Working from home has never seen such an explosive growth as this year. As a result, the adoption of the cloud has also increased explosively. After all, the cloud is the place where you can make remote work environments available quickly, easily and without major upfront investments. Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) also benefits from this growth. Not only as a native platform, but also in combination with 3rd parties, such as virtualization and DaaS specialist Citrix.
Microsoft and Citrix: BFFs in workplaces in the cloud
The two software giants have had a strategic partnership for many years and this has been strengthened with a new deal. Under this deal "Microsoft has selected Citrix® Workspace as a preferred digital workspace solution, and Citrix has selected Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform.” This even closer cooperation is meant to simplify cloud transformation and speed adoption of digital workspaces and virtual desktops to enable people to work anywhere across devices.
New opportunities for Service Providers
The Microsoft-Citrix deal is an interesting development for Service Providers opening new ways to deploy remote desktops for customers with even greater agility, productivity and security. It means that as a Service Provider you have more flavours to offer Windows Virtual Desktop to your customers: native on Azure or via Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Standard for Azure (formerly Citrix Managed Desktops). This is especially interesting for your customers who already work with Citrix or for customers who need more WVD functionality than what is available as standard, for example in the field of security or networking.
What does Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop offer?
Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) offers Service Providers a great opportunity to quickly provision scalable remote workplaces on Azure. The advantages for Service Providers are numerous. Think of savings in IT hardware and infrastructure management or a short time-to-market. But also, of delivering a full Windows 10 experience to customers, virtualizing Microsoft 365 apps to run in multi-user sessions, as well as extending the lifespan of Windows 7 virtual desktops to run legacy applications.
What does Citrix offer?
Citrix has been working with Microsoft for decades to extend the capabilities of Microsoft's virtual desktop offering for organizations who need more. First on Microsoft RDS and now on the WVD platform. Citrix offers several ways to do this: with: Citrix Virtual Apps Service, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop Service (Advanced and Premium), Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Standard for Azure – the easiest way to access WVD – and via Citrix Workspace Premium Plus or Citrix Workspace with the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Standard for Azure add-on.
The Virtual Apps and Desktops Standard for Azure Service option is Citrix’ easy, simple-to-deploy DaaS solution, designed exclusively for Azure and Windows Virtual Desktop resources on Azure and already pre-programmed. Within a few hours you will have a fully end-to-end managed desktop up and running.
Many Service Providers, however, will want extra capabilities regarding management, performance, scalability, security, and user experience and choose Citrix Workspace to unlock WVD. For example to deploy remote desktops in a current hybrid Citrix environment.
7 ways in which Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Standard for Azure Service enhances Windows Virtual Desktop
While native WVD is already a very powerful solution in itself, Citrix adds value for use cases with even more advanced requirements. Let’s briefly look at some examples of how Citrix enhances Windows Virtual Desktop.
- Teams and Skype optimization for voice and video calls so that there is always a smooth connection, even in places with low bandwidth where the service sometimes fails.
- While you will be able to work your own way around the platform, Citrix offers 24/7 support to answer all our questions at any time. Should you have any…
- Citrix’ HDX Protocol (High Definition eXperience) delivers 20 years of innovation to optimize user experience. Decreased bandwidth consumption and increased user density per hosting server ensure users have a smooth virtual app and desktop performance
- Citrix offers power management (AutoScale) controls to keep cloud compute costs under control. You can automate when to power workloads on or off in Azure, depending on your customers’ requirements.
- Optimized images enable you to reuse images and simplify image management so that you are able to deliver the necessary operating systems with the required set of applications to appropriate users based on their needs anywhere across devices.
- The Linux Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) enables access to the Linux virtual apps and desktops anywhere from any device where Citrix Workspace app is installed.
- Citrix SD-WAN prevents latency and provides a secure, reliable network connection between users, the virtual desktop, the data centre and the cloud.
Your scenario counts
What is the best choice? This is mainly a question of what is the best fit for your scenario. Consider POCs for different solutions. Native WVD or in combination with, for example, Citrix. Where are the differences? What works best for you? That also applies to price. Don't just look at the price per workspace, but also at the cost of onboarding per customer, for example. If you can cut down these costs, it will be advantageous in the long run. Every organization has its own characteristics and considerations; the best choice is therefore the one that best suits your scenario.
Want to learn more?
At Insight we talk with many Service Providers every day. That's why we know that each Service Provider and each of your customers have their unique needs, also related to the industry in which you specialize. We see it as our role to help you find the best solution for your individual scenario and help you increase your productivity and profitability in and with the cloud in the way that’s best for your company.
Watch our free webinars to learn more about cloud transformation in general and the benefits of Citrix Cloud in combination with Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop. Or contact us right away to discuss your business needs in the cloud.