Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Overview

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is the #1 ranked solution of our top Application Virtualization tools. It's rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, and is most commonly compared to VMware Horizon View: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops vs VMware Horizon View

What is Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops?

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops provide granular access control, advanced system monitoring and an inherently secure architecture by providing remote access to Windows and Linux apps and desktops secured in the datacenter. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops enable IT to deliver on-demand apps and desktops to any device.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is also known as XenDesktop, XenApp (Citrix Virtual Apps).

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Buyer's Guide

Download the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: May 2020

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Customers

Exelon, Aeronamic, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Alameda County Medical Center, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Aloysius Stichting, Amarchand Mangaldas, AmBev, Amnet Technology Solutions, Arval

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Video

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Reviews

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Michael Bone
CIO at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Real User
Top 20
Oct 20, 2020
Helps us deliver a range of services, like load balancing, remote control, remote access, and a unique thin-client workstation on wheels

What is our primary use case?

We are West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, a 496-bed hospital in a fairly rural part of Suffolk in England. As a care provider we provide hospital and community health services with around 3,200 staff at the hospital and a further 650 community staff who work in local clinics and in patients' homes. On 1st April 2020, we acquired our first primary care practice as part of our move towards being an integrated care system. In terms of Citrix our biggest use case is for remote access and remote control. The former provides a VPN connection and the latter a published desktop. Prior to the onset of… more »

Pros and Cons

  • Among the most valuable features is the Citrix Receiver which allows us to drive that thin-client connection, and the remote control/remote access capabilities. Those things have allowed us to connect an awful lot of people quickly from home and that's obviously helped during the pandemic.
  • Where improvement could be driven is in terms of clarity as to the functionality of some of the solutions. If you go back to the older Citrix Xen products that we had, we understood those really well. As we've come into the new workstation premium suite, there is a lot of additional functionality that we perhaps have not yet fully exploited. It is not because we can't, but simply because we don't yet understand the depth of functionality that's offered.

Cost and Licensing Advice

  • The cost of the Citrix software reflects what I would expect a product of that nature, in that market, to be. Understanding the licensing is quite a bit more complicated, because one of the things about Citrix is that you can buy licensing at different levels... Yet I still like the idea because it means that if all you need is a basic load balancing solution, then you don't need to buy an advanced or premium license.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to spend more time planning than you do implementing. Get what you need—the components that make up the solution—all agreed and lined up before you then commence the build work. I know that's really easy for someone like me to say, when you're under pressure and your organization needs something built very quickly. Therefore, to make sure that you generate the most benefit from your investment and you drive the features that really help, spending a little more time in the planning phase and making sure that you've got the right type of license, the right application or appliance…
Reviewer78235
Manager of Virtualization Services at a university with 10,001+ employees
MSP
Jul 14, 2020
Enables us to do specialty, secure network offerings for particular faculties and researchers

What is our primary use case?

We offer our Citrix platform to all faculty, staff, and students at the university. We are a university on eight campuses throughout the state with about 130,000 potential users. We have the capability to offer any applications that we're licensed for and that fit well, being virtualized on that platform, to everybody. We offer it to everybody, but not everyone shows up. We have special use cases where we're using the same physical infrastructure, but have carved up specialty virtual apps, desktops, and networks, for certain pockets of the university. We offer them to the School of Medicine… more »

Pros and Cons

  • The user experience when using the solution's technology remotely is definitely superior to our VPN and/or Windows Remote Desktop. It's a much better user experience for those folks.
  • We've been able to scale the environment quite nicely by using the Citrix Remote PC. I can't say enough about that. And because that relies on utilizing your existing hardware resources, and making those available as a part of your Citrix farm — with a second level of authentication and security pieces around it — we added some 4,000 workstations without an additional overhead or cost.
  • There is room for improvement on the hypervisor side, providing better integration between the hypervisor and the product line. I suspect that they haven't put the work into that because of the move to the cloud. They want everything to be cloud-hosted. But for folks like us, who will always be a hybrid model, that's of some concern.

What other advice do I have?

You need to know your workloads very well. And that isn't something that you just know. So you should probably buy small, really small — smaller than you ever thought — and see what your workloads look like, and then grow into it. That's the key when it comes to sizing or implementations. Vendors generally want to come in and oversell you. They want to license you to the max for your number of projected users. That's really not necessary for a product like Citrix. The biggest lesson I've learned from using the solution is to start small and find a small success story with the particular use…
Learn what your peers think about Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2020.
446,626 professionals have used our research since 2012.
JacquesBodenstein
Senior Engineer at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Oct 14, 2020
Good end-to-end solution for Zero Trust, enabling us to log off compromised users

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case became present during the COVID-19 pandemic where we were forced to send all employees home and deploy Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops to enable users to work remotely. It's deployed as a hybrid cloud, the Citrix cloud with on-premise workloads. We deployed the hosted shared desktop, so we have terminal servers running on-premise in our data center, and users connect via Virtual Apps and Desktops to their desktops. This allows users to use their own laptops. We also use Citrix Gateway, Access Gateway, and SD-WAN to protect our environment.

Pros and Cons

  • The most valuable feature is the ability to connect to our on-premise applications, through the Workspace app and the Workspace experience. The user experience when using the solution's technology remotely is good. Our users are able to work and it's seamless. The performance is also good.
  • The visibility the solution provides across SaaS, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments, for user and application traffic, is also limited if you do not enable all the services and is based on which services you are utilising. Citrix provides end-to-end visibility based on their services you are utilising.

Cost and Licensing Advice

  • The licensing, in general, is expensive. A lot of customers battle to pay the amount. It's very difficult to ensure that your solution provides the business value that the customer is after.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you do a proper assessment and plan the rollout properly. That will ensure that the product is a success. Understand what the use cases are and if the Citrix solution is the right use case for the problem that you have. Explain what the business value is, because sometimes it's difficult to explain that. User training is something that is important so that people understand how to use the product. This is important because the new way of working through one workspace is something that users still need to understand and get use to. It provides an integrated platform but I wouldn't say…
Guido Doberti
Manager - IT/Telecommunications at Banco Galicia
Real User
Top 10
Jul 22, 2020
We can be proactive when it comes to dealing with performance, maintenance, and security issues

What is our primary use case?

The main focus of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop is remote access, mobility, and speed of deployment. Our most important use case is remote access. We had to deal with a lot of complaints from our users that were really difficult to troubleshoot. 90 percent of the issues were related to the local connection with the Internet and traffic problems with the ISP, which were not related to Citrix nor our infrastructure. This was difficult to troubleshoot. Since we have had Citrix Director implemented, every session looks crystal clear on the platform. We know exactly what each one of our 7,000… more »

Pros and Cons

  • The solution provides everything in one integrated platform. When it comes to monitoring their solution, it is really easy. We have all the information in one place so we can have the right information at the right moment. We can be proactive when it comes to dealing with performance, maintenance, and security issues.
  • The product advances really fast. For some customers, we need better backwards compatibility.

Cost and Licensing Advice

  • The Citrix licensing scheme is really straightforward and simple. It doesn't have hidden costs. You get what you pay for. It is easy to understand what is on the product, so it's simple to get a clear idea of how much it costs. Licensing is not an issue.

What other advice do I have?

Once you give it to your internal customers or your employees, it won't be easy for you to take it away. Therefore, training is one of the most important things. It's really important to have all your team trained and certified on your products before starting a deployment. Security is the key to everything right now. With Citrix, you don't have to focus only on delivering virtual apps on your desktops or remote access because there is no trade-off between user experience and security or speed of deployment and security. We have been doing a deep dive with things related to endpoint analysis…
DimitarAlexov
CDO at SGROUP
Real User
Top 10
Dec 22, 2019
Provides flexibility in the architecture but it needs better integration into other environments

What is our primary use case?

Our installation is currently on-premises, but we have already decided that we will move to the cloud. In general, we are using XenApp to make a virtual protected environment in order to link our other applications through Citrix. We want to link data or applications, it depends on the case. Sometimes we don't want to have links from application to application but just for the applications to share the data which they are using. This product provides us some flexibility in the architecture.

Pros and Cons

  • This is a very stable solution which you can feel confident using.
  • The product should expand its capabilities for integrating with other environments.

What other advice do I have?

Advice that I would give to people considering this solution is to use our model of implementation. I absolutely recommend using a local supplier who is knowledgeable and who has experience with the product and deployment because then you won't have any problems. We are only using it. We don't care how it is set up. We don't care about the model itself, but only that the result fits our requirements. This supplier is doing all the things we don't want to have to learn for us. On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a seven-out-of-ten.
reviewer1368945
Director System Integration at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Sep 29, 2020
A mature product and an industry leader with great application virtualization

What is our primary use case?

For virtual desktops, like Windows 10 or Windows 7, we primarily use the solution to offer some customized applications to the users. Some of the basic applications, like Windows applications, are being used across all VDIs. The usage depends on the specific customer. They decide what applications they want to have in their VDI. We have certain items as far as their requirements, and we just manage the infrastructure in the background.

Pros and Cons

  • Citrix is one of the companies that is delivering virtual apps and desktops in a big way. They are mature enough to understand the level of stability required and deliver it.
  • If Citrix can develop something which can have more reach towards the backend infrastructure, other components of the Citrix environment, that would be ideal.

What other advice do I have?

We're currently using the latest version of the solution. While we mostly work with on-premises deployments, we also occasionally handle cloud deployments as well. We have our internal Cloud offering. Form there, we have a managed data center and within our company's premises, the customers are just subscribing to services based on their need for virtual desktops. I would recommend the product. It's an industry leader in the VDI environment. Nobody can match their capabilities right now. I'd rate the solution nine out of ten overall. If they had better capability testing, I might rate it…
reviewer1355388
Infrastructure Specialist at a insurance company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Oct 12, 2020
Users of this solution feel remote systems are more stable and reliable, compared to regular VPN connections

What is our primary use case?

I mainly use it for VPN connections to resources like my physical laptop, which is currently in the office, while I'm working remotely. We use it for all the virtual machines. The goal is to simply give users the possibility to securely connect to their laptops or virtual machines, in some cases. It's not a cloud solution. We use Virtual Apps and Desktops with Windows 10 in the same way as servers with, for example, Linux systems. There is no dedicated infrastructure. I'm not a Citrix administrator, I'm just a regular user.

Pros and Cons

  • The most valuable feature is the gateway to a remote connection, to a physical or a virtual PC. Compared to a normal VPN client and connection, the connection via Citrix is more stable and does not consume as much network bandwidth.

    Cost and Licensing Advice

    • Based not only on the cost of Citrix, but additional costs like firewalls, IPS, and other solutions, the total cost of switching users from using normal laptops with VPNs to connection via Citrix were so huge that the CEO of our company decided to postpone the deployment process.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice would be to be patient. Each solution has its pros and cons. We use the following in protecting our environment: Citrix Gateway combined with users from Active Directory and RSA tokens, as well as Remote PC Access. I am able to use the solution from my private laptop, my company laptop, and I don't see any difference. I imagine the behavior should nearly be the same across other devices.
    RoelNiesen
    Owner at 1st Solutions
    Reseller
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Dec 18, 2019
    Fast, secure and reliable for remote connections

    What is our primary use case?

    I have a few small companies as customers who need to have access to data stored in a centralized site from remote locations. We provide them with this tool so they can do their work in that type of business model.

    Pros and Cons

    • XenApp is a fast, secure and reliable solution for remote connections that is completely different than and superior to older Windows solutions.
    • Pricing can be lower and roaming profiles need to be fixed to work consistently.

    What other advice do I have?

    The advice I would give to those who want to start using this solution is to beware of Citrix and Microsoft. They are both considered sort of the bad guys in the computing world. They want to push you to the cloud and maybe you don't really need the cloud for your solution. You don't have to listen to them. On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as an eight.
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