Q - We are evaluating whether to use Citrix XenDesktop to Create Virtualized Desktops to run Elliott Business Software, instead of using Remote Desktop from Microsoft, or running from a local desktop. Will the Virtualized Desktop approach work for Elliott? What are the pros and cons of using virtualized desktop vs. remote desktop?
A - We are aware of one of our users implementing VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure, which is what XenDesktop does), and it did work. They use the VMWare solution instead of Citrix. We think the fundamental VDI technology between Citrix, VMware and Microsoft are similar. The general comment from the customer was that the performance is slower compared to using a local desktop or remote desktop.
As for remote desktop vs. VDI, we think the big difference is that with VDI each desktop is in an isolated box. It has its own OS. If you have one virtual desktop malfunctioning, it is not going to propagate to other virtual desktops. On the other hand, a remote desktop is sharing the same server and OS resources. If one user messes up the OS (like with a virus, for example), he/she messes up other OS's as well.
In our opinion, the remote desktop has lightweight resource requirements from the server and, generally speaking, runs very fast. VDI requires a lot more resources to run, so it can be slower. But it is in its own isolated box, so you should have better security control. VDI may also have other advantages in the areas of better deployment, backup and flexibility in management.
We are not experts in this area, so we can only tell you that we think XenDesktop will work with Elliott Business Software based on our limited experience. You are encouraged to seek out more information than what we can provide here.