Citrix XenDesktop vs VMware Virtual Desktop Manager (VDM) video

This video compares the user experience of Citrix XenDesktop to Vmware Virtual Desktop Manager over several different WAN links and latencies.The video quality isn't HD-DVD (or Blueray) quality but it gives a good impression.

This video compares the user experience of Citrix XenDesktop to Vmware Virtual Desktop Manager over several different WAN links and latencies.
The video quality isn't HD-DVD (or Blueray) quality but it gives a good impression.
Within a few weeks XenDesktop/VDM+Applcation Virtualization + User workspace management will be available within out showcase environment so stay tuned.

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This video was submitted as part of the XenDesktop Video Tip contest on the Citrix blog that I announced earlier in the week.


You can see a slightly higher resolution version (with notes) at the website  -


Barry Flanagan 



nonsense to think RDP=ICA. Yes at the base level that is true, but all the ICA add-ons make this debate a moot point for anything WAN amongst other things.


The difference is what you see in the video, especially with higher latency lower bandwdith ICA behaves better.


As engineers ourselves, can we in good conscious accept the horrible performance of CAD within the context of VDI for delivery to our fellow engineers in manufacturing and design?

There are two lessons I learned quickly in the years I supported technology within the manufacturing space here in the U.S.

  1. The faster the drawing is made, the faster all of us are getting paid.  Time counts for the engineer.

  2. When manipulating SKU's all day long on the screen, performance if everything.  If there is the slightest delay in screen refresh, you are failing.

I actually worked with our regional Citrix sales team, in combination with a very large Citrix reseller/consultancy in the U.S. to deliver Autocad via the 3.0 platform.  We failed miserably for the reasons stated above. 

An additional item of note, Autocad does not offer (they may now, but I doubt it), more than two licenses to be launched from a single machine instance.  What this means in the context of VDI is for all minds to consider...:).

Another item of note in the VDI approach to CAD is overall licensing.  You will require a remote access device (thin client or PC), which will of course entail the purchase of additional OS, TSCAL, and device itself for an end result which is ultimately unacceptable to the end user.

Manufacturing and Design engineers are every bit as skilled as us gear heads reading this page.  We all know that we have a limited number of key strokes allotted for us in this life time.  If I were a highly skilled engineer, what incentive would I have to endure less than optimum performance for my work environment.  Given the expense of VDI, I would expect an engineer faced with such a decision to be working for an organization recognizing the fact stated above, "The faster the drawing is made, the faster we are all getting paid".

To reference my own bias, RES Subscriber gets this work done with fewer devices, and a fraction of the cost associated with the CAD VDI solution. 

Is there anyone delivering CAD via VDI out there?  I would like to know something of your story.  Thanks.


On 3.0 not surprised by your results. Have you researched project Pictor? It is future out there, but seem to address many of your concerns. There may be third parties as well, just don't know them.
The goal is to save money via management and
support costs.  Both VDI and SBC do a great job at this, but it is always a
trade off.  ICA and Sun's ALP protocols are excellent over low bandwidth and
high latency links... all in the correct context.


The thought of trying to force a compromised
general solution on something like a CAD department, video editing or rich media
environment is ridiculous.  That is a use case for a 'workstation'...  as is
uploading a GB of digital pictures over a WAN, while from a USB device connected
to a thin client...


General office productivity workers and task
workers are a different story and there are many success stories that validate
both SBC and  VDI in that case.  And many ways to save money from hardware to
power and cooling to better utilization of compute resources at the desktop.  In
many cases RDP and TS are lower cost and do a fine job reducing complexity and
cost over citrix


I would venture to say that even as 'much better'
ICA is in the head to head comparison... most of us, given the trade of using a
nicely powered workstation versus a thin client using ICA for this purpose...
would choose the workstation... all you are doing is measuring various degrees
of bad...  and we would ALL complain


Find the use case... architect the correct
solution...  and yes ICA is a better protocol than RDP... not an argument there
:)  Now... Sun's ALP??? different story!

It just represents the readers of who chose to participate.)


I don't have any review about both of this. Maybe I just wait for the result of your research.