As a certified Citrix Partner, we get contacted a few times a week by local businesses interested in Citrix after reading an article about it or hearing about it from a colleague. After answering many similar concerns and questions we figured it was about time we posted a blog in regards to this topic.
So What Is Citrix?
Let’s start with who Citrix is. Founded in 1989, Citrix specializes in virtualization software that enables businesses to consolidate, unify, and secure their network. In plain english they make products that make it easy and secure to work from anywhere, anytime. Whether you’re an IT Director in charge of dozens of servers and hundreds of desktops, or an executive that values the ability to work from anywhere on different devices, Citrix provides software to address those needs. Citrix provides its software to more than 330,000 business around the globe and has served nearly all of the Fortune 500. With the advances in their technology and the price point coming down, more and more small-medium sized businesses are implementing this once “enterprise technology” into their networks.
Some of the more commercial solutions Citrix provides are GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, and GoToWebinar. This family of products provide the ability for people to remote into a computer and collaborate together remotely over the internet.
Their core business/enterprise grade solutions are:
- XenServer- Enables virtualization of server operating systems. Essentially this enables you to create multiple virtual servers on a single physical server, maximizing the hardware investment. So if your business needs 10 servers to run all of its systems, XenServer could enable you to run everything on 2-3 physical servers, instead of buying 10 actual physical servers.
- XenDesktop & XenApp– Like server virtualization, desktop virtualization (VDI) has become a popular way of consolidating traditional desktop operating systems onto servers that host virtual desktops that can be accessed from any device. A user simply connects to the server to get their Virtual Desktop with all of the apps and settings they need. When they log off they have no data stored on their device, all of the data is kept on the servers. In terms of security, manageability, and remote access for users, this method of computing has become very popular.
- Hosted Desktops- Certain companies want the benefits of Citrix and virtual desktops, but don’t want to invest in the hardware and software that comes along with it. On top of that the daily maintenance of these systems is not feasible for some companies with limited IT resources. Hosted Desktops allow companies to spin up the desktops they need in the Cloud of their choice, without having to invest in servers and operating system licenses. This is essentially a subscription model where you pay per month per desktop user.
Can Your Business Benefit From It?
From our experience, the companies that benefit the most from Citrix solutions have the following needs and criteria:
- Users that access the network remotely on travel or from home.
- Deal with VPN’s, printing, slowness issues.
- Have multiple locations and need to unify the network.
- Need a better way to manage/consolidate desktops, usually have 30 or more.
- Need a more secure access to their apps, data.
- Want to lessen their server footprint, and possibly eliminate servers all together.
Is It Expensive?
If you go with a full on premise VDI deployment of XenDesktop, it can come with a larger price tag. If however you decide to build out a XenApp environment on terminal servers, or even use Cloud based Hosted Desktops, the price tag will be significantly less. Your goal should be to build a solution that will provide the efficiencies and benefits your company needs, balanced with the cost of implementation. When implemented properly, Citrix often pays for itself by reducing management costs and downtime, and increasing productivity and performance.
Is Citrix Right for Your Business?
To really get a good understanding on how Citrix can be implemented in your network, it best to work with a Citrix Certified Partner like Zeta Sky. Like any software implementation, you want to make sure you have experts that can help you properly configure and use the platform. Mis-configurations, lack of updating and maintenance will yield a negative result…no matter what the software.
To find out exactly how Citrix can be used in your business, what the costs will be, and even test drive the software, contact us for an initial complimentary consultation.