Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Connection broker comparison

Patrick Rouse created a great VDI Connection broker comparison. Patrick works for Quest/Provision Networks, but he serious investigated the VMware VDM and Citrix XenDesktop solution.

Patrick Rouse created a great VDI Connection broker comparison. Patrick works for Quest/Provision Networks, but he serious investigated the VMware VDM and Citrix XenDesktop solution. I know that some people reviewed this matrix just to be sure that this document is as accurate as possible.
This connection broker comparison matrix compares Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Virtual Desktop Manager and Provision Networks Virtual Access Suite.
It's a nice starting point in investigating which connection broker fits your needs. BTW: What are you connection broker needs?!

The broker comparison can be downloaded here:

Interested in VDI, maybe this article can help you:




Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

I know there are going to be things that need to be changed/updated, as product features are in a constant state of flux.  Please send me a message if a feature needs to be further clarified, corrected, or if features from XenDesktop or VDM2 need to be added.

Oh yeah, the main blog page is:



Hello! Maybee I dont see it but havent you forgot that Citrix XenDesktop includes XenServer and that Enterprise an Platinum includes XenApp?


I will add a line "includes hypervisor".  As for shipping with Presentation Server, there is a line that says "Broker Manages Connections to Terminal Servers".  I thought this only shipped with Platinum Edition, which is what I have listed.

Ok, I see the problem.  Citrix inserted an Advanced edition in the XenDesktop Product Line, so it goes:

$75 Standard: Includes XenServer Hypervisor

$195 Advanced: Adds Provisioning Server

$295 Enterprise: Adds the ability to use passthru clients on XenDesktop to connect to XenApp for Virtual Desktops

$395 Platinum:  Adds Monitoring, Easycall and GoToAssist

Which version includes Citrix Application Virtualization?

There's only 3 brokers in the world?  How convienent.

Don't misinterpret my post... This is a great job but it just remind me that behind a name you can put anything you want that nobody is doing... Apart from that, I think we will have a hard time to figure the details of each feature and to compare them to another.

Once that said, I was just thinking when reading (sorry, I'm more used to Citrix XenDesktop) that there were several mistake. Could be caused by my wrong understanding of the line involved...

Hypervisor Agnostic ? One thing Citrix mentionned during Synergy on XenDesktop was "Run on any Hypervisor".
Automation ? probably need to be clarify as I didn't think the definition of automation is the same for each vendor / hypervisor possibility...

Management Console : not a single console in XenDesktop ?
Assign Time Zone : was thinking that ICA was managing that properly ?
Granular Profile Management : could say Yes in ?? with User Profil Manager (from Sepago)
Windows MEdia Codec to Client : Yes (was not was RAVE was about) ?
Universal Printer EMF Support : was thinking UPD3 was using EMF file format ?

 Probably other expert could also comment ?


Like I said, I encourage feedback.

If XenDesktop is hypervisor agnostic, I'll update that like.

Automation of a hypervisor (to me) means that I don't need to use the other vendor's console to do anything except to make a VM Template.  Most VDI Brokers I look at only do power management of the desktops that were created with the vendor's native console.

We completely automate the VM cloning (across as many concurrent resource pools & data stores as desired/required) , customization, AD Computer Object Creation, initialization (farm join), MSI package deployment, running of scripts or copying of files, power & OS Operations, VM & Computer object deletion....  So we don't just connect to some hypervisor, but we add features that can't be accomplished in the vendor's management console.

Management console.  Don't get me started with Citrix' many consoles.  Let's see; Access Management Console, Presentation Server Console (for Installation Manager, Citrix Policies, Load Evaluators...), Provisioning Server Console.  The AMC was new in "Metaframe Presentation Server 3.0 which was released over four years ago.  Don't forget where I came from, as I was a die hard Citrix type, Citrix Technology Professional and met with Citrix several times to review roadmaps, new products and to complain about what we couldn't stand.

I'll have to dig deaper to see what time zone control Citrix offers, but as far as I know it's just pulling the client time zone, if the client is running Windows (correct me if I'm wrong).  We do this, but can also assign time zones by user, group, AD OU, Client IP Address Range or Client Naming Convention.

I was not aware that Windows Media Redirection was part of XenDesktop, so if that's the case, I'll update that feature.

My printing section is correct, unless the Universal Printer Driver has changed from CPS 4.5 to XenDesktop.

As far as I know Sepago was just acquired, and has not been added to any product "yet". Once again, if I'm incorrect, please let me know.

Can someone tell me if Citrix Policies in the Presentation Server Console can be applied to XenDesktop, when not using Presentation Server (XenApp), i.e. on Standard or Advanced, and apply the settings to the XenDesktop connection?

Thanks for the feedback.

They didn't cover VDIworks Virtual Desktop Platform either, previous versions of which have been OEM'd to companies like ClearCube (under the Sentral brand). That technology supports Hyper-V, Xen, ESX and VMware Server. In addition to Leostream, it is the only other broker that supports truly high end experiences driven through the PCoIP protocol. Of course, the usual suspects like RDP etc. are also supported.

Informative article. I currently use Cool Desk to create and manage my virtual desktop. It works pretty fine for me.


For some reason the provided link doesn't work any more. Here is a new link: