How To Guides: Accessing Kaviza Desktops

Protocols Supported by Kaviza VDI-in-a-box

Kaviza supports the RDP (6 and 7) and the Citrix HDX protocols out-of-the-box. To get high-definition user experience, simply purchase Kaviza with the Accelerator for Citrix HDX enabled. No separate Citrix licenses are required. HDX provides a richer user experience and supports multi-media better while using less bandwidth. It is also better for remote access over a WAN. For a purely LAN-based deployment RDP should suffice. With the HDX accelerator, you will be able to use endpoints with native Citrix receivers out-of-the-box.

The Three Ways to Access a Kaviza Virtual Desktop

Access via browser, java client and native Citrix Receiver

Kaviza provides three ways to access a Kaviza virtual desktop. They are:
  • Browser: You can login from a web browser. Both RDP and HDX are supported. For HDX you will need to ensure that a Citrix receiver is available on the endpoint. Citrix receivers can be downloaded for free.
  • Zero-maintenance Java client: You can login from a Kaviza Java client. The client is designed to check for updates and refresh itself automatically thus avoiding the need to update them periodically. To run the java client you will need the Java Runtime Environment (JRE 1.5 or greater) on the endpoint. Both RDP and HDX are supported. If using HDX, you will need to ensure that a Citrix receiver is available on the endpoint. Citrix receivers can be downloaded for free from Citrix's website.
  • Native Citrix receiver: You can login from any endpoint that has a recent Citrix receiver. Only HDX is supported when using a native Citrix receiver. With this approach you can login from an iPad, iPhone, aPad, Android and many other mobile devices as well as thin clients. Note that you will need to have purchased the HDX accelerator for this feature.

What are the Differences in the Access Approach

The table below outlines the differences with the three approaches

Client type Access Kaviza Desktop Downgrade to RDP if no HDX Client-side load balancing Kiosk mode Integrated error messages
Kaviza Java client * * * * *
Kaviza browser client * * * *
Native Citrix receiver client *

Note that the Kaviza Java client is required for the kiosk option. The kiosk option is useful for libraries, nurses stations and anywhere you want to place a public terminal whose desktop is based on the terminal as opposed to the user who's logging in. The browser and java clients provide client-side load balancing. That is, if one Kaviza server is down, it can direct it's request to another. Note this does NOT refer to the back-end load balancing being done by the Kaviza servers. When using a Citrix native receiver as the client, the client-side load balancing is lost. However, you can re-create it with a round-robin DNS between the client and the Kaviza servers.

Endpoint Devices Supported by Kaviza

Access via Desktops, thin-clients, Portable Tablets and Phones

Kaviza supports a wide array of endpoints (or access devices)

Kaviza supports PCs, MACs and many Linux computers. Both RDP and HDX are supported. For HDX you will need to ensure that a Citrix receiver is available on the endpoint. Citrix receivers can be downloaded for free. Note that you can "lockdown" these desktops by running software (e.g. ThinLaunch) that only exposes the Kaviza Java Client, browser or the native Citrix receiver.

  • 32-bit or 64-bit Windows XP SP2/SP3, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 desktops and laptops
  • 32-bit RedHat 5.x, CentOS 5.x, Ubuntu 5.x Linux desktops and laptops
  • MacOS 10.5 (Leopard) and MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

Choosing the right endpoint

Choosing the right endpoint will depend on your use case, your goals and your budget. Below are our thoughts on what to endpoint to select.

  • Old desktops. This is a great way to keep the prices down while getting great performance. Most old desktops are more powerful than many high-end thin clients and you can use a old desktop with 256MB of RAM to run a virtual Windows 7 desktop. However, old desktops consume much more power and you have the overhead of managing these endpoints. You can use software such as those from Thinlaunch to lock them down and reduce management overheads. If the desktop is a Windows-based desktop it will perform better with HDX and RDP. Many of our customers start with old desktops and replace them with thin clients over time.
  • Thin clients. These generally reduce power consumption significantly and many provide a "zero-maintenance" option whereby their firmware can be automatically upgraded from the Kaviza server. Wyse ThinOS7 thin clients are one such example. 10Zig provides Kaviza specific thin clients that have the Kaviza Java Client built-in and they support the Kaviza kiosk mode out-of-the-box. Note however, that there are both low-end and high-end thin clients. The low end thin clients do not handle media streaming and Flash as well as the higher end thin clients. Also, the embedded OS makes a difference. Both RDP and HDX perform better on Windows-based thin clients. Use the lower end thin clients for task workers and the higher end thin clients for those in marketing or those who will be watching training videos.
  • Mobile devices. These are ideal for those who need a very portable desktop that can be accessed from anywhere.

Setting up Specific Endpoints

Detailed instructions on how to setup PCs, Linux desktops and Macs, Wyse and 10Zig thin clients and some of the various mobile devices can be found in
Kaviza VDI-in-a-box Accessing Kaviza Desktops from Endpoints.

Setting up iPAD with Kaviza

For detailed instructions on how to setup iPad with Kaviza, please refer to
Kaviza iPAD Configuration Guide.pdf.

Tip! Did you know?

Kaviza VDI-in-a-box 4.0 has these cool new features:

  • Guided wizards for even easier setup
  • Enhanced diagnostics
  • Monitoring from 3rd party systems
  • Support for Android-based devices

Tip! The Kaviza Grid Explained

You manage the Kaviza grid as one entity even though it has no single control point. This design eliminates bottlenecks of conventional VDI while centralizing management: