MetaFrame, the follow-up to Citrix Systems' WinFrame, is now shipping in New Zealand.
MetaFrame is an add-on to Microsoft Windows Terminal Server, which will be launched in New Zealand in July, and is more likely to excite business customers than Windows 98.
Windows Terminal Server is a multi-user version of Windows NT 4.0 which handles multiple Windows clients. Citrix MetaFrame (formerly called Picasso) sits on top of Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server edition and serves non-Windows clients such as Unix and Apple Macintosh. It also performs administration and management functions such as load balancing of applications between servers, central administration of applications from a single point, secure encryption service, and the ability to deploy applications to clients over the Internet.
Nabeel Youakim, Citrix Systems Australia's managing director, describes MetaFrame clients as the thinnest clients available. It uses Citrix' ICA protocol so that applications are executed 100% on the server, with only the user interface running on the client.
"Only screens, mouse clicks and key strokes travel back to the server over the network," he says. "It gives the performance and single point of manageability of hosting computing, but with a graphical user interface and a wide range of applications."
Most tests have shown that Citrix ICA protocol runs faster than Microsoft's RDP, which is used in terminal server.
Suggested retail pricing for MetaFrame is $9990 for a 15-concurrent-user licence. Load Balancing and SecureICA Services are sold separately. A five-user version tailored for small businesses costs $3990 and a WinFrame to MetaFrame upgrade has a suggested retail price of $2990 per server.
Users should bear in mind that Citrix has a concurrent user licensing scheme but Microsoft has moved to a per-user model for Windows NT, which may cause some confusion.
Citrix says it will continue to support and develop WinFrame, the multi-user version of NT 3.5.