Delivering Windows Virtual Desktop through Citrix DaaS

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Standard for Azure (known formerly as Citrix Managed Desktops) is a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering. It leverages the use of Windows Virtual Desktop on Microsoft Azure.

Windows Virtual Desktop is a full desktop and application virtualization environment that supports Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows Server 2012 and up. Because Citrix fully manages the DaaS, all customers have to do is pay Citrix a certain amount per user per month to access Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure using any supported device.

DaaS Definition and Functionality

DaaS allows delivery of virtual desktops and applications to end users over the internet, with the infrastructure, network resources and storage all based on the cloud and often managed solely by the DaaS provider. Thus, DaaS does away with the need to acquire, assemble and configure hardware for your own datacenter.

In contrast, traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is delivered via on-premises datacenters and internal IT staff handle everything within those datacenters, including the hardware.

DaaS is characterized by multi-tenancy, or multiple organizations sharing the resources provided by the DaaS provider. Virtual desktops are sent over the internet to users via web browsers and remote desktop clients, among other software. Like in VDI, desktops can be persistent or non-persistent; the former means that desktop settings are permanent, while the latter means that settings are reset at each bootup.

For the most part, DaaS providers manage everything—from the infrastructure down to storage—for their customers, although some organizations may choose to manage the infrastructure on their own.

As for customers, they only have to pay a fixed monthly fee for access to virtual desktops and applications, aside from managing the desktop and application images on their VMs. The pay-as-you-go model means that you can scale your DaaS infrastructure up or down at any time.

With DaaS, customers enjoy convenient desktop delivery and support, less downtime, cost savings, and a more flexible and secure infrastructure. These benefits make DaaS a particularly attractive option for organizations looking to adopt VDI.

Citrix DaaS Offerings

Known formerly as Citrix Managed Desktops, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) Standard is the Citrix DaaS product offered on the Citrix Cloud platform. It allows delivery of Windows Virtual Desktops and Apps from Windows VMs to any device via Citrix-managed images. These images are already installed with the Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA), the tool that allows communications between machines and the Citrix Cloud. The Citrix Gateway service ensures worldwide coverage, if needed.

Either Citrix itself or a Citrix service provider can take care of managing desktops and applications using the service’s advanced monitoring and help-desk management features. Citrix or the service provider can also manage the Azure compute, storage and networking infrastructure if a customer so desires. Customers with their own Azure subscriptions retain the option of managing the infrastructure on their own, especially useful if their IT staff have the requisite expertise.

Citrix DaaS also comes with Citrix Remote PC Access, which allows remote access to a PC located in the office or anywhere. Citrix’s high-definition experience (HDX) technology provides a smooth user-experience for remote PC users.

Once your assigned desktop is up and running, you can use the Citrix HTML5 client to browse to a Citrix Workspace URL, where you can start your desktop or applications. You can also install the Citrix Workspace application on any supported device to access your desktops and applications.

Citrix DaaS Terminology

Some of the important terms used in Citrix DaaS are discussed below:

Citrix DaaS vs. Amazon Workspaces

While Citrix DaaS eases the transition to a Windows Virtual Desktop environment, how does it compare to similar offerings on the market? Let’s see how it stacks up with Amazon Workspaces.

Deploy Virtual Desktops with Parallels RAS and Azure Windows Virtual Desktop Offerings

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) supports deployment to any of the popular public cloud providers, including Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). It extends and simplifies the capabilities of Windows Virtual Desktop by integrating and managing workloads and resources from a centralized console.

Using Parallels RAS, you can simplify deployment and management of Windows Virtual Desktops across your organization. You can provide end users with seamless and transparent access to all Windows Virtual Desktop VMs and other resources and enhance productivity with more than 130 automated image optimizations. Support for FSLogix Profile Container and various multi-factor authentication (MFA) providers are among the platform’s other strengths.

Check out how easy it is to use Parallels RAS with Windows Virtual Desktop by downloading the trial.