Home > Citrix, Server Based Computing, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, XenDesktop > Citrix XenDesktop Remote PC. This has the potential to be a winner, what do you think?

Citrix XenDesktop Remote PC. This has the potential to be a winner, what do you think?

At Synergy San Fran this year, there was alot of disapointment from the community over the lack of love or attention that XenApp and XenDesktop received. I too felt this disapointment at first until the possibilities sank in for the new feature in the XenDesktop product line, XenDesktop Remote PC.

XenDesktop Remote PC has been touted as a new offering in the Flexcast model, Jarian (the Citrix Forums super hero and all round cool guy) Gibson does a great job of writing up the current challenges with remote pc technologies and the benefits this will add to his customer use cases here.

I think there’s more to this product than meets the eye, I think this product is so simple and clever it will really bolster Citrix’s VDI offerings to the point that I’m beginning to wish I had this product now, and for the last few projects. It would have saved me some hair.

With most VDI projects, building the environment, application packaging the core applications, testing and migrating users takes the least time. By that I mean, with most VDI projects and Proof of concepts 70-80% of the work is visible, addressable and goes off without too many hitches.

The bulk of the work comes (and lets be honest guys and gal’s, we love to do it) when we attempt to drive a square peg into a round hole to satisfy a small percentage of this initial user group.

These square pegs could be applications developed by anonymous cretins with a fetish for disk activity, developers sitting on robust hardware, graphic’s guys with funny mice and expensive GPU’s. Hell, a square peg I’ve come across once was a user who liked to play World of Warcraft at lunch… yep, I’m not joking. She was obviously romantically involved with somebody who was willing to overlook her nonsense and cancel the migration / project.

And despite how hard we try, these square pegs require ALOT of time and investment to reverse engineer their craplications, to change their mind sets, to reeducate the users or just bang our heads against a wall over the gamer with a louder voice than IT. These square pegs will often turn an SBC project into a XenDesktop project, then a XenDesktop stateless model to a XenDesktop stateful model… aka utter failure.

And even in the face of defeat we still defer the decision to leave them where they are as they want the same benefits as their task worker colleagues aka working from home… or bed, as is more likely.

For me, XenDesktop Remote PC, in these cases will allow us to focus on the low hanging fruit, delivering a good VDI model for the correct use cases while still delivering the remote working option for the square peg users who don’t yet fit into the circular hole.

Allowing us to come back to this use case as the customer reinvests in more suitable applications, or when vendors improves their products further to encompass these small use cases.

As a student of the K.I.S.S* methodology, remote PC is a no-brainer for me, and here’s why:

*Keep It Simple, Stupid

  • Spend weeks/months working with graphical users, virtualising GPU’s and funny mice? or Remote their PC?
  • Spend thousands fighting with fledgling virtual GPU’s on hypervisors? or Remote their PC?
  • Spend weeks/months reverse engineering this crapplication that requires a hardware dongle? or Remote their PC?
  • Allow the CFO’s secretary you upset by asking her to stop watching cookery classes derail your project? or Remote their PC?
  • Call the World of Warcraft player’s shenanigans and risk your own neck? or Remote their PC?
  • Attempt to deliver a developer desktop, with 8 cores / 16gb ram, with user installed apps, on stupidly expensive shared storage? or Remote their PC?
  • Attempt to provide an application that requires 2gb / 2 cores per user on SBC? or Remote their PC?

For me the answer is so painfully clear, its brilliant.

So I for one am waiting with baited breath for XenDesktop remote PC. I just really hope Citrix allows this product to reach its full potential, not release it then allow it to flounder like so many before it (Power and Capacity management, Workflow Studio, Edgesight, etc).

What do you think? will Remote PC allow for easier roll outs and safe fall backs?

  1. June 26, 2012 at 4:16 am

    I think Remote PC will help out in every way you mention and more. I expect I will be able to leverage it to get easier buy-in from the class of power users who have beefy PCs and really just want secure high-quality remote access into them. I also hope to be able to utilize some of the PCs in our labs during off-hours. I think combining a PVS-booting PC with Remote PC might get me the best of both worlds in some areas.

  2. June 26, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Hi Andrew,

    I agree that Remote PC is a great addon to the Flexcast model. Not only because it allows you to serve those square pegs an acceptable solution, but mostly because it can jumpstart a project.

    With Remote PC you can offer remote access to your existing environment while you gradually built a new XenApp and/or XenDesktop farm, moving some of the users to a centralized environment while keeping some of them on their fat clients.

    The one thing I am afraid of is the ease at which you might move users from a centralized (managed) environment to a Remote PC solution. It’s easy to “Remote their PC” but in the end, all users want this. It’s the same thing you explained in previous posts / presentations; the moment users see something fancier with their collegaues they won’t settle for less.


    • June 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

      That is a very good point Ingmar, now that users will have the ability to get the remote access and still maintain their local pc, user envy may become an even larger issue with everyone looking for this kind of access!

      Hadn’t considered that! We’ll need to be super sneaky in hiding the desktops away from other users.

  3. June 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Andrew – thanks so much for this fantastic blog on #RemotePC! You bring up many valid points of “the why” of #RemotePC.

    Mike: I demo’d PVS + #RemotePC at Synergy this year in the booth, and the “What’s New with XD/XA” session last month. It’s an awesome solution for cost effective VDI, and the recording is here at around 34:00 http://www.citrix.com/tv/#videos/5759 demo starts at 40:00

    • June 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      Wow Gabe, Thanks for dropping by and sharing that link!

  1. August 10, 2012 at 6:26 am

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