XenDesktop Review

We've found it to be extremely versatile and efficient, but the studio is very slow.

Valuable Features

The central administration and deployment of desktops and apps. XenDesktop gives a full desktop experience i.e. the user gets a Windows machine with a C drive and loaded with a set of applications such as mail, productivity suites and access to files.

Improvements to My Organization

We have 12 offices around the island, and users able to connect to the same desktop and access their apps and files from any of these locations. Road warriors get access to the insurance apps on their mobile devices of any OS.

Room for Improvement

The studio is very slow.

Use of Solution

We've been using it since May 2010, alongside XenApp and XenServer.

Deployment Issues

From an administrative point of view, it is easy to deploy and maintain.

Stability Issues

In the beginning yes, especially if you are running a large number of desktops.

Scalability Issues

No issues encountered, and we run 600 virtual desktops.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:


Technical Support:


Previous Solutions

No, but we did try VMWare View as well as part of a lengthy POC. Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp came out on top.

Initial Setup

It was a straightforward wizard-based setup.

Implementation Team

We used a mix of a vendor and an in-house one. The vendor was excellent, and they advised on the right architecture for performance and scalability, so I would give them a 10/10.


It's reduced the PC maintenance and upgrade costs by two or three times.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Carefully make the distinction between XenApp and XenDesktop. XenApp uses a mix of Microsoft RDS and Citrix to provision the service so this increases the licensing cost, as well as the amount of administration behind it.

Other Solutions Considered

  • VMWare View
  • Kaviza Desktop (later bought by Citrix)

You should also have a look at Atlantis Computing as well. XenDesktop is deployed along Atlantis ILIO, which is phenomenal.

Other Advice

The infrastructure for both XenApp and XenDesktop must be carefully designed.

Carefully select the components for the architecture. Running virtual desktops or apps require careful planning and sizing. We found SSD disk to be extremely appropriate.

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