The views expressed here are mine alone and have not been authorized by, and do not necessarily reflect the views of, Citrix.

When implementing a “VDI” solution, most admins focus on the “Desktop”.  What should the desktop look like, how many will be the same, who can access them, where do I run the desktop from and store my images.  Moving forward, the admins think about items like how they need to update the desktops with OS updates and or security patches.

I find that many times, applications are not thought about in the whole solutions from the admin point of view.  How are the applications going to be delivered to the end-user, how are the applications going to be managed.  Typically when this question arises, the answer is to install the applications on the desktop images just as they would be at the user’s desk.  So let’s look at the benefits of this so far……..   Centralizing the desktop in the data center give you full control and security over of the desktops.  By installing the applications on the desktop images, you are also centralizing the application installs to the data center.  The downside to both of these would be when it comes to managing and maintaining the implementation(updating the desktop and the applications).

XenDesktop gives the admin a great way to reduce the headache and time associated with updating both the desktop and the applications.  XenDesktop can be fully integrated with Presentation Server.  This means that you can deliver a desktop from the data center to an end user, wherever they may be, and then deliver their applications to that desktop from Presentation Server in that same data center.  For companies currently running Presentation Server most application may already be setup and ready to be accessed from that centrally deliver desktop.   So now the applications are dynamically delivered to the desktop that is presented to the end user.  This allows the desktops images to be more flexible since the applications are not installed locally and no matter which desktop from a pool is presented to the user, the user can get the applications they have access to via Presentation Server and the ICA client residing on the delivered desktop.  These applications can be updated in the datacenter via a package that is being streamed to the Presentation Server or installed on the Presentation server.  Either way, the updates are done only on the package or the installed application on the Presentation Server…….not on every desktop image.

In addition to the applications, the desktop can be created as a single image or a few images based on your needs.  This image or images can then be streamed to the hypervisor on-demand when needed for a requesting user, via the Provisioning Server.  This way, you would only need to make updates to the “gold” image and then have it stream the updated desktop image to the user.  This method allows the admin to save space, time and pain of maintaining a desktop image for each user.

I hope that after reading this, you will have a good understanding of how much XenDesktop and Presentation Server can work together to provide an entire Desktop and Application Delivery system.  To allow users access to this system via a Secure Remote connection…….. Implement Citrix Access Gateway Enterprise Edition.