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Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

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: October 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

Archived Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Reviews (more than two years old)

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Yasser Ghonaim
IT Operations Service Delivery Senior Manager at e-finance
Real User
Improves productivity by reducing bandwidth requirements for resource-intensive applications

Pros and Cons

  • "The shadow feature is extraordinary and helps a lot when supporting remote users."
  • "Direct connection of USB devices on the terminals to be used by streamed applications is very important for printing and the usage of token authentication, but the current version does not support this one hundred percent."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to solve issues related to bandwidth when Oracle forms are used remotely. Also, upgrading or adding any other user application is extremely easy. Oracle E-business Suite is a resource intensive application and database system, which is customized in order to fulfill the government's needs.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved user productivity all over Egypt serving the Government financial system. The bandwidth used by the applications was dramatically reduced from 60K to 8K per user. This reduction in bandwidth had reduced the connection cost for the whole project.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that users can work remotely from any location. The shadow feature is extraordinary and helps a lot when supporting remote users. The business support team uses this feature to connect to the user session when they are working and can provide instruction on performing complicated tasks.

What needs improvement?

Direct connection of USB devices on the terminals to be used by streamed applications is very important for printing and the usage of token authentication, but the current version does not support this one hundred percent. It is necessary to support this transparently so that any USB device can be used.

For how long have I used the solution?

Nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is easy and straightforward.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not use another solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward, although trimming the application streaming is crucial to make the best use of bandwidth.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team and they were excellent.

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

I suggest using the concurrent user licensing scheme.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Remote Terminal was evaluated in addition to this solution.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to use Citrix XenApp on Windows VMs, based on VMware Hypervisor.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Yasser Ghonaim
IT Operations Service Delivery Senior Manager at e-finance
Real User
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.

How has it helped my organization?

It increased the no. of users and reduced traffic and data connection cost in addition to increased user productivity.

What is most valuable?

Application streaming and shadow feature helped end-user online support and training. It also increased user productivity. Since this application has its own traffic encryption proprietary technique, it increased data connection security.

What needs improvement?

Eliminating the need of Windows terminal server because it increases the cost for each user as each PC that needs to connect must have its own terminal service license.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is flexible and very easily scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good customer service and excellent technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, I used direct user connection, but it was not secure enough and used a lot of bandwidth.

How was the initial setup?

If you follow the vendor instructions, the setup is straightforward. But it might be a little bit complex in the tuning phase.

What about the implementation team?

Our own in-house team made the full implementation and operation as well.

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

The setup cost is not much. Although trimming the application settings is somehow tricky and has a lot of effect on performance, it is done only once. For a large number of users, use the concurrent users' license model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

A direct connection was evaluated.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,108 professionals have used our research since 2012.
ITCS user
Sys Eng at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
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…

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 increase the scale of use. 

How was the initial setup?

It was relatively straightforward. The deployment actually took three months. We used an integrator, and it was a bit challenging because our environment was a little bit more unique than the integrator was used to. 

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

I think it is a little high priced.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
GT
Solutions Architect at GE
Real User
An excellent solution for virtual desktops and 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 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.
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.

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

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

How has it helped my organization?

XenApp has helped many of my customers with remote access of applications, access on different platforms.

What is most valuable?

ICA/HDX optimization policies.

What needs improvement?

Dependency on server virtualization after v7.x is an issue which I encountered in small environments.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Seven out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used different application virtualization solutions, but I found XenApp to be the best of them.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward for up to version 6. After version 7 it became complex.

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

It is a bit costly, but enterprise class features come with a cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Thinspace, Propalms, VMware horizon, GO-Global.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SD
Citrix/VMware Administrator at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It virtualizes the application on your desktop

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 is our primary use case?

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

How has it helped my organization?

Your servers are in a remote location, but your server is in UK and you are operating from Australia (theoretically). In this case, you want only Outlook to be used by your end users, therefore what you do is virtualize an Outlook from the servers located in the UK, but your users are using it in Australia as if it is in their local machine. It would be as if the user is utilizing Outlook in his/her machine, but it is running on the servers located in the UK.

This is an app. It virtualizes the application on your desktop. Supposing you have to enter it, you need to login and you will see the Outlook icon on the console. Outlook will open in your system, but the server is in the UK, which is utilizing the resources. Not your local resources, but those in the UK, the UK servers.

What is most valuable?

It helps you to virtualize your application, so whenever the user needs the application, they have it in virtualized form.

It is user-friendly and easy to use. It helps in many ways. The installation and maintenance are good.

What needs improvement?

It is progressing and improving day-by-day. Before, we had 6.5 version. The recent one that we used was version 7.1.5. 

There are many latency and slowness issues, which are things looked after by Citrix. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been many issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability depends on the server and the number of users in the organization. You need to have capacity planning on how you are providing to users. If the server is a bit old, like the hardware is HPE Generation 4 servers, you are requesting the server to handle more than a hundred users, then it will work slowly. Therefore, capacity planning and the way you plan the architecture is very important for this.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is good. I would rate them as a seven out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, I was using XenApp, but there were different products, like ThinApp and VMware. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple.

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

It is affordable. The product, XenServer, is free to use, and XenApp has a one month free license. The licenses are affordable, but the support is a bit expensive, though worth the value.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

For three or four years, there were no other options other than the Citrix XenApp. Now, we have ThinApp, VMware, and one more application from Microsoft. While we have options now, XenApp stands out above the rest.

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. 

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

    XenDesktop VDI is the best in class desktop virtualization solution with the best support for clients.

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

    How has it helped my organization?

    We implement this solution at many customer sites. It directly affects the productivity and gives the customers a very flexible solution.

    The customers have the possibility to provide access to their applications and data, but its data won’t leave their data centers.

    What needs improvement?

    I can't think of anything at the moment.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using XenApp/XenDesktop for 10 years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We sometimes have issues after updates.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate the technical support at a 10 out of 10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We did not use a previous solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    You need a very good concept do the conceptual work before you start implementing. Depending on the concept, the setup could be straightforward.

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

    You have to do some hard work in order to get the suitable licenses.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at VMware View in some projects.

    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.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a Citrix Gold Partner and a specialist in Networking and Virtualization product lines.
    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 is most valuable?

    • ICA protocol performance on a slow network
    • Adaptive user constraint in a different user environment
    • Load balancing and HA

    How has it helped my organization?

    • This product can reduce the cost of a user environment, but only if all components are included for a migration to a Citrix environment.
    • A Citrix environment can increase the security by centralizing and controlling the user environment.
    • The application deployment was also accelerated.

    What needs improvement?

    Citrix needs to ameliorate their administrative panel and provide a tool to
    add more control in the user Citrix environment. An example is Norskale,
    recently acquired by Citrix. Actually the user profile can only be modified
    by third part tools or by a system tool (like : regedit, script and other).
    In addition the AppCenter (XenApp 6.5 version) is not a simple tool and
    need to be optimized (too long to load, too many options in different
    submenus) and debugged (some columns added in user view corrupt the access
    to the AppCenter).

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have used this solution for four years. We used Citrix XenApp when the product was called Presentation Server.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were some stability issues, primarily with printers and some device drivers. It's important for an administrator to configure policies correctly to prohibit some devices from connecting.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We did not encounter any scalability issues. However, scalability is the key to user performance. The administrator needs to check performance counters to ensure the best user experience.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is adequate.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used Microsoft RDS, but it did not have the same performance as the ICA protocol. It lacked the load balancing and high availability functionalities.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is pretty simple, but you need to follow the manual as with any software installation.

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

    Beware! It is expensive. You need to include all variables when you are going to migrate your users or applications to a Citrix environment. Remember to establish a global strategy.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate any alternatives. Other products on the market lack the same functionalities.

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

    • Remote access
    • BYOD
    • High performance
    • Feature-rich, full desktop experience

    How has it helped my organization?

    • It has enabled remote working from anyplace, anytime, and anywhere
    • It has simplified, secured, and centralized the challenges of O/S deployment across the enterprise.

    What needs improvement?

    They could reduce the number of bugs and fixes required post release. This would ensure a smooth integration with any flavour of hypervisor or cloud provider.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using the product for fifteen years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Over the years Citrix has increased the pace in which new versions are released, and often the product has not gone through thorough enough testing so the consultants are left very challenged trying to resolve bugs, and obtaining post-release fixes from the Vendor (Citrix). It would be much better if Citrix could slow down the rapidness of their updates and give a bit more time and consideration to belt and bracing the solution prior to general public release.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    For the most part, we did not encounter stability issues. However, owing to the complexities involved in working with multiple vendor platforms, and by the nature of the Microsoft O/S, there are sometimes gremlins and bugs which affect deployments for which hot fixes are often required.

    These bugs can sometimes affect stability, but often only affect it when mixing multiple vendor solutions.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We did not encounter any scalability issues. By design, Citrix offer a very modular solution whereby you can bolt-on and build-up on features and functionality as required. Citrix tends to do future-proofing. It is still the market leader in Server Based Computing deployments.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support was usually excellent. However, you sometimes have to push to ensure that you get to the top level of engineer to deal with the case. This is the case with most vendors.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We have worked with all competitors over the years. I think that the "Ferrari" Citrix is still your best choice

    How was the initial setup?

    It depends on what business needs you are trying to achieve and which product features you need to enable.

    Installation and setup have been improved over the years. However, to implement a truly robust, performance rich solution, you still need an SME to help design and implement the solution.

    What about the implementation team?

    We have a teamed on seasoned Citrix Consultants, specialists in their chosen field covering off the complete Citrix Product Suite from XenMobile, to XenDesktop

    What was our ROI?

    We recently implemented a new on-demand private cloud solution for SAS Software to replace their aging PC/Ghost imaging within their classroom environments throughout the UK. The new XenDesktop solution is completely hands-free enabling the end user to provisioning the desired desktop image on-demand within a 3 minute end-to-end process. Previously, it use to take the SAS Support staff an entire weekend to rebuild a classroom ready for the SAS Software training course to commence on Monday. They realized their ROI within just one year.

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

    Citrix is competitive when compared to other vendors. Often you get what you pay for. In this instance, if you want an enterprise-class and future-proofing solution, then Citrix is a good choice to make.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have evaluated, and continue to evaluate all the main competitors since 2000.

    We looked at VMWare View (now Horizon) and Microsoft RDS/VDI.

    We are brand agnostic and we go with the best solution which fits the customers' needs and budgets.

    As professional consultants, we will advise and present the pros and cons of each solution when explaining our recommendations.

    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.
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a team of seasoned technologists specialising in all areas of Server Based Computing. We are brand agnostic, but have partnership status with Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware.
    ITCS user
    Architect at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    MSP
    Consolidated multiple remote access solutions.

    What is most valuable?

    • Protects web infrastructure
    • Ensures business continuity and IT disaster recovery
    • Consolidated multiple remote access solutions
    • Lowers WAN costs

    How has it helped my organization?

    A cements customer uses the application for truck shipments from the United States by connecting to the infrastructure in Colombia, as the solution can only be found in that country.

    What needs improvement?

    We are already evaluating the latest version, 7.9, because Citrix continually updates everything.

    For optimal and stable infrastructure products, the people who develop software in-house should provide IT architecture updates.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    All implementations of Citrix have problems with stability; that is normal. This type of infrastructure should be integrated with the many software and hardware components that are currently implemented in the company.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Very good customer service.

    Technical Support:

    Technical support is improving.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have worked with VMWare as a hypervisor as the suite is very wide. However, Citrix is less expensive.

    How was the initial setup?

    All Citrix configurations have a certain amount of complexity.

    What about the implementation team?

    In-house application deployments are not always easy to integrate, because it is not always compatible with client-server environments.

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

    For a project to be effective, you must coordinate with Citrix to divide the licenses into stages and not affect costs.

    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.

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

    • ICA protocol: Beats latency and improves performance for slow connections
    • Provisioning service (PVS): Makes deployment of VDI machines a simple breeze
    • Profile manager: Profile manager makes it very easy to retain user settings. The whole suite of Citrix XenDesktop provides a complete set for managing the environment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have a lot of users in remote locations and some have slow, high-latency connections. So deploying XenDesktop as a VDI solution to connect to our data center overcame the challenges of having remote users and addressed the slow and high latency issues we used to experience prior to deploying Citrix.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see better documentation of best practices and communication of newly available tools or troubleshooting tools. If you ask several consultants, each will give you almost completely different designs, as the best practice recommendation by Citrix might be absent.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We did a lot of testing and slowly deployed our environment. Given we are also IT consultants and developers, we had a lot of the issues resolved before reaching production. One tip that is also important is training the end users and making sure they understand the setup.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Citrix Premium support is really top notch. They take ownership of the issues and are determined to address it, 9 out of 10 times it is addressed on the spot.

    How was the initial setup?

    Citrix offers many different components to address all kinds of environments. Simple setup can be done; however, if it is a complex environment, rest assured Citrix will also address it. It all depends on the components used and how to best integrate them.

    What about the implementation team?

    Implementation was completed by our in-house team.

    What was our ROI?

    Citrix is not a cheap solution as it addresses a lot of the challenges that no one else can. With Citrix, we do not have to upgrade our network infrastructure of remote offices, which is a lot of ongoing savings.

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

    Buying the licenses all at once would give the best discounts. Also using a VAR may give best pricing. Shopping through different VARs is a must as you could see 50% of savings.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated several solutions including MS RemoteApp. Citrix offers better scalability and works much better in terms of WAN and slow connections due to the power of the ICA protocol.

    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.

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

    • Application virtualization
    • Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI)
    • Management and security using NetScalers

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are using this to allow our users to access applications over a secured, remote environment. It has helped to reduce the outages in our IT infrastructure, especially during server maintenance.

    What needs improvement?

    The solution needs some improvement to make it more flexible with an easier interface.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with this technology for over nine years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Initially, we had some stability issues, such as slow logon for users and profile issues. All have been resolved and it is currently running smoothly.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We did not have hot-production outages in the environment. When we deployed the products, we set up rigid environment monitoring which has helped us to reduce scalability issues.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I never used a different solution as I started my career with XenApp. I later learned other Citrix products. So far, I am comfortable with them.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initially, we built a pre-production environment to understand the challenges according to our requirements. We were able to overcome them.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I did not evaluate other options.

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

    What is most valuable?

    ICA and HDX are the most valuable features of this product to me. These protocols allow features that most other vendors either have not implemented yet or are too bandwidth-intensive to use in the enterprise with WAN users.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our organization was a VMView shop. Due to issues with application responsiveness / perceived performance, our users had a very negative perception of the technology and were opting for physical PCs instead of VDI. During an extended pilot with these users leveraging Citrix XenDestop, we were able to improve the perceived performance / application response time, as well as use significantly less bandwidth. This was a huge cost savings for the firm.

    What needs improvement?

    The biggest area for improvement is in QA testing. The last few releases of either the VDA or updates to the broker either reduced functionality or re-introduced issues that were previously addressed.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The only issue that we had was early on in our implementation with a “Black Screen”. Although we were never able to determine the root cause with Citrix Tech support and escalated engineering, updating form 5.6 to 7.6 greatly reduced this issue / impact to our users.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I rate technical support 5/10.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. We were able to get three farms up and running within two hours. The migration from older to newer was relatively easy as well.

    What about the implementation team?

    Implementation was done in house. My best advice if you are migrating from another product to XenDesktop would be to deploy new VDI’s and migrate the users. This allows you to validate the stack and avoid legacy configuration and applications that might have issues. If that is not an option, researching what the VDI’s have installed, and what other remoting technologies are in use, will prove valuable and avoid some of the pitfalls that we had.

    What was our ROI?

    ROI I believe is close to three years.

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

    Citrix XenDesktop is a great solution for VDI or virtual desktop environments. Its most valuable features to me are:

    • Pretty good management: You can manage a full environment for VDI, you have full control of what your users do, what they can or can't install and what resources your users can use.
    • Great performance: Of course, it depends on hardware and the hypervisor (Citrix XenServer and VMWare vSphere are the best). It provides great performance with NVIDIA GPU cards.
    • Great performance on low bandwidth links: Citrix was born when I still used a phone modem with 33.5 Kbps, so Citrix created the ICA protocol that provides great performance when you use low links.
    • Easy install: With a little bit of understanding, for a standard configuration, if you have a little knowledge of Citrix XenDesktop, you can implement a solution in a few days.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Mobility! You can access your virtual desktop with all your applications everywhere; with a smartphone, laptop, thin client and so on.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see the following improvements:

    • Better monitoring tools included in the enterprise editions: At the moment, if you want better monitoring, you need to buy a third license.
    • Linux virtual desktop: We have been waiting more than five years for it!
    • Compatibility with public clouds: Today, Citrix doesn't have the best position with public clouds. I work for IBM and we have SoftLayer public cloud, and we want to offer DaaS (Desktop as a Service) to the public. Citrix is a great opportunity for us, but Citrix has to “speak” SoftLayer API language. Secondly, Citrix should have a public cloud offering with a license that final users can afford and not just an annual license.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for at least nine years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Citrix XenDesktop can be very stable and has great scalability if a certified Citrix architect designs it. Many problems that I've seen in the past with clients were related to bad design. Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp have great stability if you take the correct path.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Citrix is very good with this, if you pay your maintenance every year. :P

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I previously used the VMWare solution. It works great but only when you use LAN (at least 1 Gbps if you have many users), but in a WAN environment, I really don't like the lags and delays with that solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    If you have a little knowledge about Citrix and what a VDI environment means, initial setup is not complex. If you want to do a good job, you must be prepared to know:

    • Microsoft Windows Server (2008 R2 or 2012 R2)
    • Microsoft Windows Desktop (Windows 7, 8.1 or 10)
    • Active Directory
    • DNS!!!!!
    • Security, local policies, etc.
    • DHCP
    • Firewalls (local and for internet)
    • Citrix NetScaler Gateway
    • And so on!

    What about the implementation team?

    I have a lot of experience with third-party consultants and of course Citrix vendors. I have Citrix Architect Certification, so I have implemented my own solutions, but for big projects, it's much better to count on Citrix itself.

    What was our ROI?

    It's very difficult to evaluate this because if you have a low number of users, it's much better to buy new PC's or low-resource laptops than use VDI. For many environments, it's much better to use Citrix XenApp with published applications and use a shared desktop as opposed to using XenDesktop.

    If you have at least 1,000 users or use GPU or high-resource-consuming applications, Citrix XenDesktop is the best solution, but you won't see ROI for at least three years.

    What other advice do I have?

    Many of my clients are looking for a DaaS with IBM SoftLayer.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company has a global relationship with Citrix, we sell services and licences for final users.
    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 is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature to me as IT is that the disk is non-writable. This means that, during the course of computing, nothing permanently bad can happen to the computer. Viruses and malware can’t corrupt it. So instead of a rebuild of the machine, which used to happen at least twice a week, and take as much as 10 hours, it’s a simple reboot to fix.

    The second most valuable feature is the ability to deliver a full-featured desktop to our users anytime, anywhere with an internet connection.

    How has it helped my organization?

    My organization is a 24x7 organization. About 2/3 of our users work a schedule that is 48 hours on, 96 hours off on rotating shifts and many of them live a minimum of 70 miles away. They frequently need to get into our computer system to adjust their work availability schedule for overtime and out-of-area deployments, as well as to keep in contact with other divisions that are on more-regular work schedules. We can now access our system in the field, which is valuable when interfacing with our constituency.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to be able to document the VDIs better in XenServer and in the Delivery Controller, so that I could know which snapshot and image goes with which machine. I can do it now, but it takes some digging.

    And I still think the training costs too much in relation to the cost of the software.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using it since 2009.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    In this newest version, I keep running out of allocated space on my storage server for the virtual desktop images. This is because I am used to the older Provisioning Server model where I had one image that streamed to many desktops. Now, I am using the Machine Creation Services model where each desktop has its own image. That’s okay, but the snapshots of previous images - so that versions can be rolled back - are giving me some problems to get used to. It’s not a terrible problem, it’s just me getting used to it and figuring out how to allow for it.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Customer service and technical support is great, but you do have to pay for it. Don’t skimp and don’t try to do without it; you’ll be sorry. There are great knowledge base articles and a lot of active users, but there is also a lot that happens that never hits the knowledge base. The risk you run by trying to figure it out for yourself is dissatisfied and tremendously frustrated users - and this is not an area where you want to encourage a howling mob.

    How was the initial setup?

    My experience is no longer very valid as it was seven years ago and Citrix has made many changes and improvements. It was a nightmare. XenServer was, and is, pretty easy. XenDesktop was, and is, fairly complex. At that time, XenDesktop was poorly documented (as in, barely documented) and I ran into problems with everything, including lingering problems with the Nehalem processors in the hosts and problems in my storage server that caused the virtual desktops to arbitrarily hang for the first year or so. Every piece of the technology has matured, both hardware and software, since that time.

    What about the implementation team?

    The XenServer piece was done by a VAR from the RFP process. The original plan was for them to also do the XenDesktop piece but, as I mention elsewhere, while they were familiar with Virtual Iron, they were not familiar with XenDesktop and did not wish to undertake it. They subcontracted it to another installer, who tried to set it up but didn’t get it done past the problems I mention elsewhere. Then another VAR took a shot at it, but also couldn’t fix it. I spent a lot of time studying, learning, and trying to fix the issues and found the hardware problems and fixed them. But it still didn’t work properly. I finally bit the golden bullet and paid the price for a Citrix gold partner who rebuilt the XenDesktop installation correctly and taught me at the same time. From then on, it worked beautifully and met our vision. But that first 1.5 years was a bear to wrestle.

    What was our ROI?

    We extended our hardware replacement lifecycle by not having to replace endpoints. We no longer use PCs, but use thin/zero clients with no moving parts. So instead of a PC refresh every three years, we went 5-6 years and used a less expensive machine. Instead of three servers for the hosts, we were able to use only two when we replaced them and didn’t do it until seven years. Our fuel costs are down because a “broken” machine is a reboot, not a rebuild. We use less electricity. We are able to provide 24x7 on-call support with only 1.5 IT personnel instead of only 40 hours to our 24x7 operation. All our employees, many of whom live in another city, can access our system anytime they need to sign up for overtime or change their schedule (this is a fire department) or interact with any division on a different work schedule than their own. And our overall IT costs (hardware, software, utilities, etc.) dropped 44 percent over what we were spending in 2008 and certainly over our trajectory.

    The initial purchase for the first three years will be more expensive than what you have been spending. There will be a higher cost in time, in the learning curve, and in effort. You won’t start to see a savings until after that; the savings comes over time and will affect many areas.

    This is a disruptive technology and it will disrupt your organization; you’ll have to learn to think differently both in a technological fashion and in a budgetary fashion. If you’re used to measuring your ROI in terms of years, you’ll need to take a longer view. If you measure it by line item, you’ll need to take a wider view.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Initially, we were going to use Virtual Iron as it looked to be the simplest and least expensive to implement for a small organization. Oracle bought the product in the middle of our implementation process and killed it. Our implementer had a business relationship with a Citrix sales engineer who was able to show us the XenServer/XenDesktop product. It looked very similar, so we went with that. XenServer was; XenDesktop, not so much.

    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 organization.

    Implementation will also take some user training and you’ll get some pushback. For example, people will need to be trained to use shortcuts on their desktops and to not put a lot of files and folders on them. Why? Because Microsoft Windows loads everything up on load and it will slow them down. It will make their user experience unsatisfactory while they WAIT FOREVER (more than 30 seconds to as much as minutes, depending on bandwidth and user perception) for their desktop to come up. They’ll get used to the new way of working and come to appreciate the new amenities, but you may have to keep reminding them of what they’ve gained when they complain of what they think they’ve lost. And they will lose some things; a virtual desktop is more locked down. The desktop is non-writable, which means that nothing writes to it. This is great for IT support, but not so great for some apps. Think about that in relation to software packages that you use as you’re planning. If you’ve got software that MUST write to the disk, you can do that, but you’ll have to allow for an additional writable disk to the desktop image for any user using that software.

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

    The main features that I felt were valuable to our organization were:

    • Ability to manage iOS and Android mobile devices.
    • Application white/black listing.
    • Comprehensive rule based policies with relative parity between platforms.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In this case it was an upgrade from XenMobile 8.6 so it was an upgrade to maintain support from the vendor. The main areas of improvement would be around reporting and integration with ShareFile and access to the Worx suite of mobile applications (WorxMail, WorxWeb, WorxNotes).

    What needs improvement?

    Even with professional services, deployment can be a challenge; especially when integrating with Exchange when rolling out WorxMail (as an alternative over the native mail clients to containerize and restrict access content). Support is also an area that we struggled with; inconsistent quality between support analysts.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used XenMobile for a little over 2 years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We did encounter deployment issues. Integration with the NetScaler appliances and ShareFile were two of them but one of the biggest issues was around the wrapping of the Worx apps. As the Worx applications were updated, the wrapping tools would periodically also require updates but the releases were sometimes out of sync. Support also was limited with application wrapping. It would have been nice if Citrix Support would have dedicated more staff training for the Worx apps, the wrapping of them and how they are deployed.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    XenMobile v9 was relatively stable once it was up and running. After Citrix professional services left the site, we spent another couple of months tweaking and testing before we were willing to migrate our devices to the new environment.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We did not encounter any scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    When you are dealing with the pre-sales teams and the professional services teams, they are really good. Our experience was that typically, if they didn’t know the answer to something, they had access to resources that could bring you closer to a resolution.

    Technical Support:

    This is one area that concerned me with Citrix. I know that during our deployment, Citrix was making some changes internally and it’s possible that we just got caught in that change. But over the two years that I had access to Enterprise support, it was touch and go getting access to a quality engineer who knew how to actually resolve an issue rather than read it out of a prepared script. We always tried make our calls early in the day when we knew we would get access to support either in North America or UK/Germany/Ireland; otherwise it was always a game of phone tag when dealing with some of the other global call centres.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We did not use a previous solution. We upgraded from a previous version of XenMobile as we had a significant investment in the Citrix stack already.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was complex. We had integration into ShareFile, AppController (for the Mobile Application Management -MAM), NetScalers and then we tried to deploy the mobile apps at the same time, so we could get away from ActiveSync. I felt that the complexity simply increased with the addition of integration points. Even our professional services team had difficulties at times as the products are complex on their own, much less when you are trying to get them to work together. I would recommend phasing the deployments, if your schedule permits. Start with getting XenMobile and the AppController up and running first, wrap and deploy the Worx apps and then worry about ShareFile later in the project. The secondary concern is for the end user, because it’s a lot of change to to cope with if there is a "Big Bang" approach.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used Citrix’s professional services for the engagement. While they were very easy to deal with and tried to accommodate our design, I think they were still new to their roles.

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

    Sit down and seriously review your mobility strategy. If you don’t have one, draft something before you get started. Consider where you feel your organization is going to be in the next 2 to 5 years. I would consider an mobile device management (MDM) solution to have a lifespan of about 3 years as they have to adapt to a series of vendors (Apple, Google, Samsung, etc.) that move a lot faster than they do.

    Determine what features you are planning to roll out to your users over this timeframe (i.e. access to internal documentation [ShareFile], access to Internet sites [WorxWeb], etc.) as Citrix has a variety of options that can affect which licenses you will need and where you can save money. If you have an existing Citrix investment, look at the Enterprise licensing as you get quite a bit extra,(such as ShareFile for free).

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate alternatives due to our existing Citrix investment, so we opted to stay with Citrix.

    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.

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

    The stars from this solution are its NetScaler and profile manager.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This was a breakthrough for us; we reduced our user base from 2000 client machines with Windows OS and all applications installed on all computers and so on, to 40 application servers and 2000 thin clients that don’t need any management. If one has a problem, it’s replaced.

    What needs improvement?

    Many of the improvements that we have identified for this version already appear in the newer version. For this version, we thought they could improve management access to the applications, organization in the console, and revise server management – these are in newer versions.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    The solution has been in production for three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution has been in production for three years with no major problems; zero down time from the solution.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No scalability issues at all; in the beginning, we had only 20 application servers and 900 users. At this time, we have double the application servers and more than double the number of users. The process was straightforward.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The level of support is very good. We have support from a company that is Citrix certified and if we need some core development, such as in the client for end users, Citrix had been wonderful.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I did not previously use a different solution. This was the solution that we chose for the business need that we had at the time. And from the search conducted at the time, this was the best solution for us.

    How was the initial setup?

    The solution was straightforward; it’s like, if all of the network requirements have been done, it takes 4-6 hours to have the infrastructure working in a production environment.

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

    Thera are two types of licensing, per user or per device. This is a point that needs a lot of attention. It varies from case to case. In the infrastructure that I administrate, the (concurrent) per-user license was the best choice.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    At the time, we did not evaluate other options. This was the best solution available for us.

    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.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company and Citrix have had some projects together. My company is mainly a telecommunication provider, so we provided the communications and Citrix provided the solution.
    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.

    Valuable Features

    The most valuable feature of this product for me is that it provides secure access anywhere from any device.

    Improvements to My Organization

    This product has improved my organization by provide access to the Intranet application and website over the internet over SSL from any device.

    Room for Improvement

    This product should include a feature like like App Volume, which their competitor already has.

    Also, the Hypervisor needs to be improved.

    Use of Solution

    I have been working with this product for the last four years. I have done many projects on Citrix XenDesktop.

    Deployment Issues

    I did not have any deployment issues. For a PoC, it is an easy one-day setup.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Technical support in India is awesome and are equipped with the required technical solutions.

    Initial Setup

    Initial setup was straightforward. It's a single-server setup in a simple environment and can be scalable at any point of time.

    ROI

    ROI is always a challenge for VDI if the number of users is less than 200. It all depends upon the organisational requirement.

    Other Solutions Considered

    In comparison to Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon is a very good product. However, some features such as Sharefile and Netscaler complete the Citrix story.

    Other Advice

    Go for this product without any thinking. If you are looking for security and a single point of management, then go with this product.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a global distributor for Citrix.
    ITCS user
    IT Director at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    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 is most valuable?

    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.

    It still uses ICA protocol, which means we did not have to increase the WAN bandwidth to deliver same user experience across all the sites. We did not have to increase telco cost to provide same user experience from sites outside of the head office.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In the past, when we were using the presentation server from Citrix, login time was taking up to eight minutes. XenDesktop reduced login time to less than two minutes. Managers who move around can take their work at any point in time to a new location without having to login from scratch. That increased productivity.

    What needs improvement?

    Our organisation has not been successful in delivering a multi-media experience via VDIs. This is one of the areas we are hoping to improve by upgrading to version 7.8.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for more than four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability issues due to storage performance caused initial grief. Now it is working. We are using dedicated VDIs for users. We have half of the 1200 VDIs running from one DC and the rest from a secondary DC.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is good, but it required a lot of learning while our organisation were going through it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Citrix support was good. They can always do better.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Since we already were using Citrix presentation server, our migration met the same look and feel requirement for the business. Citrix XenDesktop is the leading product for VDIs.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial backend infrastructure was easy for our organisation for VMWare and storage, because we were already running VMWare for server virtualisation. Now it is just too many. We are running 1200 VDIs.

    What about the implementation team?

    It was a hybrid implementation. Design was done by vendor and implementation was done jointly.

    What was our ROI?

    Our model for ROI was not financial. It was user experience and opportunity productivity loss savings. If we are to do this work again, I would recommend using DataCore Software Defined Storage using commodity hardware to run a VDI host farm to reduce storage and DR cost.

    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:


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

    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 case online and then give them a call. An engineer works with you until the issue is resolved. I quite like it.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    This is our first VD deployment.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was straightforward, but we did face some issues. As it is role-based setup, one needs to follows it properly, and do the sizing right to get it working.

    What about the implementation team?

    The product was implemented by a solution provider along with the server hardware as part of the project.

    We implemented the product to check the feasibility and acceptability of VD in our organisation.

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

    The product licensing is competitively priced.

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

    Improvements to My Organization:

    You can manage all devices and users in your company. You can respond rapidly to user requests. If you use the thin client, you can save energy.

    You can simulate disaster scenarios for our virtual world and you can increase your virtual security.

    Room for Improvement:

    You can create Linux virtual desktops with XenDesktop, but only Red Hat and SUSE versions. I would like to be able to create Linux virtual desktops for VMs running Ubuntu, Kali and other Linux versions. Citrix should add this features to the next version.

    I would like applications to open faster. Citrix can increase applications' startup time.

    Use of Solution:

    I have been using XenDesktop for nine years.

    Stability Issues:

    I had a stability issue with Citrix XenServer. If you experience a problem with XenServer, you must know Linux commands, unlike with VMWare ESX. You can solve any problem with the GUI on VMWare ESX. With Citrix, it must be developed.

    Initial Setup:

    Citrix has a very easy setup GUI in versions 7.x.

    Implementation Team:

    Implementation varies from company to company. If you have more than 10,000 users in your company, I prefer to perform implementation in-house.

    Cost and Licensing Advice:

    Regarding Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop licenses:

    • Example 1 - You have 100 users in your company. If all workers use Citrix products during work time, you can select the Citrix user/device license. (For any company.)
    • Example 2 - If your company uses a shift system (60 workers in the morning, 40 workers at night), you can use a Citrix concurrent license. (For example, any university.)

    Other Solutions Considered:

    This Citrix product is flexible, easy to manage and faster than similar products such as VMWare Horizon.

    Other Advice:

    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.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a Citrix Gold Partner.
    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.

    Valuable Features

    The following are the product's most valuable features to me:

    • Quick provisioning: It is easy to make changes and see them reflected throughout the organization.
    • Document control: Enabling users to copy a company document to their hard drive or flash memory really protects our IP.

    Improvements to My Organization

    It has accelerated the process in which a new employee is given the necessary tools. We have contacted people in different countries that no longer have to wait for the central team to grant access to their PC in our environment. Assigning them a VDI user allows them to start right away.

    Room for Improvement

    In general, I'm really pleased with Citrix. What sometimes is an issue is when an application is not compatible with the server's OS, but that is out of Citrix´s hands.

    Use of Solution

    I have used this solution for one year.

    Scalability Issues

    I have not encountered any issues with scalability. It actually is a strong point in its favor.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I rate technical support 10/10. They are really interested in understanding your architecture and providing solutions.

    Implementation Team

    Citrix Mexico helped us understand some issues, but mostly it was developed in-house.

    ROI

    The ROI in our case is really difficult to quantify. I focus on the non-measurable advantages: IP protection, access from any device, and storage of data in high-availability data centers, no data loss.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    Unlike MS, many vendors haven’t considered VDI licensing, so this might represent an opportunity to save on licensing costs, because you're actually installing it on only one device (the application server).

    Other Advice

    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.

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

    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.

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

    Valuable Features

    The most valuable feature to me is the flexibility to publish just apps, just virtual desktops, both, or even physical desktops. Having so much flexibility in one solution, especially one that works as well as Citrix, is a huge advantage.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We have a large number of Mac users who need access to Windows programs. We tried many methods for allowing them to work from the Macs, including connecting them via remote desktop to physical Windows computers. This solution removes the troubles we had with VPN, single-use VMs and/or dedicated physical machines.

    Room for Improvement

    I guess eliminating the slight difference in the web interface compared with the Receiver interface for saving files to local devices would be an improvement, but I have a feeling it's just not possible.

    Use of Solution

    I have been using this solution for about six months.

    Deployment Issues

    Users have some trouble adjusting to the Receiver interface, but other than that, everything has been very easy.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    My experience has been excellent.

    Initial Setup

    It's straightforward, but I ended up building the "back end" to be more robust than I had initially planned in order to stay in line with best practices.

    Implementation Team

    We did everything in-house. Since we have the capabilities in-house for such projects, I prefer to go through an implementation, at least as a functioning demo, before hiring outside contracts. In our case, we were able use the functioning demo we built.

    ROI

    That's difficult to honestly figure, since we've expanded the use of the applications to people and scenarios that weren't available to them before.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    Get honest advice from Citrix on licensing, then ask someone who is using it in the same capacity as you plan to.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We set up demos of a few different solutions. None of them were as easy to deploy, to license, or to use as this, nor did any match the flexibility.

    Other Advice

    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.

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

    The Provisioning Services and Machine Creation Services features allow you to provision workloads just by following a wizard, and most importantly depending of what you have in your environment, either a below average network (Machine Creation Services) or fast and large storage (Provisioning Services). You are able to use either one of them to improve the time it takes to build workloads and make them available to users.

    How has it helped my organization?

    One of our clients where we implemented XenDesktop has a highly mobile fleet of users, and providing access to shared desktops either via Wyse terminals or tablets has really shown what a difference in improving efficiency and reliability can do to a system. What we love the most about XenDesktop is the simple and easy way to scale on-demand depending on the workload.

    What needs improvement?

    Citrix Director, which is like the monitoring interface from Citrix could use a revamp in the way that it displays information. The display is not very intuitive, and it could also have better integration with SCOM via Comtrade MP (now Citrix) and other monitoring tools. This is in progress with v7.8 using SNMP traps which will allow Director to talk to upstream monitoring systems like BMC Patrol, CA Spectrum, Tivoli, etc.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for three years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    With the deployment, it was only doing the design that took a while to build. It was a very particular client with a not so good network, so we had to work around that, but Citrix adjusted perfectly, for every issue we found when designing XenDesktop had a feature to make it happen.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    XenDesktop is a very mature product and since implementation early last year, we've only had couple of issues that required our attention. As the solution was built with High Availability in mind, we only suffered from a degradation in service rather than a full outage of the system.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    If you need more hosted shared desktops, boom it's really easy, and only takes couple of clicks and in minutes the new workloads are available and ready to be used.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Excellent, Citrix support guys are top of the line, and when we required a Citrix Consultant on premises, Citrix sent one straight away to assist us.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Previously, I used VMware Horizon View. This solution is simple and elegant, but it lacks the robustness Citrix has. Protocols and features to improve user experience when the network is not the best, are features that VMware has but they are not as effective as Citrix ones. The ICA protocol from Citrix has been maturing for many years, and the amount of settings you can tweak to deliver a great user experience is incredible. It can be a bit complicated, but if you work with the product you can work out what option suits best your scenario. VMware is still behind but let’s not think it is the underdog as they are gaining market share and it is a cheaper solution than Citrix.

    How was the initial setup?

    After the design was built, agreed upon, and firewall rules were defined, deployment of the solution was a breeze. Having XenDesktop running on top of XenServer as native hypervisor is the best way to go. When machines are created via MCS or PVS you don’t need to do anything else for the VMs to be created as XenDesktop talks directly to the hypervisor and instructs it to create whatever workloads you need on the fly.

    What about the implementation team?

    The implementation was done in-house mostly, however with the design considerations we approached Citrix for assistance and to confirm whether or notour design considerations were following best practices. One thing to consider when implementing Citrix and a set of policies is that if it is a big environment, you are deploying, please ensure that the person or team that's doing the design knows what they are doing. Citrix works marvellously when properly configured but if not, you will find a world of trouble trying to make it work as you want.

    For implementation, my advice is if you are designing a big environment contact Citrix Professional Services. If you're not sure on some aspects of your design, and have a CCE-V in your team, this is the key person to contact when doing a design for a large environment - 5000+ workloads for desktop or server.

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

    Citrix is a pricey product, but it is the best product for large corporate companies that want to squeeze to the last buck the life of their existing computers. Using Citrix allows medium to large companies to save money when computer hardware refreshes need to happen; Using shared desktops with Windows Server 2012 R2 as OS you can provision this for a large fleet of users that are probably still using a Windows XP computer but the user experience they will have will be like using Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 if you use the latest version of XenDesktop

    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.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Platinum partners of Citrix and their support and guidance for us have being invaluable to our success.
    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…

    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 the rollup packs are gone. Hotfixes are no longer combined and as Citrix is also not delivering service packs the Citrix site is loaded with hotfixes.

    On the Citrix site 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.  Of course a feature pack is to add new features so no hotfix would be included I assume, but 113 hotfixes available make it an unsolvable puzzle to complete.

    Another issue is that there is no filter to filter VDA,Controller, Storefront hotfixes, so you need to look at them all to find interesting ones. You are comparing numbers and reading if they became obsolete or not. Good stuff for a rainy day.

    As it seems all hot fixes are needed for none of them have information about which feature pack obsoletes the hotfix. There are no service packs as mentioned before so if you would be a first-timer you go about installing hotfix 001 until you read the last one. I can guarantee your servers will fail if you do. DON’T TRY.

    The biggest issue is that there is no documentation, NO documentation what so ever about what hotfix to apply and which one not. Of course there are always hotfixes that are depending on the situation but some are required. Without documentation, each time a software update/feature pack comes out, it’s Russian roulette. 

    With this being the case you have to apply hotfixes in a production environment without a real way of doing it controlled. If it fails, restore the database and all controllers and hope they get back up. If they don’t, rebuild your environment.

    In the old days the database was open and after a restore of the database you could rollback easier. With the 7.x database being a closed database this route is closed. I think it’s a dangerous route Citrix is one and I hope they will return to rollup packs at least. With this at least we know what to install and we know it has been tested in that order at Citrix.

    Another thing Citrix should do is to create a tool to add controllers to the database and remove orphan ones from it after a crash. This way if you update and it all goes wrong you have an easy escape route.

    Hope someone at Citrix reads this and has the power to change… we applaud it.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

    How has it helped 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.

    What needs improvement?

    The studio is very slow.

    For how long have I used the solution?

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

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

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

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered, and we run 600 virtual desktops.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    8/10.

    Technical Support:

    10/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

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

    How was the initial setup?

    It was a straightforward wizard-based setup.

    What about the 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.

    What was our ROI?

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

    What's my experience with 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.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    • 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.

    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.

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

    The central administration and deployment of desktops and apps. Also, XenApp restricts access to those applications that you, as the admin, will define. XenApp works best if there are no bandwidth limitations in your area.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have 12 offices around the island, and users are 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.

    What needs improvement?

    The studio is very slow.

    For how long have I used the solution?

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

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered. From an administrative point of view, it is easy to deploy and maintain.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered, and we run 600 virtual desktops.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    8/10.

    Technical Support:

    10/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

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

    How was the initial setup?

    It was a straightforward installation, a simple wizard-based one on Windows.

    What about the 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.

    What was our ROI?

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

    What's my experience with 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.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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

    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.

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

    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 better to have multiple hypervisor support. That way you have the choice to: stick with the current hypervisor the company runs and manages;   use lower cost alternative hypervisors; or use a hybrid hypervisor model

    Content based Read Cache (CBRC) feature available on vSphere using RAM cache

    IntelliCache feature available on XenServer using Local Storage caching

    This feature is only available for pooled desktop delivery method. CBRC and IntelliCache have their own share of pros and cons.  However, CBRC will be faster because it’s based out of RAM. This feature is very vSphere specific

    View Composer Array Integration – Offloading the creation of linked clones to the storage array

    Not Available (**Can be made available using vSphere + XD 5.6 but not sure if Citrix will support it)

    This feature is more related to storage array functioning with the hypervisor. VMware (vSphere) and a few other storage vendors (EMC and NetApp) have coded specific drivers to offload the creation of linked clones process from the hypervisor level to storage array. Very limited vendors  and new arrays would have such capabilities

    Sparse Virtual Disk – space reclaiming (deleted files) on the virtual machines

    Not Available (**Can be made available at the storage array level provided any OEM supports and has tested features with XD )

    Using this feature you can surely save some expensive storage space by deleting unwanted old files.

    vShield security & hypervisor offload

    Offloading Antivirus architecture capabilities is available with all leading hypervisors today such as Hyper-V, XenServer and vSphere. Vendors such as MacAfee Move and TrendMicro Deep Security provide hypervisor level security

    Single console to manage the entire View environment using View Management Manage

    Multiple consoles such as Desktop Studio, Provisioning Services,

    Current versions of XD 5.6 for sure has many consoles to manage. But Citrix has overcome the problem in the next version (Excalibur) where there is a single console to manage desktop and application delivery

    Cheaper View licensing cost

    Yes the list price for View is cheaper than the XenDesktop license for all variants such as enterprise and platinum etc. However, one has to evaluate various use cases before making the choice of the products

    E.g. The Citrix Provisioning services can reduce the storage cost by 30% VS Machine Creation Services  

    VMware Compared a 10,000 desktop reference architecture published on the Citrix website and claimed they are:

    -          42% less Storage than XD

    -          19% few servers than XD

    No detail was given as to which Citrix XD architecture they were comparing View to.

    Virtual 3D Graphics over WAN and LAN

    Similar capabilities of 3D GPU sharing using OpenGL available with XenDesktop

    VMware said there was no 3D GPU sharing/virtualization within XD. However it is available within XD

    A website that gives detailed information about VMware’s competition

    www.whychooseview.com

    Citrix Flexcast & Project Accelerator websites where you can get more information

    http://project.citrix.com/

    VMware is the only vendor which has public information on competition on their website compared against Citrix, Dell etc. A detailed comparison of VDI products is carried out by ProjectVRC in their VDI Smackdown


    In this study, VMware compared View 5.2 (which is only 2 month old) with XenDesktop 5.6 (which is 1.2+ years old).  In most of the cases, the highlighted feature is not part of View itself, but a VMware vSphere hypervisor capability instead. Almost 80% of the vSphere hypervisor features can be extended to XD, but it will become a very expensive solution.

    How this study will change in the months to come: Citrix has announced the Excalibur version which is in technical preview since Citrix Synergy 2012 and will include both XenApp, XenDesktop, Provisioning Services and Profile Management capabilities and will be served as a single product just like the Horizon suite from VMware.

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

    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.

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

    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.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user2529
    Manager of Data Center at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Good product, but competition is gaining...

    Valuable Features:

    Good product, our POC proved that Xendesktop required lower bandwidth per machine than competitors.

    Room for Improvement:

    Costs for one, we settled on VMware hypervisor with Citrix Xendesktop running underneath, additional costs were incurred because of this hybrid solution, another consideration would be the significant disk space required for what is called "write cache". It was unplanned and caused a considerable headache.

    Other Advice:

    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.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    sumodirjo
    Senior Site Infrastructure Engineer at Kurungsiku
    Real User
    Top 20Leaderboard
    Complete Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution you can try for free

    Valuable Features:

    You can try XenDesktop as alternative to VMware view. The Express edition allow you to use up to 10 machines / users. I use XenDesktop as a Proof of Concept when our lab plans to move to Virtual Desktop. I try to connect from a client on windows machine connecting to remote windows desktop, playing movie is smooth, connecting USB device on your client will show on your virtual desktop.

    Room for Improvement:

    Steep learning curve. You need to configure Active Directory and Desktop Delivery Console (DDC). You will also have to configure XenServer(s) as your VM host. You cannot install XenDesktop on your server; you need a dedicated machine to install XenServer. Connecting from a desktop is easy you just have to install a client. But if you want to be able to boot directly from client to your Virtual Desktop, you need to spend more time to configure it.

    Other Advice:

    Good alternative to VMware view, free for 10 users, you can use it as test pilot
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user1266
    Network Manager at a local government with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Great VDI solution. Saves organization money

    Valuable Features:

    I love the extended features of this product. You can easily manage profiles and create desktops in minutes. You can also use your desktops on mobile devices pretty much anywhere. One feature that we use extensively is the WAN optimization. Our data backups are offsite, so moving data and virtual machines could kill our bandwidth, but this feature prevents that. XenDesktop 5 is lightyears ahead of XenDesktop 4. It is much easier to use, and the management interface is intuitive.

    Room for Improvement:

    Sometimes creating good Active Directory policies can be confusing. Also, there is a lot of work in optimizing desktops so that they don't unnecessarily reduce server performance.

    Other Advice:

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