The True Cost of Citrix in 2023

May 5, 2023
09 mins 48 seconds

Author: Haziqa Sajid


Citrix DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service) is a cloud-based desktop virtualization solution that helps organizations automate their workflows, increase productivity, and improve collaboration. It provides users access to virtual desktops and applications from any device and location, making it an ideal solution for remote work. 

However, with a range of available subscription models, understanding Citrix costs can be overwhelming for businesses. We’ll help you navigate the various pricing options and break down the actual cost of Citrix DaaS, so you can choose the best plan that aligns with your business needs and budget.

Citrix’s Pay-as-you-go model is a flexible pricing option that enables customers to pay only for the resources they use. Customers can scale up or down their usage of Citrix DaaS resources on-demand without any long-term commitments or upfront Citrix costs. These resources may include virtual desktops, apps, storage, and network usage. The pricing is calculated per month, per user basis.

Citrix Cost & Subscriptions

Citrix offers four Citrix DaaS subscription plans tailored to various business requirements and budgets. Below is the outline of Citrix pricing and features for different Citrix DaaS subscriptions available.

1. Citrix Daas Standard

Citrix Cost for DaaS Standard – USD 10/user/month

Product offerings include: 

  • Secure access to virtualized applications and desktops from anywhere, on any device.
  • Remote access to physical desktops. 
  • Tailored cloud subscription model or leverage Citrix’s managed framework.

2. Citrix DaaS Advanced Plus 

Citrix Cost for DaaS Advanced Plus – USD 13/user/month

Product offerings include: 

  • Seamlessly deploy and manage applications and desktops across various hybrid cloud environments. 
  • Gain comprehensive visibility into the performance and health of the virtualized infrastructure. 
  • Capture and securely store session activities for auditing, compliance, and troubleshooting purposes. 
  • Maintain a detailed record of user interactions, ensuring accountability and enabling efficient incident response.
  • Maximize system responsiveness, minimize latency, and easily handle high user loads.
  • Streamline the provisioning process for both cloud-based and on-premises applications and desktops. 

3. Citrix DaaS Premium

Citrix Cost for DaaS Premium – USD 20/user/month

Product offerings include: 

  • Access comprehensive monitoring capabilities with advanced historical reporting features. 
  • Analyze long-term performance trends, generate custom reports, and gain actionable insights to fine-tune your virtualized environment.
  • Seamlessly migrate and manage applications and desktop images across diverse hybrid cloud infrastructures. 
  • Manage image versioning, automate updates, and efficiently distribute images across your virtualized environment.
  • Enhance the security of your virtual framework, protect against evolving cyber threats, and dynamically adapt a highly responsive security posture. 

4. Citrix DaaS Premium Plus

Citrix Cost for DaaS Premium Plus – USD 23/user/month

Product offerings include: 

  • Utilize performance analytics to gain insights into user behavior, application usage, and system performance.
  • Identify optimization opportunities, fine-tune resource allocation, and deliver an exceptional user experience.
  • Leverage advanced security analytics capabilities to mitigate potential threats.
  • Detect abnormal behavior, identify security risks, and swiftly respond to protect critical assets and data.  

All advanced plans inherit all the features of the preceding tiers.

Citrix Overhead Costs

Besides Citrix licensing costs, some operational costs are often overlooked but are crucial to the overall budget estimation. Also, Citrix reports that Citrix workloads work more efficiently using Azure Virtual Desktop infrastructure, compared to other deployment options. In fact, businesses can save up to 70% more over three years by migrating their Citrix workloads to Azure. However, Azure Virtual Desktop or any other deployment option has infrastructure costs that cannot be ignored. Let’s discuss these additional costs below.

1. Operational Costs 

Operational costs include various components that contribute to the smooth functioning of the infrastructure, such as: 

  • Support and helpdesk tools
  • App management
  • Lifecycle management

These can burden your IT budget substantially, depending on the complexity and scale of the deployment. Also, your deployment may require third-party add-ons for advanced management and monitoring, thus increasing the cost further.

2. Azure Infrastructure Costs

Azure infrastructure encompasses various components, including:

  • Active Directory
  • Storage
  • Networking and Bandwidth

Businesses would need Azure Cloud to provision virtual machines, ensure reliable data storage, and get dedicated bandwidth. The overall cost of these cloud resources depends on factors such as the number of users, workload requirements, and performance expectations. We have provided a sample cost estimation below.

What Does it Mean for Businesses?

Once you get the Citrix license, you have two options. Either opt for on-premise deployment or go for Azure (or another cloud) deployment. For on-premise deployment, you must procure and manage all the hardware and computational resources independently. Whereas for Azure deployment, you can get estimated pricing from Azure pricing calculator and aggregate the infrastructure costs with licensing price to get the overall expense outlook.

Considering the complexities and dependencies involved, it becomes evident that the overhead costs associated with Citrix DaaS extend beyond the licensing and subscription fees. To avoid these hidden costs and uncertainties, you can explore other cost-effective cloud solutions like V2 Cloud with simple, all-in-one subscription pricing plans.

About Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp

Citrix has discontinued Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp. The Citrix XenDesktop pricing and licensing options are now replaced with the Citrix DaaS framework. XenApps Essentials is now offered as Citrix Virtual Apps Essentials on the Microsoft store.

The end of sales for XenDesktop and XenApp has further complicated the options for legacy users, making them uncertain whether to continue with the discontinued versions with extended support or move their entire infrastructure to the current offerings.

Citrix Cost Simulation

Consider a healthcare organization with 100 employees that use Citrix DaaS with Azure Virtual Desktop to streamline its virtualization processes. Their infrastructure configuration and cost breakdown is represented in the table below.

Type of PricingResources UsedUnit CostTotal Monthly Cost of ResourcesPer User Per Month Cost
Citrix Subscription100 licenses (1 license for each user)USD 20 per user per month

USD $2000.00

(for 100 users)

USD $20.00
Azure Virtual Desktop VM Cost25 VM Instances (1 Instance to cater to 4 users) of D4as v5: 4vCPUs, 16 GB RAM, 100 GB temporary storage, allocated for 160 hours monthly)USD 0.3560 per hour

USD $1424.00

(Cost of 25 VMs for 160 hours monthly usage)

USD $14.24
Azure Bandwidth Cost4000 GB outbound data transfer bandwidthUSD $0.087 per GB

USD $348.00

(cost of 4000 GB. i.e, 40GB for each user per month)

USD $3.48
Azure Storage CostManaged Disk: Standard SSD E15 256 GiBUSD $38.02 per 64 GB SSD per month

USD $950.50

(Cost of total 25 SSDs. i.e, 1 SSD for each VM)

USD $9.50
Microsoft RDS license1 license per userUSD $7.00 per userUSD $700.00USD $7.00
Citrix implementation engineer1 part-time consultantUSD $5,000.00 per monthUSD $5,000.00USD $50.00
Total Infrastructure CostUSD 10,422.50 per month USD $ 104.22 per user per month

Citrix Cost Inefficiencies & Service Limitations 

The complicated pricing model and lack of premium support from Citrix come with a range of infrastructure complexities and downsides. Below are some common problems an organization might face by opting for Citrix.

1. Complex Architecture and Licensing Structure

Setting up and configuring the necessary Citrix DaaS infrastructure components, such as Citrix Delivery Controllers, StoreFront servers, and load balancers, requires technical expertise and careful planning. If you opt for the wrong Citrix license, you may get an under-resourced infrastructure or an excessive allocation of unused resources. It will overrun your budget, and you won’t be able to get the best ROI for your virtualization investment. You also need to take into account the need of a Citrix engineer or technical lead to implement and maintain this infrastructure. 

2. Substantial Cost of Ownership

The complexity of Citrix infrastructure requires dedicated training or outsourcing third-party experts for infrastructure installation, deployment, and management, leading to overwhelming Citrix ownership costs. The Citrix licensing model lacks an all-in-one hierarchy. For instance, you need separate licenses for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix ADC, remote access, load balancing, SQL, and high availability. After aggregating licensing and administrative costs, the clients eventually experience a substantial total cost of ownership (TCO).

3. Service Downtimes

Citrix’s complexity poses significant challenges, leading to frequent service downtime. The installation and deployment process is also time-consuming that often lasts for weeks or even months due to the involvement of multiple components and varied configurations. Troubleshooting further adds to the burden, as seemingly minor problems require in-depth investigation across various resources.

4. High-Latency

Virtualizing resource-intensive applications, such as video editing or 3D editing tools, involves significant latency challenges, particularly with 4K video or high-end content production tasks. Citrix DaaS may introduce additional network latency, interrupting real-time rendering and responsiveness. 

V2 Cloud – Insight into the Top Citrix Alternative in 2023

For businesses of all scales who want to deal with resource-intensive applications without getting into the nitty-gritty of complex pricing and licensing models, V2 Cloud is the perfect fit. If you find it complex to navigate the Citrix pricing and subscription models, experience a seamless desktop virtualization with V2 Cloud designed to overcome the limitations of other VDI providers. 

V2 Cloud offers simplified architecture and licensing options, making setup and management a breeze. With dedicated support from onboarding, migration, and up till the service tenure, you can ensure transparency and cost-effectiveness throughout your V2 Cloud journey. 


Capitalize on your Cloud Investment with V2 Cloud

Choosing the cloud service that aligns with your operational and monetary needs can make or break your IT budget. Therefore, it is recommended to make an informed decision considering all these crucial aspects in mind and make your cloud journey seamless and hassle-free. Explore V2 Cloud to leverage high-end cloud security, extended data backup, reliability, flexibility, and more.

Written By: Haziqa Sajid
Freelance tech writer and content marketer for tech, SaaS, and AI companies | Helped 50+ tech businesses with engagement-driven content.