Citrix XenDesktop

Citrix XenDesktop is a suite of desktop virtualization products from software provider Citrix Systems. Through its bundled components, XenDesktop can deliver several different types of virtual desktops:

  • Hosted shared desktops (XenApp) - multiple users can access a single shared Remote Desktop Services (formerly Terminal Services) desktop.
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) desktops - each user has their own virtual machine that runs on a server and is accessed and controlled using a remote display protocol.
  • Streaming disk images - desktop images are created on a server (Citrix Provisioning Server) and streamed to the client device as needed. Processing takes place on the client device.
  • Local virtual machine - a virtual machine is stored and runs locally on a client device, utilizing a client hypervisor (XenClient). The image can be synced with a master image on a server as needed.
  • Individual applications can be hosted on a server and accessed remotely or be streamed as needed to a client device.

Citrix calls this ability to deliver desktops by a variety of methods “FlexCast.” However, disk images must be modified for each delivery method.

Citrix Receiver allows a wide variety of client devices to access XenDesktop virtual desktops. Versions are available for Windows, Windows Mobile, Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Blackberry, Linux, thin clients, and zero clients.

Contributor(s): Jack Madden
This was last updated in November 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse
View the next item in this Essential Guide: Citrix XenMobile or view the full guide: Citrix Synergy 2014 conference coverage

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