Several other attributes of XenApp make the overall user experience far closer to a traditional desktop. The enhanced audio and video playback technology, alongside the remote printing services, overcome long-standing objections to thin-client computing -- as do management and support of USB peripherals beyond just flash drives. The latter is especially important in many point-of-sale environments, or anywhere where USB peripherals beyond a keyboard and mouse are a requirement.
Eggs and baskets
With any thin client scheme, you will always be subject to the underlying reliability of operating system and application interaction. If you have a farm of terminal servers that handles dozens of active sessions at any one time, the abrupt failure of one of those servers results in the abrupt loss of each of the sessions running on that server. Users will be able to reconnect to another server assuming there's enough capacity, but any unsaved work from the original session will be lost.
Couple this fact with the relative fragility of some applications, and once again it becomes apparent that prior testing and vetting of every application is an absolute must.
In practice, a well planned and implemented Citrix XenApp infrastructure is reliable, easily managed, and responsive, but in environments without proper planning, it can be extremely challenging to maintain.
Read more about how deplot XenApp thin clients in InfoWorld's free PDF report, "Thin Client Deep Dive," including:
- Virtual desktop infrastructure
- Creating the optimum mix
- Client hardware
- Desktop vs. server
This article, "Thin client computing: Central management, anywhere access," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization at InfoWorld.com.
Read more about virtualization in InfoWorld's Virtualization Channel.