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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2002, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Citrix Server

Hey anyone using Citrix Server? I am working a 5 year business plan and I'm up against one other person for the job. He is recommending they use Citrix Server for their applications. My recommendation was to write web based applications. The client was extremely excited about using Citrix Server because it was explained in a way that they would save money on the costs of MS Office and other desktop applications. All of the users have brand new Dell desktops (Pentium III 933MHz is the slowest), and 256MB RAM. I thought the main reason for using Citrix Server was because clients were running 486's, Pentium 200's, etc. Would it pay for itself in the long run on licensing and such? TIA for any input! Chris
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2002, 11:09 PM
 
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I use Citrix at work to connect to a servicing company down in Florida. I'm really not too familiar with it though. (though I have a copy lying around somewhere! )
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2002, 02:42 AM
 
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I'm not real familiar with the structure of Citrix either, but here's what I use it for.

At work here, we have a lot of graphics intensive tasks (we're a publishing company) so the whole production area uses Apple G4's. There are plenty of times that we need programs that run specifically on windows as well, so all of your mac's have Citrix installed on them which allows us to not only be able to use windows-based programs at our desk, it also allows for us to "roam" from desk to desk and have our virtual desktop the same from computer to computer. It also allows us to use Microsoft Outlook from various locations (as opposed to just our one desk where it would be set up if it were to be a PC). Also, my understanding of it also allows a certain # of the same program to be running at different computers.

To put it another way, say there are 100 people in your office that rightfully should have access to Microsoft Excel, but at any given time, there's only about 50 people using it. So instead of buying 100 licenses, you only need 50 licenses. So the 51st person that would try to start up Excel would get a message that in effect says that the maximum # of users have been reached for that program.

Now don't quote me on that, but in talking to IT here, that's what they said to me. Hope that helps.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2002, 02:10 PM
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You are correct on the licensing. Most applications require one license per instance of a software product as opposed to requiring a license for each user that will ever use the product. In the case of Microsoft Office, you do not need to purchase a license for each user's computer as they will not be running it from their local machine. You will only need to purchase licensing for the maximum number of concurrent (l)users that will run the software from the MetaFrame server.

Other advantages include configuration control (just one copy of the software to configure), upgrade control (again...one copy to upgrade - not thousands), ease of support (you control what's on the server), and ease of remote support as you can take over the (l)user's session and help them through difficult things like changing font sizes...

Also, MetaFrame is scalable as you can add multiple servers to a farm and configure one server as the "master" install and cause it to push it's configs to the others.

MetaFrame is really rather spiff-nifty. About the only downside to deploying a MetaFrame farm is that the upfront hardware costs and ongoing server administration sometimes causes those with purchase authority to gasp on their own breath. This is not a downside to the product itself, but more of a downside to having that person be in charge of purchase decisions.

If I were you, I'd continue to pitch the web-enabled deployment dealy for enterprise-level appllications such as AP, AR, ERP, CRM, etc. and offer MetaFrame as the backend solution for productivity applications such as Office, Email, and other legacy applications that can't or won't be migrated to the web. In keeping with your web-enabled vision, you may want to pitch Citrix's nFuse product which is essentially an add-on to MetaFrame that allows you to deploy your MetaFrame applications via a web browser.

Don't forget that MetaFrame allows to to publish either an entire desktop session or just individual applications. This knowledge could come in handy in your design. For example, if you are indeed looking to promote a web-enabled (l)user experience, you may not want to allow them to have an entire desktop session and just kick out each application seperately so that you can control their working environment and experience.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2002, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks

Wow, I got a lot of input from you guys! THANKS, a million!! I guess I need to go and learn more about the product. If I understand you correctly, I should continue writing the custom software as web applications, and use MetaFrame for those productivity applications that aren't used very often. They currently have about 90 users. I would guess that there's probably 10 to 20 MS Office users at any given time. That should make licensing much easier for them!

Again, thanks for all of the input.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2002, 03:53 PM
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If you're only talking about 90 users total, then either option (only MetaFrame vs. web-enabled + MetaFrame) will work fine for them.

Given the small number of users, I also assume that the IT staff is small in numbers. Given that, developing web-enabled applications may not be the way to go. What happens when your dev decides to bail to another company? Whats the backup plan for that scenario? How does the software get updated when business rules change due to a merger? How will the company be able to use it when they shift their core business strategy?

You will need to take all of these questions (and many more) into account when making your presentation. The will undoubtedly have them as you are bidding against another guy who does not want them to go web-enabled.

Do you have the option of purchasing ready-to-run web-enabled applications or do the applications need to be coded from scratch? I've often found that in a small environment such as the one you're describing, there is little interest in developing software unless the company already has an active history of doing so.

I don't want to rain on your parade, in fact, I am a big proponent of web-enabled application deployment as it is very easy to maintain over the long run. Just keep your mind and options open if they do not want to go the custom application route.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2002, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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cj, let me start out by stating that I went and looked at your profile. I thought it was funny that I just read an IT Survey or an article that stated that your line of work was the segment to be in these days! How long have you been in it? If I can find where I read that, I'll email you with a link (unless it was in a magazine, of course). Hopefully it's treating you as well as the article said it was treating all others!

Okay, here's the rest of MY story. I am an IT Consultant for them now. I am responsible for writing these custom applications. They want to bring IT back in-house. They want to hire me as their Director of Technology, but they are also talking with another guy from another Company. We both had to put a business proposal together. They allowed me to read his proposal before drafting mine.


I will hire 2 to 3 programmers and one network guy initially. So yes, I will have a small staff. As far as your concerns of the developer leaving...I will be the lead designer/developer. As anyone knows in the Banking business...mergers happen quiet often, so you bring up a very important issue that I will need to think about.

There are many ready-to-run applications out there that perform the functions they are requesting. We've seen about 10 of them now, and they have not like any of them for one reason or the other.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2002, 08:39 PM
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I do okay.

I've been in IT in some capacity since the early 90's (when DOS and Banyon Vines was the shiznit) and have been dealing with Network Security concerns for the past five years or so. I was fortunate enough to already have significant IT experience when the DotCom boom hit so I've managed to stay fairly current on technology. I've also held the position of IT Director for a multinational firm with over 50 locations and have run into quite a large array of business styles and ideologies when it comes to IT in particular.

It sounds like you have an in with the hiring manager if they were so kind as to provide you with the other guy's proposal.

If they are also willing to go with multiple devs you should be okay in your approach as long as you get them to document the code and program design. Be aware that if they bring you in-house they will most likely want to own the source code in order to provide them some CYA in case you and your buddies bail. They are going to be investing alot of money in you (not just your salary...everyone's productivity within the company) and they'll need reassurance that they aren't going to have such a proprietary system that no one will be able to decipher it when and if you bail.

What I've seen done in the past with regards to source code is that both parties (you and the company) can utilize the source code in any way shape or form for any other endeavor with the exception of the company reselling your applications as theirs and vice versa. That way they get their CYA and you get to keep the code should you move on. Be creative here. All they really want is reassurance that they'll be able to have someone take over development should you guys bail and it can come in handy as a bargaining tool - "And you get to keep the source code to boot".

If they don't want any of the ready-to-run stuff, find out why. Alot of their objections may simply be misperceptions. Afterall, they currently have no Director of Technology to help them make those decisions. If they truly can't deal with what's out there, that makes you more valuable to them as you know their drivers behind building something from scratch and can integrate that with your design.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-30-2002, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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I got it

Hey all, thanks for your input on this one....I got the job! Director of Technology. I'm very anxious to get started, unfortunately, due to my contract, I have 30 days to wait!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2002, 03:18 AM
 
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HEY MAN, CONGRATS!!!

That's great to hear that some of the little knowledge that I have actually helped someone. Does that mean that we all get a cut of your salary? Hmm, makes me wonder . . .
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2002, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunate

Ex-wife gets the first cut! :mad:


My son will really benefit from her new fortunes...
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2002, 02:02 PM
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Congrats!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2002, 03:19 PM
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Don't forget one of the advantages of Citrix is that all the processing gets done on the server. So you need a kick-ass server... but you do not need really high end PCs. 933MHZ PCs are like overkill for Citrix. You can run your citrix apps with the same results using a P2-350.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2002, 07:36 PM
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CITRIX = ROOT OF ALL EVIL i have those things at school. those things are broken like every damn day and when they work they really arent good worth of crap.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-31-2002, 07:44 PM
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Sounds like you need to smack your admins around.

MetaFrame is a fine (and stable) product.
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