Today, Rakesh Narasimhan blogged about the heritage of XenApp, and our decades of industry leadership – a great perspective from a new Citrix GM and no doubt just a part of why he decided to join our team. To put a finer point on it, I thought I would follow up with some more specifics about some of the key technological capabilities that got us here, that continue to help us differentiate against the competition, and that will keep us well positioned for some time to come.

Secure access to critical apps and data
While desktop virtualization solutions help centralize apps and data, providing the right level of access for every individual, application, device and network is foundational for meeting security and compliance requirements. Only Citrix provides an exhaustive set of security policies at an application level along with granular control of functions such as as copy/paste, printing, USB access and document saving/editing rights. Seamless integration with NetScaler Gateway delivers unmatched control and dynamic response to the user access scenario, evaluating if the device is trusted, and which network and location the user is connecting from. Security is one of the primary reasons customers virtualize apps, yet VMware has not addressed this requirement.

App delivery to the broadest device portfolio

Along with the best user experience, XenApp delivers apps to over 3 billion devices including PCs, Macs, thin clients, smartphones and tablets. In addition, Citrix offers the most advanced HTML5-based capabilities, which provides browser-based, single sign-on access to all Windows apps any device with the performance of HDX. XenApp delivers millions of Windows apps for 330,000 customers globally – an unparalleled achievement.  

Mobilizing Windows apps

Innovations in HDX Mobile enable customers to transform Windows applications into touch-enabled, tablet and smartphone-friendly apps. In addition, the HDX Mobile SDK enables you to use the camera, audio recorder and GPS from mobile devices to enhance applications. Customers are using this capability to mobilize their Windows sales order apps, timecard auditing systems, healthcare record systems, insurance adjuster apps, and more.

High definition experience and performance over any network
From Flash applications and multimedia to compute-intensive 3D applications, XenApp high definition experience, enabled by our HDX technology, delivers the best combination of performance, scalability and bandwidth efficiency while offering IT the control to optimize each of these components based on business need. For example, customers that want to protect valuable product design data, but still require collaboration and information sharing with global partners, can virtualize any GPU-intensive 3D design app. Designers, reviewers and supply chain partners can access it from anywhere, speeding time to market. In addition, earlier this year Citrix acquired the company Framehawk, which brings the ability to deliver an unparalleled user experience under adverse network conditions, such as high levels of latency, packet loss and congestion.  The integration of this technology with HDX will extend our leadership even further.

Powerful management control

With 25 years of production deployments, XenApp has been molded to meet the needs of end users as well as IT admins while addressing specific vertical use cases, such as healthcare, financial services and government. XenApp continues to innovate with the latest version by adding support for five generations of Windows apps, simple one-click bulk app publishing and native provisioning of app workloads in AWS. The powerful operations console, Director, provides real-time and historical performance information from the datacenter to the end user, and all the networks in between. Director uniquely integrates with NetScaler to deliver “HDX Insights,” a first-of-its-kind ability to provide the XenApp administrator with detailed information about network performance and characteristics.

Cloud-powered, scalable and open architecture

XenApp is customer-tested to scale to any size, whether it’s for an enterprise, an ISV or a service provider. Multiple large financial institutions rely on Citrix to deliver applications to 100,000+ users. Healthcare ISVs deliver electronic medical records apps as a hosted service to 200,000+ users on a daily basis. And our more than 2,600 Citrix Service Providers rely on our multi-tenant reference architecture to deliver apps and desktops as a service to hundreds of thousands of customers. The new cloud-like architecture that powers XenApp and XenDesktop is designed to take the scalable power to the cloud, with native support for AWS and CloudPlatform and support for Azure on the way.

In a highly competitive environment, it’s not surprising to see fast followers enter the market with technology that fulfills the checkbox. With 25 years of innovation and real-world customer deployments under our belt, Citrix continues to be in a strong position with the technology portfolio and strong partner ecosystem to help enterprises mobilize their workforce.