To many organizations, the biggest challenges to adopting a cloud-based platform or a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) in the public cloud are cost, regulation, performance, and security. Back in 2018, independent research organization VDI Like a PRO conducted an unbiased ‘End User Computing – State of the Union’ survey, where more than 750 people participated, and when asked “Will you use, introduce, or change to public cloud VDI/SBC (Remote Apps/DaaS)?,” 17.6% of respondents were “not sure yet.”
“Will you use, introduce or change to public cloud VDI/SBC (Remote Apps/DaaS)?”
Many organizations face this scenario, and many are Citrix customers. A recent poll taken by the Citrix User Group Community (CUGC) showed 36% of participants are considering Citrix Cloud, and 14% are validating it.
The decision to move to the cloud or stay on-premises can be a weighty one. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right knowledge it will be easier to decide.
Helping you decide:
As mentioned in a previous blog, Citrix Cloud is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) with a growing number of services. This three-part series is designed to help you decide if the Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops service is right for your organization.
To start let’s take a look at the architecture, which is composed of a 6-layer model:
Here’s how all layers conceptually flow:
Traditionally, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly XenApp & XenDesktop) components were customer-managed and deployed mostly on-premises, with little to no presence in the cloud. But with the Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops service, a good portion of the components are now managed by Citrix.
The following diagram helps visualize which traditional Citrix Apps and Desktops components are now managed with Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops service:
Because Citrix Cloud is a control plane Cloud offering hosted on Azure, they take care of the Disaster Recovery (DR) and High Availability (HA) of that environment with a service level agreement (SLA) of 99.5% uptime. But your Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or on-premises environment is your responsibility. This is known as your Resource Location. Resource Locations can be on-premises, or in a public cloud provider of your choice. And you can have more than one.
Typically, resources include: Active Directory (AD), a supported hypervisor or cloud provider as the host connection, Virtual Desktop Agents (VDAs), and (optionally) local Citrix Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) – formerly known as NetScaler – and StoreFront servers.
The Cloud Connector
There’s also a new and required component to manage called the Cloud Connector. Cloud Connector channels and proxies the communication between Citrix Cloud and your resource locations.
Cloud Connector instances run on Windows Servers and are placed next to the VDAs or resource locations. Typically, there are two Cloud Connectors per resource location.
Although Cloud Connectors are customer-installed and the customer’s responsibility, they are self-managed by Citrix—which means Citrix automatically updates them with new Citrix Cloud releases, security fixes, etc., and reboots them as needed.
The following diagram illustrates the Cloud Connector functions. Note that all connections established use HTTPS (TCP port 443):
There are currently 3 Citrix Cloud regions available: United States (USA), Europe (EU), and Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ), all running on Azure.
A Closer Look at the Global Footprint
Starting in 2018 the global footprint was:
- 2 Citrix Cloud regions
- 4 XenMobile service regions
- 16 ShareFile Storage Zones (10 AWS, 6 Azure)
- 12 NetScaler Gateway points of presence (3 AWS, 9 Azure)
Towards the end of 2018 the global footprint was:
- 3 Citrix Cloud regions
- 8 XenMobile service regions
- 20 ShareFile Storage Zones (10 AWS, 10 Azure) – includes Australia, Japan, and Singapore
- 12 NetScaler Gateway points of presence (3 AWS, 9 Azure)
- 5 languages supported in Citrix Cloud Admin UI (English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese)
Please stay tuned for part 2 of this series where we will continue helping you decide if the Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops service is right for you.
If you’re looking to learn more about Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops service or Desktop as a Service, please reach out to us. We’d love to help you!
Architect, End User Computing at Anexinet
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