How does Citrix work?
Well, it's complicated.

Parallels Remote Application Server is easier and more cost-effective.

Citrix software virtualizes Windows applications, desktops, and resources to publish them to remote users.

Citrix is one of a few companies, among others such as VMware and Parallels, that offers comprehensive virtualization solutions to companies. Citrix products are built around virtualization technologies. Citrix software basically deploys applications and resources on a central server and publishes them to remote devices. Using the virtualization technology, Windows applications can be published to non-Window devices. Moreover, resources can be accessed from anywhere, anytime and from any device. Before choosing Citrix, it is important to know how Citrix works.

Try out a simpler and more cost-effective solution, Parallels RAS

Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp) is a virtual application delivery tool that isolates applications from the underlying OS and from other apps to improve their performance and compatibility.

These applications are streamed from a centralized location into an isolated environment where they are executed on target devices. The application configuration, settings, and files are copied to the client device. When you use session virtualization, applications are delivered from hosting servers in the datacenter using application streaming. The user is then connected to the server to which the application is delivered. The application is executed on the server, and the server power is leveraged. While the server receives mouse clicks and keyboard strokes, it sends screen updates to the end user device. With XenApp and session virtualization, Citrix enables Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices to run Windows applications from Microsoft RDS. On the other hand, XenDesktop is able to deliver full VDI desktops to any remote client device. Using HDX technology, it delivers a graphical experience to end user systems. Once you understand how Citrix works, you can choose between session virtualization and VDI deployments.

Download a full-featured, FREE 30-day trial today of the best alternative to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly Citrix XenDesktop).

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Citrix implementations are challenging. There are multiple components, products, editions, and costs involved in a Citrix virtualization infrastructure setup.

Component / Edition Description
Citrix Receiver Client software that provides access to XenApp/XenDesktop resources from any device
Citrix NetScaler Provides load balancing, performs server offloading, and makes applications run five times faster
Citrix StoreFront Authenticates users to sites that host resources and provides self-service access to apps & desktops
Citrix Studio Management console that lets you monitor and manage the entire infrastructure
Citrix Director Web-based IT support tool
Citrix Editions XenApp Secure Browser, XenApp Advanced, XenApp Enterprise, XenApp Platinum, XenDesktop VDI, XenDesktop Enterprise, XenDesktop Platinum; each edition comes with different pricing structures

Adding to this headache are the frequent name changes to Citrix products. Moreover, Citrix products are quite expensive. Not only should you understand how Citrix works, but you should also check the pricing structure.

Parallels Remote Application Server delivers more—at a lower cost

Parallels Remote Application Server is a perfect alternative to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly Citrix XenDesktop). The main strength of Parallels Remote Application Server is that it is an all-inclusive solution. It combines all the functionalities of XenApp, XenDesktop, NetScaler, and Gateway tools to deliver a comprehensive virtualization solution. It is easy to deploy and use; using a simple wizard, you can install it and get it up and running in five minutes. Features such as load balancing come auto-configured and provide high availability of resources. Once it is set up, publishing applications and desktops is effortless, and the published resources are available on any device, anytime and from anywhere. From the central dashboard, you can monitor and manage the infrastructure with ease, and you don’t have to deal with multiple products and components.

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Parallels Remote Application Server Customers

How Does Citrix Work? Key Takeaways

Parallels Remote Application Server licenses are 60% less expensive than XenApp licenses, and the maintenance agreement is 67% cheaper when compared to XenApp maintenance contracts. Also, Parallels Remote Application Server is less resource-hungry, which eliminates the need for extra hardware. Scalability tools are included in the price as well. On the whole, Parallels Remote Application Server saves up to 60% on your Citrix costs while delivering significantly more value.

Parallels RAS Citrix XenApp Migration Tool
Parallels RAS makes the migration process easier with a free migration tool that automates most of XenApp use case scenarios. The migration tool extracts settings from Citrix XenApp 6.x and imports into RAS Console. Read More