November 4, 2009 - Matthijs Haverink

VDI Blog Battle : Part 1 – Citrix XenDesktop 4 Introduction


Okay Sven, the game is on!

This is my first post in the VirtualFuture.Info VDI Blog Battle, to convince Sven, and all you out there, why Citrix XenDesktop 4 would be the right solution for future desktops. I’ll be talking about Citrix XenDesktop 4 this month and try to point out to you some of the unique features of Citrix XenDesktop 4 and why it would be a better solution then VMware View 4. In this post I won’t go deep into the product, but more into its maker, Citrix, and their vision on VDI.

would like to start with a little intro about why VDI even exists. I actually hate the VDI-word, I’d like to say Desktop Virtualization, but since that’s such a long term, I’ll use VDI.

Now, we used to do fine without VDI so what’s all the fuzz about, you could say. I personally see Microsoft Terminal Services & Citrix Metaframe / XenApp, wich I’ll be calling TS for now, as the predecessors of VDI. I think VDI was born to overcome the drawbacks that TS had. What were those drawbacks?

– Shared Windows-environment : interference and limitations
– Bad graphical performance (before RDP 6 and HDX support in ICA)
– Not all apps were multi-user environment aware or compatible
– Poor peripheral support, USB devices etc.
– Only for on-line use, not off-line

VDI is about to solve all these problems… some say.

I disagree. Some say VMware is pushing VDI so hard because they won the server virtualization market and just thought; “hey what’s next?”. There might be something into that but we do have to remember that they have a big share in spreading the VDI-concept as we know it now. But I do think it’s true that because they have no other desktop presentation platform they have to push VDI as being the (only) way to go for your desktops. For Citrix that’s different: for them it’s just another way of getting the app to the user, and that’s a game they know!

So this where I see the power of Citrix. Citrix knows the end-user. Citrix knows its way around desktops, profiles, applications; the complete package. Citrix has shown this for years and I believe Citrix still shows this with their Citrix Delivery Center concept.

So I’d like to end with this. Citrix does not sell VDI as a holy grail; Citrix sells it as an add-on, with the means to use it where it makes sense. And that’s the way to treat VDI in my opinion, and that’s why I’d choose Citrix: their vision on Desktop Virtualization is the right one !

VDI Blog Battle / Virtual Desktop Citrix XenDesktop 4 / VDI Blog Battle / VMware View 4 /