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: June 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

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Yasser Ghonaim
IT Operations Service Delivery Senior Manager at e-finance
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Application streaming and the shadow feature helped end-user online support and training

What is our primary use case?

Reducing traffic capacity is needed for more than 13000 remote end-users who are working on Oracle E-Business Suite with about 1600 concurrent remote users working simultaneously all over Egypt. These users connect through 3G mobile modems from different service providers.
ITCS user
Sys Eng at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
It is a good solution for a virtual desktop, but the cost is high.

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use it for user data access and for a virtual desk top.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows our users to connect back up to a central location for our data center to do away with individual desktop controls.

What needs improvement?

The monitoring and management is in need of improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has improved through the course of the last three upgrades.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is fine. We have about 400 users, who are supported by six staff members.  We use the product company-wide throughout 40 different locations, and we currently do not have plans to…
Learn what your peers think about Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2021.
511,307 professionals have used our research since 2012.
GT
Solutions Architect at GE
Real User
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.

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "Tech support can be slow if you do not receive help from the US representatives."

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?
MS
IT Infrastructure Analyst at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
User
Helped our users to work remotely with a better user experience

What is our primary use case?

I use XenDesktop to manage virtual desktops. I can manage home office's projects using it. I also use it to create work space for different users.

How has it helped my organization?

XenDesktop has helped our users to work remotely with a better user experience.

What is most valuable?

I love all its features. It lets me do almost anything.

What needs improvement?

The video conferencing feature needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
UD
‎Database Administrator with 51-200 employees
Real User
It has improved delivering applications to remote locations with its lower bandwidth utilization

What is our primary use case?

Application publishing through the Citrix. We have been using Citrix XenApp to  deliver the business application to remote locations of our company. We highly  reduce our bandwidth through the XenApp application publishing.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved delivering applications to remote locations with its lower bandwidth utilization. It gives better performance to the user though the lowest bandwidth.

What is most valuable?

Citrix Xenapp application publishing is a valuable feature that we highly utilize in our organization.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
ITCS user
Citrix / Virtualization Pre-Sales and Implementation Engg. at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
ICA/HDX optimization policies are a key feature

Pros and Cons

  • "ICA/HDX optimization policies."
  • "Dependency on server virtualization after v7.x is an issue which I encountered in small environments."

What other advice do I have?

Plan wisely for sizing, product is stable if sizing is correct. Try to use standard application for virtualization, non-standard application can lead to memory leakage which can hamper your sizing considerations.
SD
Citrix/VMware Administrator at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It virtualizes the application on your desktop

What is our primary use case?

Because this is a tech product, it has an app used for application virtualization.

Pros and Cons

  • "It virtualizes the application on your desktop."
  • "It is user-friendly and easy to use."
  • "The installation and maintenance are good.​"
  • "There are many latency and slowness issues, which are things looked after by Citrix."
  • "Scalability depends on the server and the number of users in the organization."
  • "​There have been many issues with stability."

What other advice do I have?

This is a very good tool for virtualizing your application. The support is good. It is affordable. I would recommend it to users who are looking to use XenApp.
it_user613110
Consultant
Vendor
Desktop virtualization solution that delivers 3D applications over WAN

Pros and Cons

  • "It has very good performance in delivering 3D applications over WAN."

    What other advice do I have?

    All Citrix products are very flexible and give you a huge amount of possibilities. From a consulting perspective, I recommend that you set aside adequate time for project planning.
    it_user200937
    System & Network Engineer at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Provides ICA protocol performance and adaptive user constraint.

    What other advice do I have?

    * Keep calm and take some time to install, configure, and optimize. Test with users as well. * Remember to keep your users in the project loop before releasing the architecture into production!
    ITCS user
    Technical Architect offering Consultancy Services and Technical Governance at Various Clients
    Consultant
    It has enabled remote working from anyplace, anytime, and anywhere.

    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.
    ITCS user
    Architect at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    MSP
    Consolidated multiple remote access solutions.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is important to do a good sizing of users. In addition to Citrix' own online calculator for sizing users (https://www.citrix.com/products/xenapp-xendesktop/savings-calculator.html), I can help with dimensioning the server infrastructure for different virtualisation projects.
    it_user271662
    Team Lead Global Engineering at Interpublic Group (IPG)
    Vendor
    It uses the ICA protocol, which beats latency and improves performance for slow connections.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure you study the architecture before rushing to go to production. Also make sure to do a proof of concept and pilot deployment before investing. You can get trial licenses. Once you believe you have the whole solution is ready to go, consult a Citrix consultant to take a quick look before you execute, in the event you do not have all the expertise.
    it_user560277
    Citrix Consultant at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    We are using this to allow our users to access applications over a secured, remote environment.

    What other advice do I have?

    * During the implementation phase, understand the requirement and set up a sand box environment for testing and managing. * If all of the testing is successful, plan for production from scratch. Do not use your existing sandbox for production.
    it_user70641
    Virtualization, Remote Access and Mobility Engineering at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    It improved application response time and used a lot less bandwidth. Better QA, please.
    ITCS user
    Technical Sales Leader on IBM Cloud, MBA at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    MSP
    It provides great performance with NVIDIA GPU cards.

    What other advice do I have?

    Many of my clients are looking for a DaaS with IBM SoftLayer.
    it_user90339
    Systems Administrator at a government with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    The most valuable feature to me as IT is that the disk is non-writable.

    What other advice do I have?

    Virtual desktops aren’t for every user and it takes some thought to apply them correctly. Heavy graphics programs will benefit from the use of GPUs in the host. Your best bet will be to use a Citrix partner VAR who knows what they’re doing to implement and train you; even though it costs more initially, it will prevent so much dissatisfaction, it will really be worth it. There are a number of little “gotchas”, optimizations, and tweaks they have already known about and Citrix has worked through and patched that will greatly impact the user acceptance and affect it will have on your…
    it_user482313
    IT Project Manager at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    We upgraded from a previous version of XenMobile as we had a significant investment in the Citrix stack already.

    What other advice do I have?

    XenMobile is a good, stable product, but make sure you investigate what features you are looking to roll out and decide whether XenMobile isn’t overkill. Depending on what want to deploy, you may need to examine your resource requirements to not just deploy, but support as well. Training isn’t cheap for any Citrix course but XenMobile from an administration perspective, is pretty simple to learn.
    ITCS user
    System Administrator with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    If you have all of the network requirements in place, it takes 4-6 hours to have the infrastructure working in a production environment.

    What other advice do I have?

    Citrix have online sites that help designing, planning and implementing the solution; use them. It’s a strong solution for application virtualization. Works on a Windows server base, so compatibility with applications is easier.
    ITCS user
    Presales Specialist at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Consultant
    The most valuable feature of this product for me is that it provides secure access anywhere from any device.

    What other advice do I have?

    Go for this product without any thinking. If you are looking for security and a single point of management, then go with this product.
    ITCS user
    IT Director at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    The user experience is comparable to XenApp (our past presentation server), with the same look and feel as a normal full desktop in the head office.

    What other advice do I have?

    Get the full business requirement and test the end-to-end performance and the capacity for DR before going full-fledged. Also, understand the licensing cost. Having dedicated VDIs for our organisation saved us lots of headache:
    Fazal Ur Rehman Shah
    Senior Consultant/Project Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    Top 20
    It provides a secure desktop to remote users, and licensing is competitively priced.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature of this product to me is its ability to provide a secure desktop to remote users.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The product has allowed the organisation to provide VDs for external users to access internal resources and manage them.

    What needs improvement?

    The product deployment is role-based and I would like to see the roles reduced.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for 18 months.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We had some issue with SCVMM, which is used to manage the Citrix infrastructure. We also faced an issue with the VDs being unregistered due to different reasons.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Citrix support is very good. You open a…
    ITCS user
    Virtualization Engineer at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    It is flexible, easy to manage and faster than the alternatives.

    What other advice do I have?

    The initial installation plan should be well-done. It must be well-constructed and it must be very well-optimized. Anyone can install this product, but not everyone can manage this product. My rating refers to version 7.x of the product. I rate earlier versions lower.
    ITCS user
    Project Assistant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    It is easy to make changes with the product. Document control protects our IP.

    What other advice do I have?

    Redundancy is a must. After that, ensuring that all your users will access it through a high-speed internet connection will be a key success factor.
    ITCS user
    Senior System Administrator at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It is simple and can be centrally managed. HDX provides high-performance imaging.

    Valuable Features

    In HDX, the graphics provide high-performance imaging.

    Improvements to My Organization

    The product improves how our organization function because it is simple and can be centrally managed.

    Room for Improvement

    I think they should improve data speed performance to reduce bandwidth.

    Use of Solution

    I have used this solution for three months.

    Deployment Issues

    It was easy to deploy.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I rate technical support 10/10.

    Initial Setup

    Initial setup was not so complicated.

    Implementation Team

    We implemented it in-house. It's easy with support.

    ROI

    It is a bit expensive but ROI is there.

    Other Advice

    Go for it. It's the best one.
    it_user221403
    Network Mgr at a educational organization with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    The most valuable feature to me is the flexibility to publish just apps, just virtual desktops, both, or even physical desktops.

    What other advice do I have?

    Build yourself a demo, following best practices. You'll likely find it to be pretty easy to do, and you'll have a solid foundation if you do need to hire outside help.
    Edgar Parra
    Senior Technical Consultant at The Instillery
    Real User
    The Provisioning Services and Machine Creation Services features allow you to provision workloads by following a wizard, and depending of what you have in your environment.

    What other advice do I have?

    Plan your budget, and do a PoC first if possible to get key users feedback, work with Citrix licensing team to find out what best license scheme adjust to your needs, don’t go out and buy the Enterprise license because it has it all, check first what your design requires and after that make an informed decision.
    ITCS user
    Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    You can create a filter to find hotfixes for a specific product but after you selected the last version there is no filter for feature packs.
    Originally posted at https://www.robbeekmans.net/citrix/citrix-bring-back-rollup-packs/ Citrix: Bring back the Rollup packs In the past Citrix had several software updates available, these days the options are different. In this short article I explain what has changed and why I think that’s causing issues. In the old days you had: Software Hotfixes Feature packs Rollup packs The Rollup packs used to contain all the hotfixes of a certain period and guarantee that you installed all the hot fixes and your environment was up-to-date again. The Rollup packs would have a list with all the previous hotfixes it included. When we fast-forward to today what Citrix is delivering is: Software Hotfixes Feature Packs As you notice…
    it_user334560
    CIO at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    It gives our business departments the ability to be mobile and our administrators a valuable knowledge base.

    Valuable Features:

    Reliability Security User Profiling  Administrator's knowledge base

    Improvements to My Organization:

    It gives our business departments the ability to be mobile.

    Room for Improvement:

    As a market leader, they have got excellent product variety, but they should improve the user and administration experiences.  Also, their support could improve.

    Cost and Licensing Advice:

    If it fits your budget, no doubt you should get it, but keep in mind that there are other products out there that could give you the same for less.
    ITCS user
    Senior Analyst at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It allows us to virtualize desktops and apps, but there were some stability and scalability issues.

    Valuable Features

    We can virtualize desktops as well as apps.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We can create desktops per project.

    Room for Improvement

    I haven't seen any areas for improvement, but I am still learning.

    Use of Solution

    I've been using it for four years, and I started with Citrix Presentation Server 4.5, and we are migrating it to XenApp 6.5.

    Deployment Issues

    No issues encountered.

    Stability Issues

    There were some issues.

    Scalability Issues

    There were some issues.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Customer Service: 9/10. Technical Support: 9/10.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We also looked at VMware View.
    Shailesh Surroop
    Assistant Manager - IS Infrastructure at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    We've found it to be extremely versatile and efficient, but the studio is very slow.

    What other advice do I have?

    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.
    Shailesh Surroop
    Assistant Manager - IS Infrastructure at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    It is easy to deploy and maintain, but the studio needs to be sped up.

    What other advice do I have?

    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. The infrastructure for both XenApp and XenDesktop must be carefully designed.
    it_user8922
    Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    Comparison of VMware View 5.2 VS Citrix XenDesktop 5.6
    Recently I attended the VMware Partner Exchange 2013 and there was a session called “Technical Battleground – View VS XenDesktop”. In this post I will try and cover the differences that VMware showcased during their session and I am going to add an additional column for my comments and thoughts on this comparison. The following table shows the feature comparison between View and XenDesktop: VMware View 5.2 XenDesktop 5.6 (XD) My Comments Uses only VMware Hypervisor. Use the power of vSphere 5.1 with capabilities such as Fault tolerance, VMotion and Site Recovery Manager No tight integration with Hypervisor and flexible with XenServer, vSphere and Hyper-V I seriously feel it’s…
    ITCS user
    IT Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    XenDesktop 5
    Citrix XenDesktop is a great product. My experience is with the 5.x version, and have been introduced to XD7 which looks awesome and I cannot wait to have it running in production for the new features it offers. XD5 works well, take a VM and install the Citrix virtual desktop agent, and then add the machine to your Director server through the Desktop Studio console. Assign an user to the machine and they are able to access (Yes, I am leaving out a bunch of steps such as setting up the web interface for remote logins but this review is for XenDesktop and not the related stuff). Performance is exceptional even across low bandwidth connections. The connection is secure, and you have options to block USB drives and even the clipboard if you want to restrict users.
    it_user4695
    VP of IT with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Performance over VPN was an issue but now it's much better

    Valuable Features:

    Before we were on a VPN model for remote usage into our data center, the performance issues with large datasets moving cross country really proved to be an issue with remote users. This product really moved the needle in solving for this.

    Room for Improvement:

    Not every application is certified with this solution.
    it_user2529
    Manager of Data Center at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Good product, but competition is gaining...

    What other advice do I have?

    Since the POC, VMview has significantly improved thier bandwidth requirements. I wonder if a complete VMware solution may be a viable replacement at some point.
    sumodirjo
    Senior Site Infrastructure Engineer at Kurungsiku
    Real User
    Top 10Leaderboard
    Complete Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution you can try for free

    What other advice do I have?

    Good alternative to VMware view, free for 10 users, you can use it as test pilot
    it_user1266
    Network Manager at a local government with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Great VDI solution. Saves organization money

    What other advice do I have?

    High initial cost, but over time it allows a much longer desktop refresh cycle. Our organization is using fat terminals instead of buying thin clients. Once those machines break, we can begin replacing with thin clients.
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