XenDesktop Review

An excellent solution for virtual desktops and applications


What is our primary use case?

I have been using this solution for quite a long time. We have seen it evolve over the years. We primarily use this solution for virtual desktops and virtual applications.

What is most valuable?

We use the entire Citrix Suite. This XenDesktop solution helps with applications or desktops. It tunnels data into the system and the internal network. Employees can access the network anywhere. They can save files, print files, and access the network from home or the office in a secure environment.

What needs improvement?

We are looking for speed and agility in an environment. We want to see that the SAN storage can be policed and can detect a network latency. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable. We have five of us on staff to maintain the stability of the environment of the solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have about a hundred desktops and we have about 1,100 people that access it externally.

How is customer service and technical support?

The tech support is pretty good. My only complaint is that if you are calling in a ticket, you need to know who is answering the call. The overseas support is more delayed. If you ask for a US representative, they are quicker to respond to the ticket. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy due to our extensive use of Citrix products. If a rookie was installing it, I would suggest looking at the website and the Citrix whitepapers.  

Our deployment took about a year because we wanted to vet it correctly. The vetting process took about four and a half months to deal with the bugs. We slowly ramped the system up into a working phase. This was to ease our network into the system without a lot of issues. Our test users really helped iron out the issues before deployment.

What was our ROI?

The ROI for us has been that when we had Hurricane Harvey last year, XenDesktop came in very handy for us. Even though people had electricity in Texas, many networks were down. Our offices could still get into our network and do work that was needed. It is an excellent virtual office that works anywhere, anytime, and anyplace. It is worth our investment.

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

It is quite expensive, but so are the competitors on the market but, you get what you pay for.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at VMware Horizon View which compliments nicely with VMware products. Since our team was all familiar with Citrix it made the most sense. It makes our job much easier to use a product our team understands and has prior experience using.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to really vet the system a bit before choosing a solution. Always make sure you have a budget for it.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the solution work well in your lab?
  • Does it work well in your office?
  • Do you have a good network infrastructure? 
  • Will it support your needs?
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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