virtualized web app access versus native access

are there advantages in publishing a web application with citrix xenapp instead of accessing the app directly through my local browser?
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Hmm off the top of my head.

Citrix license - £210
RDS CAL - £1.75
Xenapp Infrastructure - Complex and buggy
CAG needed for SSL
OS Licensing

RDS CAL - £1.75
OS Licensing

Although Citrix does have features to mitigate latency, but as you said this is a web app.
Tony JLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
If you wanted to access the app from say any internet-attached device and those devices are varied (iDevice, 'Droid, Linux, Mac, Windows) then you can get a distinct advantage by using Citrix.

If, however you wanted to access it from some internet connected devices, such as Windows, Mac and Linux then pure Remote Desktop Services from Microsoft could help.

But if it's just an internal thing, then Citrix is massively overkill and RDS somewhat.

As dipop has correctly pointed out there are huge costs and complexities with Citrix. Less so with RDS.

Your use case is not specific enough to provide much help beyond those points.
remchecAuthor Commented:
Thanx Tony1044 and Dipopo.
My use case is simply remote access from W7 Clients to 2 Web applications.  

Please permit me to bug you with some details:  The remote users have to open .pdf images stored on the wEb server, copy the image and paste onto MS Paint on the local workstation, edit the image and save locally. The remote user then opens a second Web App on the remote Web server and this app will automatically pick the saved Paint file from the user's desktop.
The link between the remote location and the server location is a 2Mbps optic fibre link.

With the scenarion above, how will it profit us to access the Apps through RDS instead of directly pointing the browser to the Web server? Will Citrix XenApp add more value? Value will justify cost.
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I do not see any problems performing this without RDS and Citrix. As said before this is a web application, I personally do not see any reason to have it as a published application as the users can access the web front end and perform their tasks.

RDS/Citrix would have been best if the app was a standalone desktop app which you are now extending the reach via publishing it.

Else keep it simple and save money you can re-invest in architecture/infrastructure [Virtualization, shared storage, control panel, redundancy]

NOTE: You will need a RDS CAL per user, as the users can directly/indirectly access the server.

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remchecAuthor Commented:
Hi dipopo.
thanx for your last advise; we have done away with the idea of virtualizing the web app with citrix and rds.
it sruck my mind that why can't i install virtual desktops next to the web application server and allow remote users access the web apps via the virtual desktops? i dont have the experience; can you advise if this option can make the web apps respond faster than native access method?
Hi remchec, this will work via the virtual desktops, but in my opinion another layer of complexity and cost.

Personally I would enable SSL for the remote users, adn simply have them go via the web front end servers directly, unless the resource is on a private IP range [RFC 1918]. At which point a NAT/SNAT should work nicely.

Let me know what you have by way of network infrastructure, I'm sure we can design a cheap, good for purpose solution which will be durable and cost next to nothing.
remchecAuthor Commented:
hi dipopo. remote users are within the enterprise network; no accesss through public internet at all. All links to head office are private links but low bandwidth and sometimes high latency. That's why we are looking at options to speed up the response to remote users.
Hi remchec, for the local users this should be fine with-out citrix or RDS publishing for that matter, now for the remote users with high latency etc, you can implement a caching scenario or WAN accelerator.

Bluecoat/F5 and Cisco ones are quite nice.

Also remember to safe-guard the external facing web sites with SSL cert, and offload this on a load balancer or WAN accelerator.
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