Remote Desktop Services vs. NetScaler ADC

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Remote Desktop Services
Score 8.1 out of 10
N/A
Remote Desktop Services from Microsoft is virtual desktop and remote user session technology.N/A
NetScaler ADC
Score 8.1 out of 10
N/A
NetScaler ADC is an application delivery controller.N/A
Pricing
Remote Desktop ServicesNetScaler ADC
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Remote Desktop ServicesNetScaler ADC
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
User Ratings
Remote Desktop ServicesNetScaler ADC
Likelihood to Recommend
10.0
(14 ratings)
8.5
(21 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
6.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
6.6
(2 ratings)
8.0
(1 ratings)
Performance
5.0
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
3.0
(2 ratings)
7.7
(7 ratings)
Ease of integration
5.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Remote Desktop ServicesNetScaler ADC
Likelihood to Recommend
Microsoft
Remote Desktop services are well suited for people looking to connect to Local computers/Servers after connecting to VPN or Local Area Network. It is easy to use and performs superbly without any issues. However, it does not have support for connecting to Non-Windows-based Devices and Applications like Teamviewer beat RDP when it comes to connecting to machines outside one's network.
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Citrix
Citrix Netscaler can be a powerful network appliance for environments that are fully committed and open to utilizing a network appliance that isn't made by a traditional network vendor. Administrator user experience has improved over the years and will continue to improve with the flexibility of virtual and physical appliances available for medium and large enterprises.
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Pros
Microsoft
  • When you connect with RDS, everything looks and feels (and is) exactly like you're sitting at that desktop. This is great for us and for users.
  • You can sign in with RDS and the desktop will be the same as when you left it (if you choose to set it up that way).
  • Although they take some setup, RemoteApps are a very handy way to let users access a program without requiring them to actually connect to a remote desktop on the server.
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Citrix
  • Flexibility. NetScaler assumes its admins know a bit about networking and in-depth details surrounding the applications they are configuring access for/to. This being so, the range of configuration options is very broad allowing various versions' combinations of protocol patterns, expressions, rules etc., all to the benefit of the admin.
  • Granularity. Having such a broad range of configuration options available, while still allowing simple options to be configured simply. The GUI is well-stylized and navigation has a good flow.
  • Ease of control. For load-balancing of simple services right out of the box, NetScaler makes it pretty easy, compared to the range of options available in the surrounding GUI and under the hood.
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Cons
Microsoft
  • Remote Desktop Services currently does not support multiple monitors on the terminal server. Unlike other applications such as Teamviewer, there's no feature to toggle between multiple screens even if they were connected to the terminal server.
  • Remote Desktop Services should provide an option to scale up or down the screen size after a connection is established. Currently you can only adjust the screen size prior to a connection is established. So you'll have to take a best guess at what display screen resolution will fit best on your screen.
  • Remote Desktop Services should offer some kind of menu to send special key strokes like Ctrl+Alt+Del to the terminal server. Currently the substitute for that particular combination is Ctrl+Alt+End. But I have yet to discover a replacement for other combination keystrokes such as Alt+PrintScrn.
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Citrix
  • The documentation could use an overhaul with specific examples related to the command line as well as GUI. Explanations in the documentation would also be helpful.
  • Being able to have more than just one routing table would allow the ability to leverage security.
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Usability
Microsoft
The initial setup for Remote Desktop Services is complex, and licensing is costly. Each user connects to their virtual desktop hosted by a single server or group of servers, so a change or issue with servers quickly impacts every single user at the same time. Aside from that, users appreciate seeing their same personal desktop from any device or geographical location.
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Citrix
Improve on the specifics I mentioned previously and could be a 10/10 product. It is also a confusingly branded product that I have supported in two large enterprises where IT departments are unsure if the product belongs to the Citrix remote access support team or the Network infrastructure support team (it should be the later) and typically under utilized.
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Performance
Microsoft
There are some third party tools available that allow you to manage multiple connections.
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Citrix
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Microsoft
As with any Microsoft Server product, support for Remote Desktop Services requires a paid support package. These are license-based and very costly, on top of the already costly product licensing. Microsoft's licensing is complicated to begin with, so setting up licensing alone essentially requires a licensing expert's counsel. There is community documentation and support available on Microsoft websites, as well as community websites.
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Citrix
Overall, our organization's experience with Citrix support is that support can be hit or miss. Oftentimes it takes multiple attempts and much longer than desirable to obtain a viable solution for issues experienced with their products. It would be great to see Citrix invest time, effort, and almighty dollars into improving their support and bug fix process across the board.
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Alternatives Considered
Microsoft
We selected Remote Desktop Services based upon price alone. Other solutions on the market are significantly more expensive, but if your company can foot the bill you should seriously consider products that have been on the market for longer. The lack of an ability to easily upgrade farm servers has been a challenge for us - although it is still faster than updating an application on 2000+ machines. The lack of a centralized management console in 2008 R2 is also challenging, but you get by with the tools available to you. If you don't have the money to spend on Citrix or VMWare Horizon, Remote Desktop Services is a decent replacement.
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Citrix
We chose Citrix ADC over Kemp and F5 due to additional integrations with various products such as Citrix/Horizon/Monitoring tools. We additionally chose ADC due to better ease of use and ability to have the appliances be virtual or physical, with the configuration being a simple migration of code which provided flexibility to be able to do a hybrid environment with ease.
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Return on Investment
Microsoft
  • Remote Desktop Services has good impact in meeting 100 percent of the objectives laid by our Enterprise of 1000 employees.
  • Return of imvestment is measured in return of uninterrupted services and it can be termed as 100 percent
  • Remote Desktop Services had no negative impacts on the business
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Citrix
  • It has saved a tremendous amount of money and manpower by allowing for broad support without the need for a VPN.
  • The security functions within Netscaler enabled our business to pass additional IT-based audits.
  • Having a full Citrix stack from front to back makes our business look more professional both to our users and outsiders.
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