Desktop Virtualization Using Citrix XenDesktops – What Makes it Different?

Virtual desktopWhat is Citrix XenDesktop solutions? Well, it is a suite of desktop virtualization products that have been made available from Citrix Systems, a top software provider. Through the bundled components, there are several types of virtual desktops that can be delivered:

  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) desktops – This is where each user has their own virtual machine that runs on a server. A remote display protocol is how the virtual machine is accessed and controlled.
  • Hosted shared desktops – This uses XenApp and it is where multiple users are able to access a Remote Desktop service desktop remotely.
  • Streaming disk images – desktop images are created on a Citrix provisioning server and streamed directly to the client device on an as needed basis. The client’s device takes care of the processing.
  • Local virtual machine – A virtual machine is stored and runs locally on the client’s device, utilizing Xen Client, a client hypervisor. The image can be synced with a master image on the server as it is needed.
  • Individual applications may also be hosted on a server and remotely accessed or streamed on an as needed basis to the client’s device.

Citrix has called this ability to deliver desktops through a number of different methods “FlexCast.” However, the disk images do need to be modified for every individual delivery method.

The Virtual Desktop Defined

To understand what all of this means, it is important to know what a virtual desktop is. It is defined as a user’s interface in a virtual environment. The desktop is stored on a remote server rather than on a local machine.

Basically, the physical machine is separated from the virtualization software and presents users with an isolated operating system. Some common tools include VMware Workstation, Microsoft Virtual PC, and a number of others.

The benefits of the virtual desktop include:

  • Cost savings due to resources being shared and allocated as needed.
  • Resources and energy are used in a more efficient way.
  • Backup is centralized due to the data integrity being improved.
  • Administration is centralized.
  • Compatibility issues are far and in between.

The best candidates for virtual desktops are knowledge workers who use mainly business software applications. The model is not usually useful for users with resource demands that are high. This is why large corporations may not use them unless the virtual desktop is outfitted to accommodate such a volume.

What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, is the act of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine that runs on a centralized server. This is a type of client/server computing model, which is sometimes called ‘server-based computing.” It is anything but typical. In recent years, some large organizations have utilized VDI as an alternative to the computing model that Microsoft Terminal services and Citrix use. This has helped them become more productive while cutting their costs.

Citrix XenDesktop

All in all, Citrix XenDesktop combines applications and desktops into a single standardized image to meet the individual needs of the user, giving a personalized desktop each time the user logs in. There are reduced patch and upgrade efforts from a single image desktop management tool. Users also receive real-time desktop assembly so they can personalize their desktop and the accompanying applications no matter the device that is accessing the desktop. The user experience is a high-definition experience that allows access to a well-managed desktop from any device.

What this does is create a very smooth user experience so that users are able to enjoy the benefits without the technicalities. Users don’t have to worry about things such as storage because that is something that the vendor worries about. Security is also something that is the responsibility of the vendor, as is the actual software. All the user has to do is log in and use their virtual desktop the way that they need to. These are desktop solutions that are growing in popularity because people want better accessibility.

People also want speed and Citrix XenDesktop gives them that speed As the software is updated, it gets faster for its users, allowing faster access to the desktop and everything that it has to offer.

Desktop virtualization is a convenient, easy-to-use, and cost-cutting solution. To learn more and to see if desktop virtualization is what you need, call Integra Network Services, LLC at 508-482-5510 or fill out the contact form today.