Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Desktop Virtualization


Desktop Virtualization Section Decorative Pic of woman writing






Service Description

CTS offers Desktop Virtualization through Citrix technology to provide both Application and Desktop virtualization also known as Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop to our customers.

  • Citrix XenApp is a technology that virtualizes an application that is running on a server and provided to the user via a software client (Citrix Receiver). Since the application is running on a server, any device that can supports the Citrix Receiver Client can be used (i.e., tablets, phones, and non-GFE). A network connection is required.
  • Citrix XenDesktop is a technology that virtualizes a complete Windows 7/8 operating system and delivers it to the client via a client plug-in. A network connection is required.

CTS employs virtualization technology for desktops and applications. Virtualized applications might include basic office automation software tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and common Internet browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. Virtualized applications may also include custom business applications on a case-by-case basis. Citrix XenApp applications are available as a supplemental service consumable on existing workstations as well as within Virtual Desktop Platform. The service can be used with applications that are older versions, current versions, newly released versions, or beta versions.

Citrix XenDesktop provides a full Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 virtual desktop environment, presented through Citrix Receiver, for users that require a full-time desktop environment (e.g. as a replacement for a traditional workstation) or for specialized access to a full desktop (e.g. Remote power users, training labs, etc.). It is intended for use cases where virtualized applications alone are not sufficient.

The solution can be offered to customers to address telework requirements or in the event of disaster where customer can continue to perform business functions from their personal or home PCs and other supported devices

What Is Included

Proactive monitoring, routine operation, and support of Citrix Infrastructure.

  • Assisting customer to provision agency application within Citrix solution including application publishing, monitoring and connectivity.
  • Single StoreFront to access virtual desktop or application for the customer with load balancing technology to minimize downtime.
  • Two-factor LincPass and Entrust soft token security authentication solution for the customer.
  • Providing Tier 2 Infrastructure Operations Center (IOC) and Tier 3 (SME) support for any Citrix related issues.

How We Charge

Offering Services Included
Base Offering Office workspace such as Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer or other third party COT software do not required deployment of additional servers.
Customer Specific Customer applications to be presented through Citrix requiring deployment of application servers outside core infrastructure.

* Customer can choose to use either of both Citrix Functions (XenDesktop and/or XenApp) within each offering.

Service Level Metrics

Service Type Service Measure Performance Targets
Internal and External Access Virtual Desktops Availability Availability of service measured at the data center. (measurement tool: System Center Operations Manager-SCOM) 97%
Deployment Duration Deployment Date less than or equal to 30 business days from the time OCIO/CTS receives completed Virtual Desktop request, equipment or as separately agreed to between the customer and OCIO/CTS in writing. 95%

Cost Saving Tips

  • Economy of Scale: customers sharing common infrastructure to reduce Citrix support cost.
  • Cost saving on laptop/desktop refresh and admin support such as imaging and application deployment.
  • Utilize desktop virtualization for testing purpose such as application compatibility testing with different versions of Internet Browser under single console.
  • Utilizing desktop virtualization for training without deployment of additional hardware.
  • Centralizing services such as disperse file or application systems to drive cost saving by allowing access of the application and data through desktop virtualization presentation layer.

  Additional Information

  • Licenses for software applications and tools will be provided by the customer. This will include licenses for Microsoft Office.
  • All required Interconnectivity Security Agreements are finalized prior to service initiation.
  • All versions of software to be published by Citrix environment must be certified through CTS for security and interoperability. All version of software currently requested by and published for the customer are already certified. CTS will provide an estimate of certification cost for any new software as requested.