Massive price hike in license costs: Is Citrix now also copying the "Broadcom business approach"?

[German]German blog reader has told me that there are substantial price hikes for license renewals of Citrix Virtual Desktop solutions or other Citrix products. The question is "does Citrix copies the Broadcom business approach".


Citrix has been acquired

Citrix, a cloud computing and virtualization company that is doing well with some customers with its virtual desktop solutions. Citrix Virtual Desktop (formerly XenDesktop) is one such virtualization solution. Citrix's NetScaler product line (application delivery controller, ADC, firewall, etc.) is also used in many companies.

In February 2022, it was announced that Citrix had been acquired by subsidiaries of the global investment firm Vista Equity Partners and a subsidiary of Elliott Investment Management called Evergreen Coast Capital Corporation for 16.5 billion USD (see this venture beat articled).

The Broadcom VMware trap

Virtualization provider VMware has also been acquired – by the company Broadcom. Since the takeover by Broadcom, there have been serious upheavals at VMware since the end of 2023, which I reported on here in the blog. VMware partners were terminated and the purchase products (ESXi) were completely discontinued. Customers can now only book subscription licenses for the cloud, which leads to massive cost increases for licenses. The article links at the end of the article provide a corresponding overview.

Citrix on the same path?

It looks like Citrix customers are also facing massive price hikes for new product licensing. I did a search and found the provectus website which mentions something about license changes at Citrix by Cloud Software Group and also mentions the acquisition of Citrix. This would result in license changes from March 2024. Two German blog readers got in touch with me and shared some insights (thanks for that).

Case #1: Hospital with Citrix infrastructure

The employer purchased the classic "Virtual Apps and Desktop" licenses from Citrix in order to provide terminal servers (or more precisely: access to the terminal servers was licensed). The reader wrote: "As far as I understand it, you don't need licenses for XenServer. There are over 100 terminal servers (maximum care hospital)."

The employer bought a license + maintenance years ago and always renewed it. In 2022 there were only subscription licenses. The reader writes that at that time he had to pay approx. 8,000 euros for 100 licenses for a period of 12 months.


Now the blog reader's colleagues have requested licenses from Citrix again. The term (due to the consolidation with the existing licenses) should now be 18 months. Now 100 licenses cost around 80,000 euros! Even if you calculate it down to one year, this means a multiplication of the license costs.

The reader wrote: "Colleagues have spoken to another company (where there are contacts in IT) that operates in the retail sector and has over 300 locations in Germany. They have confirmed massive price increases and are probably looking at how they can get away from Citrix completely in 2024."

The blog reader has send my a link to the German provectus site with the article ERNEUTE LIZENZUMSTELLUNG BEI CITRIX, where you can find some references to the changes. There it says:

  • To reduce the complexity of the product portfolio, Cloud Software Group (CSG), which is the Citrix parent company, is now introducing three new subscription types that will be available to customers from March 2024.
  • The aim is to combine Citrix and NetScaler functions and tailor the licenses to customers' requirements.
  • With fewer packages to choose between and more features included in the Universal and Platform licenses.

In a (German] FAQ, provectus then lists what this means in concrete terms for customers. The reader wrote to me: "In addition to the price increases, it is – apparently, if you can trust the link – the case that we also have to license XenServer in order to be allowed to operate the server side. This is not a problem at the moment because we have purchase licenses that are still valid until the end of 2025 with active maintenance. But after that, things look bleak."

So it looks as if Citrix customers are now also facing massive price hikes, which are likely to top the Broadcom price increases and license changes.

Case 2: IT administrator at a law firm

A few hours after I had posted the above text on the blog, another reader (unaware of the above text) contacted me by e-mail. In an email with the subject "Citrix Hypervisor license change", the blog reader wrote to me:

Let's have a little anecdote from the world of license changes that offend me.

VMware recently announced some changes.

This change has resulted in significant price increases for many customers.

Well, we've already covered this topic (see links at the end of the article). Then the reader added that he works part-time in a law firm that operates 5 VMware hosts (2 as enterprise licenses, 3 as standard licenses for terminal servers). Since the prices there are multiplying with the new Broadcom license model, the idea was to use an existing Citrix license and convert the 3 standard servers to Citrix Hypervisor.

What the reader said: "Long story short: Shortly after the VMware change, Citrix also decided that the Xen Hypervisor will be a separate license in the future and therefore also means additional costs for Citrix desktop/app customers. For years it was included in the license, but will have to be purchased when the license is changed in the future."

Exactly what the first reader already explained above. The second reader, however, came around the corner with a consolation for his employer and said: "The license is very cheap and is around 10% of the VMware license for the three servers." For me, the conclusion is that you have to look very carefully at what is to be licensed.

Do you have similar experiences? Or is the above-mentioned development regarding Citrix licensing (apart from VMware by Broadcom) not an issue in your area?

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