Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

The best virtual desktop services are designed to provide flexible, secure solutions for remote working and remote computer access. In short, these Desktop as a Service (DaaS) platforms enable you to use either in-house or cloud-hosted solutions to provision virtual machines, which can then be accessed from basically anywhere with an internet connection. 

Rebranding

Citrix XenDesktop is now part of the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops package (Image credit: Citrix)

In our Citrix XenDesktop review, we take a closer look at this DaaS provider. Now, Citrix XenDesktop was recently rebranded and made available as part of the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop package. We analyze the platform’s prices, usability, main features, and more to help you decide whether or not it’s worth using.  

Pricing

There are a number of deployment options available (Image credit: Citrix)

Plans and pricing

Citrix DaaS is available with a number of different deployment options. At the cheapest end of the spectrum lies on-premises deployment, which involves the use of your own data center. This option is custom priced according to your requirements, and you will need to speak with the sales team to find out more. 

Alongside the self-hosted option, there are three managed solutions. Prices vary according to the number of users and length of your contract. The cheapest option starts at $8.23 per user, per month for a three-year plan with 500 users, $10.29 per user, per month for a one-year subscription, and $16 per user, per month with monthly payments. Prices decrease with more users. 

Features

With Citrix, you can provision apps and desktops to thousands of users with just a few clicks of your mouse button. Strict user controls and regulatory compliance ensure that all employees have access to the correct programs and information, and a selection of advanced features are available to add to the user experience.

One thing that stands out about Citrix’s DaaS solutions is their cloud nature. Basically, this means that you won’t have to worry about running and maintaining your own server infrastructure. The risk of your IT systems going offline is significantly lower when using a cloud-based system. 

Note that on-premises deployment is available, but we’d highly recommend going with cloud deployment unless you have a specific reason not to. 

Additional Products

There’s a selection of products you can add to your Citrix DaaS subscription (Image credit: Citrix)

Supporting products

Another thing we liked was the selection of supporting products that you can add to your Citrix DaaS subscription. These include various analytics programs, a secure browser, and more advanced security and performance integrations. 

One of the major issues with some DaaS providers is their poor security. Citrix excels here, though, and it enables you to set clear access permissions through the selection of highly configurable security options. 

Interface

The Admin interface is easy to navigate and packed full of advanced tools (Image credit: Citrix)

Interface and in use

Citrix DaaS is a versatile program that’s highly customizable. This means that different users will have very different experiences. Overall, though, the user interface is tidy, if a little bland. Team admins shouldn’t have any problems setting user permissions, and new virtual desktops can be deployed with a minimal amount of effort. On the user side, multiple desktops can be accessed if required, and all that’s needed for this is a web browser and internet connection. 

To get started, you will need to reach out to the Citrix team to schedule a demo. They will walk you through the ins and outs of the platform, answering your questions and working with you to develop a deployment plan for your organization. The setup and deployment process is quite involved, so expect it to take some time. 

Support

There’s a great resource library that’s jam-packed full of advanced resources (Image credit: Citrix)

Support

Citrix offers a number of support options, including full technical support for existing users. Live chat isn’t available, but you can submit an online ticket or reach out to a local support team via phone for one-on-one service. There’s also a great selection of self-help resources, including video tutorials, webinars, white papers, and full technical documentation. 

Security

There are numerous documents outlining security best practices (Image credit: Citrix)

Security

Citrix offers advanced and far-reaching DaaS and other technical solutions, and its security measures are among the best we’ve seen. It’s impossible to list them all here, but the important thing to understand is that you will be covered by industry-leading security integrations, ensuring sensitive data and other information is protected at all times. There’s a selection of resources outlining security measures and best practices in more detail. 

The competition

Citrix DaaS offers advanced virtual desktop solutions, but it’s not a great option for small-scale users. Windows Virtual Desktop presents a much more viable choice for small businesses, as it doesn’t come with minimum user or machine limits. Like Citrix, it’s built on the advanced Microsoft Azure infrastructure, although the lack of Linux options will concern some users. 

Nutanix XI Frame is another excellent option, particularly for those looking for a straightforward, out-of-the-box solution that’s easy to deploy. Native apps are notably absent, but the speed, accessibility, and ease of use on offer here make Nutanix one of the more popular virtual desktop services on the market today. 

Final verdict

At the end of the day, Citrix offers advanced DaaS solutions through the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops platform (formerly Citrix XenDesktop). Deployment is flexible, although it will take some time. The security integrations and configurable tools are excellent, and provisioning new virtual desktops is a fast, streamlined process. 

If you’re looking for a leading DaaS solution for your large organization, Citrix could be the right choice. But if you’re looking for an option that’s useful for smaller-scale use, you will need to look elsewhere. 

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