I was recently asked to compare XenDesktop to VMWare View. I'm always happy to handle such a request because I love comparing technology, especially Desktop Virtualization technology. Many of the articles I read online are overly biast, or approach it from one stand point. Also, this technology is changing DAILY and many of the articles are outdated. I'm sure by the time you read this article it will be outdated, so take anything I say with a grain of salt, and also call a consultant to see where I'm right, where I'm wrong and what may have changed to make it so.
The way I approach any technology at any customer is pretty basic but a lot of tech people tend to forget this: the "right" technology is whatever technology makes sense for the customers environment. I hate to break it to you but there is no perfect technology. Apple has its place, as do PCs, as does Linux. As a consultant its my job to know the various technologies and help the customer decide which technology is the best fit for them. When it comes to XenDesktop and VMWare View this can be very tricky because, contrary to popular belief, they are both very good solutions, so some detailed questions would have to be asked to determine which solution is the best fit for you.
My conclusion (I'll give it to you now while you are only two paragraphs into this article) is that the reason you'll choose one solution over the other is going to come down to two factors, cost and comfort level. A business that has been running Citrix for years is probably going to go XenDesktop, a company that has been running VMWare for years is probably going to go View. If you haven't implemented any virtualization technology, I recommend you stop reading this article on Virtual Desktop Infrasturcture and just focus on server virtualization, it's the bees knees (whatever that means)... The fact is both technologies compete on all levels, Citrix will win some battles, as will View. If some battles are very important for you and your company, I recommend you document those battles then do a proof of concept to see which works best for you. No matter what I share in this article there is nothing that beats a real world test. And no matter what I share, it'll all be outdated withing 3-months, because thats the build schedule on both of these products.
So lets get into it. XenDesktop and VMWare View are two competing technologies that both try to deliver one thing: A desktop experience without the need of a desktop. The idea being to centrally manage an entire network, and to remove that pesky need to replace your workstations every few years. There are six main compentents that need to work together to deliever a workable desktop, they are:
So there you have it, those are the components. Via IT Magic we can make all of those work together to give a unique desktop experience that in the end when you ask your users "How do you like that new Virtual Desktop experience?" They will respond, "What are you talking about?" Yeah, in the end your users won't know that you did jack. A year in planning and deploying and in the end your users get the same damn desktop. Good job! :) (Hopefully you are well aware of the benefits of virtual desktops and therefore I have no need to explain why having the "same damn desktop" is completely and utterly awesome.)