As an organisation expands and the processing of its information becomes more complex, the management of a considerable number of desktop PCs invariably becomes a bigger financial and administrative burden. However, by centralising information onto a Citrix solution, organisations can drastically reduce the overheads entailed in maintaining software applications on a large number of PCs, while all the applications remain accessible to users.
As such, a Citrix solution enables organisations to box clever since, though there may be hundreds of applications it needs to access, individual employees may only require access to a particular set of applications. Citrix enables such employees to access the applications they need whilst maintaining the full range of applications centrally on a number of servers.
An organisation with 100 desktops, for example, would typically need to purchase 100 Microsoft licences for Office even if at any given time there might only be 60 or so employees sitting at their desks actively accessing their workstations. But instead of licensing Microsoft software, the same organisation could opt for Citrix servers that could make available up to 60 licences for use through the concurrent connection settings, with the company paying only for those licences in use.
Clearly a key driver behind this return to thin client technology is economics. The price of a Citrix licence is considerably less expensive than the cost of a new PC, licensed and configured with a range of applications. A Citrix solution, though, can link older, slower and cheaper desktops to a powerful server which can manage all the processing work. Therefore, thin client technology should enable organisations to cut overheads by reducing the need to replace and upgrade workstations as frequently as at present.
Furthermore, there are benefits to be had from purchasing a Citrix access gateway, a firewall or router that can be placed on an internet site which runs secure socket ware protection. Organisations can then purchase an SSL certificate for it, giving a website address such as
The great advantage of this system is that, regardless of where employees are in the world, if they have access to a PC with an internet connection they can access office information without needing to rely on a certain set of software programmes being available on any particular PC.
Another benefit of this system is where an organisation has employees working on a part-time or consultancy capacity, for whom rather than providing full access to their information network, they instead wish to provide access only to the particular applications such employees need.
A Citrix access gateway provides these employees with a user name and login and the url to use internet explorer. The employee can then login, typically via
The advantage that Citrix has over terminal services is that it can offer a load-balancing facility to other terminal servers. Whilst organisations can have multiple terminal servers, they cannot link them together in order to centrally manage them in the way they can with Citrix.
With Citrix, however, organisations can set up a farm with any number of machines and a central management console, from which they can pick which ones they want to deploy and which they want certain users to target.
If an office suffers a disaster, such as a fire or flood then, as part of a DR strategy, organisations can have servers as part of a Citrix farm located at a different site so that critical users can work from home, simply by pointing their PCs at the other servers in the farm and continue working as if they were still in the fire or flood ravaged office.
And as well as offering a range of options to branch office networks, Citrix offers distinct advantages to single site organisations with a requirement for a considerable number of customisable applications, constantly requiring amendments, to stay up to date, or legally accurate.
In many instances, therefore, Citrix can help organisations box clever and save costs. Nevertheless, things are moving so fast in both the PC and the software world at the moment which is why organisations should always seek the advice of a specialist IT consultancy to advise on whether or not Citrix is the best way forward.