Why use Citrix and what are common use cases?
Citrix allows you to take nearly any Windows application or Desktop OS and virtualize it in a server-based environment. Key advantages to using Citrix include (a) the ability to access applications anywhere, anytime, and with any device and (b) the ease of deploying and managing applications on a server as opposed to each user’s desktop environment.
With Citrix, you can present applications to your users regardless of whether the application was written to be web-enabled or not. Citrix also has the ability to take graphics and other compute-intensive applications and reduce the network payload, making the rendering to the user more efficient. The most common use in our data centers tend to be Software as a Service and Desktop as a Service environments. Lately we have seen a rise in the use by Educational Institutions for labs and other student-use solutions where traditional fixed desktops in the classroom would be cost-prohibitive.
Many of our customers are SaaS companies wishing to host applications within our secure, PCI and HIPAA compliant data centers with support staff available 24/7. We have expertise in Citrix, Windows, Linux, and Compliance-related solutions and can help customers with existing environments or who are in the early stages of their Citrix projects. We can help with out of the box solutions and make sure that you are getting everything you need from your Citrix environment.
Read more about real world examples of cloud computing with Citrix.
What is the difference between XenApp and XenDesktop?
XenApp is a cost-effective solution for users who want a virtualized desktop while utilizing the resources of your host environment in the most efficient manner. XenApp makes it possible to pool resources from your server for your user groups. It has the ability to immediately present your application or a full desktop experience when your users login. The Desktop has a start menu and icons for each user’s available applications. You can decide which applications each user has access to through the profile management utility.
XenDesktop provides dedicated resources for each user and can be based upon a desktop operating system or a server OS with the look and feel of a desktop OS. This desktop environment is appropriate for applications that can’t be launched multiple times on the same OS or cannot reside on the same OS for other reasons. It is also ideal for users that wish to avoid shared computing resources. The desktop can be configured as a pooled desktop (refreshes desktop after each session) or persistent desktop (same desktop as previous session). In many cases, the true XenDesktop solution will include applications that have special requirements on the desktop image while common applications are pushed to the desktop via XenApp. The idea is to keep the XenDesktop image as small as possible, requiring fewer updates to the image due to application fixes and patching.
Should I build my Citrix solution on a cloud platform or physical servers?
A typical Citrix environment can reside on infrastructure built on dedicated servers or in a virtualized “cloud” environment. Due to the advances in virtualization, production Citrix environments are most commonly built in Private Clouds. In a Private Cloud, the components needed to run your Citrix environment are built on VMs that reside on a dedicated Private Host Server. This allows for higher levels of portability and recoverability for hardware faults, upgrades, or disaster recovery. Although building your environment on physical servers is certainly still an option, more than 95% of all new orders will leverage virtualization in some way.
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Check back next week for things to consider when choosing a Citrix provider!