Citrix vs. MS Terminal Server

Hi all! About a year ago, this topic was allready discussed here,Terminal,Server Now I would like to ask you again: What System would you prefer/recommend [?] We are looking for an optimal Terminal-Solution for MBS Navision DE3.70.A, SQL-Server DB (128 GB), 40 to 60 Users (concurrent), WinNT4 or Win2000. Any suggestions, recommendations, comments, advices, warnings, etc. welcome [;)] Best regards, Jörg

We use Terminal Services on a Win2K server, Navision-SQL Server 200 backend and about 70 concurrent users. Don’t know a great deal about the hardware except the server has 4 processors and I think we have 2GB of memory. Terminal services runs fine, however I hear that Citrix has become a good product - not sure which Citrix product. Maybe someone else could enlighten us which Citrix solution is best? Hope this helps.

According to my sysadm expert, then the real difference is that Citrix uses ICA. The ICA protocol is optimized for low band connections (i.e. dialup or slow DSL connections). Windows Terminal Server uses another protocol, but is better over fast (LAN / WAN) connections.

With Citrix You also can manage published applications, load balancing, local disks and com-ports etc etc. Simply a much more mature product (but there’s a price for it…) /Lars

Lars, What do you say to the statement that WTS is better in LAN/WAN environments?

Citrix is allways better than WTS from a technological point of view, but more exepensive. WTS is old Citrix technology which Microsoft bought for some yeras ago when w2k was new on the arena. /Lars

if what you need is Load balancing, publishing applications, local disks-printers, shadowing applications (80% of what Citrix is usually used for), take a look at Canaveral from New Moon Systems (price is 40% less than Citrix).

Are there many of You out there running Canerval? It Would be interesting to here if there is any problems with this. I’ve never seen the product myself. /Lars

I personally like Citrix much more than TS. It just gives you a lot more flexibility. And as mentioned, with the ICA protocol, speed is improved over most any type of connection with Citrix compared to TS. And don’t quote me on this one, but I believe that Citrix allows remote printing, TS doesn’t. Citrix in of itself does not cost much. Like most software these days, the licsensing will really get you.


Originally posted by THaug And don’t quote me on this one, but I believe that Citrix allows remote printing, TS doesn’t.

TS will add You local printers if the printers driver is installed in TS. But You have a problem in TS with the SESSIONID that is included in the printers name, so You cant use Your locally installed printers in Navision’s printer setup. There’s a workaround to map You local printer on login in TS, but that isn’t so nice. Overall Citrix is easier to manage when it comes to printers. /Lars

Hi all! If I interpreted your comments correctly, the Citrix-solution is the “riper” solution with more features and a better technology, but it’s expensive!? MTS is based on an old Citrix-Tech, it’s less comfortable, less features - but it will do the job, therefore a cheaper price!? If functionallity is the point, Citrix should be the favorite. If the point is money, it’s MTS!? I think, we have to organize a presentation of both solutions and get some offers … Thank you very much! Best regards, Jörg

Joerg, I will add my 2 cents on this issue. If you only intend to run 1 application, you can probably get by with Terminal Services only. However, should you want to publish multiple applications, don’t even consider TS, go with Citrix. In addition to load management, you can control bandwidth used by the applications, printers, video and even audio. In addition you prioritize CPU usage by application. It is a much more robust environment. Also, the XPe flavor has an incredible Resourse Manager tool. With XPa, this is an add-on available from a 3rd party. Good luck.

Hi John! Your “two cents” [;)] confirm my “impressions” on WTS and Citrix: WTS is a cheap “will do, more or less” solution, [:(] Citrix is the “real professional” solution. [:)] Thanx & Best Regards, Jörg

I have to jump on the Citrix side here also. Terminal Server is great for LAN environments, when for example you don’t want to upgrade multiple clients, or you have 10 meg cat 3 cabeling etc. But if you are managing anything over 20 users, then forget the cost of the software and hardware, the savings with Citrix will come in time saved in general administration. In this industry we long long ago passed those days wheren computers cost more than people. Spend the money on Citrix now, and start saving. PS you can do pretty much anything you need on either platform, its just that Citrix does it nicer and easier with less bandwidth.

Since a few years I have had some 30 remote users, all connecting to terminal servers through ADSL lines of 0.5 Mb - 2 Mb bandwidth. Last year, we have been running Citrix (ICA) protocol and Microsoft (RDP) protocol in parallell. The terminal servers are running Windows 2000 server, one with the addition of Citrix Metaframe XP, and one with only Microsofts RDP protocol. Impressions are: Performance is exactly the same. (The situation was quite different in the NT4 era.) Remote printing works very well in both environments. Probaly less problems then in the RDP environment. Administration is simpler and cleaner in the RDP environment. The “Citrix Management Console” (a Java applet) can only be run on a separatate computer, due to it’s huge demand on memory and processor time. The RDP “Terminal Services Manager” is much more straitforward, and doesn’t take another computer to run. The RDP client is simpler to handle for the user when running Navision, as it doesn’t re-map function keys as heavily as the ICA protocol does by default. Main difference to date: RDP doesn’t to date allow mapping of client drives. This has been corrected in the Win 2003 server terminal services. My conclusion: Rule out Citrix, use latest RDP technology, for ease of use, economy and performance. Pelle

Actually mapping of drives was one of my complaints against Terminal Server, it will be interesting to see how it goes if that is fixed. Over the years, of the many Navision implementations that I have managed, just over 30 of them have had Citrix as a key component of the implementation. It was about 8 years ago when I got involved in my first Citrix implementation (thanks Colin), and it has been just such a great product, that it is going to be very difficult to convert me.

When talking about Citrix, one should also look at NFuse. I havn’t adminstered it my self, but in big solutions it must be a dream, since You publish You application through a web page, so the user log in with a web browser, click on Navision and a seamless windows is opened. No need for installing anytthing locally. All connections parameters and download of the ica-client is handled automatically by NFuse. All You need is a link on Your intranet. //Lars


Originally posted by Lars Westman
…since You publish You application through a web page, so the user log in with a web browser…

You can do the same with TerminalService. However, you still have all the ‘restrictions’ mentioned above. Walter

I have one client where we log into Terminal Server sessions and Citrix Published Apps from the same NFuse page. (Yes there are times when I choose Terminal Server over Citrix, but its rare).

We are running 30 users connecting remotely to a Windows 2000 Server Terminal Server to run Navision. We were able to map TCP / IP Printers and we have also used TriCerat Screw Drivers which allows users to see their locally installed printers, and TriCerat Desktop 2001 for security. We have not had any issues that would compel us to move to Citrix. We are considering upgrading to Win 2k Advanced Server, because as I understand, Adv Server will give you load balancing for MTS.