Citrix DaaS

What is Citrix DaaS?

Citrix Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a hybrid cloud service that allows you to securely deliver a high-performance virtual apps and desktops experience to any device. Whereas Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops was primarily meant for on-premises installation and delivery, with Citrix DaaS, the control plane is hosted and managed by Citrix. The control plane includes the Citrix Delivery Controllers, Citrix StoreFront, Citrix Gateway, License server, Citrix datastore, etc. The resource plane which includes the virtual app servers and virtual desktops can remain on-premises or it can be hosted and operated by the customer on the cloud.

What is Citrix DaaS advantageous?

With Citrix DaaS, organizations can choose where they deploy the resource plane - it can be on-premises or in one or multiple cloud locations. Like any other cloud service, Citrix DaaS allows you to scale rapidly to address unexpected business conditions. Furthermore, new features and updates are rolled out by Citrix faster on the cloud.

Citrix DaaS also reduces the burden on enterprise IT teams. They do not have to maintain separate database servers for Citrix. They do not have to take care of periodic updates and patches to Citrix delivery components – i.e., Citrix Delivery Controllers, StoreFronts, NetScalers, etc. Upkeep of the Citrix control plane components is the responsibility of Citrix.

Many organizations are migrating to Citrix DaaS also because the upfront hardware costs needed to maintain the Citrix control plane on-prem are also greatly avoided.

Citrix DaaS is available from multiple points of presence around the world. This ensures greater uptime and eliminates administrators needing to explicitly look to deploy control plane components in multiple data centers.

With Citrix DaaS what are the components that a customer is responsible for?

Components managed by customers include:

  • Citrix Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs): These agents deployed on VMs/cloud instances register with the Citrix control plane and provide the resources that users access.
  • Active Directory that is used for user authentication and authorization.
  • Identity Provider for validating a user’s identity.
  • App and Desktop Workloads being accessed by users.
  • Citrix Cloud Connectors: These are new components introduced to support Citrix DaaS. They serve as the communication channel between Citrix Cloud and the customer’s resource location. They are hosted in each of the customer’s resource locations. Updates of the Cloud Connectors is handled by Citrix Cloud services. Citrix Connectors can be deployed on Windows or Linux OS.

In addition, Citrix Gateway and StoreFront may be configured on-premises or moved to the Citrix cloud control plane.

With is the difference between Citrix DaaS and Citrix Cloud?

Both are cloud-based services from Citrix. Citrix DaaS focuses on virtual app and desktop delivery alone. On the other hand, Citrix Cloud refers to the full suite of services offered by Citrix from the cloud. Besides Citrix DaaS, Citrix Cloud also includes services such as Citrix Endpoint Management, Citrix Files, Citrix Analytics, Citrix Intelligent Traffic Management, Citrix Workspace Environment Management and more.

Is monitoring of Citrix DaaS necessary?

Yes, user experience is still a key for Citrix success and Citrix admins will still be blamed when Citrix access is slow. The most critical parts of the Citrix architecture are the Citrix VDAs and VDIs which run the virtual apps and desktops. These are still under the control of the Citrix admin. Hence, comprehensive monitoring of the entire Citrix service delivery chain is required.

What are the monitoring tools built into the Citrix stack?

Citrix DaaS includes Citrix Director which is a web-based monitoring solution. From the Director console, administrators can view specific user session, see logon times and failures, track license usage, and also control user sessions (e.g., shadow a session, logoff a session, etc).

Citrix Analytics for Performance is a Citrix Cloud service that uses data collected by Director to provide higher level insights (e.g., user experience scores) for user sessions.

What are the limitations of the Citrix built-in tools?

Neither Citrix Director nor Citrix Analytics for performance provides a true end-to-end view of the Citrix service delivery chain. Synthetic monitoring capabilities in these tools are very limited. Real-user monitoring is mainly focused on logon time. Also, the monitoring is limited to the Citrix tiers only. So when a problem in a cloud instance impacts Citrix performance, these tools will not have the necessary insights. This is why thousands of customers adopt a comprehensive monitoring solution like eG Enterprise.

For a comparison of eG Enterprise with Citrix built-in tools, see: