Citrix Storefront 2.1 vs WebInterface 37 Comments

The 2.1 version of Strorefront came along with XenDesktop 7.1. There are few changes in this version comparing to the previous one and on the internal architecture of Storefront Services nothing new (reminder) : So with Storefront 2.1 out since few weeks not, many people requested an updated version of my side by side comparison between the WebInterface and StoreFront, so here it is. As always, comments are welcome and sharing your experience might be useful for the others !  

Citrix Storefront 2 (Preview) vs WebInterface 50 Comments

A new version of Strorefront is coming along with XenDesktop 7. There are a lot of change in this version comparing to the previous one but first here is a quick internal architecture of Storefront Services : What have changed with Storefront ? No more external database HTML5 Client improved Desktop Appliance Site Session pre-launch (for XenApp 6.5) International language support IPV6 Integrated smart card authentication Auth SDK Integrated with XenDesktop 7 Installer Management from Desktop Studio And after few week of test, I must admit this version is much faster then the 1.x versions. The fact Storefront doesn't need a SQL database is a major point on the architecture point, high availability and management side. Here is the installation step screenshots :         And an updated side by side comparison with Citrix WebInterface 5.4 :

This is a new step in application and desktop delivery access point process but Citrix again made it very messy to understand (at least for me...) This is very important to know and understand every component of this new products, but between, Receiver Storefront, CloudGateway Express, CloudGateway Enterprise, AppController and all the past names, some of us can be lost, and our customer are even more lost... (nFuse, Web Interface  2 3 4 5 etc... and Receiver Storefront) If I remember well, at Synergy in Barcelona last October, CloudGateway had been introduce by Citrix CEO with this slide : Now when I read documentation about CloudGateway Express and Enterprise release, I think we lost something : The data "square" (ShareFile & RingCube (?)) is gone for now... Anyway, with the previous picture you can have a clear view about each component present in Citrix CloudGateway. First let's check what is the difference between CloudGateway Express and CloudGateway Enterprise : The difference is mostly around features, but what's not shown in Citrix edition and features matrix is a row with the price. CloudGateway Express is free because this product is here to replace the actual Web Interface and Program Neighborhood to give access to Windows App and Desktops. The enterprise edition is here to centralize access between Desktops, Windows Apps, SaaS and web applications. The upgrade from Express edition to Enterprise edition should be simple and painless, just need to try it out to check how simple it is :) Regarding the architecture, the big picture is simple, we had Web Interface, now we have Receiver Storefront and it should be it... But that's not :) To simplify user's life and give a centralized access to apps, again we need to build an architecture more complex than our good old Web Interface. In the previous image above, there is not that much difference if we consider Storefront is here to replace Web Interface and AppController as a new component to build a bridge between Desktops / Windows Apps and SaaS / Web Apps. The external access is still secured using an Access Gateway, I mean NetScaler Access Gateway (same product, new name), but if we look further, it more complicated than that : Same as Web Interface, high availability is possible with an external load balancing mechanism (ie NetScaler or MS NLB) Now an external database is required to host users…