XenApp (Citrix Virtual Apps) Review

It has enabled remote working from anyplace, anytime, and anywhere.


What is most valuable?

  • Remote access
  • BYOD
  • High performance
  • Feature-rich, full desktop experience

How has it helped my organization?

  • It has enabled remote working from anyplace, anytime, and anywhere
  • It has simplified, secured, and centralized the challenges of O/S deployment across the enterprise.

What needs improvement?

They could reduce the number of bugs and fixes required post release. This would ensure a smooth integration with any flavour of hypervisor or cloud provider.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the product for fifteen years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Over the years Citrix has increased the pace in which new versions are released, and often the product has not gone through thorough enough testing so the consultants are left very challenged trying to resolve bugs, and obtaining post-release fixes from the Vendor (Citrix). It would be much better if Citrix could slow down the rapidness of their updates and give a bit more time and consideration to belt and bracing the solution prior to general public release.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the most part, we did not encounter stability issues. However, owing to the complexities involved in working with multiple vendor platforms, and by the nature of the Microsoft O/S, there are sometimes gremlins and bugs which affect deployments for which hot fixes are often required.

These bugs can sometimes affect stability, but often only affect it when mixing multiple vendor solutions.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues. By design, Citrix offer a very modular solution whereby you can bolt-on and build-up on features and functionality as required. Citrix tends to do future-proofing. It is still the market leader in Server Based Computing deployments.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support was usually excellent. However, you sometimes have to push to ensure that you get to the top level of engineer to deal with the case. This is the case with most vendors.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We have worked with all competitors over the years. I think that the "Ferrari" Citrix is still your best choice

How was the initial setup?

It depends on what business needs you are trying to achieve and which product features you need to enable.

Installation and setup have been improved over the years. However, to implement a truly robust, performance rich solution, you still need an SME to help design and implement the solution.

What about the implementation team?

We have a teamed on seasoned Citrix Consultants, specialists in their chosen field covering off the complete Citrix Product Suite from XenMobile, to XenDesktop

What was our ROI?

We recently implemented a new on-demand private cloud solution for SAS Software to replace their aging PC/Ghost imaging within their classroom environments throughout the UK. The new XenDesktop solution is completely hands-free enabling the end user to provisioning the desired desktop image on-demand within a 3 minute end-to-end process. Previously, it use to take the SAS Support staff an entire weekend to rebuild a classroom ready for the SAS Software training course to commence on Monday. They realized their ROI within just one year.

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

Citrix is competitive when compared to other vendors. Often you get what you pay for. In this instance, if you want an enterprise-class and future-proofing solution, then Citrix is a good choice to make.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have evaluated, and continue to evaluate all the main competitors since 2000.

We looked at VMWare View (now Horizon) and Microsoft RDS/VDI.

We are brand agnostic and we go with the best solution which fits the customers' needs and budgets.

As professional consultants, we will advise and present the pros and cons of each solution when explaining our recommendations.

What other advice do I have?

  • Talk to fellow experts who have worked extensively with the technology.
  • Ask them to come over, showcase, and demo the solution so that you can cover all your business objectives and ensure the right vendor.
  • We always recommend an onsite PoC for 5-10 consulting days to prove the technology and to thrash out what can and cannot be achieved.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a team of seasoned technologists specialising in all areas of Server Based Computing. We are brand agnostic, but have partnership status with Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware.
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