Beyond VDI: How do VMware Horizon Suite and Citrix XenMobile stack up?

Delivering virtual desktops is just part of the puzzle for IT administrators who want a secure way to supply applications and data.

What's the difference between VMware Horizon Suite and Citrix XenMobile?

Before talking about the differences, let's compare what they have in common.

You can relate the functionality of one of the VMware suite's components, VMware Horizon Workspace, with the application and data management part of Citrix XenMobile. Each can deliver applications and data to end users on a wide range of devices. Many IT administrators are looking at these products to secure their environments where workers use a mix of company-issued and personal equipment.

Also, both products support Windows apps, mobile apps and Software as a Service. Both products have pros and cons that require research to see how well each would match the needs of your business.

Horizon Suite offers virtual desktop management in VMware Horizon View; on the Citrix side, you can get that functionality if you purchase XenDesktop, a separate product.

Horizon Suite contains VMware Horizon Mirage for managing Windows on physical systems, something you cannot buy from Citrix.

VMware provides View, Mirage and Workspace as a suite. VMware integrated the three products, which means an end user who logs in to Workspace can connect to a VMware View virtual desktop from that single entry point.

On the Citrix side, the company offers mobile device management in Citrix XenMobile, something VMware does not have in the Horizon Suite. That should change at some point now that VMware bought AirWatch for, among other things, its mobile device management software. Expect VMware to see this acquisition as part of Workspace Mobility in the Horizon Suite.

This was last published in February 2014

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