XenApp is a powerful, but complex Desktop/Application virtualization system
May 06, 2016

XenApp is a powerful, but complex Desktop/Application virtualization system

Denis Peach | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with XenDesktop

We use XenDesktop (XenApp) in published desktop mode to facilitate users at remote rehabilitation clinics to perform their clinical work with patients on wireless laptops and desktops at the clinics. Typically the clinic will only have a T1 WAN connectivity back to the datacenter on a MPLS network and bandwidth is a real concern. It is also used for remote workers and as a work from home method.
  • XenDesktop 7 provides two effective methods of managing session host updates and keeping them consistent within a machine group. In prior versions of XenApp/Metaframe, each host had to be updated individually resulting in inconsistencies across the resource pool.
  • XenDesktop 7 provides several efficient methods to maximizing session performance while minimizing bandwidth utilization. We can effectively facilitate an average of 8-10 clinicians at a remote site across a 1.5MB WAN link, working in multiple applications, printing, scanning and streaming video.
  • XenDesktop 7 enables user mobility by using a common interface across multiple platforms - Windows/Linux/IOS and OS X.
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting tools are lacking. Unless you can afford the costly step up to Platinum licensing, there is little native visibility into the Inner workings of the system, or into the ICA tunnel protocols. there are third party tools available, but because ICA is licensed by Citrix, there are only a few vendors who have the ability to really see what is occurring under the covers.
  • Profile management is very sloppy. Once again, a third party tool is required to effectively manage roaming profiles and keep login times down to a manageable level. UPM allows profiles to grow dramatically and requires careful monitoring and frequent intervention.
  • The Citrix Receiver client (Windows) is quirky and often causes end user performance and UX issues. Installing and upgrading the client is not straightforward or easy, although Citrix has been improving this weakness in recent releases.
  • It has enabled us to do more with less. WAN bandwidth and optimization products are very expensive. This product has allowed us to avoid expensive network upgrades or costly WAN optimization products.
  • End User satisfaction has been largely poor. With its lack of native troubleshooting tools, users tend to blame any network or application issue on Citrix, and support often cannot dispute their claims without laborious investigation.
  • XenDesktop 7 has been a huge improvement over XA6 and 5, and is heavily relied upon by about 40% of our business.
We have been a Citrix shop for over 8 years. We have not used any other enterprise desktop publishing solution.
XenDesktop is an effective all around VDI/Published App system, but lacks the native manageability that would be expected of an enterprise product. While a basic deployment can be performed easily using the deployment wizard, significant planning and expertise is needed to fully maximize the capabilities and effectiveness of the product in an enterprise. An in-house Citrix expert is essential to manage any mid to large scale deployment. The product has gained an poor reputation among end users, which is somewhat unfair, due to its reliance on a number of external platforms and ecosystems in order to work efficiently.

Using XenDesktop

800 - Clinicians, management, remote workers, home workers. It is primarily used by staff at outpatient clinics who provide physical, occupational and speech therapy to patients. managers and mobile workers can also connect from their personal computers at home to catch up on work in the evenings and and work from home as needed.
We have one systems engineer who has 5 years on the job experience with Citrix. It is a major part of his responsibilities. Ideally, a business with 500 or more Citrix users would want to have a 3/4 to full time experienced engineer, as well as several support technicians to support the platform
  • Remote office clinicians
  • Home workers
  • remote workers
  • By publishing applications rather than entire desktops. This requires careful planning and testing, and is a project that we are evaluating.
Because it has been a mainstay of our business for many years.