Amazon AppStream or Citrix: Which Application-Streaming Platform Is Right for Your Business?


When it comes to streaming workplace apps for remote users, which cloud platform offers your business the features and flexibility it needs?

With more companies allowing more staff to work from home than ever before, app and desktop streaming tools have become the backbone of a new way to do business. We’ve talked about your options for streaming entire desktop workspaces, but sometimes the best way to collaborate is app-by-app. That’s where application streaming services come in, and two of the best cloud-based platforms are Amazon AppStream 2.0 and Citrix. 

Amazon AppStream 2.0 is a fully managed service that will allow you to stream desktop applications from AWS to any device running a web browser. For those looking to move legacy apps to AWS, AppStream 2.0 is a great way to go. It will stream desktop applications in HTML5 browsers with no need for plugins. 

The Citrix workspace also allows your business to bring all its data and applications into one workspace, and that workspace can be personalized for each individual. On the surface, both of these cloud-based platforms seem to offer similar benefits, but there are definitely some differences, as businesses are finding out. 

As your teams continue to work remotely and you continue to look for ways to improve that experience, there are certain differences between AppStream 2.0 and Citrix that you will want to keep in mind.

1. Total costs

AppStream 2.0 is fully scalable, with pay-as-you-go pricing to help save money. In contrast, many who have gone with Citrix have reported in various reviews that it is pricey, especially for larger deployments. Others have said it is not inexpensive to operate overall, but renewal costs of Citrix can be up to 80% of the initial purchase price.

With either platform, IT staff costs should be reduced because they are cloud-based and eliminate the need for managing an infrastructure that would be essential with more traditional on-premise formats. However, there are still some differences, as we will see in the next section. Citrix can be more difficult, in some instances, to set up and manage, so there is still a need for businesses to have those people on staff who have the technical ability and knowledge to assist in that regard.

2. Set up and installation

Reviewers also say Citrix is not easy to set up or to manage. Some applications can run slow, it is said, and there can be overall lag in the desktop. Product documentation also does little to offer assistance with first-time setup, and updating the client may be difficult at times.

Amazon AppStream 2.0 can simplify delivery of applications, allowing for an easy transition to the cloud. With AppStream, there is also no need to factor in hardware costs for expansion or scaling.

Another benefit is that no highly trained staff is needed to use this platform. AppStream 2.0 is built on Amazon Web Services, which is known for its “elastic” capabilities. AppStream 2.0 is also considered much easier to set up and manage than its predecessor. 

Quality of support for Citrix also seems to be a major concern for many businesses that have spoken up to review the platform. With Citrix being somewhat difficult to set up, manage, and update, lack of customer support could be a major factor in some businesses being unhappy with Citrix. While it is still a highly used cloud-based service, which would point to many companies being happy with it, you may want to look deeper or ask more questions before taking the jump, especially once the pricing comes down to your bottom line.

3. App-streaming performance

AppStream 2.0 offers a fluid end-user experience. In fact, Small Business Trends said version 2.0 has “resulted in a responsive and fluid user experience.” In contrast, reviews suggest Citrix may lag or even freeze when running particular applications.

From a performance standpoint, AppStream 2.0 seems to have the upper hand. Because productivity will hinge on the performance of your apps, a more fluid end-user experience will allow your teams to complete their work more seamlessly without fighting against the system that is supposed to improve productivity rather than hinder it. Because data is never stored in on-premise devices, your teams will benefit from improved performance while maintaining a high level of data security.

AppStream 2.0 will allow you to run all your applications on Windows, Linux PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks. It will fully integrate with your IT environment, both on-premise and with Amazon Web Services. Your business will enjoy the benefits of a fully managed service with no need for staff to maintain such services.

4. Application security

While both platforms offer high levels of security, AppStream has the reputation of total reliability when it comes to data security. AppStream keeps your data and applications on Amazon Web services, which allows you to isolate your applications for secure delivery.

When you are looking for a cloud-based provider, going it alone can be the tough route. Finding a trusted partner with a track record of helping businesses like yours is of the utmost importance. Working with an Amazon Managed Service Partner like CloudHesive can help you make the right decisions for your business when it comes to cloud-services and so much more. This will allow your teams to work remotely yet fluidly and still as a cohesive team.

Contact CloudHesive today to get on your way to the right cloud set up to keep your teams productive and on track.

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