It’s challenging to meet the needs of every user with one virtualization deployment. XenApp and XenDesktop allow administrators to customize the user experience with a variety of methods sometimes referred to as FlexCast models.
This collection of delivery methods — each with its own advantages and disadvantages — provide the best user experience in any use-case scenario.
Touch-screen devices, such as tablets and smartphones, are now standard in mobility. These devices can cause problems when running Windows-based applications that typically utilize full-size screens and rely on right-click inputs for full functionality.
XenApp with Citrix Receiver offers a secure solution that allows mobile-device users access to all the functionality in their Windows-based apps without the cost of rewriting those apps for native mobile platforms.
The XenApp published apps delivery method utilizes HDX Mobile technology that solves the problems associated with mobilizing Windows applications. This method allows Windows applications to be refactored for a touch experience while maintaining features such as multitouch gestures, native menu controls, camera, and GPS functions. Many touch features are available natively in XenApp and XenDesktop and do not require any application source code changes to activate.
Upgrading physical machines is a daunting task many businesses face every three to five years, especially if the business needs to maintain the most up-to-date operating systems and applications. Growing businesses also face daunting overhead costs of adding new machines to their network.
The VDI Personal vDisk delivery method provides fully personalized desktop operating systems to single users on any machine or thin client using server resources. Administrators can create virtual machines whose resources — such as processing, memory, and storage — are stored in the network’s data center.
This can extend the life of older machines, keep software up to date, and minimize downtime during upgrades.
Network security is an ever-growing problem, especially when working with contractors, partners, and other third-party contingent workers who need access to a company’s apps and data. The workers may also need loaner laptops or other devices, which cause additional cost concerns.
Data, applications, and desktops are stored behind the firewall of the secure network with XenDesktop and XenApp, so the only thing the end user transmits is user-device inputs and outputs, such as keystrokes, mouse clicks, audio, and screen updates. By maintaining these resources in a data center, XenDesktop and XenApp offer a more secure remote access solution than using the typical SSL VPN.
With a VDI with Personal vDisk deployment, administrators can utilize thin clients or users’ personal devices by creating a virtual machine on a network server and providing a single-user desktop operating system. This allows IT to maintain security with third-party workers without the need of purchasing expensive equipment.
When switching to a new operating system, IT can face the challenge of delivering legacy and incompatible applications.
With virtual-machine-hosted apps, users can run older applications through Citrix Receiver on the upgraded virtual machine without any compatibility issues. This allows IT additional time to resolve and test application compatibility issues, ease users into the transition, and make help desk calls more efficient.
Many design firms and manufacturing companies rely heavily on professional 3-D graphics applications. These companies face financial strain from the costs of powerful hardware to support this type of software and also logistic problems that come with the sharing of large design files via FTP, email, and similar ad hoc methods.
XenDesktop’s hosted physical desktop delivery method provides a single desktop image to workstations and blade servers without the need of hypervisors to run graphic-intensive 3-D applications on a native operating system.
All files are saved in a central data center within the network, so sharing large design files to other users in the network is faster and more secure because the files are not being transferred from one workstation to another.
Businesses that need large-scale call centers face the difficult challenge of maintaining adequate staffing for peak periods while not overprovisioning machines during less busy hours.
The Pooled VDI delivery method provides multiple users access to a standardized desktop dynamically at a minimal cost when provisioning a large number of users. The pooled machines are allocated on a per-session, first-come, first-served basis.
There is less day-to-day management of these virtual machines because any change made during the session is discarded when the user logs off. This also increases security.
The XenApp hosted desktops delivery method is another viable option for transforming call centers. This method hosts multiple user desktops on a single server-based operating system.
This is a more cost-efficient method than Pooled VDI, but with XenApp hosted desktops, users are restricted from installing applications, changing system settings, and restarting the server.