RDS or Citrix? Five signs to help you decide

RDS or Citrix? Five signs to help you decide

rds or citrixIf you are asking yourself if Windows Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is enough for your organization or if it’s time for Citrix, you may find you need both.  Despite similarities between the two products, utilizing a combination of both has been the answer for many IT shops.  Greg Shields at Redmond Magazine recently asked the Citrix Technology Professionals how to tell if a shop needs RDS or Citrix.  So, here are five signs he came up with that indicate a need  for Citirix.

1.You need secure non-Windows client support

When multi-platform, ubiquitous support becomes a requirement, Citrix combined with RDS is indispensible, according to Steve Greenberg of Thin Client Computing.  What’s more, mobile users will see a more advance mobility software development kit with Citrix than they do with RDS.  The Citrix XenApp will be a huge benefit if mobile usability is a priority.

2. You seek a strategic rather than point solution

Between RDS or Citrix it is fair to say that RDS does a great job of connecting users to remote applications and remote desktops, but Microsoft’s solution does not have the same scope that Citrix’s comprehensive approach offers.  Aaron Parker from stealthpuppy.com said he is able to create a unified strategy for applications, desktops, mobile devices and data by combing XenAPP with XenMobile and ShareFile.

3. You demand more control over the UX

One of the great things about RDS is that each release has opened up new options for customizating the way users interact with desktops and applications.  But when uses become more complex, the question of RDS or Citrix may seem a little more pressing. The additional configuration control within Citrix proves essential for these complex uses. For example you need to manage the amount of bandwidth on a per-user basis, advanced environment management and control delegation, or granular load balancing.

4. Your IT service levels mandate administrative automation

What makes a remote application server unique among most servers in a datacenter is the ability for users to gain direct access. That’s why RAS require more administrator attention in order to deliver desktops and applications.  Automation becomes critical in order to pay this amount of attention especially as the size and complexity intensify.

The latest Citrix XenAPP editions offer options to improve the user experience including Session Prelaunch, Session Linger and Fast Reconnect.  And with XenAPP Platinum and Enterprise there are options to manage power and capacity along with automated health monitoring and load testing.  And applications are accessed with an improved, locally-installed feel.

5. You need flexibility in application hosting and delivery

You might have realized that some applications work better on virtual desktops and some work better hosted on datacenter servers and some do best locally.  When things get complex, flexibility of how applications can be hosted and delivered becomes vitally important.

So which is it, RDS or Citrix?

In the end, everyone has a different situation.  For those shops that have found the above signs to be familiar, it might be time for Citrix.  But it doesn’t have to be either RDS or Citrix.  A combination of both can prove to be essential.

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