IT Infrastructure & Networks

Should I use Citrix Workspace Suite, Workspace App or Workspace Configuration?

Citrix has a great array of products for your organisation, but the names can be confusing. Here Rob Blincoe explains the difference between three popular Citrix Workspace offerings.

The last 18 months have been so busy for remote, cloud and virtualisation companies. The number of businesses having to accelerate their remote working adoption has exploded. 

It has been great speaking with such companies on behalf of QA recently, helping organisations realise the technologies they need to continue working. But a reoccurring problem I pick up is the naming conventions – and the differences between very different products with very similar names.

I usually split my time for QA between AWS and Citrix work, and I’ve been a Citrix advocate for the last 20+ years (it's actually getting really close to 25 but 20+ makes me sound slightly younger). Citrix products are fantastic – the performance, security and configuration choice they give us is amazing – but I have to admit, sometimes the naming conventions can be a little confusing.  

Let's take Citrix Workspace: There are versions, each drastically different. To name three, we have Workspace Suite, Workspace Configuration and Workspace App.

Citrix Workspace App

Citrix Workspace App is the Citrix Virtual App and Desktop client software. We used to have Receiver. We used to have Program Neighborhood Agent and (back in the day) Program Neighborhood. 

Workspace App is the newer version – Workspace App has come a long way since the days of PN/PNA. The feature set now available is massive. Native support for:

  • HDX (High-Definition Experience, Multi-Media, Audio, Content Redirection)
  • Numerous security and authentication options (OTP, Pass Through, TLS)
  • Remote working application integration (Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Skype Optimisations)

Four pages of features in its matrix!

Rob says: “Workspace App – it’s the client software.”

Citrix Workspace Configuration

Our second version of Workspace is Workspace Configuration. Workspace Configuration is Storefront... Storefront hosted as a service in Citrix Cloud.

I know all I have done here is introduce another question: "What is Storefront?" Well, Storefront traditionally has been our on-premise hosted webserver that internal users connect to in order to authenticate and enumerate resources. For example, to see what published apps and desktops are available to them.  

Instead of us hosting this webserver ourselves, instead of worrying about the security of this device and keeping it up to date, we can move this responsibility to the Citrix Cloud

Citrix cloud is evergreen. Its services and features are continually monitored and moved to the latest and greatest edition. This means we can stand up a resilient and highly available public-facing web solution at the click of a button. A massively advantageous offering for companies and their accelerated remote-working adoption.

Rob says: “Workspace Configuration – it’s Storefront hosted in Citrix Cloud.”

Citrix Workspace Suite

Our final of the three is Workspace Suite. As the name suggests, Workspace Suite is a suite of products, and it offers us a combination of numerous Citrix solutions in one collective.

Not only do we have Virtual App and Desktop (remote app and desktop access), we can also include resources such as Endpoint Management (MDM, MAM product), Content Collaboration (secure, centralised document management), Analytics (visibility into working practices across all products) and MicroApps (API resource integration), to name some.

It's a suite of Essentials to Premium Plus editions, with a Standard and Premium in between. One size does not fit all but luckily, we have a few choices.

Rob says: “Workspace Suite – it’s loads of Citrix products offered under one license.”

We discuss all the above in more detail on the Citrix VA/VD Administration course at QA, one of my favourite classes. Topics ranging from initial architecture and install to security, monitoring and Cloud adoption.


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