Citrix Synergy kicks off this week and as Citrix gears up to promote their VDI-in-the-cloud story, we wholeheartedly say "we couldn't agree more." In theory that is... We believe the cloud is the most transformative technology that has come along in the last 20 years. And we believe so strongly that delivering virtual desktops and apps from the cloud is a wonderful solution that we've built a company around it; we are laser-focused on making customers successful with VDI. But all VDI cloud solutions are not created equal and you need to have all the answers to make the best solution choice for your organization.
Workspot has built a cloud-native, multi-tenant solution to deliver virtual desktops and applications from on-premises and the cloud. We built it from the ground-up just like Salesforce for CRM, Workday for HR, Netsuite for ERP, ServiceNow for IT Management. The solution was built with a modern, micro-services architecture similar to how Facebook and Twitter are built which allows it to scale to millions of users.
Unlike Workspot, Citrix Cloud is built from many of the same on-prem, stateful components used in their standard product. It is really important for you to drill down on the differences and what they mean for your implementation. Here are the 10 most important questions you need to ask Citrix about the Citrix Cloud.
For details about how Workspot addresses these questions, read this brief comparison guide.
1. Are you really hosting 1 instance of XenApp/XenDesktop for each customer?
Citrix Answer: Yes, we host one copy of a legacy XenApp/XenDesktop deployment per customer, including Storefront, Brokers, Databases, AD, Licensing servers, etc.
2. Are my company's user credentials stored in the Citrix Cloud?
Citrix Answer: Yes, when a user connects to a virtual application or desktop, the user authenticates against the Citrix Cloud. User credentials have to be stored in the Citrix hosting infrastructure. There is no way to use SAML authentication or federated identity.
3. Is my company's data flowing through Citrix Cloud?
Citrix Answer: Yes. When a user connects to a virtual application or desktop, data flows through the Citrix Cloud. You can avoid this by installing Netscaler Gateway on premises.
4. Are you sending data traffic through Citrix Cloud? Does this create a bottleneck?
Citrix Answer: Yes and it depends. The data traffic is transferred through a rate limited gateway running in the Citrix Cloud. This then is connected to the on-premises Connector and then to the virtual application and/or desktop. This means that if the user is in APAC, the Citrix Cloud is in North America, and the data center is in Europe, the data traffic would have very high latencies. Potentially, you could use the Citrix SD-WAN product to limit that issue.
5. Is the Citrix Cloud a single point of failure?
Citrix Answer: Yes. Since all authentication and data traffic goes through the Citrix Cloud, if it is unavailable, then your users will not be able to access their applications and desktops.
6. How many panes of glass do I have to use to manage my deployment?
Citrix Answer: At a minimum, three. Essentially every component still has its own management console. All of these consoles are embedded together using session frames into the Citrix Cloud portal management. This isn't any different from what you are used to on premises.
7. Who pays for Microsoft Azure?
Citrix Answer: You are responsible for Azure bills. We understand that it can be complex and highly variable. You should work with your Microsoft representative on this.
8. Can I manage both my licenses in the Cloud and my on-premises licenses?
Citrix Answer: No. In Citrix Cloud, we manage your licenses and your allocations. You continue to manage your on-premises licenses.
9. If I'm a Citrix Cloud customer, do I work with a single support group?
Citrix Answer: No. Depending on the Citrix Cloud service that you use, you will be routed to different support groups depending on the issue and severity.
10. If I'm a current Citrix customer, can I keep my Subscription Advantage without support?
Citrix Answer: No. Citrix is moving towards Software Maintenance, which is support and renewal. While it may be higher than the Subscription Advantage you pay for now, you are entitled to more services including support. The Subscription Advantage program is being retired.
If you want to read more about how Workspot's modern, cloud-native solution compares to Citrix Cloud and what those differences mean for your organization, download the white paper, Workspot vs Citrix Cloud Comparison Guide. It's an easy read you don't want to miss.