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VMware VDI shops may sidestep XenApp with PCoIP for Microsoft RDS

VMware View shops that use Microsoft RDSH but don't need all the XenApp bells and whistles can bypass Citrix and use RDS via PCoIP instead.

VMware View shops will soon be able to bypass Citrix XenApp and use PCoIP for both VDI and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services.

The Teradici Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) PCoIP offering will provide IT with a protocol it can use across Windows Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and VMware View desktop pools.

This is good news for View administrators as PCoIP for RDSH offers an alternative to Citrix XenApp, which many View customers use to extend remote desktop sessions and applications in their environments, industry experts said.

Ducking XenApp with PCoIP

Until now, the PCoIP desktop protocol only supported VMware Inc.'s View-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). That meant that View customers who implemented basic RDS had to deploy multiple products and along with them, multiple management consoles, connection brokers, remote display protocols, endpoint configurations and clients, and remote access gateways, said Simon Bramfitt, a virtual desktop specialist with Entelechy Associates LLC, a desktop virtualization consultancy based in Concord, Calif.

 "This obviously increases cost and complexity of the overall solution," Bramfitt said.

VMware VDI customers that don't necessarily need all the bells and whistles of XenApp can eliminate it and deliver RDS via PCoIP instead -- which they may do if PCoIP costs less, he said.

"If Teradici adopts an aggressive pricing strategy, at least for the 1.0 release, it may be able to steal Citrix XenApp customers who are dissatisfied with the relatively high cost of Citrix Subscription Advantage," Bramfitt said.

More on remote desktop delivery

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Citrix Systems Inc.'s Subscription Advantage pricing differs depending on the product line, family edition and membership renewal category, but XenApp Fundamentals with embedded Terminal Services Client Access Licenses costs $40 per named user. Add to that the cost of client hardware.

Teradici declined to offer pricing or licensing details for its new RDSH offering, which won't be generally available until December. (It hits alpha status this month.) But Teradici PCoIP zero clients for View are available from 30 OEMs in various form factors starting from $299 U.S. For VMware View, PCoIP comes out of the box for no additional cost.

Regardless of price, the company expects to intercept XenApp customers and grow its business in a way that wasn't possible with VMware View support alone, said Trent Punnett, vice president of Teradici product management and system engineering.

The company claims that 70% of Wyse and Hewlett-Packard thin clients connect to either native RDS or XenApp, which has cut PCoIP and VMware View out.

Wyse Technologies, now owned by Dell, could not verify that percentage but confirmed the point.

"Desktops and applications have traditionally been the territory of Citrix and Microsoft, which means that a great number of installed clients are [Citrix]/RDS today," said Jeff McNaught, chief strategy officer for Dell Wyse.

VMware has made strides in closing the gap, he added.

PCoIP support for Windows RDSH may close that gap further, but it will take time, given the limited features in the 1.0 release -- most significantly lack of support for published applications, Bramfitt said.

What's it to Citrix?

Meanwhile, Citrix could easily respond to Teradici's new protocol by providing a way to connect to Microsoft RDS without XenApp, which could void any price advantage PCoIP offers.

For now, Citrix's spokespeople have spun the idea of this competitive threat into a compliment. Citrix considers Teradici's new support for RDS a curtsy to its FlexCast technology, which supports various methods of desktop delivery in addition to VDI.

Citrix also rests on the fact that its technology is mature and has more capabilities.

"With a 1.0 release that is not yet available, customers will want to know how Teradici will differentiate its offering from the base RDS functions," said John Fanelli, vice president of Citrix enterprise desktops and apps marketing.

Meanwhile, Teradici PCoIP also has to contend with Microsoft's RemoteFX technologies, which Microsoft has improved for Windows 8.

Though PCoIP for RDSH competes with Microsoft's protocol, it also helps Microsoft, because Teradici's technologies, which include the APEX 2800 server offload card, will provide RDS with better performance and scalability, Punnett said.

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Will you replace XenApp with PCoIP? Why or why not?
XA is proven and works
yes I would replace XenApp w/ PCoIP due to cost.
XenApp is a delivery system. PCoIP is a protocol. I seriously can't believe that TechTarget and other media sites are gravitating to producing half-baked research/articles and overlooking this.. and causing more confusion to the less informed readers who may look to you for guidance. Shame on you
Go teradici!
There are several reasons companies choose XenApp over RDS. The protocol is usually a small part of that. PCOIP may be attractive to small shops, but I can't see Enterprise IT departments switching because of this. TechTarget you need to do a better job of understanding the technology and how IT departments are utilizing them.
In a Fortune 100 company we have deep pockets. SA is a minimal cost to get what we want even if it's more than we need.
My company uses XenApp and this isn't a compelling reason for us to make a change.
to early. they have to mature. maybe in two or three years.
i don't like to be their "guinea pig"
Citrix is how I make my living for one. Secondly, PCoIP has not been thoroughly field/reality tested for long enough to convince me yet. Third, it uses too much server resource from what I can see.
XenApp has more than I need, and PCoIP is a better protocol - means better UE, better clients etc.
XenApp requires dedicated Citrix admins and the infrastructure requirements are extensive and brittle to maintain.
because its only a protocol not the mgmt
Would you replace an umbrella with a copy of Wired? They both will keep rain off of your head.
No point to do it
tried and true
PCoIP is just a protocol nothing more.
Because it only works on PCs.
Citrix team is managing XenApp.
PCoIP is a very recent protocol. It is not as mature as Citrix's ICA which makes PCoIP adoption a bit risky. I would not recommend to substitute XenApp deployments to this new technology...
Depends on whether VMWare improves their gateway architecture. Currently, the connection server/Security Server combo is about equal to Citrix Secure Gateway circa 2006. VMware needs to step up and either partner with a couple of SSL VPN mfctrs, or further develop the current security gateway (and provide an alternative for scaling out, other than using a 3rd party loadbalancer)
Since I work for Teradici ; )
XenApp is a mature and supportable technology.