VDI: VMware View 3 Premier vs. Citrix XenDesktop Enterprise 2.1

February 9th, 2009 by jason Leave a reply »

VDI was hot in 2008 and it’s predicted to be even hotter in 2009.  On the heels of this prediction, VMware commissioned The Tolly Group to compare two VDI solutions head to head:  VMware View 3 Premier and Citrix XenDesktop Enterprise 2.1.  The Tolly Group has published their findings in an eight page report which you can grab here.  The results are not at all surprising:

Executive Summary

The VMware View 3 VDI solution deploys more simply and more rapidly than Citrix XenDesktop 2.1.  VMware provides more comprehensive, efficient image and storage management of virtual desktops.  It provides end users with a quality of experience on the LAN that matches or exceeds that offered by the Citrix solution.

The Tolly Group used a standard virtual desktop configuration for both test environments:

  • 1 CPU core
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB Hard disk drive storage
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 9
  • Microsoft Office 2007 (full installation)
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP2

In their report, they confirm the following five facts as the bottom line:

VMware View 3:

  1. Installed more rapidly and with considerably fewer steps and less manual intervention
  2. Provides simpler image management that makes more efficient use of disk
  3. Requires no manual configuration of Microsoft Active Directory or DHCP
  4. Allows management of all VDI functions through a single web-based GUI
  5. Provides equivalent end-user experience on LAN as Citrix for Microsoft Office applications

Given the opportunity, Citrix declined to actively participate in the product comparisons.

2-9-2009 9-06-16 PM

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8 comments

  1. max says:

    VMWare compares its latest product to a Citrix product that was released 6 months ago. Key terms that VMW uses…user experience equivalent on LAN…Notice they did not compare the direct desktop feature of Lan connected workstations by XenDesktop. So what VMWare is saying is that they are almost the same user experience…nevermind about things like remote users, wifi connected users, high graphic/HD users. So in short the latest version of VDM now View are nearly on par (with noted exceptions) with the XD released two versions ago… That is like saying that XenServer 5.0 is nearly equivalent with ESX 3.5 update 2… Oh and XenServer is free with XenDesktop. hmmm makes you rethink what this article is stating

  2. max says:

    Oh and Citrix declined to comment. I heard somewhere that Citrix is a VMWare partner and as bound by the VMWare contract they cannot participate in direct comparisons of competitive products….dunno if it is true…just a rumor.

  3. MartijnL says:

    Just to clarify: Virtual Infrastructure is also free with the mentioned Premier Bundle.

  4. Tom Howarth says:

    Well Max just where should I start,

    VMWare compares its latest product to a Citrix product that was released 6 months ago.

    OK so it was released 6 Months ago or is it 2 years ago. get your facts straight, also XD v3 was released release what 7 days ago. get real

    Key terms that VMW uses…user experience equivalent on LAN…

    Yes that is correct, the user experiance is equivalent on a LAN.
    Notice they did not compare the direct desktop feature of Lan connected workstations by XenDesktop. and what exactly does that mean??? are you admiting that your thinclient software is crap 😉

    So what VMWare is saying is that they are almost the same user experience…

    No they are not Trolly is. slight difference.

    nevermind about things like remote users, wifi connected users,

    Remeber that VMware ship a SSL gateway with their product for free and do not force the client to purchase a CAG to get the same functionality, Citrixs comment on this was (well it is an Enterprise product and They will have one)

    high graphic/HD users. I will give you one point, however VMware’s next version will support HP’s RGS Sun Appliance Link Protocol (ALP), Teradici PC-over-IP and Wyse TCX

    but at the end of the day Views Remote Display method is via RDP. further portICA is not the same as XenAPP ica. so yes the experiance is the equivalent.

    That is like saying that XenServer 5.0 is nearly equivalent with ESX 3.5 update 2…

    Now that is your most stupid statement yet, XenServer 5 is no where near as good a ESX 3.5 update 2 and by the way U2 is only one minor release back ESX 3.5 is currently at U3. before you slag get your facts straight.

    Oh and XenServer is free with XenDesktop.

    Now the funny thing here is so’s ESX 3.5 Enterprise free with Veiw license.

    so what is you point here,

    hmmm makes you rethink what this article is stating

    Not really.

    further, VMware’s Linked Clone technology is available at a smaller uplift to get the equilivient from Citrix you need Citrix Provisioning Server (and you have to purchase the Platinium version. and on top of that, VMware offer Offline desktop so VDI users can work when not connected to a Network, not that is something Citrix does not do.

  5. I was unable to download the report (damn hotel wireless network keeps timing out) but one thing that sadly seems to be missing from the comparison is the lack of cross platform support for the client side. One area that Citrix is excellent at is providing client software for a virtually (excuse the pun) and client including Mac OS X and mobile devices.
    I am testing XenDesktop purely for this fact because VMware doesn’t provide a client that runs on OS X.

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