UPDATE: View 5’s User Experience on an iPad Compared to Citrix XenDesktop

Sep 29, 2011
Cyndie Zikmund


Cyndie is a group product marketing manager for VMware End-User Computing.

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Posted by Cyndie Zikmund and Jia Dai, End User Computing Technical Marketing

 The demand for corporate IT departments to support tablets is on the rise.  According to IHS iSuppli tablet sales are expected to grow from 60 million units in 2011 to 275 million in 2015 with the Apple iPad accounting for 74% of the market in 2011 and 43.6% in 2015:

Screen shot 2011-09-28 at 3.33.17 PM

Businesses will increasingly rely on virtual desktops to provide business applications from the PC-world on the more flexible mobile tablets.  When considering a virtual desktop solution, there are several key factors related to end user experience to be compared: 

  1. Performance,
  2. User responsiveness,
  3. Quality

The best way to find out which virtual desktop is right for your end user environment is to see them in action. To demonstrate the distinct advantages that VMware View 5 has over Citrix XenDesktop in an end user environment populated with iPad clients, we set up this test bed:

The virtual machines are hosted by a third-party provider, SoftLayer, at a Datacenter in Dallas, Texas. Both iPad 2s connect to the virtual desktops over the WiFi network. One iPad 2 is using VMware View 5 and the other is using Citrix XenDesktop 5.5.

We recorded how they both perform with three commonly used scenarios: 1) Flash video on youtube, 2) Windows Media Player, and 3) Flash video on a website in this video:


In conclusion VMware View 5 offers superior end user experience over Citrix XenDesktop on an iPad client in the major categories of: 1) performance, 2) quality, and 3) user responsiveness.

UPDATE — There has been a fair amont of interest in the configurations for this test.  Please find this info below:

Environment and Configuration used for: View Compared to Citrix XenDesktop on an iPad Client


  • Provider: SoftLayer
  • Location: Dallas, Texas


  • Basic configuration. No acceleration.
  • Bandwidth: 10Mbps
  • Roundtrip Latency: average 93ms to/from Palo Alto



  • Hardware: two Apple iPad 2s
  • Operating System: both iPad 2s are running iOS Version 4.3.3
  • Software
  1. One iPad has Citrix Receiver Version 4.2.3 (latest publicly available at App Store)
  2. One iPad has VMware View Client for iPad Version 1.0.1 (latest publicly available at App Store)
  • Network Connection: Corporate WiFi
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