A common question we get from the field is “Can I upgrade some of my XenApp Enterprise licenses to Platinum?”. The answer is yes but you need to read the entire article to see if it makes sense in your environment. You need to look at both your capital expenditure and operational expenditure to make this decision.
Before I get into the issues, let me briefly explain how XenApp licensing works as mixing editions can affect license consumption. When a user launches an application (or a published desktop), the XenApp server requests the license server for a XenApp license based on its edition. If there are licenses available, the license server grants the license request and associates that license with the end user’s device id (The device id is generated by the ICA Client on the end point device and is ultimately passed to the license server). Hence any subsequent connections from the same device for the same type of edition license will be shared. (Note: In case the end users are going through a published desktop and using PN Agent to get to their applications, the XenApp server will pass through the end point device id to ensure only one license is consumed by one device).
When you mix editions, you need to be aware of these issues
- License consumption – An end user launching applications from the same end point device but connecting to both an Enterprise server and a Platinum server at the same time will consume 2 licenses – one for the Enterprise connection and one for the Platinum connection. This is because the license server treats each edition license as an independent product license with no relationship between them. Hence as far as the license server is concerned, a Platinum license and an Enterprise license have no relationship. If you split your application access so that a user cannot launch applications from both the edition servers at the same time, you can avoid this double consumption. This might mean you have your Platinum users going only to a dedicated group of XenApp Platinum servers and your Enterprise users going only to a dedicated group of XenApp Enterprise servers.
- Product Functionality – Platinum has more functionality than Enterprise and hence it adds complexity if you plan to use any functionality that is available in only Platinum edition e.g. if you like the application monitoring capability of EdgeSight and want to monitor the ICA end user experience metrics, then you will not be able to do so for connections to Enterprise servers. As we add more functionality to Platinum, such problems might aggravate in your environment.
- Administration overhead – In order to avoid double license consumption, you will end up separating your user groups (as described above) adding to the administrative burden e.g. you might be publishing the same application on both your Enterprise and Platinum servers because you need to provide access to that application for both your Enterprise and Platinum users.
- User Experience – You need to be aware that end users connecting to applications served by Platinum servers might be getting a better overall experience (e.g. Password manager is filling up their application credentials etc) and users connecting to Enterprise servers will not have that functionality.
Net Net, be aware of these operational issues when mixing product editions.