XenDesktop 5.5 VS VMware View 5

Posted by Ahsan Tasneem | 2:10 AM | , , , , | 11 comments »

Below you will find a compilation of features and pricing points for both XenDesktop 5.5 and VMware View 5.0. The prices below are the suggested retail prices, without any discounts.
I noticed that Citrix like to expose every component of their solution as a feature that can be added as part of different editions of the product. VMware on the other hand don’t market all the features as if they were individual components for each edition. None of the vendors is right or wrong, but I would like to align these features.
Despite terminology, technology and marketing differences both products have comparable features. The exceptions are Citrix EdgeSight for Virtual Desktops and Password Manager included in the XenDesktop Platinum version, and VMware vShield Endpoint included in VMware View Premier.

  • ·         Desktop Delivery Controller and Provisioning Services are similar to View Manager and View Composer. Technologies are different but end-result is similar.
  • ·         Citrix HDX 3D for Professional Graphics extends desktop virtualization to advanced users of CAD/CAM and engineering applications. This is not required in VMware View as PCoIP already include the enhancements.
  • ·         Citrix Access Gateway provides secure remote access. VMware View Security Serverprovide similar solution.
  • ·         Repeater accelerate, control and optimize service traffic delivery to branch and mobile users. VMware View PCoIP protocol acceleration is done via a Riberbed appliance. For most use cases acceleration is not required, only WAN links with very low bandwidth.
  • ·         XenDesktop and VMware ThinApp are technically different but both provide similar end-result  in the VDI context. VMware’s Appblast technology should close the gap allowing HTML5 application remoting.
  • ·         Citrix Profile Management and VMware Persona Management also have similar end-result.
  • ·         VMware View 5.0 Media Services provide similar functionality to XenDesktop EasyCall.
  • ·         XenDesktop StorageLink is comparable to the VMware vCenter suite included with VMware View.
  • ·         VMware View Local mode is different than XenClient but both try to achieve similar end-result.
  • ·         VMware View ships with vSphere and XenDesktop ships with XenServer.
  • ·         Citrix EdgeSight Continuous and comprehensive visibility into application performance at the desktop.
  • ·         VMware vShield Endpoint  strengthens security improving performance for endpoint protection by orders of magnitude. vShield Endpoint offloads antivirus and anti-malware agent processing to a dedicated secure virtual appliance delivered by VMware partners. vShield also include RSA DLP (Data Loss Prevention) that helps to classify and block data with 80+ policies for data classification.

The pricing above is represented in terms of concurrent users and are RRP (Recommended Retail Price). Both VMware and Citrix are know for selling well discounted licenses, especially in swaps and trade-ins.
If you choose Citrix XenDesktop but would like to run it on top of VMware hypervizor it’s necessary to add vSphere Desktop edition licenses, at RRP of $65.00.
With the information above you should be able to make a more educated decision on what platform to jump on based on pricing, feature set and ROI. Either way, I recommend you to run a Proof of Concept with both solutions before jumping into the next stage – the Pilot.
I am planning to talk about VDI Pilots in the near future.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since the time I wrote this article Citrix has announced the integration of technology the acquired from RingCube into the Suite. Citrix has also split even more the name of their features making it even harder to understand what products are behind the solution being offered. You can check out the new features by edition here.
While VMware announced project Octopus, Citrix included XenVault on the Enterprise and Platinum editions.

Note: This is a great article written by Andre Leibovici from http://myvirtualcloud.net


  1. Data Loss Prevention // November 11, 2011 at 1:33 AM  

    thanks i have been go althrogh this..thanku so much for nice info...and hope very soon u ll provide some more info...Data Leak Prevention

  2. Anonymous // November 11, 2011 at 9:09 PM  

    Did the Features Comparison Matrix created for XenDesktop 5.0 vs View 4.6 change much when comparing XenDesktop 5.5 vs View 5?

  3. Ahsan Tasneem // November 12, 2011 at 7:57 AM  

    @data loss prevention.. yes sure i'll keep you updated ..

  4. Ahsan Tasneem // November 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM  

    @anonymous .. Yes there were certain changes but with the latest versions of both the products the selection mostly depend on your requirements..

  5. Anonymous // December 8, 2011 at 9:40 AM  

    1.You say:"XenDesktop and VMware ThinApp" - do you mean XenApp (which is a component of XenDesktop, included)?
    2. "VMware View PCoIP protocol acceleration is done via a Riberbed appliance."
    - Isn't the cost of PCoIP quite expensive, where the ICA protocal from Citrix is free?
    -Also - the Riverbed Appliance comes with a nice price tag as well,while with Citrix you get the virtualized branch repeater- Wan Optimization included for free.
    -And "For most use cases acceleration is not required, only WAN links with very low bandwidth"
    -Please show me a Government Agency that does NOT have bandwidth issues.
    3. "VMware View Local mode is different than XenClient but both try to achieve similar end-result"
    -Yes, both try - but do they? I do not think so...Isn't XenClient much more advanced than View Local Mode. Have you heard of XenClient XT?
    4. So, to be clear, in View 5, the customer is still locked into using VMware's vSphere hypervisor -correct? There are not costs associated with that shown (as you showed the cost to run XenDesktop on vSphere)? It is NOT free like XenServer is.
    Citrix allows the customer to use Citrix, Microsoft or VMware's hypervisor.
    5. Also, in View 5 - did they make changes to offer different delivery methods besides a full desktop?
    6. I would like to hear why you belive that ThinApp is about the same as XenApp (which has been around for over 20 years)? The capabilities are completely different.
    7. WAN scalability - I understand that View doesn't do so well on the WAN...
    Thanks - just a few questions! :)

  6. A. Oliver // December 8, 2011 at 10:14 AM  

    This article is only long enough to do a good comparison of probably one individual feature. There are very big gaps. Provisioning services will boot virtual or physical desktops and virtual or physical servers using a PXE boot. Does View Composer do all that? Machine Creation Services (MCS) would be a direct comparison to Composer. To compare HDX 3D Pro to PCoIP you would need to talk about ICA's superior WAN performance and XenServer's GPU pass-through technology. In all cases non-LAN environments could benefit from WAN optimization, regardless of the protocol. It is not based on bandwidth alone. Latency and number of users on the other end come into play. Why mention UPM (Citrix Profile Managment) and also not mention RingCube? EasyCall no longer exists. Citrix works with different unified communications vendors, e.g. MS (Lync) and Cisco. XenClient and View Local mode cannot be compared really. XenClient is a bare-metal hypervisor. One great thing about this article's price list is it exposes the FUD about View costing less than XenDesktop. This is because those stating that will only compare it to the cost of Platinum and not an edition of XenDesktop that matches View Premier. Of course if you are in the government space there is XenClient XT (built on SE Linux) and the fact that XenDesktop, XenApp, XenServer, and NetScaler (AGEE built-in) are all Common Criteria certified. Go to the Common Criteria site and you will find them in the list.

    I would also like to make the disclaimer that I myself work for Citrix so nobody claims I was trying to hide it! I think this article is a great outline though for a much longer comparison. The products involved contain too much to compare it all in one blog!

  7. Anonymous // February 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM  

    Well, unfortunately I have to say that article is worthless. Normally I don't comment blogposts, but here I was unable to just click it away.

    I'm not in the mood to tell all the wrong stuff, but if you are looking for a good comparison between those products, go further.

    best wishes

  8. Ahsan Tasneem // February 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM  

    Dear Anonymous,
    If you really feel there is something wrong in this article please let us know. I'll try my best to answer all you questions.

    Thanks for your comments..

  9. Anonymous // February 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM  

    Actually it was pretty fair. We use view but switched to Xen.

  10. Bryan // February 27, 2012 at 8:02 AM  

    How much is concurrent user pricing for XD Plat? I've seen $500 and $700 list. I know list isn't realistic, but I'd like to have it for comparison.

  11. Sandy Shaw // October 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM  

    I like your blog post. Keep on writing this type of great stuff. I'll make sure to follow up on your blog in the future.
    Establishing Serial Point-to-Point Connection

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