Azure Virtual Desktop and Citrix: Virtual Desktop Management Solutions

More organizations are moving their traditional, on-premises data centers to the cloud as remote work becomes even more popular. However, hybrid cloud infrastructure with a mix of data centers on private and public clouds remain ideal for organizations with already substantial investments in on-premises environments, or if required by law to keep sensitive data on-premises. For organizations using Citrix, integrating Azure Virtual Desktops into their current infrastructure is a viable option.

How Do Citrix and Azure Virtual Desktop Compare?

Citrix has a product that is similar to Azure Virtual Desktop called Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Used in virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions, both products have their own set of pros and cons. However, how do they measure up in terms of cost-efficiency, accessibility to small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), ease of administration, and user experience? Let’s look at both platforms to determine which is better.

Citrix requires servers with Windows Server OSs and Windows Remote Desktop Service client access licenses (CALs). If your organization requires Microsoft 365, you’ll need Office CALs for your users too. Aside from hardware and software, you may need to pay for specialized consulting services to set up your infrastructure.

In contrast, Azure Virtual Desktop is already included in Microsoft 365. To use the platform, organizations only have to pay for their Azure subscriptions. However, specialty consulting services might still be needed, particularly for organizations new to Windows.

In terms of ease of administration, Azure Virtual Desktop and installed applications can be managed centrally from the cloud. Again, the transition is easier for organizations already on Windows 10.

How Do Citrix and Azure Virtual Desktop Work Together?

While Azure Virtual Desktop may enjoy an advantage over Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, if you’re already using Citrix in your on-premises datacenter, you don’t have to choose one over the other. You can leverage your familiarity with Citrix and combine these two platforms in a way that would be advantageous to your organization.

In the typical Azure Virtual Desktop-powered infrastructure, Microsoft takes care of everything, from the management services that maintain and provide access to the desktops and applications in the Azure cloud to its computing, networking, and storage components.

Citrix offers several alternatives to this Microsoft-only, cloud-based infrastructure, allowing the use of Citrix features that are otherwise not available in Azure Virtual Desktop. For example, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Standard for Azure is a preprogrammed solution for adding fully managed desktops to your infrastructure.

What Are the Benefits of Using Azure Virtual Desktop and Software like Citrix?

By combining Azure Virtual Desktop with Citrix, you can make your infrastructure better, especially if you’re aiming to set up a hybrid cloud infrastructure. The advantages of using them together include:

Parallels RAS as an Alternative to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops for Azure

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is a viable alternative to deploying virtual desktops and applications on Azure. Using Azure as a hypervisor, Parallels RAS allows organizations to provision and scale VDI and DaaS workloads on-demand, leading to faster deployments and simplifying management. Moreover, it extends the capabilities of Azure Virtual Desktop by integrating and managing all workloads and resources from a centralized console.

Organizations may integrate Parallels RAS within their new or existing Azure Virtual Desktop-based infrastructures and deliver a comprehensive solution to end users that includes access to applications and desktops on VDI and Remote Desktop Session Hosts (RDSH). Parallels RAS supports on-premises, hybrid and public cloud environments, as well as Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session hosts and multi-cloud deployments.

Parallels RAS on Azure delivers faster, scalable and more reliable access to corporate applications globally, at an affordable cost. It also comes with a simple, full-featured licensing model. By using the platform, IT departments can repurpose a considerable portion of their budgets to other pressing projects.

You can check how Parallels RAS can help streamline your application delivery on Azure by downloading the trial.

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