How to Determine Citrix Pricing for Virtual Desktops

For organizations that are developing or refining their virtualization strategies, one of the first steps involves finding solutions with the right feature set: Is there a solution that does what you want it to do? The logical step after that usually concerns cost: Can it provide that functionality at a reasonable price?

You’d think that the second question would be easier to answer than the first, but that’s not always the case. The pricing model around popular virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions like Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops can be notoriously difficult to decipher. For Citrix Workspace, the company provides a dedicated “Workspace Pricing Calculator” that’s supposed to help IT experts figure out the license cost based on all the different permutations of users, editions and subscription terms. Unfortunately, it’s not really a good sign if you need a calculator in the first place. And there’s some really interesting fine print below the calculator, too (more on that in a bit).

To be fair, the company has whittled down some of its options in recent years. In October 2020, Citrix eliminated perpetual licensing, which was a popular choice among organizations that preferred on-premises deployments. All Citrix products, whether hosted via an on-premises data center or in the cloud as a managed service, now follow a SaaS subscription model.

Citrix Workspace and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Pricing

As of early 2022, here’s how the pricing breaks down for Citrix remote desktop and virtualization solutions. It’s critical to note the fine print below the Citrix calculator. It reads:

*USD MSRP monthly average per user for 500 users with a 3-year subscription. Actual pricing may vary.

So the pricing you see on that page is only “an average” based on organizations with 500+ users, and only if you lock yourself into a 3-year contract. So yeah, depending on your situation, the pricing will almost certainly differ from what’s presented in this calculator. With that said, here’s what the pricing looks like:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops:

  • On-Premises: Subscription pricing varies depending on functionality.
  • Standard service for Azure: $8 USD term commitment plus $16 per month
  • Premium (aka Standalone): $15 USD per user, per month
  • Premium Plus: $25 USD per user, per month

The chief selling point of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop) is that it enables organizations to centralize the deployment, provisioning and management of virtual machines (VMs) and applications. Citrix Hypervisor, an enterprise server virtualization platform, is bundled with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.

Citrix Workspace:

  • Workspace Essentials: $2 USD per user, per month
  • Workspace Standard: $7 USD per user, per month
  • Workspace Premium: $18 USD per user, per month
  • Workspace Premium Plus: $25 USD per user, per month

Each version of Citrix Workspace comes with different desktop services and different levels of network security to suit different workloads. You’ll need to upgrade to Standard, for example, to get single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication for all apps. You’ll then need to upgrade to Premium to get unified endpoint management. Only the Plus tier currently offers a cloud-management option for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.

Cutting through the Complexity of Citrix Pricing

The true cost of anything in life can’t be determined by the price tag alone. Spending $250 for a coffee maker might seem extravagant, but if its gourmet brews make every morning a joy, it’s worth it. By the same token, if the car you bought at a great price is always in need of repairs, you’ve got to factor those expenses and the hassle into your overall investment.

And so it is with software solutions like Citrix.

  • The publicly-shared price per month might seem reasonable, but does it offer an optimal and secure user experience for everyone?
  • Do you have to change your workflows and buy a new device fleet, or does it fit it seamlessly with your existing environment?
  • Is there a risk that provisioning and patching virtual machines will divert resources from more pressing needs?
  • Will you have to invest in even more network infrastructure like WAN accelerators and VPN servers to reduce latency, optimize performance and increase security?
  • How many extra IT staff will have to be hired to manage additional components required by Citrix systems (e.g., Citrix License Server, Citrix Delivery Controller, Citrix Director)?
  • Are you paying for operating systems and remote desktops when the vast majority of your end users just need access to specific Windows apps?

Questions like these don’t just apply to Citrix products. The same could be asked of any desktop virtualization solution, including Citrix alternatives like VMware and Azure Virtual Desktop. In fact, we’ve looked at the real cost of VDI as well as the real cost of DaaS and found that there are a ton of “invisible” expenses that don’t make it into the user/device sticker price. That can lead to slow nickel-and-diming or even major budgetary surprises down the road.

Straightforward, Upfront Pricing with Cameyo

Since day one, Cameyo’s virtual app delivery (VAD) platform was meant to offer a more right-sized, streamlined alternative to VDI and DaaS technology. Cameyo is simple to deploy, simple to use and simple to manage. And, as you’d expect, that simplicity extends to its pricing model.

However you choose to deploy Cameyo, you’ll pay a clear per-user, per-month license cost—one that includes all RDS client access licenses (CALs) and usage fees. There’s no asterisk, no footnote, no nasty surprises.

After evaluating the functionality and pricing of Citrix products alongside Cameyo, this is what the Swedish company Klarahill had to say:

“Just looking at month-to-month cost compared to our previous remote desktop solution, with Cameyo we are paying only 15% of what we used to pay. But then on top of that 85% savings, we also no longer need Windows clients, so we save even more money there. In addition, we have far fewer support issues, so we save even more.” 

Of course, that straightforward pricing and management also includes the renowned flexibility of Cameyo’s digital workspaces. Whether your end users are on modern Android tablets or Linux laptops, they’ll be able access the full desktop versions of their favorite Microsoft Windows applications with a click. That flexibility is just one more reason why more companies are choosing VAD over VDI.

Request a demo of Cameyo today and we’ll walk you and your team through the capabilities, the benefits and the pricing of our VAD solution. Or, if you’d rather get started on your own, just sign up for your free trial of Cameyo and begin publishing apps in minutes.