Citrix XenDesktop is a desktop virtualization product from software vendor Citrix Systems. The product provides IT control over and user access to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) desktops.
With VDI, end users connect to remote desktops hosted on virtual machines that run on a server in a data center or in the cloud, and they can view and interact with them using a remote display protocol.
Citrix XenDesktop workloads can include Microsoft Windows desktops, Windows Server and Linux operating systems, as well as physical desktops. These workloads can run on a variety of hypervisors or public cloud infrastructure offerings.
Core features of Citrix Virtual Desktop are
At the core of XenDesktop is the Delivery Controller, which stores configuration and other settings managed via Citrix Studio or Citrix Director in a database.
The StoreFront portal displays the desktops and applications assigned to users. Upon authentication at the StoreFront, users only have to click an icon in the portal to access their assigned desktops and applications.
Connections to virtual desktops are managed through the Citrix Receiver client, available for several operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. Web browsers or thin client devices can also be used to connect to virtual desktops.
As a Citrix product, XenDesktop offers native support for Citrix HDX, a suite of technologies that incorporates its proprietary Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) remote protocol for passing data between local and remote clients, data compression, and multimedia redirection.
Citrix XenDesktop also includes Provisioning Services for real-time provisioning of desktops using a single disk image.
XenDesktop and XenApp
XenDesktop includes Citrix XenApp. The products share many features, except XenApp provides control and access for multiple users connecting to applications or session-based desktops on a shared Remote Desktop Services (RDS) server.
With XenDesktop, each client receives its instance of a desktop, and the desktop instances are not shared between users.
While XenDesktop is a platform to deliver desktops remotely, you will also need a XenApp license to deliver applications in order to share both applications and desktops with a user.
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