Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Review

The user experience is comparable to XenApp (our past presentation server), with the same look and feel as a normal full desktop in the head office.

What is most valuable?

The user experience is comparable to XenApp (our past presentation server), with the same look and feel as a normal full desktop in the head office.

It still uses ICA protocol, which means we did not have to increase the WAN bandwidth to deliver same user experience across all the sites. We did not have to increase telco cost to provide same user experience from sites outside of the head office.

How has it helped my organization?

In the past, when we were using the presentation server from Citrix, login time was taking up to eight minutes. XenDesktop reduced login time to less than two minutes. Managers who move around can take their work at any point in time to a new location without having to login from scratch. That increased productivity.

What needs improvement?

Our organisation has not been successful in delivering a multi-media experience via VDIs. This is one of the areas we are hoping to improve by upgrading to version 7.8.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability issues due to storage performance caused initial grief. Now it is working. We are using dedicated VDIs for users. We have half of the 1200 VDIs running from one DC and the rest from a secondary DC.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good, but it required a lot of learning while our organisation were going through it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Citrix support was good. They can always do better.

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

Since we already were using Citrix presentation server, our migration met the same look and feel requirement for the business. Citrix XenDesktop is the leading product for VDIs.

How was the initial setup?

Initial backend infrastructure was easy for our organisation for VMWare and storage, because we were already running VMWare for server virtualisation. Now it is just too many. We are running 1200 VDIs.

What about the implementation team?

It was a hybrid implementation. Design was done by vendor and implementation was done jointly.

What was our ROI?

Our model for ROI was not financial. It was user experience and opportunity productivity loss savings. If we are to do this work again, I would recommend using DataCore Software Defined Storage using commodity hardware to run a VDI host farm to reduce storage and DR cost.

What other advice do I have?

Get the full business requirement and test the end-to-end performance and the capacity for DR before going full-fledged. Also, understand the licensing cost. Having dedicated VDIs for our organisation saved us lots of headache:

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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