After less than three years as an option to delivering XenDesktop – Remote PC Access continues to turn heads not only outside of Citrix, but also inside of Citrix. It’s not flashy, but it consistently delights customers and workforces.
With over 1,500+ customers and 500,000 systems actively enrolled and using Remote PC Access, it is gaining visibility everywhere as a valuable standard in deploying XenDesktop.
And who wouldn’t adopt it? Combining the power of HDX, energy cost savings with Wake on LAN (WOL) and security provided by NetScaler, its simple deployment model appeals to every vertical and every customer size.
Transitioning model of remote access
Many of you (around 900 million corporate users) still have a corporate PC/laptop, and what the market data shows is that there is typically an option within company policy that allows you to access your corporate workstation remotely.
In smaller organizations, this policy may include the option of a cloud-style remote access tool like LogMeIn or GoToMyPC. In medium to enterprise businesses, options for this type of remote access are typically deployed as “on-premises,” fully IT-managed and controlled through security appliances and/or using SSL VPNs with remoting protocols secured through the tunnel.
A large segment of these businesses even “publish” remote desktops applications via XenApp to help move their users to embracing secure clientless access models and having a less intrusive manner of managing remote access, that required network tunnel control, all while giving an “on-the-go” style of simple connectivity.
Cloud-style management for this use case has yet to follow the same pace of businesses’ acceptance towards cloud delivery of data and apps.
It is an interesting paradigm that on-premises management and deployment for remote access to physical desktops continues to be secured in the DMZ and controlled in the datacenter. For these businesses educated on XenDesktop, they have successfully transitioned to it, and love to share how much better their remote access experience is like this customer who shared their successful story at Citrix Synergy 2015. Why do their users love Remote PC Access? It eliminates multiple authentication prompts, connects from any device, and works great no matter where they are in relation to their work PC or laptop.
Extending Wake on LAN (WOL)
One of the overlooked components to a remote access solution is power consumption and how it relates to cost savings, cost savings, cost savings.
Green computing/carbon footprint/energy star ratings are all pillars for realizing tangible power savings by shutting down machines after work hours. Powering off PCs can help save anywhere from $50 per PC per year, but it also introduces challenges for a remote access deployment – without simple integration with WOL, you can’t connect to a PC if it is turned off.
You cannot have a success remote access deployment without Wake on LAN, if your business is serious about cost savings.
In May 2015–to solve this challenge–we announced WOL System Center support to help businesses realize this cost savings of $50 per PC, as defined by their internal policy. To help understand how easy it is to integrate with System Center 2012 R2, see this great System Center with XenDesktop Remote PC Access setup video by Allen Furmanski.
PREVIEW: For those businesses yet to migrate to System Center, in September we released a preview that helps businesses create custom WOL connectors to embrace nearly any WOL deployment type without further investment. For more details, visit the CTX knowledgebase article and give us feedback!
Secure Boot Technical Preview
As Remote PC Access has matured and newer operating systems have released, we’ve been asked to support Secure Boot and Windows 10 over the last several months. Prior to Windows 10, we employed a strict “unsupported” stance with Secure Boot (which continues today), by hardcoding a warning in the VDA install as reflected in the CTX article, Using Remote PC on Windows 8 and Secure Boot.
I’m pleased to share that with XenDesktop 7.8, we released a technical preview for Secure Boot and Windows 10 with Remote PC Access. I encourage you to download it, try it out and provide feedback through our Citrix Discussions forum.
Building on the momentum
The success of XenDesktop Remote PC Access is directly correlated to our customers and partners. It comes from word of mouth on how much a particular business unit “brags” about their great experience compared to what they have known for more than 20 years. It comes from customers and the partner technical community repeatedly asking for this as an introductory option for XenDesktop. It comes from those who have chosen to include it in the corporate standard desktop image for every new employee as their preferred remote access model for everyone. A true honor to be the standard access method for new users to enjoy the Citrix experience!
So, THANK YOU! Let’s make XenDesktop – Remote PC Access a standard for not only 500,000 systems, but 900 million corporate PCs and laptops worldwide!