Citrix XenDesktop is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) product that allows users to remotely access and operate Microsoft Windows desktops in a data center or a public or private cloud via devices located elsewhere. Users can access Windows virtual applications and desktops through the Citrix Receiver, and the virtual applications are delivered and managed via XenApp.
The goal is to provide employees with the ability to work from anywhere while reducing IT management costs due to centralized management. Additionally, it adds to the data security because data is saved in a centralized data center or cloud infrastructure, and not stored on the devices of end-users. The product was developed for use by medium to large enterprise customers.
Core features of Citrix Virtual Desktop
At the core of XenDesktop is the Delivery Controller, which stores configuration and other settings managed via Citrix Studio or Citrix Director in a database.
The StoreFront portal displays the desktops and applications assigned to users. Upon authentication at the StoreFront, users only have to click an icon in the portal to access their assigned desktops and applications.
Connections to virtual desktops are managed through the Citrix Receiver client, available for several operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. Web browsers or thin client devices can also be used to connect to virtual desktops.
As a Citrix product, XenDesktop offers native support for Citrix HDX, a suite of technologies that incorporates its proprietary Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) remote protocol for passing data between local and remote clients, data compression, and multimedia redirection.
Citrix XenDesktop also includes Provisioning Services for real-time provisioning of desktops using a single disk image.
XenDesktop and XenApp
XenDesktop includes Citrix XenApp. The products share many features, except XenApp provides control and access for multiple users connecting to applications or session-based desktops on a shared Remote Desktop Services (RDS) server.
With XenDesktop, each client receives its instance of a desktop, and the desktop instances are not shared between users.
While XenDesktop is a platform to deliver desktops remotely, you will also need a XenApp license to deliver applications in order to share both applications and desktops with a user. Know more about Windows Virtual Desktop in detail.
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