Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop – What is the difference and how to decide

If you have considered to roll out VDI in your organisation, you have without a doubt thought about a solution from Citrix. Even though there are other vendors on the market than Citrix, they are the one with the most modern and mature product. The question is whether you are going with a XenApp or XenDesktop solution. This article will give you some the question you might about the two products.

Citrix Flexcast

Citrix Flexcast was introduced with the mindset, that one size does not fit all. Some users need more power than others and some needs a full desktop and some don’t. If you start to search Google for Citrix Flexcast, you will most likely get confused, because the names of the deliveries are not consistent. So here is my definition.

Published Apps (XenApp)

Applications are being published to the user. They can launch these applications from Citrix Receiver or they can be made available in the users Start Menu or on the Desktop.

Hosted Shared Desktop – VDI (XenApp)

A server desktop is being published to the user that they can launch from Citrix Receiver. Think about this desktop as another published application. The users share all the resources in the server, but they have the “Windows Desktop Experience”. The server is being locked down so the user can’t make any changes in the server operating system.

Pooled Desktop – VDI (XenDesktop)

This is also called a non-persistent VDI. The users connect to a Desktop OS. All changes that the user makes are being deleted or saved on a personal disk. This means that the user can share the desktops. But only one user on each desktop at a time.

Dedicated Desktop – VDI (XenDesktop)

When users need to have full control of their desktop and needs to control all settings, they need a dedicated desktop. The user can install their own applications and set up all their own settings. This means one desktop per user. Nothing is shared.

Remote PC

With Remote PC, you can publish the desktop of a physical desktop. If the users have physical machines, maybe a powerful workstation, you can publish the desktop from that machine. This enables the user to connect to his/her machine using Citrix HDX technology.

One Size VDI does not fit all

When it comes to offering VDI in your organisation, you can choose from all of these delivery methods. Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop gives you the opportunity to offer the right desktop to your users. They do not have the same demands, so you can not expect to put all them in the same box. There are also a great of money to safe. Most users can work on a hosted shared. That gives you a great advantage when it comes to cost per desktop.

More information about features in XenApp or XenDesktop can be found on the Citrix Website:

XenApp / XenDesktop feature matrix

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