Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Review

Provides ICA protocol performance and adaptive user constraint.

What is most valuable?

  • ICA protocol performance on a slow network
  • Adaptive user constraint in a different user environment
  • Load balancing and HA

How has it helped my organization?

  • This product can reduce the cost of a user environment, but only if all components are included for a migration to a Citrix environment.
  • A Citrix environment can increase the security by centralizing and controlling the user environment.
  • The application deployment was also accelerated.

What needs improvement?

Citrix needs to ameliorate their administrative panel and provide a tool to
add more control in the user Citrix environment. An example is Norskale,
recently acquired by Citrix. Actually the user profile can only be modified
by third part tools or by a system tool (like : regedit, script and other).
In addition the AppCenter (XenApp 6.5 version) is not a simple tool and
need to be optimized (too long to load, too many options in different
submenus) and debugged (some columns added in user view corrupt the access
to the AppCenter).

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for four years. We used Citrix XenApp when the product was called Presentation Server.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were some stability issues, primarily with printers and some device drivers. It's important for an administrator to configure policies correctly to prohibit some devices from connecting.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues. However, scalability is the key to user performance. The administrator needs to check performance counters to ensure the best user experience.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is adequate.

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

We used Microsoft RDS, but it did not have the same performance as the ICA protocol. It lacked the load balancing and high availability functionalities.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty simple, but you need to follow the manual as with any software installation.

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

Beware! It is expensive. You need to include all variables when you are going to migrate your users or applications to a Citrix environment. Remember to establish a global strategy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate any alternatives. Other products on the market lack the same functionalities.

What other advice do I have?

  • Keep calm and take some time to install, configure, and optimize. Test with users as well.
  • Remember to keep your users in the project loop before releasing the architecture into production!
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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