As mentioned in Sai’s post last week, Access Gateway is now available as a virtual appliance. This brings all the benefits of server virtualization to the network appliance space: rapid deployment, high availability, and quick recovery in response to hardware problems.

Virtualizing Access Gateway also dramatically lowers the cost of an Access Gateway solution, enabling more customers to afford the value it brings to any Citrix deployment: strong authentication, network-layer tunneling, endpoint interrogation, and adaptive access control just to name a few. But, as I have heard from many of you since the initial launch of Access Gateway several years ago, requiring a per-CCU license for ICA connections still made Access Gateway comparatively expensive, given that the Windows-based Secure Gateway component allowed unlimited connections to XenApp for free. The per-user license cost prevented many of you from deploying Access Gateway.

That’s why when we launched Access Gateway VPX, we also fundamentally changed the pricing and packaging for the Access Gateway product line. All Access Gateway appliances now include free, unlimited secure access to XenApp hosted applications and XenDesktop hosted desktops.

Previously, all connections through Access Gateway required an Access Gateway CCU license, even if the connection was just a simple SSL relay of the ICA traffic between a client and XenApp or XenDesktop. Now when you buy any Access Gateway appliance (physical or virtual), you receive an Access Gateway Platform License that unlocks the full capacity of the underlying hardware to be used for SSL encapsulation of XenApp or XenDesktop (ICA/HDX) connections.

If you already own an Access Gateway that’s covered by Warranty or Maintenance, you’re also entitled to get a free platform license using the Upgrades/Fulfillment toolbox on MyCitrix. The platform license works on Access Gateway appliances running firmware version 4.6 or later, and will also work on NetScaler appliances starting with version 9.2, which is expected later this month.

You’ll still need an Access Gateway CCU license if you’re going to make use of the more advanced features like VPN tunneling, Endpoint Analysis, SmartAccess, HTML rewrite, or File Type Association. But there’s good news here as well: the price of the Access Gateway Universal CCU license has dropped from a starting price of $170 down to $100, and if you own Access Gateway Standard Edition CCUs, you can upgrade them to AG Universal licenses for free.

So, if you ever passed up the opportunity to try out Access Gateway in the past because it was too expensive, it’s time to take another look. Want to see Access Gateway VPX in action? The video demo below shows how Access Gateway VPX offers a convenient and economical way to deliver secure remote access to hosted applications or virtual desktops using off-the-shelf hardware.