDNA Single Edition Application, User
Edgesight Basic or Advanced Concurrent
Provisioning Services Single Edition Concurrent Session


Datacentre / Server Software

Product Family Editions Available License Types
XenServer Single Edition CPU Socket
CloudPlatform Single Edition CPU Socket
CloudPortal Single Edition CPU Socket
CloudPortal Business Manager Standard, Advanced Per Endpoint
Melio Enterprise, VDI Per Server


Product Family Editions Available License Types
Workspace Suite Single Edition User
Workspace Bundle Single Edition Concurrent, User
XenMobile MDM, Advanced, Enterprise User, Device
DesktopPlayer for Mac Single Edition User, Device
ShareFile On-Premise Enterprise User



Product Family Editions Available License Types
NetScaler Platinim, Enterprise, Standard Per VM
NetScaler Gateway Standard, Advanced, Enterprise Per VM
CloudBridge Single Edition Concurrent


SaaS (Software as a Service)

Product Family Editions Available License Types
GoToAssist Remote Support, Service Desk, Corporate, Monitoring User, Concurrent, Device
GoToMeeting Essentials, Standard User Attendee’s
GoToMyPC Personal, Professional, Corporate Device
GoToTraining Standard Edition User
GoToWebinar Standard Edition User Attendee’s
GoToWebcast Premier User Attendee’s
Podio Lite, Teams, Business User
ShareFile Basic, Professional, Corporate, Enterprise User
XenMobile Cloud MDM, Advanced, Enterprise User or Device


Citrix License Types


There are a number of different license metrics for Citrix software based on the environment in which they are used. Perpetual or subscription licenses are available for Citrix products and subscription advantage or software maintenance is offered for all products, depending on the requirements of the organisation.


Concurrent Session Product licenses must be purchased with Subscription Advantage or Software Maintenance for a minimum of one year from delivery. Under the Concurrent Session model, each physical or virtual machine provisioned by the product server software requires a separate license.
CPU/Per Socket For Enterprise or Platinum Edition Citrix software, this product is licensed for an unlimited quantity of sockets, but only for supporting virtual machines in the Citrix XenDesktop solution environment, including those for virtual desktop images or infrastructure. Virtual machines used as Citrix XenDesktop infrastructure servers may not be used for any other purpose.  Licenses for other Citrix products or other editions of the same product may not be used to increase the allowable use for the product.
Device License is locked to a specific device. Can only be re-used if it is completely removed from said device. The number of users using the software is irrelevant, as long as they only use it on the licensed device.
Named User License is locked to a specific user. User can use the Citrix software on any machines, as long as it is they using the software via their user account or user credentials.
Per Server (physical or virtual) Each server license is an entitlement to support a unique physical or virtual server.
Per Virtual Machine A license that entitles the user to use Citrix software on virtual machines.
User Slightly different to Named User in that the license can be transferred to another user. User can use the software on any device, as it is the licensed user.
User Attendee’s This relates to conferencing software. Licenses are required for the number of attendee’s that join the meeting or conference session. Licenses can be purchased in bulk to accommodate the amount of users that may join.
User/Device Concurrent License User or device that is accessing or using the software at a certain time whilst maintaining an Active Connection to their workspace or desktop through an endpoint device.


Buying Citrix Licenses (Agreements Available)


Depending on the industry, sector and size of the organisation, Citrix provide a number of different licensing agreements that are relevant to different organisation types.


Enterprise License Agreement

Enterprise License Agreement Program (ELA) is an agreement whereby Citrix allow customers to buy only what they need, when they need it, at a discounted price. ‘All-inclusive Discounts’ are valid for three years and may be increased and extended with certain purchases.

There are also additional and exclusive (to the ELA) program benefits including membership in the ‘Citrix Executive Program’ and a large online portal for managing any agreements and licenses that have been purchased under an ELA.

The ELA is only available to the Commercial Sector with 250 or more users (of Citrix). Citrix state that the initial costs of entering such an agreement depends on where the Citrix software/hardware will be used (by geography) and what kind of a discount the organisation has managed to negotiate. All of Citrix’s hardware and software products are available through the ELA.

Easy License Program

EASY License Program is available throughout the Citrix Partner Channel on a worldwide scale, and is aimed at up-and-coming organisations of any size (no size or unit restrictions). ELP program takes away the minimum investment requirements meaning an organisation can purchase as many licenses as they need (above 5).

Like with the ELA, this is a commercial agreement that has a minimum of 5 user licenses. Citrix state that there is a small to none initial investment required, but there are no discounts on licenses. Customers will have to pay the full price. All Citrix products are available under the ELA.


Education License Program

The Education License Program is aimed at educational institutions allowing them to implement and use Citrix products within their environment. The program is available to educational institutions. Citrix states that publicly funded educational institutions in EMEA and Brazil may use the Government and Government Education License Agreement Program (GELA) instead.

Purchasing licenses under this agreement will provide education establishments with a 40% discount on the procurement of any Citrix product (hardware and software) throughout the agreement period. Like other major software vendors, this is so that it encourages the next generation of professional to become accustomed to Citrix products; thus resulting in them being potential future customers.

One of the cool features within the Education License Program is something called ‘Campus Wide Option’. The Campus-Wide Option lets educational establishments make even greater savings on both XenDesktop and ShareFile Enterprise purchases, while providing every student with unlimited access.

Citrix state that ‘annual subscription pricing is based on a specific full-time equivalent (FTE) student count and must cover 100% of students in the campus. Faculty and staff may also be included under the FTE count. Campus-Wide Option is available for XenDesktop and ShareFile Enterprise’.

The Education License Program also offers users unlimited work at home rights, including the use of personally owned computers at no extra cost to the organisation.


Government and Education License Agreement Program

The GELA Program is aimed at government organizations and government-funded academic organizations in EMEA only. Customers on this agreement get the same discounts on software and hardware that were agreed at the beginning of the agreement throughout the term of the contract (initial 2 years, then renewed/negotiated after 3 years).

All Citrix hardware and software products are available under this agreement, but you have to purchase at least 5 licenses.

Citrix License Management

First thing to mention about managing Citrix licenses is that you can do it all via the central license server that is required for Citrix software, so there is no need to purchase any additional tools. The License Server monitors your organisations Citrix software usage and provides data on installs, license entitlement and how often / how Citrix software is being used. This means that you can make decisions about your Citrix environment based on accurate data and without actually causing any disruptions to end-users (unless you want to disrupt them!). This is all automatic so there is very little a SAM/License Manager needs to do other than view the information.

The License Server provides the ability to administer and configure all Citrix products and provides a license management option for all purchased Citrix software applications. There is a portal that allows organisations to view their entitlement, download software/updates, and manage your organisations Citrix profile. The License Server also allows organisations to look at potential upgrade/downgrade options, should that be something they want to look into.

Finally, ALL Citrix products come with a EULA that needs to be read and understood by any customer to ensure they use the software legally and that they do not breach compliancy. Not sure what a EULA is? Read our handy EULA guide!


Whilst Citrix do provide some tricky licensing metrics, they are not on the level of complexity like Oracle, SAP or IBM. As long as an organisation remains ‘audit ready’ for Citrix software, and manages the licenses and usage through the centralised License Server, there should be few problems in terms of compliancy breaches. Sounds easy, but we all know that software license management is never that simple!

We hope that you have found this guide useful and that you have understood and learnt some of the basics of Citrix licensing. If you feel we have left anything out, or have provided the wrong information the please contact us here, or leave a comment below.


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About David Foxen

David Foxen is a Software Asset Management expert and enthusiast. He had a vast experience of successfully implementing SAM, SAM tools and also made huge cost savings. A member of the ISO Standards WG21, David is a massive ITAM geek, so uses any opportunity to talk about the subject to who-ever will listen. He believes that the industry needs to share its knowledge and success stories to help the SAM industry mature and become more effective. Always willing to help, his primary goal is to make a difference to organisations and the SAM industry so everyone will know how epic SAM is!

One Comment

  1. Robert Lloyd says:

    Nice cut and paste. Thanks 0David

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