Citrix XenDesktop is a desktop virtualization product from software vendor Citrix Systems. The product provides IT control over and user access to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) desktops.With VDI, end users connect to remote desktops hosted on virtual machines that run on a server in a data center or in the cloud, and they can view and interact with them using a remote display protocol.Citrix XenDesktop is a desktop virtualization product from software vendor Citrix Systems. The product provides IT control over and user access to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) desktops.
The goal is to provide employees with the ability to work from anywhere while reducing IT management costs due to centralized management. Additionally, it adds to the data security because data is saved in a centralized data center or cloud infrastructure, and not stored on the devices of end-users. The product was developed for use by medium to large enterprise customers.
It manages and delivers applications and desktops using a connection broker called Desktop Delivery Controller (DDC). DDC supports multiple hypervisors, including XenServer, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Nutanix Acropolis to create virtual machines to run virtual applications and desktops. It is compatible with several types of delivery methods and architectures, including desktops and servers, data centers, and private, public or hybrid clouds. XenDesktop comes with the Citrix XenServer hypervisor and image management tool, Provisioning Services (PVS). Virtual applications can be delivered to virtual desktops using Citrix XenApp.
Core features of Citrix Virtual Desktop
XenDesktop deploys Citrix HDX, a suite of technologies that incorporates the Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) remote protocol, data compression, and multimedia redirection, providing users with connections to desktop workloads.
Connection to the virtual desktops is achieved through the Citrix Receiver client, available for several operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. Web browsers or thin client devices can also be used to connect to virtual desktops.
XenDesktop and XenApp
XenDesktop includes Citrix XenApp. The products share many features, except XenApp provides control and access for multiple users connecting to applications or session-based desktops on a shared Remote Desktop Services (RDS) server.
With XenDesktop, each client receives its instance of a desktop, and the desktop instances are not shared between users.
While XenDesktop is a platform to deliver desktops remotely, you will also need a XenApp license to deliver applications in order to share both applications and desktops with a user.
XenDesktop Security Vulnerabilities
Security breaches are far too common in VDI environments. However, when it comes to Citrix XenDesktop, the list of vulnerabilities keeps on rising. According to CVE®—a system that tracks publicly known cybersecurity vulnerabilities and exposures—XenDesktop has been attacked a record 5 times since 2012.
Most attacks revolve around information disclosures, code injection, and denial of services. Unauthenticated, remote hackers often exploit these vulnerabilities to send malicious packets to XenDesktop users and in the process, executing arbitrary codes. While Citrix claims to have patched these vulnerabilities, XenDesktop users are not out of the woods yet considering Citrix’s checkered past with security breaches. Learn more about Azure VDI in detail.
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