Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Overview

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Application Virtualization tools. It is most often 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: March 2021

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

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops pricing:
  • "In terms of pricing with the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, I think it has gotten better over the years. Citrix has found more dynamic ways to be able to revive licensing models that fit many different scenarios that organizations have. We have been able to evolve our own licensing over the years to accommodate our situations between concurrent versus user device licenses. Now, when we move into the Citrix Workspace realm, we definitely have some awesome options there."
  • "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."
  • "If you look at cost, then you must look at the number of users that you are covering. If you are only using it for some users, then it is very expensive. However, if you have a massive amount of users, then it begins to be interesting to use Citrix. Because once you are managing thousands of servers with one guy, your maintenance costs decrease per user."
  • "Citrix is a mid-range cost solution compared to some others out there."
  • "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."
  • "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."

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Reviews

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Rod MacCormack
Technical Team Lead at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Jan 7, 2021
Allows the end user device flexibility when remotely accessing my organization's resources

What is our primary use case?

We have a ton of use cases. Ever since COVID-19 happened, my organization sent everybody home to work. Using Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops has been absolutely critical in keeping our core business functionality going as well as keeping everybody happy, like our customers. We are a utility. Within our municipality, we are considered an essential service. As an extension of that, using Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is absolutely critical to making sure that customers are happy, because we keep the lights on, literally and figuratively, for our customers. We currently use Citrix across the… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "In terms of scalability, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops have a lot of technologies baked in there that allow an organization to scale up or down, as required. Further, leveraging Azure for scalability has added value to our organization. For example, pre-COVID-19, we had very few resources in Azure. We had some Virtual Desktops and no application servers. When COVID-19 came along, we knew people were going to be home. We knew that we had to ramp up very quickly. We fully leveraged MCS to be able to scale. Being able to take a single image and build 400,000 Virtual Desktops, all within minutes, was second to none in terms of any other technology out there that we could have used. The scalability to be able to do that in Azure, where we really don't have to worry about storage and compute power because Microsoft does that for us, was fantastic. It was almost like giving our environments steroids. It has been amazing in terms of that scalability. Now, as people start coming back to the office, we can just as quickly scale down so the compute and resource costs in Azure aren't so great anymore."
  • "I think improvement around the Analytics piece is super important. There has been a lot of maturity over the last year in that area, though a lot more needs to be done. Also, a lot more of the value of those Analytics needs to be sold to end users. Citrix is working on a lot of things that are ahead of the curve and a lot of organizations aren't quite there yet with implementing those technologies and capabilities."

What other advice do I have?

For anyone who is thinking about getting into Virtual Apps and Desktops and utilizing that in their organization, I would really start thinking about what use cases would make the most sense. In the past, Citrix has been very heavily focused on the remote worker. So, at other organizations that I've worked with, we've had people distributed in the field: working in mines, the fields, and at oil and gas plants. Having that centralized management for people who are working out in the field is a critical use case. Think about the workers in your organization who meet that use case and it is a…
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 Workspace, 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."

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…
Learn what your peers think about Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: March 2021.
466,017 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Jim Grimm
Citrix Engineer at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Jan 3, 2021
Provided us the flexibility to seamlessly get people working from home, even though that model wasn't the norm for our company

What is our primary use case?

We deliver mainly desktops to all of our offices, using thin clients. Since we've been working from home during the pandemic, people just use their home computers to access their desktops. We deploy a desktop full of a standard set of applications, and we have a few published applications that are not on a desktop. People access those from that desktop, and some people access them as a published application and not a desktop. We have people who have laptops and some of them just use one or two applications, so they don't get a full desktop. They'll just VPN from their laptop and use Citrix to… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "The Provisioning Services are the most valuable feature. We have Premium licensing, so Provisioning Services is huge for us, along with the Virtual Apps and Desktops part. It allows us to have a vDisk for every region, one that can easily be copied between them if we need to, to limit the amount of updates we have to do."
  • "If anything could be improved, it might be some of the Director functionality, and some of the dashboard customization, or the overall Director customization."

What other advice do I have?

If you're looking at implementing it, plan as best you can at all levels. Citrix has its consulting methodology for how to properly plan and deploy an environment. I've been in a lot of places where I haven't seen the planning phase happening. Planning goes a long way towards a successful deployment, because you test a lot of things during the testing phase of that, in particular. You see things that you wouldn't otherwise see if you just built it and threw it out there and said, "Hey, use this." You would run into a lot of problems that you wouldn't understand, things that need to be tweaked…
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…
Etienne Delfosse
System Engineer Windows and Citrix at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Jan 24, 2021
Offers more flexible possibilities of managing business continuity plans and performance everywhere for end users

What is our primary use case?

In the beginning, the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops was designed for our COVID-19 business continuity plan. We use a lot of Citrix Desktops (for around 600 people). The desktop was built for out of office work, whitelisting clients, for all work done with a personal computer, and for the business continuity in a white room with dedicated computers. Today, we have changed the total design using enterprise laptops for everybody, so the desktop is gone and we only publish applications for end users. The profile between the Citrix published applications and the broker profile on the laptop is… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "We can provide tons of applications with different settings, behaviors, and operating systems. It is the same way for the user. Then, we are totally transparent for the user to use a lot of totally different applications, which is the most important part of Citrix today."
  • "In the bank, a major part of all our applications is Microsoft App-V. If App-V is at end of life, then we need a new technology to replace it. As of today, I haven't seen in Citrix Studio that there is a new technology embedded directly in it to replace App-V."

What other advice do I have?

There has been a lot of improvement in the application. We use the application for so many different things and areas of security. It is incredible what we can do with Citrix. It provides total transparency for us. Today, it does not provide the flexibility of being used on any device because we use it on enterprise laptops. However, in the past, users could use their personal computer. We covered a lot of ground, and it was totally transparent for us. We only asked, "Please install Citrix receivers," then the rest is transparent for the system engineer. It is not clear for this moment if we…
Patti Henderson
IT Director at a legal firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Dec 21, 2020
Provides us with more secure offerings for remote access; security is leaps and bounds ahead of our previous solution

What is our primary use case?

We initially implemented it so that our attorneys had an option to work from home. The majority of them did not want to carry a laptop back and forth. Prior to 2020, we did have four of our 40 attorneys using it almost full-time on a work-from-home basis. We use the following in protecting our environment: Citrix Gateway, Remote Desktop Access, Citrix Secure Browser, Web/URL Filtering, and Contextual Access.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature has to be the non-persistent desktop. If one of my users messes something up and blows away their desktop, it goes back to what it was originally, before they had an issue."
  • "The only thing we have found to be detrimental is when we have tried to find training. I realize that we're looking at it at the worst time possible, with a pandemic going on, but it seems that most of the training offered is learn-by-yourself online."

What other advice do I have?

My advice is get an engineer. Their knowledge can't be matched. A very good one will do it as an educational experience, so you learn as you go. Having somebody who knows Citrix inside and out build it, with best practices and what would suit our needs the best, was invaluable to me. And our engineer has provided support on the minor things afterwards and that has been wonderful. I love the support. My users either love it or hate it. There is no in-between. The ones who love it do so because it is very consistent in how it works. You log in, everything works. It's the same desktop, the same…
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."

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 10Leaderboard
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."

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…
See 11 more Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Reviews