Citrix and Microsoft Azure: 7 ways to create your ideal virtual desktop experience

It’s time to make the most of Azure—and your Azure Virtual Desktop entitlement—without having to manage multiple vendors.

If you're looking for a simple, cost-effective way to support your growing hybrid workforce, you may be considering Azure Virtual Desktop. Microsoft’s desktop as a service (DaaS) offering can seem enticing, especially since it’s included within popular Azure enterprise subscriptions. 

But does it provide everything you need? 

Many businesses require a lot more functionality than what can be found in Microsoft’s standalone platform. Which means you’ll need to add vendors for granular security policies, end user management, monitoring…and the list goes on.

You could use a different solution each time a new need arises. But the more providers you manage, the more complicated IT gets—until the ease and simplicity you initially signed up for becomes a monster of complexity and added costs.

That’s where Citrix comes in. By building on top of the Azure platform and leveraging your Azure Virtual Desktop entitlement, Citrix eliminates the need for numerous point solutions. And it can save you a significant amount of time and money over the environment lifecycle, too.

Here are 7 ways Citrix on Azure helps you streamline operations, enhance security, and increase cost savings.


Simplify hybrid multi-cloud

Azure Virtual Desktop lets you take full advantage of Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. But what happens if you need on-premises resources to maintain compliance or leverage existing datacenter investments? You’ll have to manage those separately—and increase your workload in the process. That is, unless you use Citrix. 

Only Citrix lets you combine Azure-based virtual apps and desktops with resources hosted on-premises as well as in other public clouds. This hybrid multi-cloud enablement lets you move fast while creating the environment that works best for your business.

1. Image portability


Any on-premises desktops must be managed separately, which doubles the effort every time you need to add applications or install updates.


With Citrix DaaS solutions, images can be migrated from your on-premises infrastructure to Azure and back—no additional updates needed.

2. Always-on availability


With Microsoft alone, you’re wholly dependent on connectivity providers. That means everyone is impacted when an outage occurs. If an identity or cloud service is down, users can't connect. And there’s not much you can do but wait.


Citrix helps ensure your users can stay productive during outages. Service continuity keeps local resources available to on-site employees when the internet is down, and lets remote users stay connected to virtual apps and desktops even if cloud components are unavailable. And if your identity provider experiences downtimes, cached authentication tokens kick in.


Without Citrix to keep employees connected, a 30-minute outage can cost as much as $20,000 for an organization with 1,000 active users. And that's assuming employees make $40 an hour. For executives and specialized teams, the productivity losses are even greater

Optimize day-to-day operations


As a Citrix customer, you can take advantage of comprehensive capabilities to speed up troubleshooting, simplify application management, and more. This not only accelerates Azure deployment and lifecycle maintenance, but also lets you reduce cloud spending.

3. Faster troubleshooting


Troubleshooting within Microsoft’s virtual desktop platform can consume hours. You’ll need to sign into the machine, open the task manager, ensure you have the right permissions, and locate the right process—and that’s all just for starters. If more than one user is on the same system, there can be a good deal of searching, too. 


Citrix lets you get to the root of problems fast. Quickly look up an individual user to disconnect a session, kill a process, or take any number of other actions based on each specific scenario. And with Citrix Analytics for Performance, you can find and fix issues long before users reach out for help.

4. Simpler application management


Basic application management tools let you make some adjustments. But since there’s no way to get granular, app lifecycle management can become a very tedious, time-consuming process.


As a Citrix customer, you can maintain a single golden copy of each part of your virtual desktop, from the operating system and platform components to individual applications. This unique image management technology lets you modify a copy of the affected part, without having to touch multiple instances. It requires far less effort and greatly simplifies ongoing maintenance activities. With limited modifications to well-defined sections of a virtual desktop, rollbacks can be done much faster than with Microsoft alone.

5. Optimized costs


Optimizing your Azure costs can be complex, especially when it’s time to add more bandwidth and capacity. You'll need to reevaluate and reallocate, again…and again…and again.


A range of unique Citrix features, from increasing user density to ensuring storage disks are fast, allow you to consume fewer Azure resources on a day-to-day basis. There’s Workspace Environment Management to improve server scalability, comprehensive provisioning to help reduce costs, and built-in monitoring that comes at no extra cost. These and other easy-to-implement cost optimizations are often significant enough to cover a large portion of Citrix licenses.

Deliver secure experiences


Only Citrix lets you put granular policy and data protection controls in place without compromising the user experience. Leverage security features like session recording, secure watermarking, and more to continuously protect against the latest digital threats. All while delivering a superior user experience on any device.

6. Data loss prevention


For robust application protection, you’ll need a third-party point solution.


With Citrix, built-in protections let you secure every type of app—SaaS, web, and virtual—across endpoints. And with Citrix Analytics for Security, you can automate actions to mitigate risks in real-time.

7. Superior user experience


With graphics-intensive web apps, the experience can become slow and unreliable on congested networks.


Citrix HDX ensures voice, video, graphics, and unified communications platforms (such as Microsoft Teams) are delivered in high definition at all times.

Ready, set…save

When it comes to embracing the cloud, there's a lot to think about. You need to secure sensitive data. Deliver an exceptional experience. Ensure your users can get what they need, when they need it, on any device. And you need to achieve all of this while keeping costs down.

While there are plenty of specialized solutions to help with different needs, managing multiple vendors can get expensive fast.

That’s why Citrix lets you consolidate multiple products into one simple solution—so you can easily create your ideal virtual app and desktop experience while keeping your budget in check.


By eliminating the need for third-party vendors and add-ons, Citrix customers save up to $98 per user, per-year with Citrix and Azure vs Azure Virtual Desktop alone.

To see how much your organization can save, use the Azure Virtual Desktop calculator:

Put your trust in the DaaS and VDI leader  


98% of the Fortune 500


over 400,000 customers


100M users in more than 100 countries

We had Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops in place in our on-premises data center, now we can rapidly spin up workloads in Azure and take advantage of capacity that we didn’t have on-premises before. 

Jethro Eastwood
Workplace Services Manager

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