PaperCut and Citrix
Yes, PaperCut does work in both a Xen App and Xen Desktop Environment. For those of you that are familiar with both of these solutions, you may want to jump to Installing PaperCut into a Citrix Environment after you have taken a moment to fist pump and cheer. For those not familiar with both technologies and how they differ, we will try to give a brief overview below.
Citrix is a company that specializes in providing customers with server, application and desktop virtualization services, similar to Microsoft Terminal services or VM Ware VDI solutions. These services allow companies to provide their end users with secure access to company resources from local and remote locations. The benefits of this solution is that users do not need to have restricted or sensitive information stored locally on their machines. This ensures that if the user’s computer is stolen or running on a non secured network, then no restricted or sensitive data can be accessed from the machine’s hard drive. Instead it is stored safely and securely within the company’s data center, behind firewalls and secure gateways. The best example of this software in use is within the banking industry. The computers used at the tellers stations are called dumb or thin clients. These machines are connected directly to the Bank data center, so in the event of the Teller PC being stolen, there is no data on the machine that can be used to access their customers accounts. In other words, it’s like you’re remote accessing a machine sitting in another office from your workstation in a branch.
Citrix have developed two primary virtual solutions for companies to utilize in this manner. Whilst both solutions are similar, they offer virtual solutions in slightly different ways.
Xen App is an application that has been developed by Citrix to provide remote access for end users to Virtual Windows / Linux desktops and Windows Applications. The Workspaces and applications are securely stored in a datacentre and clients connect remotely to this datacentre to access these services.
Xen Desktop is a Citrix developed solution that allows multiple users to connect to a central server and run a virtual desktop instance for either Microsoft Windows or Linux remotely. The Workspaces are securely stored in a datacentre and clients connect to this datacentre to access these services.
Xen Desktop provides end users with their own, fully customizable desktop experience. This includes the ability to have software installed onto their profile, that will be only available to them. Users only get access to the programs/applications which are installed on their individual desktop profiles. The machine resources are also protected for each Xen Desktop user, meaning that the resources assigned to their session is constant and does not change.
Xen App can publish Windows Applications and allow end users to run these windows applications from their local environment, without installing the software locally on their machines. The newest versions of Xen App also allows a virtual desktop experience, similar to Xen Desktop. The difference however is that all users have shared access to all of the applications/resources on the Xen App server that the user is logging in to. This means that every user has access to the same applications, look and feel. The machine resources are also fully shared including (GPU, CPU, memory and disk usage). So the total resources on the Xen App server is evenly shared across the number of users logged into the system.
Keywords: Citrix, virtualization, XenApp, XenDesktop