Citrix XenDesktop VDI and What It Means To You

The idea of this non-technical post is to come up with a personal document, that could be distributed to end users to explain/sell a Citrix XenDesktop VDI solution to them. This is only a draft and - in the spirit of sharing - please feel free to copy in any way or leave comments (good or bad.)

Citrix XenDesktop VDI and What it Means to You

Definition: VDI = Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Dear Work Colleague

As part of the natural lifecycle of desktop systems, the IT Department are soon to be replacing your current workstation with a thin-client and Citrix XenDesktop 5 utilizing Windows 7. We want this to be a positive experience for you and have prepared this brief advance introduction.

1: Preparation

Prior to your allocated time for switch-over to VDI, the IT team will be migrating your profile so that when you log on to the VDI for the first time, your application and desktop settings are in place. We highly recommend you contact IT support prior to your switch-over time, if you have any concerns about applications and/or data on your workstation, and their availability in the VDI.

2: Connecting from inside the office

When you arrive at your desk at a time after switch-over, all you need to do is power on your thin-client and monitor(s) - if they are not already powered on - and the 'Log on' box (like below) will appear. Log on with your domain user name and password, and you're in!

You will be greeted by the 'Welcome to your Citrix XenDesktop' welcome screen, close this and you are ready to begin going about your business.

3: Working from outside the office

The same virtual desktop you work from in the office can be used from anywhere in the world where you have internet access and an available PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet (like the iPad.)

Example - connecting from a PC with Internet Explorer:

Point your internet browser to
If not already installed - accept the prompts to download and install any ActiveX controls, and the CitrixOnlinePlugWeb.exe
Log on and you're in!

Why Citrix XenDesktop VDI?

The Citrix XenDesktop VDI solution is designed around allowing you to work flexibly and creatively*. Some advantages of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) over a Physical Desktop Infrastructure (PDI) / traditional terminal services:

i: Your workspace is truly personal (advantage over traditional terminal services)
ii: Flexibility to work from the same desktop from many different devices, and wherever there is an internet link
iii: Data is stored centrally and securely
iv: Provisioning new or additional workspaces can be done in seconds
v: Smaller carbon footprint when using thin-clients
vi: Enhanced and more efficient IT Helpdesk support
vii: Greater resilience of desktop workspace systems


*Part quote (... designed entirely around allowing people to work flexibly and creatively) taken from a Louise Matthews blog post - see: