Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Review

We can be proactive when it comes to dealing with performance, maintenance, and security issues


What is our primary use case?

The main focus of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop is remote access, mobility, and speed of deployment. 

Our most important use case is remote access. We had to deal with a lot of complaints from our users that were really difficult to troubleshoot. 90 percent of the issues were related to the local connection with the Internet and traffic problems with the ISP, which were not related to Citrix nor our infrastructure. This was difficult to troubleshoot. Since we have had Citrix Director implemented, every session looks crystal clear on the platform. We know exactly what each one of our 7,000 users is doing with the platform and how their sessions are performing. It has helped us to give better support and recommendations to our employees regarding the use of the product and their requirements for their welcome networks and Internet access. It has been a huge improvement for our Internet service.

Our organization has the following protecting its environment:

  • Citrix Gateway/Single Sign-on (SSO)
  • Remote PC Access and Remote Desktop Access
  • Web/URL Filtering
  • Contextual Access
  • Citrix Endpoint Management
  • Citrix ADC
  • Citrix SD-WAN.

We are mostly an on-premise customer. Most of the visibility that we need, it is inside our network.

How has it helped my organization?

Citrix is a key solution for our business continuity plan/strategy. We are using it for remote access for every single employee, business partner, and service provider. Citrix is used for anyone working with Banco Galicia. One of the most interesting examples is what happened with this pandemic. At this moment, 95 percent of our employees are using Citrix as the only tool to do their job. That's it. It is as simple as it sounds. 

There is no difference between being at the office or home when using the solution’s technology remotely. You can't even feel the difference.

The solution provides the flexibility of being used on any device. We designed this solution with Citrix and our local partner, and one of the main aspects of the project was the ability to use it everywhere and with any device that you want. That was one of the requirements. We encourage the use of corporate-owned devices, but if you prefer your personal devices more than the corporate provided ones, then we make sure that you can use it safely without putting our business and infrastructure at risk. This is a really good solution from a bring-your-own-device perspective.

Our organization supports Zero Trust as a security strategy. In the last three to four years, Citrix has made huge improvements so we can have all its features on the same solution. Even with the simplest Citrix deployment, you have all its features available without additional products so you can provide safe access to your apps and infrastructure.

We have some protections for location-based access on our network delimiter. Our business is 99 percent locally in Argentina, so we have different policies on our network access. Then, we are evolving our deployment of interpretation and analysis from Citrix based on the software that you have installed, device that you using, and different policies.

What is most valuable?

XenApp is a really good product. The user experience is awesome. The security features that it has are invaluable for a customer like us. Because we are highly regulated, we need to operate in a highly secure environment. 

We love Citrix SD-WAN and have it fully deployed on all of our network and branches.

We saw a huge improvement when we implemented Citrix Director. We have full visibility of our users' traffic, from their houses to our data center. This solution has provided a huge advantage with visibility.

The solution provides everything in one integrated platform. When it comes to monitoring their solution, it is really easy. We have all the information in one place so we can have the right information at the right moment. We can be proactive when it comes to dealing with performance, maintenance, and security issues. 

What needs improvement?

The product advances really fast. For some customers, we need better backwards compatibility. 

For products that we still have to use some legacy software, the virtualization of applications works okay, but sometimes it requires some additional effort from our team to make it work.

For how long have I used the solution?

For more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. It is one of the most important aspects that we took into account when we decided that Citrix would be our platform for mobile access and remote access. The platform is completely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have done a lot of integrations using different applications and vendors with Citrix. Everything is well-documented. All integrations have been tested, and we have proof that they work. You feel confident when you move forward. An example is that four months ago we had our Citrix solution sized for 2,000 employees. Since the pandemic exploded, we were able to scale up to 7,000 users in 48 hours. If that is not simplicity, I don't know how to define it.

From an administration point of view, everything looks simple, consistent, and seems to have been designed to provide the same type of user experience that we are providing to our users. However, you have the same kind of feeling when you have to perform all the administration of the suite. It's very simple to use it and perform all the maintenance and monitoring activities. We have only two administrators for 7,000 users. This means that it's not that simple because it does require skill, but the experience is good and everything looks simple on the platform.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have always had support from the Citrix working team as well as the business partner working with us here in Argentina. The Citrix people and their partners have a good skill level. Every project that we start with them, we always can move at a good speed because everybody knows what they're doing.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we used a combination between regular VPN access plus Citrix. Then, we decided to remove the standard VPN product and move ahead with the Citrix's solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and easy. 

It is well-documented on the Citrix support side. All the official documentation is accurate.

Our deployment never ends. We have been working with Citrix for more than 10 years, so we are always deploying new things.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI using Citrix from time savings, employee satisfaction, and security. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The Citrix licensing scheme is really straightforward and simple. It doesn't have hidden costs. You get what you pay for. It is easy to understand what is on the product, so it's simple to get a clear idea of how much it costs. Licensing is not an issue. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Cisco, Fortinet, and Check Point. The main differences between these products and Citrix were the user experience, ease of deployment, and end-to-end solution. With other products, when you try to enforce your security policies, the experience turns difficult and messy for the end user. With Citrix, when you deploy your solution from day zero, you can focus right away on delivering a good experience for your end users, customers, or business partners. You can be also focused on security, which is one of the key topics that IT professionals must focus on.

We use products from other vendors to provide intelligent analytics for proactive detection of malicious user behaviors.

What other advice do I have?

Once you give it to your internal customers or your employees, it won't be easy for you to take it away. Therefore, training is one of the most important things. It's really important to have all your team trained and certified on your products before starting a deployment. 

Security is the key to everything right now. With Citrix, you don't have to focus only on delivering virtual apps on your desktops or remote access because there is no trade-off between user experience and security or speed of deployment and security. 

We have been doing a deep dive with things related to endpoint analysis and security policies, but we haven't taken a look at the analytics part.

I would rate this solution as a nine (out of 10).

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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