Citrix vs Vmware VDI Solutions – What are the differences (Pros and Cons)

Citrix vs Vmware VDI Solutions, What’s the difference ?.  Many companies are shifting to virtual desktop solutions as they are more flexible and make it easier to manage IT operations and resources at a low rate. It is a technology hosted on Virtual Machines (VM) that enables users to access desktops from multiple devices. In simple terms, this technology makes it easier for users to interact with the operating system/applications remotely. VDI in the cloud provides enhanced security, remote office support, network and storage resources, and more. Under this technology, all desktop operating systems run within VMs in a centralized server. Many organizations prefer VDI solutions as it helps provide a consistent experience across different devices and boosts employee productivity. Citrix and VMware are the two largest companies providing VDI solutions, used for various cloud computing services and other functions. In this post, we will discuss in detail Citrix vs VMware VDI solutions. Further, we will compare the two solutions and share their pros and cons for better decisions.

What is Citrix?

Citrix vs Vmware

Citrix has been in the market for more than a decade. It is one of the renowned multinational cloud computing companies that started with providing remote access software for users at the initial stage and later expanded to server and VDI offerings. Its products have been claimed by many users worldwide.

Many small to medium sized enterprises trust Citrix for on premise and cloud hosted products. As an enterprise, if you wish to use VDI with Citrix, make sure to purchase Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop to implement and deploy virtual desktop infrastructures.

Exercising Citrix VDI offerings can help reduce IT costs and increase efficiency. The company introduced two VDI options, Citrix VDI in a Box (Kaviza) and XenDesktop. Citrix VDI in a Box is a simple and less expensive VDI solution. However, XenDesktop is a little costly on comparing with Citrix VDI in a Box. Also, it works for both small and large environments resulting in increased productivity and growth for enterprises.

Pros of Citrix VDI Solutions

  • It is a flexible technology, easy to use and understand.
  • Citrix VDI solutions can scale to large numbers of users.
  • It provides enhanced security.
  • It provides flexible access to IT resources from different locations.
  • It helps in improving business continuity and productivity.
  • It helps maintain global compliance and data privacy.
  • It helps reduce the time and cost of desktop and IT management.
  • Remote access and mobility help enhance productivity.
  • Helps build a hybrid multi cloud environment for better results.
  • With Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, one can deploy all management tools on a single server.
  • It has fewer hardware requirements.

Cons of Citrix VDI Solutions

  • Citrix’s has many products and does not focus only on VDI.
  • The free version does not include all resources for monitoring and troubleshooting. One needs to upgrade to a Platinum license for all features, which can be expensive.
  • It is not easy to install Citrix products.
  • Server or Citrix glitches may be visible.
  • Upfront only a few hypervisors feature suitable for a production environment.
  • Does not support Linux operating system.
  • It is not easy to upgrade regularly as the licensing costs are high.
  • Plugins might crash when connecting to the virtual network.

What are Vmware VDI Solutions?

what is vmware vdi

VMware is a cloud computing company with a solid product offering. They are the primary company that introduced Desktop Virtualization after analyzing the customers were utilizing ESX servers and server virtualization deployments. VMware allows the use of multiple operating systems to run on similar desktop or server devices in a virtual machine. The desktop software of VMware supports all operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS. Introduced in 1998, VMware has gained a lot of popularity in the discipline of cloud computing and virtualization technology.

To manage desktops and applications remotely many large enterprises use VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions. VMware Horizon is the core product of the VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution, which is best suitable for hybrid and multi cloud deployments. It is a trustworthy product and offers a great end user experience. Also, VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions have a simplified management system and provide a better value for the product and services.

Over the past years, they have also launched various products, including VMware vSphere, VMware ESXi, VMware Fusion, VMware Player, VMware ThinApp, VMware View, and VMware Infrastructure. Further, it provides services like Virtualization software, SaaS, Cloud. The products offered by VMware also cover ease of administration and help reduce the load on internal staff. VMware Solutions help accelerate modern app operations, existing apps, seamless employee experience and deliver any application on any cloud from any location.

Pros of Vmware VDI Solutions

  • It is easy to manage, monitor, deploy, and scale desktop and apps across private, hybrid, and multi cloud deployments.
  • It provides remote access to corporate resources securely from any device.
  • One can use the desktop from anywhere or any location.
  • It helps reduce the time to manage and set up the full desktop.
  • It provides a centralized management system.
  • Reduces the monitoring and managing user security.
  • It supports VMs Linux Operating Systems and Windows Operating Systems. Thus, no need to spend the extra cost of installing an operating system on the machine.
  • Its product vSAN helps pool out the disk storage.
  • VMware provides a disaster recovery management plan to maintain and preserve security.
  • It helps automate the provisioning and management of virtual desktops and apps.
  • It helps improve ROI and build resiliency.
  • VMWare VDI solutions provide infrastructure optimized for end users.
  • It offers better network bandwidth consumption.
  • It is a trusted provider and offers flexible delivery.
  • It is easy to roll back in case of a major process or want to terminate the process.
  • It provides a secure environment to access internal network resources.
  • There is no additional need to install, configure, or maintain local desktop applications in VMware solutions.

Cons of Vmware VDI Solutions

  • Deployment may become more complicated with the use of different licenses offering.
  • It has a high implementation cost.
  • It is difficult to run every application or server in a virtualization environment. Thus, a level of uncertainty will be visible as it will require a hybrid system not supported by every vendor.
  • It creates a scalability and availability issue.
  • It takes time during the implementation phases with local systems.
  • Its software performs best with high class devices. Thus, if you don’t support the best system, you will get low performance.
  • Needs technical experts for installation.
  • Lack reliability.

Citrix vs Vmware Comparing the Differences

Hypervisor: VMware is less flexible as it only supports its one hypervisor, such as ESXi, available for free. However, Citrix supports various hypervisor options for on premises deployment, including Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Service Broker: The basic service brokerage for Citrix and VMware VDI solutions is the same. The main job of the service broker in a VDI deployment is to accept user connections and find suitable virtualized desktops or applications. Excluding the basic functionality

Citrix provides Citrix Director for help desk, handling user sessions, optimize resource utilization, and perform administrator level tasks. It provides service brokers via Delivery Controller (DC).

VMware Horizon provides basic administrative tools and Helpdesk Utility compared to the Citrix offering. It provides a service broker via a view connection server (VCS).

Provisioning: Citrix provides provisioning services (PVS) and machine creation services (MCS) to deliver updates to virtual desktops via a shared image. However, VMware uses linked clones and instant clones’ technologies to create instant desktop pools to commit resources directly to storage.

Front end system: Citrix VDI solutions utilize Storefront as the front end system responsible for handling user authentication and communicate with DC. However, VMware exercises view connection server (VCS) as the front end system.

Connection gateway: Citrix provides Citrix Gateway for authenticating external access requests, whereas VMware Horizon has two gateway,
including a traditional security server and universal access gateway (UAG). These provide connecting with one to one VCS and multiple VCS.
Networking: Citrix is considered a better option in terms of networking due to its integration of gateway services for Citrix VDI options and gateway support for the PCoIP.

Virtualization: VMware supports full virtualization in comparison to Citrix.

Host Operating Systems: MS DOS and Free BSD are the only two host operating systems supported by VMware. However, Citrix supports more operating systems, including Linux OS and Windows OS.

Technical Support: VMware does not support articles, emails, brochures, and user manuals as technical support. However, Citrix depends only on these for technical support. For additional information, both provide forums, videos, and system updates.

VDI Solutions Conclusion

Choosing an appropriate VDI vendor out of the two most popular technologies, Citrix vs VMware is a long time debate. Many small to medium sized businesses or personal users prefer Citrix, whereas VMware is only structured for small to medium sized businesses and not for personal use. It can be difficult to pick one of these two technologies. It is better that you look for your company’s requirements, look for their pros and cons, further compare their product on the basis of a few above listed parameters before concluding. Every business has different needs; thus, it is recommended to deploy a VDI solution that fits your organizational requirement.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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