Citrix ADC helps IT to modernise and keep businesses resilient

Scalable, secure application delivery eases hybrid multicloud strains

Paid feature Scalable and secure application delivery pivotal with rise in digitalisation, remote working, microservices

In recent years, COVID-19-driven disruptions have affected the way companies in all industry sectors do business and sped up the pace of digital transformation. This has led to revamped operations and processes as businesses adapt, strive to mitigate risks, and build resilience for the long haul.

Most IT organisations today have adopted a multi-cloud deployment model. But due to governance, risk and compliance concerns, many have done so while retaining on-premises IT systems for specific workloads.

However, there are two significant challenges: management complexity arising from hybrid multi-cloud sprawl and higher cybersecurity risks due to an expanded attack surface.

Unified digital workspace technology company Citrix aims to smooth the hybrid multi-cloud journey.

"The Citrix Hybrid Multi-Cloud strategy empowers IT managers to create a fast, responsive and secure digital workspace so users can access the applications and data that they need to be productive," says Koh Ching Lan, Head of EUC – End User Computing at NetOne Asia, a Citrix partner and ICT solutions provider.

"The hybrid multi-cloud model also gives enterprises the speed and scalability to reduce OpEx, and to some extent CapEx, while maintaining a strong IT security posture."

Centralized management

To achieve these goals, Citrix has redefined its application delivery controller (ADC) as an infrastructure platform that scales and secures applications on demand. Citrix application delivery and security solutions centered around the ADC are geared to ensure an optimal user experience.

The application delivery solutions allow IT teams to optimize application performance regardless of application type or underlying infrastructure. From a unified console, they can deploy and manage applications, form factors and data requirements in multiple data centers and clouds.

Centralized management is supported by orchestration and monitoring capabilities for troubleshooting as well as single-pane-of-glass visibility across the hybrid multi-cloud.

The power and simplicity of a unified management platform helps IT administrators to lower costs while cutting time to problem resolution. Cost reduction will not be at the expense of user experience. Citrix ADC instances are managed and monitored across geographic locations centrally so IT managers can better scale applications while deriving lower pay-as-you-use infrastructure cost.

Simple, speedy migration

Centralized management is augmented with tools and services to simplify and secure migrations to the cloud. From an on-premises environment, IT managers can test services using the Citrix ADC's global load balancing (GLB) solution before migrating them completely to the cloud.

By managing the control plane, solutions like Citrix Analytics, autoscale, and the Citrix Application Delivery Management (ADM) service help organisations to reduce the complexity of cloud migrations. 

The Citrix ADM service makes it quick and easy to migrate delivery of workloads from on-premises to the cloud or between clouds. Using Citrix ADM stylebooks, applications can be moved among Citrix ADCs in the hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure.

Other cloud offerings get virtual apps and desktops running in Azure; support Google shared virtual private clouds; automate migration from VMware Horizon to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, and more.

Virtual apps and desktops can be securely deployed on premises, in public clouds or via easy-to-scale Desktop as a Service (DaaS) to maintain business continuity, support remote work and increase agility. 

Freedom of choice

Then, there is the flexibility to scale into the right cloud service provider and at one's own pace. Citrix's partnership and tight integration with three global public cloud giants – Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services (AWS) – makes it easy for organisations to create robust multi-cloud architectures.

Right-sizing infrastructure based on business demands is particularly important in public clouds where under-provisioning may lead to lost customers or reduced employee productivity. Citrix ADCs integrate with the cloud providers' load balancers and cluster capacity so that both will scale and steer traffic to the closest suitable cloud when a spike hits.

Pooled licensing

Fleshing out the benefits of centralised management and scalability is the Citrix ADC Pooled Licensing. It enables enterprises to transition to hybrid multi-clouds in a dynamic and efficient way while utilizing the capabilities and visibility that the ADC provides.

"It's a shared licensing framework designed to give you the flexibility to move capacity to any location where it is needed most," says Leon Lee, Partner Account Manager at Citrix. "This helps to reduce operational cost and total investment in ADC appliances. For example, you can set a policy to provision and de-provision bandwidth based on time of day. This eliminates the need to purchase maximum-capacity ADCs for every branch location."

The Citrix ADM enables IT admins to manage Citrix ADC pooled capacity licences across the entire hybrid multi-cloud environment. The ADCs in the data center share the same capacity pool as the ADCs in the cloud.

Modernise with microservices

Meanwhile, growing momentum in IT modernisation has motivated high-performing organisations to use a mix of proprietary, open source and commercial software. But while cloud-native projects typically see faster deployments and improved scalability, microservice-enabled application architectures are more complex.

The Citrix ADC and ADM solutions – combined with CI/CD workflows that introduce automation into app development – pave the way for improvements. They allow organisations to easily design and implement modern applications across public clouds and on-premises.

The Citrix ADC uses a single code base to ensure operational and feature consistency for monolithic and microservices-based applications across the hybrid multi-cloud. This creates the flexibility that IT organisations need to go cloud-native with the most suitable microservices application delivery architecture. Additionally, the Citrix ADM service graph provides holistic observability across microservices for quick and easy troubleshooting so IT administrators can better deliver the application experience that users demand.

Protect and serve

Yet, scalability and performance will not arouse much confidence if one's security posture is weak. With greater adoption of multi-cloud and modern application architectures, the risk of a ruinous cybersecurity incident – especially with an increased number of entry points and an expanded attack surface – will keep many an IT administrator up at night.

Aiming to allay such fears, the Citrix App Delivery and Security Service automates and secures application connectivity by integrating the Citrix Web App Firewall (WAF), volumetric distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection and bot management. The service offers organisations options to leverage any Citrix ADC form factor for deployments on premises, in public clouds, or at edge locations.

IT managers can apply consistent security policies across applications and gain actionable insights for fast troubleshooting. Notably, improved monitoring as well as real-time risk detection and prevention boost performance and user experience under diverse network conditions.

Such capabilities reflect Citrix's commitment to adhere to government standards for encryption and accessibility in its solutions and to empower customers with a secure and compliant IT environment. To this end, Citrix and its technology partners jointly ensure that their cloud solutions meet the necessary compliance mandates.

Such efforts also mitigate insider threats. The subscription-based Citrix Analytics for Security service, for instance, proactively detects and prevents such threats by first using machine learning algorithms to create a baseline of normal user behavior. When abnormal user behavior is detected, automated policies log the user out of accounts, expire links to shared documents, and flag the suspicious behavior.

"For internal threats, we have features that prevent data leakage and unauthorized downloads, including DAAS watermarking that helps to trace any incident back to its source," Lee adds.

Be prepared

Citrix is focused on driving employee productivity and business continuity with application delivery and security in hybrid multi-clouds as well as it has done with virtual desktops in hybrid workspaces.

For example, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops have helped healthcare institutions meet audit requirements by keeping Protected Health Information (PHI), clinical trial data and patient financial information secure. They have helped financial institutions reduce the risk of data loss from threats while enforcing regulatory compliance. They have guided manufacturers with key security and compliance priorities to protect intellectual property, ensuring the right level of secure access for every individual and situation.

Citrix's hybrid multi-cloud strategy is about solving IT and business challenges and delivering a secure and conducive experience across every work channel and location. IT managers can boost employee productivity; secure distributed workspaces; and accelerate modernization.

In an ever-evolving digitally transformed business landscape, the agility to scale performance across a secure hybrid multi-cloud environment will stand enterprises in good stead for the next big disruptive shift.

Sponsored by NetOne Asia.

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