Azure RemoteApp Replacement: MyCloudIT vs. Citrix XenApp Essentials


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Azure RemoteApp (ARA) is set to retire on August 31st. It’s time for Microsoft Partners to choose their best option for migration. There are two popular solutions to replace ARA: RDS on Azure IaaS – which can be simplified and automated via the MyCloudIT platform, and Citrix XenApp Essentials – previously known as XenApp Express. Both have received a lot of interest not only from existing ARA users but also from other customers looking for a new cloud solution.

While XenApp Essentials is not yet generally available, Citrix’s recent announcement has released some details about its pricing, packaging and provisioning capabilities. So now, we’d like to address some key differences between MyCloudIT and Citrix XenApp Essentials.

Pricing and Packaging

Instead of pre-built packages like Azure RemoteApp, MyCloudIT and Citrix follow a Pay-as-you-go pricing model, which allows greater flexibility to optimize cloud consumption costs based on end-users’ working hours and per hour pricing provided by Azure.

In both solutions, the total monthly costs include license fees (per user), remote access fees (per users, RDS SALs or RDS CALs) and Azure consumption costs.

Now, let’s drill into the differences:

  MyCloudIT Citrix XenApp Essentials
License Fee $8 per user, per month $12 per user, per month
Minimum of Users No minimum requirement 25 users
SPLA/RDS CALs Bring your own SPLA/RDS CALs or purchase via MyCloudIT. Either can be used within the MyCloudIT platform without additional help. Bring your own RDS CALs (which requires support from your local Microsoft representative) or purchase from the Azure Marketplace.
Azure IaaS Bring your own Azure subscription OR create an account under MyCloudIT’s subscription and purchase Azure though MyCloudIT at 10% discount. Bring our own Azure subscription only.


Deployment, Management, and Monitoring

MyCloudIT is an automation platform that delivers both remote desktops and remote applications in Microsoft Azure. The platform integrates with multiple Azure services (Monitoring, Backups, Azure Schedule, etc.) and enables Microsoft partners to instantly sign in with their Azure subscription and quickly connect with Office 365 to sync users.

Citrix XenApp Essentials, on the other hand, is part of Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop farm. XenApp Essentials is only designed to replace Azure RemoteApp. Therefore, if you want to deliver desktops rather than applications, you must switch to one of Citrix’s XenDesktop services, which is offered at a much higher price ($30 license fee per user per month) and delivered via the Citrix cloud.

Based on Citrix’s recent announcement, here is a quick comparison of key deployment, management, and monitoring capabilities offered by the two solutions:

  Citrix XenApp Essentials MyCloudIT
Deliver Windows Apps Yes    Yes
Deliver Windows Desktops   Yes
Windows 10 Experience Yes Yes
Windows 8 Experience   Yes
BYO Custom Image Yes Yes
Simple Management UI Yes Yes
Control over Azure IaaS   Yes  
Monitoring Yes Yes
Advanced Monitoring & Analytics   Yes
Notifications & Alerts   Yes
24/7 Support Yes Yes
Integrate Azure Backups   Yes
Integrate Office 365   Yes
Self-manage Yes Yes
Options for co-manage or Fully-managed   Yes


MyCloudIT Introduces “Domain-Joined" Solution for Existing ARA Customers

One last thing … MyCloudIT is introducing a “Domain-joined” solution specially designed for existing ARA customers. Using this Domain-joined deployment, partners can quickly and easily deploy into their current virtual networks in Azure, saving time and effort in migrating away from the soon-to-be-deprecated ARA. From 1 to hundreds of users, the migration process can now be automated via the MyCloudIT platform.


“It was the easiest migration we’ve ever done. We migrated five legacy applications with customer data over three business days – So far it’s been a great user experience, more admin capabilities, and similar cost to Azure RemoteApp.” – Chandler Julian, COO at ERISA Partners.

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