What is Citrix Receiver and how does it work?

Citrix Receiver is a client software that is required to access applications and full desktops hosted on Citrix servers from a remote client device. This tool provides access to XenApp/XenDesktop installations from different types of client devices including iPhone, BlackBerry, Mac OS X, iPad, Windows, Linux, Windows Mobile, Android, Google Chromebook, thin clients, and embedded operating systems.

Citrix Receiver works with the HDX protocol built on top of the ICA protocol. The ICA protocol actually sends keyboard and mouse input to the remote server and receives screenshot updates on the client device. This traffic is handled by the Receiver. HDX protocol extends this procedure by providing a high definition experience of Windows applications to users working on many of most well-known devices. Citrix Receiver is available for different operating systems. When you visit the Citrix Receiver download page, it automatically detects the OS and prompts you with the correct client software to download. Citrix Receiver connects remote client devices to XenApp, XenDesktop, Citrix Access Gateway, XenVault Secure Storage, and other Citrix services.

Challenges with Citrix Receiver

As with every Citrix component, Receiver has gone through multiple changes. It was previously known as ICA Client. Before the release of Receiver, there were multiple client software components such as Secure Access Gateway Client, ICA Client, Password Manager Client, etc. Configuration and management of multiple products and components was a big challenge. Later, Citrix changed these components into plug-ins and combined them into one product called Citrix Receiver 1.0. With the release of Citrix 3.0, this product was split into Receiver Updater and Receiver Insider. It was again changed to Citrix Receiver Enterprise. The current product, Citrix Receiver 4.4, is now a suite of components including the web online plug-in and self-service plug-in. The combination of plug-ins varies with the client’s form factor and specifications.

While there are no performance issues with Citrix Receiver, the presence of multiple products and components is confusing. XenApp is available in different editions with different pricing and feature sets. XenDesktop is also available in three editions. Customers have to scour through multiple products and features. Moreover, configuring these components is complex and time-consuming. Citrix software also comes with a high price tag and not many businesses can afford it.

The Parallels Client simplifies application delivery

Parallels Client is a simple tool that lets you access centrally hosted resources from any device, anytime and from any network. It is free to download and use. It uses SSL and second-level authentication, which means resources are securely transferred through the network. It works with every type of OS and platform, including iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Linux, Mac, Google Chromebooks, BlackBerry, and Raspberry Pi. The Parallels Client leverages the Microsoft RemoteFX protocol to deliver a high definition user experience to remote clients. Parallels Client is the best alternative to the costly HDX protocol suite of technologies.

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) is a single package containing all virtualization components. Moreover, important components such as printer redirection and load balancing come auto-configured by default. It is simple and easy to deploy and use. It eliminates the challenges of managing multiple products, upgrade issues, and configuration complexities. Most importantly, it is inexpensive, with the lowest overall TCO when compared with Citrix and VMware products.

References

Understanding Citrix Receiver | thomaskoetzing.de

The Citrix ICA file explained and demystified | ingmarverheij.com

Citrix Receiver definition | searchvirtualdesktop.techtarget.com

Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp: What is HDX? It’s not just ICA! | citrix.com

Citrix Systems | en.wikipedia.org

Citrix Receiver - Parallels Remote Application Server

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