Citrix & PolicyPak Licensing Scenarios/FAQ

Further information about Licensing PolicyPak Suite with Citrix

This is a short explanation of how we calculate your licensing requirements for PolicyPak Group Policy Edition if you are running Citrix and/or Microsoft RDS (Terminal services) on your network.

The very short answer is:

  • Anywhere you want PolicyPak Group Policy to do “work” is where you need to be licensed.
  • Places may be:
    • Desktops
    • Laptops and
    • Concurrent Citrix or RDS connections (VDI or applications only). Every connection counts.

Said another way, every place you’ve previously paid Microsoft for RDS and/or Citrix for their technology is exactly where you also license PolicyPak Group Policy Edition.

Here are several example scenarios:

Scenario 1 Windows PCs only (No Citrix or Microsoft RDS of any kind)

End user machines which require applications or settings to be directly managed have the PolicyPak CSE installed. Each installation needs a license.

With no Citrix or Microsoft RDS, the licensing is easy: for instance, a network of 100 Windows PCs, each with PolicyPak CSE installed would require 100 PolicyPak Suite licenses required.

Licensing PolicyPak & Citrix – Scenario 1: Windows PCs only

Scenario 2: Citrix or RDS connections with use only with thin clients.

In this scenario, you might be using:

  • Citrix and//RDS connections and
  • Thin clients and
  • Zero real Windows PCs

In this case, because thin clients don’t run real windows, and don’t have applications directly installed on them, you cannot install the PolicyPak CSE upon them.

The PolicyPak CSE is only installed on the Citrix / RDS Server(s) themselves.

In this case, you must license PolicyPak for the equal number of Citrix or Microsoft RDS licenses you’ve already paid for.

Licensing PolicyPak & Citrix – Scenario 2: Citrix/RDS connection w/ Thin client

So, a network of:

  • One (or 2 5 or 10) Citrix or Microsoft RDS servers and
  • 200 thin clients already licensed for 200 simultaneous connections to the server(s)

Would require 200 PolicyPak Suite licenses.

This would enable you to manage applications and settings for up to 200 concurrent connections at once, equal to your maximum Citrix / RDS connection capacity.

Tip: A Citrix network of 200 actual thin client boxes with licensing for only 100 simultaneous connections to the server requires only 100 PolicyPak licenses. As this scenario only has the ability to manage 100 Citrix connections at once, that’s the amount you need to license for PolicyPak Suite to manage applications and settings.

Scenario 3: Citrix/Terminal Service use with Windows PCs used as thin clients

In this scenario, we’ve swapped out the thin clients in Scenario 2 with full-real (fat) Windows PCs.

This scenario is common when “recycling” old PCs for the specific case to use them to connect to your RDS or Citrix server.

In this scenario, none of these PCs have any applications directly installed on them that you wish to manage.

They are instead behaving as if they were thin client boxes.

Licensing PolicyPak & Citrix – Scenario 3: Citrix/Terminal Service w/ Windows PCs

So in this scenario, with no applications directly on the end-user machines that you wish to manage,the PolicyPak CSE install is not required on those end-user machines.

Said another way, this is licensed exactly as in the previous scenario: You only pay for the maximum number of connections which can be served up by Citrix / RDS.

If you treat the end-user machines as if they were thin clients, then so do we, and you only need to license the equal to the number of Citrix / RDS connection licenses you have already paid to Citrix or Microsoft.

Scenario 4: Citrix/Terminal Service use with fully functional Windows PCs

Finally, we have a scenario where some end-user machines are Windows PCs with a dual purpose:

  • Some of the time the PCs act as thin clients connecting to Citrix or RDS.
  • Some of the time the PCs act as regular PCs, using applications directly installed on them that you wish to manage.

In this case, both types of use need to be counted then added together for licensing purposes.

Licensing PolicyPak & Citrix – Scenario 4: Citrix Service w/ Windows PCs

So, if you have a network comprising:

  • 1 Citrix server with 100 maximum connections
  • 50 normal Windows PCs (which connect to the Citrix server and also which have applications upon them that you wish to manage.)

You would count PolicyPak Group Policy Edition licenses as follows:

  • 100 PolicyPak Suite licenses for your Citrix connections, plus
  • 50 PolicyPak Suite licenses for your PCs where you also wish to manage their applications.

That’s a total of 150 licenses.


You need to license every end-point you want to manage with PolicyPak Suite, defined as every place you need to install the PolicyPak CSE to make PolicyPak “Do work.”

If you have a situation where your end points play a dual role – in that they can behave as thin clients to connect to Citrix or RDS and where end-users use those same PCs for applications, you need to ensure that boththe computer and the Citrix / RDS connection are licensed.