I have this discussion with people every day about why they should pay for Citrix XenApp. RDS works fine for them. RDS can be the right solution for some, but if you want your environment to scale just a little bit, you will see that your money is well spent on that Citrix XenApp value-add.
The ICA Protocol
Citrix ICA stands without a match. You will have a lot more options to tune the protocol to perform a lot better and give the users a better experience. Citrix ICA uses a lot less bandwidth compared with a lot of its competitors.
This is a time saver. With Citrix XenApp / XenDesktop, you will get not one, but two different image management solutions. One is called MCS and talk directly with your hypervisor. The other one is PVS and boots up your workloads across the network. MCS and PVS come with versioning. So it is very easy to roll-out a change to a group of people and makes a roll-back if it doesn’t work. With these two technologies, you will get a homogeneous environment. This is key when you want to deliver the same user experience to all users.
Skype for Business Optimization Pack
The best way to deliver Skype for Business is by using XenApp. With the Skype for Business Optimization Pack, you bypass both the VDA and the Skype for Business infrastructure. The communication now runs between the two endpoints. This means that you are using a lot fewer resources in the data center. The distance the data needs to travel is also shorter, which means that you reduce latency and give users a better user experience. Skype for Business Optimization Pack supports the following receivers:
- Receiver for Windows 4.x
- Receiver for Mac 12.x
- Receiver for Linux 13.x
Citrix Director / HDX Insight
One of the big features that you will get with Citrix XenApp is Citrix Director. This will give an overview of the health of your Citrix infrastructure and the quality of the user sessions. Citrix Director can tell you anything from failed user sessions to applications running to ICA RTT. This is precious information if you report back any KPI back to your organization. Citrix Director is designed for the ServiceDesk in the IT department. Supporters can disconnect, log off users, and shut down applications that for some reason, don’t work. It gives the supporters a tool to get users the help they need to get things done.
Read more about Citrix Director
There are probably more reasons why you should go with Citrix XenApp. These were just some of the features that you do not find in Remote Desktop Services. As I mentioned, to begin with, Citrix XenApp is an excellent investment if you want your solution to scale. Citrix XenApp does that with image management. It gives great user support with Citrix Director. If you are looking into virtualizing your applications, take an extra look at Citrix XenApp.