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Organizations are getting drawn more and more to strategic IT initiatives that help their business stay ahead of the competition. Desktop virtualization is one such strategy as it also helps keep pace with the demands of an increasing workforce.

Key strategic goals including recruitment and retainment of the most skilled employees, regardless of their location, are possible with a virtualized desktop environment. It increases business efficiency by reducing the time required to integrate acquisitions all the while providing your people with device choice but still keep critical data safely secured in your data center.

However, it is to be noted that your users are not wired the same way, and therefore have different requirements for their virtual desktop based on their needs and role towards business goals. Many organizations take desktop virtualization as synonymous with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and therefore look for solutions for that. But it is so much more than VDI.

Citrix offers solutions for any desktop virtualization customization your users have through their Citrix XenDesktop with XenApp that can meet all your requirements. Their FlexCast technology helps you deliver desktops and applications tailored to meet the various performance, security and flexibility requirements of every user in your organization. It offers various options including a server-based virtual desktop or more commonly known as a hosted shared virtual desktop, a non-VDI solution.

This non-VDI solution through Citrix XenApp has proven to be quite a favorite among Citrix clients with its ability to meet the desktop virtualization requirements of majority of their users. A hosted shared virtual desktop offers its users all the flexibility and mobility benefits while the IT administrator can benefit from the centralization, security and management efficiencies of XenApp.

There 10 reasons to consider the hosted shared virtual desktop environment through XenApp. Let’s consider the first five in this part 1:

Significantly lower server hardware requirements

A single XenApp server, either physical or virtual, can host 150-200 virtual desktop sessions by sharing computing resources and isolating each user session independently. As a VDI solution where each user has a virtual machine (VM) with dedicated computing resources, XenApp’s hosted shared desktop leverages shared server resources.

Simplify storage requirements and costs

Hosted shared and VDI desktop deployment both require a centralized image management technology to accelerate image deployment and simplify management. This centralized management technology is significant for any type of deployment as its optimizations can reduce the overall amount of high-performance shared storage required. When XenApp is paired with a central image delivery technology such as Citrix provisioning services, a single XenApp server session usually requires only 15 GB of high-performance shared storage to support up to 200 user sessions. But each VM is a VDI environment would require an individual storage allocation so 200 VDI users can easily translate to a total of 1,000 GBB of high-performance local or shared storage.

Simplified image management and deployment

Through the Citrix provisioning services features of XenApp, administrators can build a single server image, known as vDisk, with all the requested applications, settings and policies. This vDisk image can be delivered on demand in a matter of minutes to any number of physical or virtual servers. This guarantees a rapid and consistent server build across an entire XenApp farm. Updating or patching servers is a simple management feature that allows you to copy, test and update the vDIsk in a few easy-to-follow steps.

Designing for the majority of the users, reducing costs

Any desktop virtualization project starts with assessing users’ desktop computing requirements. A VDI-only solution designs your entire desktop virtualization environment based on the requirements of a few of your most demanding users. While this reduces complexity of the environment, it can significantly drive up associated costs. While some users would need their own dedicated computing resources through VDI, others who don’t need it can have most of their desktop virtualization needs met with a XenApp hosted shared desktop. Citrix FlexCast technology is the solution for organizations looking for a shred hosted desktop for majority of its users while still addressing the requirements of its niche power users with a hosted VDI solution.

Delivering a Windows desktop experience even from a server operating system

Many businesses utilize a Windows desktop for their everyday business applications. When transitioning to a server-hosted operating systems, concerns regarding having an unfamiliar interface and may require additional training arise that they defer going to a hosted shared virtual desktop. But XenApp server-based virtual desktops leverage a Windows Server operating system and with the release of Windows Server 2008, Microsoft introduced the desktop experience feature. This allows you to install a variety of Windows features and themes to your Windows 2008 or 2012 server and transforms your XenApp server-based virtual desktop into one that behaves like a Windows desktop.

We’ll get on to the next five reasons in the next part, coming for nex week’s Feature Friday. Stay tuned!



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