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At work we are looking at either updating our current XenApp Citrix solution or publish a new remote-access solution. The current issues we have with the XenApp product is the inability to publish applications easily (it is quite easy, but trivial setup for new users) and the requirement for staff to clear out old sessions. Truth with the second topic would probably be a misconfiguration with the server and Citrix, but these are still the current issues.

Apart from certain pricing restraints, we are very keen to leave the XenApp solution and obtain a more current remote app access. The new solution will need to host the following:

  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer (with specific add-ons)
  • Multiple DMS Solutions (basic applications with no real requirements)
  • Telnet Client (putty)

A side note which would be excessively handy (and is present with XenApp) is publishing an application with certain parameters (chrome.exe -incognito http://www.facebook.com for example)

Apart from this, there are obvious business requirements that would need to be investigated, which are not limited to:

  • What is the pricing, and how well does the solution scale to meet our requirements?
  • What security measures are taken to ensure data integrity? (Accessing the system, transferring files etc.)
  • What support documentation is present, and how do we request assistance if required?

Lastly, the following questions will be asked about the product:

  • Is it an off-premise solution, and if so, what is the Uptime agreement?
  • Is it an on-premise solution, and if so, what are the requirements?
  • Is there any management console, and is it easy for staff to manage?

Requirements of this Solution

  1. Supports iOS (Apple iPads and preferably MAC), Android (Tablets), Windows (7/8/10) - even if just browser-based
  2. Allows applications to be run server-side on the device, but also integrate locally (as in, if I export a CSV from a published app, I want to be able to open it on my device)

Preferences for this Solution

  1. Little to no configuration for the client (short of being prompted to install some component)
  2. Easy deployment for applications (for Level 1 IT Support)
  3. No required maintenance of the system (as in, we do not want to need to remote into a server and clear orphaned sessions)

Please answer this question with only 1 solution, if you have multiple, please make multiple answers.

I will also post the solutions I am looking at.

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Spice

Sourced from the Features Page, the following options are listed:

Current Features

  • Video streaming - heuristically identifies video streams and transmits M-JPEG video streams
  • Image compression - offers various compression algorithm that were built specifically for Spice, including QUIC (based on SFALIC), LZ, GLZ (history-based global dictionary), and auto (heuristic compression choice per image)
  • Live migration - supports clients while migrating Spice servers to new hosts, thus avoiding interruptions
  • Windows drivers - Windows drivers for QXL display device and VDI-port
  • Multiple monitors with support for enabling selection of the screen used by the client (in virt-viewer/remote-viewer)
  • Two way audio - supports audio playback and captures; audio data stream is optionally compressed using CELT Encryption - using OpenSSL
  • Clipboard sharing and arbitrary resolutions - features provided by the Spice agent running on the guest
  • USB redirection - allows clients to use their USB devices with Spice servers
  • Encrypted communication
  • SASL authentication
  • Xspice - a standalone server that is both an X server and a Spice server
  • Web client - a simple javacript client
  • Smartcard - CAC smartcard redirection
  • Folder sharing - for sharing a client's folder with the remote guest

Future Features

  • SSH authentization agent
  • Seamless applications
  • CD sharing - share your CD with Spice server
  • 3D acceleration Support
  • OSX client
  • Simultaneous clients connection

What is the pricing, and how well does the solution scale to meet our requirements?

Spice is free using the GPL v2 licencing. As for the scalability of the product, it would be a requirement of the company to structure a new server/commission the hardware to meet needs.

What security measures are taken to ensure data integrity? (Accessing the system, transferring files etc.)

Spice offers "encrypted communication" which seems to encompass TLS.

TLS support allows to encrypt all/some of the channels Spice uses for its communication. A separate port is used for the encrypted channels. When connecting through a TLS channel, the Spice client will verify the certificate sent by the host. It will check that this certificate matches the hostname it’s connecting, and that this certificate is signed by a known certificate authority (CA). This can be achieved by either getting the host certificate signed by an official CA, or by passing to the client the certificate of the authority which signed the host certificate. The latter allows the use of self-signed certificates.

Refer to the user manual here for more information.

What support documentation is present, and how do we request assistance if required?

Being Open Source, there is likely a lot of user-forums for issues. Refer to the Documentation tab and the support tab.

Is it an off-premise solution, and if so, what is the Uptime agreement?

Naturally no, on-premise. All SLA agreements are dictated by the company.

Is it an on-premise solution, and if so, what are the requirements?

This option can be on-premise. Refer to the user manual for this information.

Is there any management console, and is it easy for staff to manage?

There could be a simple script made for user management, however, there does not appear to be an easy-to-use GUI. (Correct me if wrong, I have not actually used the product).

Supports iOS (Apple iPads and preferably MAC), Android (Tablets), Windows (7/8/10) - even if just browser-based

At present, I do not believe this supports tablets (natively), although I am sure a RDP configuration with a Gateway would work.

If anyone knows how this works on a tablet, please comment.

Allows applications to be run server-side on the device, but also integrate locally (as in, if I export a CSV from a published app, I want to be able to open it on my device)

This tool has clipboard access, however, across tablets, we will need to investigate.

Little to no configuration for the client (short of being prompted to install some component)

Client setup looks simple, however server-side configuration can be painful.

Easy deployment for applications (for Level 1 IT Support)

Actual application usage should be simple, hosting a Window's environment seems feasible.

No required maintenance of the system (as in, we do not want to need to remote into a server and clear orphaned sessions)

Unknown at this point in time.

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Ulteo

You can refer to the Features Page for a comparison between Community and Premium.

CE and PE stand for Community Edition and Premium Edition.

  • Linux and Windows Virtual Desktop - CE & PE
  • Remote Application Integration - CE & PE
  • Java ou Html 5 Client - CE & PE
  • Android and Ios mobile application - PE
  • Gateway (Allow to access the Application Server from a exterior network) - PE
  • Linux and Windows Native Clients - PE
  • Integration of windows application on your own desktop - PE
  • SSL VPN - PE

For pricing on the product (and scaling) you would need to review the OVD Premium section.


What is the pricing, and how well does the solution scale to meet our requirements?

Pricing seems to start at 120 Euro per year (for a single license), and scaling can be added with another license.

For Level 1 & 2 Support, 60 Euro will need to be added.

What security measures are taken to ensure data integrity? (Accessing the system, transferring files etc.)

I was unable to locate any specifics on their security, however there are means to add security such as an ACL, Domain Access (explicit user access) and possible certificate-based authentication if required.

What support documentation is present, and how do we request assistance if required?

For support you can refer to:

Is it an off-premise solution, and if so, what is the Uptime agreement?

This solution does not appear to be a native off-premise solution.

Is it an on-premise solution, and if so, what are the requirements?

Yes, this appears to be an on-premise solution. The minimum requirements can be located here. Recommendations can be found here.

Is there any management console, and is it easy for staff to manage?

There appears to be a simple Web-UI and easy administration available with this product.

Supports iOS (Apple iPads and preferably MAC), Android (Tablets), Windows (7/8/10) - even if just browser-based

This solution seems to support iOS 4.3/5.0 on iPhone and iPad.

Android 2.3+ Clients.

Windows ZP/7/8/10 and Linux platforms.

Allows applications to be run server-side on the device, but also integrate locally (as in, if I export a CSV from a published app, I want to be able to open it on my device)

Full file-server and CIF support is present. As for this level of access, it would need to be confirmed across devices.

Little to no configuration for the client (short of being prompted to install some component)

Once the client/application is installed, it should simply be a matter of logging in with the appropriate credentials to access the application.

Easy deployment for applications (for Level 1 IT Support)

Initial configuration of an application and a user seems easy (investigated this via other websites). Again, a trial would be needed to confirm.

No required maintenance of the system (as in, we do not want to need to remote into a server and clear orphaned sessions)

It does not appear to be the case. Again, a trial run would be required.

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Parallels

Refer to the following White-Paper from migrating from Citrix XenApp if required. The initial RAS page will highlight the features of the product.


What is the pricing, and how well does the solution scale to meet our requirements?

The costing of Parallels is not dictated by licensing, there appears to be a representative that will assist in meeting your needs, and then will provide a price - although they state being up to 60% cheaper than Citrix.

As for scalability, this should be simple enough to achieve - purchase another license/instance and it should auto-configure to your account (or so I read).

What support documentation is present, and how do we request assistance if required?

For support, there are a number of methods:

Is it an off-premise solution, and if so, what is the Uptime agreement?

This solution looks to be housed onsite, therefore, there is no SLA for uptime.

Is it an on-premise solution, and if so, what are the requirements?

This solution can be housed on-premise. I was unable to locate any system requirements on the website.

Is there any management console, and is it easy for staff to manage?

There appears to be a user-friendly management console, with reporting and configuration.

Supports iOS (Apple iPads and preferably MAC), Android (Tablets), Windows (7/8/10) - even if just browser-based

This product supports iPhone/iPads, Windows, Mac and Android.

Little to no configuration for the client (short of being prompted to install some component)

End-User configuration looks rather simple, installation of an application (and if setup), login details.

Easy deployment for applications (for Level 1 IT Support)

Actual installation of applications (and publishing to end-users) should be very straightforward.

No required maintenance of the system (as in, we do not want to need to remote into a server and clear orphaned sessions)

This product does not state any requirements to maintain user sessions/access.

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ERICOM Connect

As a "Citrix Replacement" the following features have been listed on ERICOM's website:

  • Rapid deployment - in hours vs. days for typical installations
  • Hyper-scalable, easy to deploy and use - supports up to 100,000 concurrent users per Ericom Connect management server Intuitive administration and configuration High availability grid technology across all management servers / connection brokers Web-first approach
  • HTML5 access from any device, in addition to native clients
  • Built-in powerful BI reporting and analytics Multi-tenancy capability coupled with delegated administration
  • Hybrid Cloud deployment including on-premise and all common cloud platforms
  • Cross data center deployments and management supporting large organization needs

What is the pricing, and how well does the solution scale to meet our requirements?

Official pricing is hard to locate, however, there are statements that it is 40% cheaper than Citrix XenApp.

Lastly, according to ERICOM:

Hyper-Scalability

Start as small as you want and grow as needed. One Connect server can support up to 100,000 concurrent users, eliminating the need for multiple deployments and synch-ups

What security measures are taken to ensure data integrity? (Accessing the system, transferring files etc.)

It isn't easily located on their website, however, their security is highlighted on this page:

Ericom Connect centrally manages data security and adheres to common regulatory and compliance policies (e.g., SOX, HIPAA, PCI DSS)

Ericom Connect provides monitoring and reporting of system and end-user usage, all from within a single management interface.

What support documentation is present, and how do we request assistance if required?

Support can be located at:

Is it an off-premise solution, and if so, what is the Uptime agreement?

This solution can be both on-premise or on-premise, depending on user needs. There are no easily noticeable SLA goals defined on their website.

Is it an on-premise solution, and if so, what are the requirements?

There are on-premise solutions. The user manuals are located here.

Is there any management console, and is it easy for staff to manage?

There is an administration console, which can be looked at here.

Supports iOS (Apple iPads and preferably MAC), Android (Tablets), Windows (7/8/10) - even if just browser-based

Full web-browser access is the preferred method of this solution (as far as I can see). You can read up on their BYOD policy here.

Ericom's HTML5 remote desktop client is compatible with IPSec VPN and SSL VPN

Allows applications to be run server-side on the device, but also integrate locally (as in, if I export a CSV from a published app, I want to be able to open it on my device)

This portion is questionable. If using RDP there should be the clipboard access between sessions, which can include copying files locally if needed.

Little to no configuration for the client (short of being prompted to install some component)

This program states no need for client-end configuration in the portal. Yet to be tested.

Easy deployment for applications (for Level 1 IT Support)

Reading up on this, the deployment of applications for the users seems to be simple enough, and does not require any expertise.

No required maintenance of the system (as in, we do not want to need to remote into a server and clear orphaned sessions)

This does not look like a requirement.

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