Citrix XenDesktop enables mobile workstyles by empowering IT to deliver Windows desktops and apps as mobile services. Users can self-select apps from an easy-to-use “store” that is securely accessible from tablets, smartphones, PCs, Macs and thin clients. Only XenDesktop delivers a native touch-optimized experience with HDX high-definition performance over mobile networks. XenDesktop is built on the new Avalon platform that offers simple management, fast deployment, support visibility, and a cloud-ready architecture.

This whitepaper provides an overview of the capabilities and benefits of XenDesktop. Windows apps and desktops anywhere delivered with XenDesktop delivery technology Users across the enterprise have varying performance, personalization and mobility requirements. Some require offline mobility of laptops, others need simplicity and standardization, while still others need a high-performance, fully personalized desktop, or simple access to a Windows app from their iPad or Android tablet. XenDesktop meets all these requirements in a single solution with its unique delivery technology. With XenDesktop, IT can deliver every type of virtual desktop or app, hosted or local, optimized to meet the performance, security and mobility requirements of each individual user while optimizing the cost of deployment and ongoing management.

The right workspace—complete virtual desktops or just the appsSome users enjoy a full desktop workspace with applications, data, shortcuts, wallpaper, and multi-tasking windows available across big screens or even multiple displays. However, this isn’t what all users need all of that time. In many cases, all they need is an app on their tablet or smartphone to quickly edit a file or complete a task.

Choose the flexibility and cost to suit your needsThere is no one-size-fits-all virtualization technology for desktop virtualization. Depending on the needs of the user and goals of IT, a wide range of technologies may be leveraged to get the customization and persistence some users may need as well as the locked down highly managed environments suitable for others. In either case, you never want to pay more for infrastructure or ongoing management than you have to.

Introducing XenDesktop White Paper

Run in the cloud or take it to go While the goal of many leveraging virtualization is to centrally manage and host desktops and apps in the datacenter, there are cases where users must be able to view and modify documents or data when disconnected from any network. In these cases, Citrix XenDesktop permits administrators to stream and synchronize an entire managed desktop OS down to a local computer leveraging XenClient hypervisor technology where it may be secured as a complete encrypted file system with powerful policy enforcement.

Seamless profile management and cloud-based folder redirectionCritical to the scale and management of a virtual environment is to separate and isolate user profiles and data away from the OS. Citrix XenDesktop contains a powerful profile management tool that manages profiles independently from the OS and delivers required profile data on-demand keeping login times lighting fast. Citrix XenDesktop also uses real-time synchronization of user files from Citrix ShareFile, an on-premise or cloud-hosted cloud storage service that keeps user files out of the VM once again speeding logins and saving valuable storage resources.

Any device-native experience

Citrix XenDesktop leverages Citrix Receiver, a universal client built for virtually any device including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, ChromeOS, Blackberry and for environments that desire a zero-install option, a clientless HTML5 web Receiver. Receiver is simple to install and use on BYOD or corporate devices and is designed to leverage the features of the native device including multi-touch, scrolling native menus and pop-up controls, GPS and cameras.

Billions of devicesNow IT can let users choose the devices that are right for them and their work style. Citrix Receiver works natively on the broadest range of desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones to ensure device investment protection without added work for IT.

Easy to install and useReceiver is available from many popular app stores and is so easy to install that users can do it themselves. Users simply enter their corporate email address after installation to automatically configure Citrix Receiver. Once complete, workers simply login and choose their apps and access their docs.

Optimized for each deviceReceiver is designed to leverage the unique native features of devices. Whether leveraging multi-touch, GPS or camera of a tablet or recognizing local storage or peripherals on a PC, each Receiver is built to get the most from each device rather than a one size fits all approach.

On the go productivityCitrix Receiver is the go-to app for user on the go, or in the office to get access to Windows, Web, SaaS, mobile apps, and user data through integrated, secure ShareFile support.

Introducing XenDesktop White Paper

Self-service Citrix StoreFront

Driven by consumerization, forward thinking IT departments are turning to self-service with instant user gratification rather than serial ticket-based request and fulfill workflows of the past. XenDesktop includes a powerful Self-service Windows app store delivered by Citrix StoreFront Services to provide a single, simple, and consistent aggregation point for all IT user services. Users may subscribe to applications, desktops, or data services from any device and have access to those same services, even when already in use, from any other device for a seamless and simple experience.

Self-service simplicityThe rise of app stores for music, games, and consumer apps have trained today’s workforce to go find what they need, when they need it. Citrix StoreFront allows IT to publish apps, desktops, and data services to the StoreFront where users may search and subscribe to services. By allowing users to subscribe to what they need, IT can better utilize and plan their spending on software licensing.

Consistent user experience across any deviceCitrix StoreFront is the intelligence behind Receiver and the destination for users to access their desktop, application, and data services. IT leverages StoreFront with its seamless NetScaler Gateway integration and powerful endpoint analysis and policy controls to provide a secure and consistent view of subscribed services and the “Enterprise App Store” that users turn to when they need new apps and services. Citrix StoreFront can also host a clientless, web-based receiver perfect for access from locked down kiosks or contractor laptops where Receiver may not be installed.

Persistent access to apps and desktopsCitrix StoreFront not only keeps track of what users have subscribed to, but it also maintains connections with running apps so that users may move from device to device and immediately get back to the same state—and continue right where they left off.

HDX goes mobile

XenDesktop delivers a superior high-definition user experience on any device, over any network. With Citrix HDX, the experience rivals a local PC, even when using multimedia, real-time voice and video collaboration, USB peripherals and 3D graphics. Windows apps become mobile device optimized virtualized to support touch gestures and other native device features. Integrated WAN optimization capabilities boost network efficiency and performance even over challenging, high-latency networks.

Crystal clear voice, video and multimediaHDX High definition user experience technology offers users the rich multimedia experience they expect and optimized performance for voice and video collaboration technologies including Citrix GoToMeeting, Microsoft Lync, and Cisco Unified Communications. Whether redirecting voice and video traffic directly to endpoints or using deep compression techniques and network prioritization, Citrix builds on 20 years of experience delivering the industry’s most powerful user experience

Introducing XenDesktop White Paper

Optimized for mobile networks and devicesCitrix is no stranger to conquering difficult network conditions. Now Citrix HDX has been optimized to cope with the variability and packet loss of mobile networks and to support the decompression of graphics and multimedia with hardware acceleration on tablets and smartphones. More than graphics performance, however, HDX also includes a native interface control channel allowing Windows Apps to be refactored for a touch experience while leveraging device features such as multitouch gestures, native menu controls, camera and GPS support.

Dynamic protocol technology for the best end user experience For many types of voice, video, graphics, and multimedia, simply processing and rendering the workload in the datacenter can be extremely compute and bandwidth intensive. Instead of blindly running all elements of the virtual desktop or app within the VM, Citrix HDX technology intelligently analyze the capabilities of the servers, networks, and end points to determine the optimal method for support. In some cases, video may be passed through directly to the end point for maximum server density. In other cases voice and webcam data may be processed locally and then direct-connected to another client, bypassing the additional latency of the virtual desktop.

Maintain highest quality of service over any networkGiven enough bandwidth and a low latency network connection any virtualization protocol can look great, but many users will find themselves connecting from distant offices, hotel rooms and soccer fields where bandwidth is almost always in contention, packets lost, and latency varying. The Citrix ICA protocol, the heart of HDX technology enables desktop and network administrators to create fine-grained prioritization over network traffic to get the most from available network resources and maintain the highest service levels. Combined with Citrix CloudBridge, users may expect excellent performance over mobile broadband or remote office networks spanning across continents.

3D professional graphics supportDesktop and app virtualization isn’t just for task workers or occasional use. Even the most demanding professional 3D graphics applications may be virtualized and accessed from remote offices, 3rd party contractors, and even mobile tablets bringing enhanced security to intellectual property while promoting better collaboration and real-time editing in the field using a simple tablet. Best of all, the enormous data files required to generate complex designs all remain safe in the datacenter keeping all users in sync without complex and costly data synchronization.

Cloud-ready, built on the Avalon platform

IT organizations are under more pressure than ever to be relevant in supporting and driving business objectives. Turning traditional IT organizations into internal service providers demands flexible infrastructure and streamlined, automated processes. XenDesktop has been redesigned from the ground up to be ready for cloud deployments implementing open APIs, and leveraging any virtual infrastructure technology, storage infrastructure and complex network topologies.

Introducing XenDesktop White Paper

With numerous awards, industry-validated scalability and over 10,000 Citrix Ready products, XenDesktop provides a powerful desktop computing infrastructure that’s simple to manage. Build, test and update services in seconds, and enable the help desk to easily and quickly troubleshoot desktops from anywhere with advanced monitoring and diagnostic tools.

Any hypervisor – Cloud readyCitrix XenDesktop is built to leverage any virtual infrastructure or cloud management platform. Whether using the included XenServer, leveraging the performance and rising popularity of Microsoft HyperV, or building on existing VMware vSphere infrastructure, XenDesktop is built to be hypervisor, storage and network agnostic. XenDesktop may also be deployed on popular Cloud management platforms including Apache CloudStack or the CloudStack-based Citrix CloudPlatform or Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Secure by designCitrix XenDesktop is built to be secure by design. Core in the product’s DNA is the idea that all data remain in the datacenter unless it can be audited, controlled, and enforced by policy. Citrix helps protect critical data for thousands of enterprises by controlling the Windows apps and desktops that use critical data while allowing users to use those apps from any device, on any network.

Maintain service levels with advanced monitoring and analyticsCentralizing Windows apps and desktops as-a-service can provide unparalleled service levels for users leveraging the powerful monitoring and advanced analytics of Citrix EdgeSight. The EdgeSight reports available from within the Citrix Director console provide historical trending and correlation necessary for capacity planning and service level assurance. For the IT helpdesk and support escalation teams, Citrix offers Citrix Director, a unique and powerful tool allowing admins to search by user to quickly troubleshoot and solve issues wherever they may be located.

Industry’s largest ecosystem of 3rd party productsCitrix Ready is an end-to-end partner program that showcases and recommends third party products, solutions and services demonstrating compatibility with Citrix XenDesktop. It allows solution architects to quickly and easily find over 10,000 3rd party products recommended by Citrix that are trusted to enhance a Citrix-based solution.