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RDS Server vs Citrix HDX


We are used to deploying RDS Servers for remote access however recently I have been talking to a couple of IT professionals who have been trying to convince me to move to Citrix as they believe it to be better.

I am not unhappy with RDS as it works for us especially when you publish Apps, it make life really easy for remote staff.

One of the IT professionals set me a login into his system and one thing I was impressed with was my remote desktop session was running windows 7, when we give staff access to RDS they access Server 2012 R2 session.

My questions are is this possible to do this with Remote Desktop Server, to give staff access to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 profiles rather than Server 2012 OS.
What is everyone view on the difference between the two platforms ?

Windows Server 2012CitrixRemote AccessMicrosoft ApplicationsOperating Systems

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Brian Murphy
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Brian Murphy
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Hi Guys

Thanks for responding that is helpful.
Most of the users who use RDP don't have desktop machines as they are field based so have a laptop and use RDP or RemoteApps to access software applications.

By the sounds of it they both offer the same solution but Citrix is possibly going to cost more as it is an extra level of software on top of the Windows Server.

My goal isn't necessary to give users Windows 8.1 or 10 but when i logged into the setup I was given to test i noticed I was logging into a Windows 7 environment and wondered if you can do this by some virtual Citrix environment.  I just thought this was an added bonus if Citrix can do this.  If it involves us having X number of virtual machines running then I think it's going to add an extra level of complexity.

One point I have heard is Citrix is a lighter remote client and therefore if remote users are on slower connections it runs better, but i have been reading various articles online which seem to suggest 2012 R2 is similar to citrix now.
an additional $177/user/year .. What you were shown was a Server 2008R2 not a Server 2012R2 environment. Citrix is the leader in remote desktop.  Microsoft originally licensed their technology back in 1997.  The company has had its up's and downs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrix_Systems
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There is an extra cost but it is not always represented what you get for that cost.  For every license you can install XenApp and XenDesktop on Windows platform and then you have: (Very abridged)

Core fundamental technology;
Citrix Provisioning Services – proprietary technology that allows streaming a single read-only image
Citrix Provisioning Services Cache in RAM with Disk Overflow - allows for VDI workloads of less than 1 IOPS
Application Lifecycle Framework – Citrix is a conduit for the business application
Citrix StoreFront – replacement for Web Interface
Citrix XenApp\XenDesktop hosting servers – Beginning with Winframe, designed to host business applications
Citrix Receiver for StoreFront – Required to leverage all functionality
Citrix Netscaler Application Delivery Controller – Required for Secure Gateway, Unified Gateway, StoreFront integration

Citrix Proprietary software technology that increases chance of success;

Citrix XenApp Delivery Groups – Controls the “look and feel” of StoreFront
Citrix XenApp Categories for Delivery Groups – Further granular control for the self-service
Citrix StoreFront Featured Applications – Granular control of StoreFront using “keywords” from XenApp
Citrix XenDesktop Site Controller – Required component, active-active, leveraged by StoreFront.
Citrix Director – Required component for triage, user and session management, highly customizable.
Citrix Director Reporting – Advanced Desktop reports, custom reports, highly customizable with SQL.
Citrix Policies – Control end-user experience, all aspects of FMA channel control.
Citrix Netscaler ADC
Citrix Netscaler Content Switch
Citrix Netscaler Load-Balancing
Citrix Netscaler HTTP and SSL Compression
Citrix Netscaler Firewall
Citrix Netscaler Network Access Policies
Citrix Netscaler Global Load Balancing (GSLB)
Citrix APPDNA - Business application analysis and remediation
Citrix Insight Appliance for HDX and Web - FMA\ICA metrics

Additional technologies that increase Citrix success;
Dedicated VLAN for VDI – VDI is not a workstation. VDI is virtual desktop technology requiring PVS.
Microsoft Powershell – Automation of most Citrix tasks. Citrix includes Powershell Modules.
Microsoft DSC for Powershell – Desired State Configuration. SCCM Integration. Automation with reporting. Forced the desired state where any change immediately reverted to the previous setting.
Microsoft SQL 2008\2012 2-Node Cluster – HA for XenDesktop Site, Metrics, Insight, and Director data
Microsoft Studio for Web 2015 – Free, ASP.NET, StoreFront is highly customizable with this tool
Microsoft APP-V
Microsoft Applications
Microsoft Applications

Microsoft applications include a variety of software programs, including development and digital authoring programs (Expression and Media Center), educational programs, Internet software, including Essentials, Skype and the Live family, anti-virus, productivity applications and suites like Office, Excel, Word, Outlook, Access and PowerPoint, video games and server applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, IIS and Virtual Server.

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