Citrix, or Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, is a widespread and broad-spectrum virtual desktop infrastructure that Citrix delivers to clients worldwide. It collaborates with other industry giants such as AWS, Cisco, Google, IBM, and Microsoft via worldwide collaboration. \  

Before we get started on Citrix, let’s do a recap on what VDI is. VDI, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, is the technology that allows the deployment of virtual desktops and applications in corporate spaces. The most significant use of VDI stems from its accessibility. Employees may access virtual desktops and applications from any location or device. Configurations and company-approved settings remain the same across all virtual instances, mitigating security and confidentiality matters. 

The other significant benefit of VDI is centralized management. VDI can be managed centrally with greater ease, and all configurations, application settings, and access permissions must be implemented once. Because the desktops are virtual, IT can easily roll out virtual desktops for new employees without configuring each device. 

Read more: Citrix Workspace: An All-in-One Solution for Your Business. 

The Importance of Citrix in the VDI Landscape 

With over three decades of rich experience in cloud computing, Citrix is generally regarded as a pioneer in cloud-centric innovations that have swept through the entire IT industry. These days, Citrix has mostly diverted all its efforts into creating transformative technologies for an ever-evolving workspace that can handle any nature or amount of disruption. In its pursuit of unified digital workspaces, Citrix has utilized the power and versatility of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to provide businesses with more secure options to ramp up productivity.   

Virtual Desktops and Applications come in the form of a cloud service solution that businesses can utilize to cut down on hardware needs and associated costs. Although other hosting options, such as in-house data centers or a hybrid strategy, cater to specific business verticals, an all-cloud solution appeals to most clients for being the most cost-effective option among many.   

Businesses can also choose a cloud provider – ACE, Microsoft, AWS, or Google – to host Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. When it comes to partnering with a cloud service provider (CSP), the choice comes down to many things – chief among which are cost and reliability. Businesses consider other factors, such as security, user experience, and flexibility options, before choosing a CSP. 

 Citrix Virtual Desktops: Drawbacks 

Virtual desktops are typically available in two varieties: persistent and non-persistent. Non-persistent virtual desktops, the cheaper option between the two, do not offer customers a wide range of flexibility as settings cannot be changed upon use. Persistent desktops, on the other hand, allow users to make changes for a more customized working experience. Such personalization, however, comes at a cost. Citrix users, in particular, have repeatedly complained about the high costs associated with handling persistent desktops.  

Additionally, persistent desktops often are challenging to manage and require much technical expertise. In Citrix Workspace, automated workflow features are increasingly becoming necessary for users but are too expensive for most businesses. 

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 Citrix Alternatives 

Virtualization needs are growing by the hour. Accordingly, VDI providers are cashing in on this opportunity. Due to the abovementioned factors, businesses have recently looked for other VDI providers. There are several Citrix alternatives in the market today, but companies should be cautious before deciding on an option. 

Citrix is a reputable VDI provider that has been around for decades. Having spearheaded digital transformation, Citrix can be credited with changing the look and feel of an office setup, the power of workspaces, and the ways of working and collaborating. However, competitors have since intercepted the market with well-researched ideas and innovations that may be worth the buck. As it happens, Citrix is not the only provider of virtual desktop infrastructure as an innovative workspace solution to businesses worldwide.  

Citrix continues to be a dominant force in the virtual desktops market, which is why Ace Cloud Hosting has partnered with Citrix to bring world-class virtual desktop resources at an affordable cost to businesses. Below, we have rounded up a list of the top 5 Citrix alternatives that are currently dominating the market: 

Microsoft Application Virtualization:

Microsoft Application Virtualization or Microsoft App-V is a Windows 10 feature popular among businesses. It enables the installation and activation of server-end and client-end components to access Win 32 applications in virtual mode. Thus, the typical Win 32 applications become virtual. These virtual applications are hosted on centrally managed Windows servers and can be delivered on demand to businesses in real time. Microsoft App-V does not require in-house IT for either deployment or management. Local IT tasks are eliminated as virtual applications become available on end-user devices. 

 Workspot:

 Workspot is an innovative Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) designed to cater to the needs of multiple industries. Workspace can be utilized by sectors as diverse as healthcare, finance, BPO, construction, retail, and manufacturing. Configuring settings is easy on Workspot, and administrators can present user access across data, applications, and profiles. Workspot boasts an impressive security interface with a single sign-on feature and user access via Azure Directory and PIN. Workspot continues to make strides in user experience, with security being its topmost priority. Blacklisting and whitelisting websites are also made possible on Workspot with the event log functionality that enables automatic monitoring and supervision of team member activities. Maintaining logs and tracking team member activity is an added benefit of Workspot. Workspot also offers the usability of an application programming interface or API that lets clients incorporate the platform with third-party add-ons. 

 Parallels RAS:

  Parallels RAS (Remote Application Server) is a leading Citrix competitor that takes a cross-industry approach to deliver virtual desktops and applications to businesses worldwide. Parallels RAS streamline team member working capabilities by enabling secure access to virtual workloads anytime and anywhere. Employees working remotely can switch locations or devices without negatively affecting their productivity. Centralized data management ensures top-notch security standards and is one of the core offerings of Parallels RAS. Security features like permission policies, data encryption, and multifactor authentication are enforced and carefully regulated across single- and multi-cloud deployments. Parallels RAS supports Windows Virtual Desktop for a familiar and reliable user experience. 

  Amazon Workspaces:

   Amazon Workspaces is a popular cloud computing solution that delivers virtual desktops (either Windows or Linux) to end-user devices, irrespective of location. As a result of Amazon Workspaces, users can access work resources on multiple services. Amazon Workspaces also allows personalized settings across icons and shortcuts. Similarly, users can also accessorize with streaming protocols. These help developers and technicians analyze settings and configurations to develop de/compression algorithms for media transmission. Amazon Workspaces is deployed over Amazon Virtual Private Network (VPC), which allows data encryption to take place smoothly. Access restrictions are also easy to implement and regularize. 

Read More: Amazon Workspaces Vs. Citrix: Which One Suits You Better? 

  VMware Horizon:

   Horizon is a virtual desktop infrastructure that provides businesses with a corporate workspace tool to manage and access virtual desktops and applications. It is a centralized digital platform built on a hyper-converged infrastructure to help enterprises to customize the platform per specific business needs. Horizon makes it easy to monitor the system both for performance and security with real-time analytics. Horizon’s Dynamic Environment Manager simplifies security and policy configurations to be implemented across the network and end-user devices. Horizon is easy to secure with role-based access controls and single sign-on features for greater data security. 

Citrix Hosted Desktops by Ace Cloud Hosting 

Ace Cloud Hosting has strategically partnered with Citrix to deliver virtual desktops with added security and customization benefits. As a managed cloud service provider, ACE utilizes Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops to deliver a multi-suite digital workspace solution for businesses worldwide. ACE-delivered virtual desktops enhance ease of working and remote access facilities to eliminate unnecessary IT costs but ensure greater security and control. Working with Citrix, ACE delivers a powerful desktop experience and reliable customer support so businesses remain productive no matter the circumstances.   

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