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This content is part of the Essential Guide: Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards 2013
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Winner: Best desktop and application delivery product

In the desktop and application virtualization space, one winner reigns in the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards.

Citrix XenDesktop


Best desktop and application delivery product winner: Citrix XenDesktop

Citrix has been in the desktop and application game since the company's earliest days, so it's no surprise that many organizations look to Citrix XenDesktop for desktop virtualization.

XenDesktop delivers desktops and applications to a variety of endpoints. To keep up with the increasingly mobile workforce, the latest version brought more features for desktop and app access on mobile devices, including protocol enhancements to improve WAN efficiency, scrolling and gesturing and support for native mobile functions.

Desktop/application delivery product honorable mention: VMware View

The close runner-up to XenDesktop is VMware's View, now bundled into the company's Horizon Suite for complete workspace management and delivery. View is a well-established product that integrates with the company's vSphere platform, and it benefits from VMware's long history with virtualization.

Readers say VMware View is easy to set up, and they like the new features in the latest version. Horizon View 5.2 added support for hardware-accelerated 3-D graphics and SE Sparse disks to optimize disk space, while View 5.3 took graphics to the next level with the virtual dedicated graphics acceleration feature.

"We have been deploying over 500 desktops in our educational space for the past 4 years and are extremely happy with View 5.2," one reader commented.

Readers say XenDesktop's maturity, flexibility and feature strength are what make it stand out in this market. Plus, it can be applied in many different use cases since the software supports numerous clients. The FlexCast delivery model allows IT to choose from hosted shared desktop delivery, on-demand apps and three other methods.

"Its FlexCast model supports a wider range of workloads and delivers desktop and app virtualization more efficiently than the others," one reader said in the survey. 

Although desktop virtualization products from the larger vendors can be complex, users say XenDesktop is simple to manage. In XenDesktop 7, the company combined the XenDesktop and XenApp management architectures, bringing the number of management consoles down to only two.

Readers also lauded XenDesktop for its HDX display protocol technology. The technology helps deliver high-performance graphics, video and other multimedia over the network. HDX works well over WAN connections, which is especially important for organizations that need to deliver desktops and applications to disparate locations.

"Since we have a number of peripherals to support and our clients all deploy to branches, I would have to choose XenDesktop for their support of the peripherals and for a better communication protocol," one voter commented.

In the end, Citrix XenDesktop helps users work more efficiently at home and in the office -- whether it's from a laptop, desktop PC or mobile device.

As one reader put it: "I could never work for a company now that does not offer a desktop/application virtual way of working. It has changed my life."

Best desktop/application delivery product finalists

Citrix won out over these other desktop/application delivery products:

Citrix VDI-in-a-Box

Dell vWorkspace

IBM Virtual Desktop

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services

NComputing vSpace

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops

VMware Horizon View

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