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Windows 8 RT and Web Interface/CSG/CAG

Started by JEFF RUDACILLE , 22 October 2012 - 10:46 PM
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JEFF RUDACILLE Members

JEFF RUDACILLE
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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:46 PM

I read today that Windows 8 RT devices will ONLY be able to connect to a Citrix farm if that farm is running the Enterprise Edition of Access Gateway and Storefront...meaning no WI and most importantly no CSG? What in the world? I realize CSG and WI are "on their way out" in Citrix's eyes but many, many, MANY small businesses still run CSG and will continue to run it for years...the whole Mantra at Citrix has always been that their software helps maintain your investments by allowing you to off load processing power from a PC to a host. I personally (and I only work with SMB's) do not know anyone who uses the Enterprise Edition/Netscaler version of Access Gateway. I can't fathom how this can be...I looked on here for comments but did not see any? Has anyone thought of a possible work around for this mess of a decision (without having to use another product).



Thomas Kötzing Members

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:52 AM

>...meaning no WI and most importantly no CSG?
Web Interface End-Of-Life is 2015. StoreFront does not and will not support Citrix Secure Gateway.

Access Gateway Standard and Advanced versions are discontinued by Citrix
http://communications.citrixemea.com/Readmore.aspx?a={3229EB80-6F29-49F0-BF32-29C6ACFE79E4}&i={713DEB80-A3E1-4E82-A18B-981471D693C8}&c={a1d6052a-7640-4252-9577-8a30c1d67543}

So the only option is to use Access Gateway VPX based on Netscaler and is as you might know it Access Gateway Enterprise (AGEE). Now Access Gateway VPX with a platform license is around $1.000 and is a virtual appliance. AG VPX with a platform license is just doing basically what Secure Gateway does but you don't need a windows server license and the admin maintanance is like sero

Once you have setup an AGEE just for basic ICA-Proxy (SG mode) you will realize it's not a big deal

Thomas
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JEFF RUDACILLE Members

JEFF RUDACILLE
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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

Thomas,

Thank you for your reply. Many people running CSG have it in a single server format with WI so there is no extra Windows licensing cost. I do under stand that AG is basically CSG but even $1000 is prohibitive for many businesses when it was not budgeted. In addition the majority of customers I know do not have SA meaning they do not have Store Front either so the cost is actually quite high to get to the point of supporting the Windows RT box. The only saving grace in this is that the Windows RT machine is so expensive that I doubt I see many of them anyway. No one is going to pay $600 for one (with keyboard) when they can get an iPad 2 for $400.



Thomas Kötzing Members

Thomas Kötzing
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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:13 PM

> I do under stand that AG is basically CSG
Actually AG is MUCH more and SG is a very small part that AG can do too.

>SA meaning they do not have Store Front
StoreFront is part of ClouadGateway Epress and is FREE of use. You can download it through the Trial for CloudGateway

Well I only can tell you how it is and I do understand you. I have talked with the PM but that is the way Citrix goes at least at the moment.

Thomas
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JEFF RUDACILLE Members

JEFF RUDACILLE
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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:22 PM

Hi Thomas,

Thank you for all the info. I appreciate your time. I did some more investigation into Storefront 1.2 (Cloudgateway Express) and the documentation provided by Citrix actually suggests that you do not deploy it full bore at this point vs. run it beside WI as a proof of concept test. That is the kind of stuff I am talking about and wanted to further document in this post (no response needed, I do understand all you have mentioned).

To support these Win RT tablets it seems one needs a $1000-$2000 Access Gateway (whether a hard applicance or virtual) and an OS license to host a Store Front Server in conjunction with one's WI setup while running an implementation that is not fully supported or suggested by the company that created it. Lot's of larger enterprises have OS licenses to spare and have SA to be able to upgrade at will but this decision by Citrix to not support CSG/WI installs for Windows RT is going to greatly limit the use of those Tablets in SMB environments where infrastructure is not always bleeding edge (rightfully so when you have a 1-2 person IT shop).

This all smells of a ploy to either:
1-Bump the sales of the full Intel Windows tablets that should be fine using Xenapp behind a CSG/WI
2-Bump the sales of Citrix providers.



Larry Heier Members

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 11:12 AM

Good thread going. I have to agree with both sides of the argument in that:

1) It is obvious Citrix is reaching their vision of a few years ago (Vegas Synergy conference) of a unified client experience across all devices managed by a new backend including storefront and NetScaler.

2) The experience of the new clients is confusing for customer at best with most (if not all SMB) on the older CSG and Web Interface platform which has works so well for so long.

So today when Surface RT tablets come out or users download the Citrix Receiver via the Windows 8 store, users won't be immediately able to connect. This will cause pain for all IT shops.

The new Receiver clients prompt for an email address for autodiscovery is a nice new feature but who has set this up already?

I think Citrix needs to investigate a hybrid strategy in the near term that they have this huge installed base and these new devices and operating systems need to work with the older configurations while moving to the new world of a more unified application storefront.

What this may mean is releasing a VERY cheap and easy to configure Netscaler VPN/Storefront setup for the non-enterprise market.

Thoughts?

Larry



JEFF RUDACILLE Members

JEFF RUDACILLE
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Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:56 PM

Hi Larry,

Thanks for your reply and ideas. I think it is a good idea if they had a cheap and easy upgrade path for their smaller customers but frankly I still think they need to re-think the whole "No support for RT except with our newest product" thought process simply because all iterations of the iPad work fine and every Android based tablet has worked fine as well (along with their corresponding phones) on CSG-CAG/WI setups. I totally understand that people who stay on CSG/WI could not expect expanded capabilities such as the "Follow me" type stuff but to simply say these people can't use RT devices is still not acceptable in my opinion. I do not have a Surface on me to double check this vs. going by their requirements in writing. I can say that the Windows 8 Metro version of the Receiver did not seem to work when I tried it on a Windows 8 Preview box...the receiver 3.3 did work on that box flipped back into desktop mode. ALl we can do is simply tell people to don't get a Windows RT/ARM device at this point. Stick with an iPad or wait for the full Surface.

Thanks



Mark Donnelson Members

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 06:26 PM

This is pure insanity. We just got several RT tablets that our executives are very interested in testing. I've been given one to get working, and I find out that not only do we have to be on CAG EE 10 (we use an earlier version due to existing bugs in 10), but I also can't use my existing WI infrastructure?

I understand disabling some of the more advanced features if a customer doesn't have all the latest and greatest, but to require me to spin up an entirely new AG VPX and install StoreFront services to even be able to connect...this is just anti-consumer. Actually, it's more "anti-Citrix-engineer." I'm disappointed.



James Allen Members

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:23 PM

This is pure insanity. Almost every device works with CSG...smart phones, tablets, etc. This makes no sense and I might as well just go return my surface now and go back to using my Xoom since I administrate and use Citrix for remote access.

I am really upset about this since I can't get our network team to support an AG and I am not allowed to take ownership of a network device.



Phill Jempson Members
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Phill Jempson
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:17 AM

Hi Thomas,

Is there any official Citrix document or KB artical wich states this? I will need something to show my bosses if I am to have any chance of getting the funding to upgrade.

Thanks,

Phill.



JEFF RUDACILLE Members
  • #11

JEFF RUDACILLE
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:38 AM

Here is the official KB from Citrix

http://support.citrix.com/.../rec-met-10-system-requirements.html

Here is a Blog post from Citrix

http://blogs.citrix.com/2012/09/16/receiver-for-windows-8rt-metro-preview-arrives-in-the-windows-store/

Most people I have spoken too, off line, are simply "skipping" Win RT. BYOD won't apply for it...most won't change a working infrastructure to allow one little used device to connect.



Larry Heier Members
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Larry Heier
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:50 AM

I have to disagree that Windows RT is "one little used device". There's a lot of buzz with the Microsoft branded device and the marketing power of Microsoft and its partners will surely sell millions of these this holiday season. You actually can create data far easier on Windows RT with Keyboard then you can any IPAD application.

It would be a great step if Citrix could recompile or make this new client work with legacy web interface setups in this transition period

Larry



JEFF RUDACILLE Members
  • #13

JEFF RUDACILLE
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:55 AM

What I meant by that statement was that between the Full Win 8 Surface Tablet, iPad and various Android tablets, I do not think the RT tablet will ever approach 10% usage as to a whole picture of tablet use. Why pay $499 for one when you can get an iPad for about the same price? Neither of them are really strong business oriented machines anyway vs. the full Surface Tablet when it comes out. It was not meant as an insult to anyone that has one. But I fully agree the best case scenario is for this (and any tablet, for the most part) be capable of accessing the products most Citrix shops use.

Edited by: bubbler1986 on Oct 30, 2012 7:55 AM



Mark Donnelson Members
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Mark Donnelson
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:21 PM

Agreed, Larry. There is no reason why they shouldn't be able to make this work with our current infrastructure, minus any of the new features offered by the CloudGateway suite. My execs want a POC yesterday, and it has taken me three days JUST to get Citrix to get me a working download link to Cloud Gateway Enterprise Edition. We are a pretty large customer with full support, and it took my dedicated support at Citrix three days to even get me the product that is "required" to use these fancy new Win8RT bricks I have sitting on my desk.

To further complicate things, our internal WiFi is very locked down, and it requires a special certificate be installed to connect to it, which doesn't work with these tablets yet. My only choice is to spend a week or more trying to figure out how to get AGEE + StoreFront configured in our environment.

By the way, unless my hours of web searching failed me, Citrix has NO documentation on configuring Access Gateway for use with StoreFront as of yet. Please point me to it if I am wrong!



Thomas Kötzing Members
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Thomas Kötzing
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:24 PM

>unless my hours of web searching failed me, Citrix has NO documentation on
>configuring Access Gateway for use with StoreFront as of yet
Web search took me 15 seconds

How to Configure Access to Citrix Receiver StoreFront through Access Gateway Enterprise Edition
http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX131908

XenDesktop 5.6 with Receiver Storefront and Access Gateway
http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX132787

Thomas
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James Allen Members
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:27 PM

"Connect using any device from anywhere"...not so much.



Joshua Post Members
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Joshua Post
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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:40 PM

>>"Connect using any device from anywhere"...not so much. <<

I agree. Windows desktop, iOS, and Android can all connect using CSG and free products but Windows 8 RT forces me to spend at least $5000 and a large amount of time just to get it compatible.

Citrix fail.



JEFF RUDACILLE Members
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JEFF RUDACILLE
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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:53 PM

I suspect that some other ARM based device (including some of the Chrome Books) are going to fall into this problem...so the question for some SMB's is really going to come down to needing Citrix anymore. I know larger enterprises can't move off of it quickly but I suspect a lot of small companies simply won't support Win RT tablets attaching to their Citrix farm and work toward alternate solutions such as Office 365/Cloud enhancing their services, files, etc...even their ERP applications. None of my customers are interested in buying AGEE.

In the defense of Citrix (very limited defense) I think their side is that they can't get it to work properly in the closed architecture of Windows 8 RT. Whether that is true or not is another question.

It is indeed a complete failure both on Citrix and Microsoft especially when you see triumphant blog entries from a few months ago touting Citrix and Windows 8 together.



Joshua Post Members
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Joshua Post
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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:58 PM

I want to try out an RT device, but if I cant use my primary product, then no sense trialing.

We are hopefully moving to View VDI in the next 6 months and will just use that instead.



JEFF RUDACILLE Members
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JEFF RUDACILLE
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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:01 PM

One thing that is ticking me off are some are the blog posts from Citrix suggesting that supporting this requirement is as simple as spinning up the second environment. This second environment requires OS licenses server installs , whether virtual or not, and will cost a lot more than $1000 if the shop is limited in how many OS licenses they have. In addition is it really worth getting this environment up if a shop is still on Citrix 4.5/5.0? Would it not make sense to do a farm upgrade first (more $$$ for the many not on SA) to 6.5 and then look into this requirement?