What is Citrix Server?
Learn why Parallels RAS is better.

Citrix Server is a virtualization tool that enables businesses to centrally host applications and
resources—delivered to mobile and desktop clients.

Citrix Server is a whirlwind of never-ending costs, complex implementations, and time-consuming maintenance.

Citrix Server uses Microsoft Terminal Services or RDSH and VDI. While there are multiple components involved in a Citrix virtualization infrastructure, it is available in two main editions, XenApp and XenDesktop. XenApp is the central product that is used for seamless application delivery, while XenDesktop extends the capabilities to publish VDI desktops. Both of these products are capable of securing data and applications by delivering virtual resources to users based on location and device-specific security configurations. Before choosing your virtualization products, it is important to know what Citrix Server is.

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

What is Citrix Server & how does it work?

In a Citrix application delivery setup, applications and resources are hosted on central servers. XenApp isolates these applications from the underlying OS and other applications, and streams them into an isolated environment on the target device where they are executed. You don’t have to install applications or software on the client device; only the configuration settings, data, and application files are copied to the client device. The user sends keystrokes and mouse clicks to the server and receives screenshot updates. The client device should have the XenApp client software Receiver installed on it. As XenApp provides access to hosted resources from a Windows server, users share the server’s physical resources.

Citrix XenDesktop has an extended scope. It is used to publish complete virtual desktops from a hypervisor to remote client devices. This means every user gets his/her own instance of the OS and desktop; resources are not shared between users.

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

Get Started with Parallels RAS Today

As each business has different virtualization requirements, it is important to know what Citrix Server is and the differences between XenApp and XenDesktop.

XenApp XenDesktop
Best suited for businesses that have fewer application and configuration requirements
Less hardware resource-hungry
Doesn’t allow users to install or configure their own applications or personalize their environments
Suitable for organizations that require fully capable desktop environments for client devices
Supports VDI desktop delivery at a higher cost

Challenges with Citrix Products

While Citrix is a popular name in the virtualization segment, Citrix products are equally popular for creating confusion among users with regard to licensing and feature sets. The company has introduced 200 products in the last 25 years, and each product has been renamed more than once. The company introduced XenApp for application virtualization and XenDesktop for desktop virtualization. Later, Citrix combined both products into one and released XenDesktop 7.0. However, the company had to back out from this decision as it created confusion among users. Citrix then separately released both products as XenApp 7.6 and XenDesktop 7.6. However, confusion still prevails, hence why you are asking the question, "What is Citrix Server?".

XenApp comes in three different editions with different features and pricing structures. Similarly, XenDesktop comes in three different editions. Companies have to scour through each product edition. In addition, you need to purchase additional components such as provisioning services and EdgeSight for advanced features. Another challenge is the complexity in installing Citrix products. You need a certified professional to install and configure the product, and you have to configure multiple components for a complete virtualization infrastructure. Monitoring the entire infrastructure is another challenge. This is the reality of Citrix Server.

Try Parallels RAS

Parallels Remote Application Server Customers

What is Citrix Server—Key Takeaways

Parallels Remote Application Server solves Citrix Server challenges by delivering a comprehensive solution to all of your virtualization needs. This holistic package delivers the same features as XenApp and XenDesktop in a single and affordable edition. The tool is easy to install and use; using a simple step-by-step wizard, you can put a 50-user environment into production in 30 minutes. All the major components come auto-configured by default.

Parallels Remote Application Server provides a single dashboard to monitor and manage the entire infrastructure from a centralized location. In addition, Parallels RAS supports a range of client devices including Chromebooks and Raspberry Pi. Most importantly, Parallels Remote Application Server saves you 60% compared to Citrix.

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