What Does Citrix Add to AVD?

Jul 28, 2021

What does all this talk about Citrix on Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) mean? Oh, and don't forget, WVD is now called Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD); you can read all about that change in our blog: The Difference Between WVD and AVD. So why do you keep hearing that these two technologies are "Better together"? Let's start by defining each service, and then we will dive into how they work together and why, for some businesses, they might be better together!

What is AVD? Formerly Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD and formerly Windows Virtual Desktop, WVD) is a desktop and app virtualization service that runs on the cloud. AVD offers several options for your virtual apps and desktops; you can:

  • Set up a multi-session Windows 10 deployment that delivers a full Windows 10 with scalability
  • Virtualize Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise and optimize it to run in multi-user virtual scenarios
  • Provide Windows 7 virtual desktops with free Extended Security Updates
  • Bring your existing Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and Windows Server desktops and apps to any computer
  • Virtualize both desktops and apps
  • Manage Windows 10, Windows Server, and Windows 7 desktops and apps with a unified management experience

AVD provides, at a standard level, precisely what is needed to run virtual apps and desktops for a distributed workforce in a native matter-stock right out of the box. It is cost-effective for most businesses with basic needs.

What is Citrix?

Citrix is more than just one service or solution; Citrix is a family of digital workspace and networking technologies that help businesses deliver access to applications and data that employees need to stay productive. For employees, this is apps, desktops, files, and services on any device and from any location. For the IT department, this is a unified platform to manage, monitor, and oversee everything.

Citrix Workspace brings all your business apps and data into one secure, unified workspace experience, personalized for every user.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops power productivity with secure access to high-definition apps and desktops on any operating system or mobile device.

Citrix Application Delivery Controler (ADC) creates a sound end-user experience with traditional and cloud-native apps that perform well and stay secure across any network or cloud.

Citrix SD-WAN delivers an always-on network with the WAN Edge solution designed for an exceptional end-user experience.

Why Use Citrix and AVD Together?

When you use Citrix on AVD, you still get access to the compute and licensing benefits of AVD, but in this scenario, you choose not to use the management and protocol that comes with AVD. Instead, you replace it with the Citrix-provided offering Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD).

The benefit of this option is that Citrix has 30+ years of development behind its tools. Their protocol and management plane support the more demanding requirements of some businesses in high-latency, high-loss situations and organizations with requirements for engineering 3D workloads.

When you use AVD on its own (or natively), the only location you can run and manage your resources is in Azure. If you have resources on-prem and adopt AVD only, your users will have to access those resources in a different location (no central management or access location). But if you use Citrix on AVD, management of resources for both cloud and on-prem happens in a central management location. In addition, you can provide users with a single point to log in and access all their resources. As we all know, most business today demands a hybrid environment, and this is constantly changing with the continued need to modernize, migrate, and adopt the cloud to scale. This Citrix on Azure approach to managing resources is highly scalable and supports the ever-changing needs of businesses while providing an optimal user experience for both IT and end-users.

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Customer Story of Citrix & AVD—Better Together

Coretek helps customers leverage Citrix solutions and technology to extend the value of Microsoft AVD. For example, a recent customer in the Energy/Utility industry approached Coretek for a Citrix on AVD solution.


The customer's cloud journey started with Coretek in 2018 with the consolidation of five legacy Citrix sites into a single Enterprise Site and the migration to Citrix Cloud for both on-premises data centers and multiple Azure regions. The original solution was designed to create a business continuity plan for advanced preparation for workload bursting capabilities during storm events; however, it was flexible enough to accommodate needs unique to 2020.


The customer needed to burst their existing Citrix Cloud solution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the organization's increased need to support remote work, specifically in a 4,500-user environment spread throughout the Northeast Region of the United States. As a result, Coretek worked with the customer to spin up 1,000 Citrix Desktops, leveraging their existing Citrix Cloud environment using Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) instances using their existing Azure EA subscription.


From the time Coretek was first contacted to the provisioning of the 1000th desktop, only 72 hours (3-days) had transpired. The customer is currently expanding their Citrix Cloud footprint to frontend their Enterprise WVD strategy for 2020 and evaluating Windows 10 Multi-Session delivery capabilities for both desktop and application delivery in Azure.

Get Started with AVD or Citrix on Azure

If you need help getting started with AVD Native or Citrix on AVD, let us know! Get in touch here.

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