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Thoughts on Citrix & Alternatives

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shine_victim    2

Hi dudes & dudettes,

 

Wondering if anyone in the technical field has any strong opinions, recommendations or areas of interest regarding Citrix XenApp or alternatives for delivering Windows environment to the masses?

 

We currently have:

  • XenApp 6.5 environment
    • 2 CTX Provisioning server
    • 2 CTX Web Interface servers (for remote access)
    • 40 CTX servers
      • Each server hosts between 8-12 user sessions
      • Each server is a Win 2008 R2, 16GB RAM and 4CPU
  • User's log in and are given basic Windows environment with Office and Internet access - with some bespoke applications randomly published to specific users.

 

I have been tasked with looking into what are next steps are due to the blades being end of support and XenApp 6.5 being a little dated.

 

As we have been XenApp 6.5 since I joined the business 6 years ago so have never dabbled in this area.

 

What are your thoughts, experience within this area?

 

  1. Stick with Citrix?  Look into updating XenApp or using XenDesktop
  2. Look into VMware's offering
  3. Something Cloub based?  On Azure maybe

 

Open to all recommendations or avenues.  I have to come up with a business case for multiple options and give my views on each so anything info at this point would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks guy!

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sc302    1,537

What are you giving to your users?  Office? Use office 365. Desktop apps, see if there is a web based version and see how well it works on mobile devices. 

 

I really dont  know what you are providing so I don’t know the right solution to recommend.  Could always go Remote Desktop Service and dump Citrix, I don’t know what you need from Citrix that you would need Citrix. 

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+fusi0n    1,783
Posted (edited)
On 8/14/2018 at 6:14 AM, shine_victim said:

Hi dudes & dudettes,

 

Wondering if anyone in the technical field has any strong opinions, recommendations or areas of interest regarding Citrix XenApp or alternatives for delivering Windows environment to the masses?

 

We currently have:

  • XenApp 6.5 environment
    • 2 CTX Provisioning server
    • 2 CTX Web Interface servers (for remote access)
    • 40 CTX servers
      • Each server hosts between 8-12 user sessions
      • Each server is a Win 2008 R2, 16GB RAM and 4CPU
  • User's log in and are given basic Windows environment with Office and Internet access - with some bespoke applications randomly published to specific users.

 

I have been tasked with looking into what are next steps are due to the blades being end of support and XenApp 6.5 being a little dated.

 

As we have been XenApp 6.5 since I joined the business 6 years ago so have never dabbled in this area.

 

What are your thoughts, experience within this area?

 

  1. Stick with Citrix?  Look into updating XenApp or using XenDesktop
  2. Look into VMware's offering
  3. Something Cloub based?  On Azure maybe

 

Open to all recommendations or avenues.  I have to come up with a business case for multiple options and give my views on each so anything info at this point would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks guy!

First, what applications are you running on the Citrix servers? What is the ram like? 16GB and 12 users is a bit low.

 

Web Interface has been EOL for a while. Have you thought about moving to a StoreFront / NetScaler setup? Also, XenApp 6.5 is coming on EOL, but 7.x is better in every single aspect, plus it's a lot easier to setup and manage. Plus, you'll get director and I'm sure your helpdesk will appreciate that. It also can serve as a single pane of glass for all your farms. 

 

I looked at what VMware is offering, and it works, but it isn't as granular or polished as Citrix. Azure actually uses Citrix for publishing Applications and Desktops..  But, you may just need RemoteApp and a Terminal Server. Need more information  

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shine_victim    2
On 8/18/2018 at 1:36 AM, fusi0n said:

First, what applications are you running on the Citrix servers? What is the ram like? 16GB and 12 users is a bit low.

 

Web Interface has been EOL for a while. Have you thought about moving to a StoreFront / NetScaler setup? Also, XenApp 6.5 is coming on EOL, but 7.x is better in every single aspect, plus it's a lot easier to setup and manage. Plus, you'll get director and I'm sure your helpdesk will appreciate that. It also can serve as a single pane of glass for all your farms. 

 

I looked at what VMware is offering, and it works, but it isn't as granular or polished as Citrix. Azure actually uses Citrix for publishing Applications and Desktops..  But, you may just need RemoteApp and a Terminal Server. Need more information  

Superb fusi0n,

 

This is the type of feedback I was hoping for.

 

Our user base has grown substantially over the past 3 years, hence the amount of people on each Citrix server etc.  It is frustrating for us technical guys, as one person performing a lot of work on a spreadsheet can potentially make 11 other users feel like their sessions are unusable/laggy.  We know we need to increase resources but can't get the buy in at this point from the business etc.  Anyway, that is not your fight lol.

 

Storefront/Netscaler was in the pipeline a while ago but our infrastructure guy who was "dabbling" in this ended up leaving and it was left in the air.  I suppose I took over his role but haven't been given the task of venturing into his work to pick up or redo the work.

 

At this point in time we are planning on spending one way or another and makes sense to update/upgrade to where ever we see fit.

 

Our Citrix environment is currently in a good place.  We know what to expect and know the limitations (resources and aging hardware are holding up back, not Citrix).

 

I will be getting in touch with our suppliers and inquiring about Citrix XenApp 7.5 but I wanted to get thoughts from actual users in the real world first as I know these guys will push the Citrix sale hard at us in any case.

 

Thanks again fusi0n, much appreciated.

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