Blog May 17, 2016

VDI and Virtual Applications – Delivering Virtual Desktops to Mobile Devices

In today’s world, mobile devices are becoming a huge part of our everyday lives, whether we’re at work or home. Using your own mobile device to access company data is becoming more common, resulting in a whole movement called BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device. Because of this, we receive a lot of questions regarding hosted desktops, applications, and even file storage to be used by employees on their mobile devices. Why buy a new laptop or tablet for a new employee when you can just give them access to apps and data in the cloud to use on their own laptop, PC, or tablet?  It is cost effective and the user has a lower learning curve.

Citrix Hosting for XenApp and XenDesktop on PCs and Macs has been a core solution for Connectria for many years. We can also provide these services for smartphones and tablets including Apple, Android, HP, and RIM. In order to provide these services, here are some important decisions that you will need to make for these environments.

Customers must first decide whether they will deploy XenApp (presenting a Windows application on any device) or XenDesktop (delivering a full virtual Windows desktop to any device). Essentially, you can allow the users to either run an application on a shared service or give them their own desktop experience on their own desktop OS. In all cases, there are a multitude of Citrix Receivers available to cover virtually any device. Check out this post (or contact Connectria) if you are still unsure which platform is right for you.

The next important design decision involves using StoreFront or delivering a single vanilla desktop to all users. StoreFront allows you to give the end users the ability to pull down applications they need and add them to their provided XenApp or XenDesktop experience. Citrix has gone to great lengths to improve the StoreFront look and feel, resembling more of an Android Play or Apple App Store. It feels more native to the user and they can take any apps they need. StoreFront provides better management of Xen environments, personalized user experience, and advanced security compared to Web Interface. It does, however, require that you license the users for any apps they can pull onto their desktop.

Finally, one feature that we find very cool is the Citrix Mouse. Although this isn’t required, it’s a game changer and worth consideration, especially if most of your users will be using iPads or non-Windows devices. It works through the device’s Bluetooth and acts like any mouse, even on devices that don’t have a mouse interface. It is just one more thing that can help to improve the end user experience with XenApp or XenDesktop.

Do you have more questions regarding deployment of Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop on mobile environments? Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help you in any way possible.

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