Third-Party Presentation Solutions for Remote Desktop Virtualization
It would be remiss to not talk about key partners that build on Remote Desktop Services for session virtualization. For many organizations, session virtualization means Citrix XenApp, and both Citrix and Quest have great solutions. The strong built-in session virtualization solution that began with Windows Server 2008 improved with 2008 R2 and is even better in Windows Server 2012, but there are still compelling features in the partner offerings. I always ask clients about what features they need, their environment, types of client device, and typical connectivity, and then explain what would or wouldn’t be possible with the purely Microsoft RDS solution and what the solution would look like by adding Citrix or Quest. The customer can then decide if the additional cost of third-party solutions is worth the added functionality. The following sections briefly cover the major features each of these products adds to session virtualization.
Using Citrix XenApp for Session Virtualization
Citrix has been supporting session virtualization longer than Microsoft, and it originally created much of the technology on which the first version of Terminal Services was based. Citrix continued to work closely with Microsoft during the development of RDS and still builds additional value on top of what Microsoft provides.
Citrix XenApp provides a few key features beyond the Microsoft RDS session virtualization solution: