Using Citrix Virtual Application software or Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS), you're able to take Windows or Linux software that typically is installed on your PC or laptop, and instead install it on a Citrix enabled server.
This Virtual Application feature converts the software from single user to multi-user which allows several people to access the same software at the same time. You'll need licenses for each user, but you only install and manage the application once. This solution provides much better operational/administrative efficiency in maintaining your various software applications.
While virtual applications can be accessed individually via the Citrix Virtual Application platform, they can also be coupled with a virtual operating system such as Windows 10 and then accessed as a full desktop environment with multiple applications embedded into the virtual OS. This approach is commonly called VDI, which stands for virtual desktop infrastructure.
VDI provides some user experience (UX) advantages over virtual applications by themselves, but it also requires a bit more horsepower on the backend server farm. You'll have to weigh the pros and cons of each deployment method. As an example, you will have the flexibility to execute a blended deployment approach where some of your apps are delivered individually while others are embedded into a VDI OS image.
MK7 can help you – determine which deployment methods offer the greatest advantage in your environment.
Whether you're planning to deploy virtual applications, virtual desktops (VDI), or you're still deploying to traditional desktops (physical PCs/laptops), application layering allows you to "install" the application into a layering technology, and then deliver on-demand when your end users click the application icon to launch the app. Application layering offers you the most flexibility in deployment methods and offers the lowest administrative effort to maintain your software portfolio.
Application Delivery Controller (ADC)
An application delivery controller (ADC) performs several critical tasks within a virtual computing environment. The Citrix ADC has some unique capabilities over - other load balancers, especially if you're using the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops platform.
ADC's provide authentication services, SSL off-loading to improve application performance, TCP caching to improve application server response times, load balancing to allow several physical servers to appear as a single environment, application availability sensing to assure that application servers are operating correctly, and many more tasks.
MK7 can help you to determine which ADC is appropriate for your environment.
SDWAN stands for software-defined wide area network.
One of the Achilles heels of virtual computing is the need for connectivity to the server farm that hosts the virtual apps and virtual desktops. This connectivity needs to be sized appropriately for performance based on the maximum number of simultaneous users that will be accessing the environment, and it needs to be resilient so that you can withstand or recover from the proverbial back-hoe that accidentally cuts through your WAN circuits outside of the datacenter.
SDWAN technology allows multiple circuits to be virtualized to look like a single connection that can withstand multiple circuits going down at the same time. SDWAN provides for uninterrupted service to ensure your user's continued productivity as long as some circuits remain intact.
There are many SDWAN choices in the market. Layer 2 based SDWANs are ideal for widely dispersed Enterprises across the country and especially if you've got locations across oceans. Layer 2 can also offer you simplified connections to Cloud platforms and SaaS apps. Layer 2 SDWAN can be thought of as a managed service that can be deployed quickly and easily around the world, typically in under 2 weeks.
Layer 2 SDWAN solutions can coexist with legacy MPLS networks, which can be helpful in migrating away from MPLS to a more modern network topology as existing contracts expire.
Layer 3 based SDWANs can offer advantages for Enterprises that are more localized or regional in nature. Multiple broadband Internet circuits are typically deployed alongside existing WAN infrastructure such as an MPLS network. This coexistence is helpful if you're interested in migrating away from MPLS as your existing contracts expire. A layer 3 SDWAN solution can be thought of as a do-it-yourself solution.
If you are an existing or future Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops client, the Citrix SDWAN (layer 3 based) has unique features to support your environment with granular control over the multiple channels of the Citrix HDX protocol such as printing jobs, VoIP traffic, application specific traffic, and more.
MK7 can help you decide whether a Layer 2 or Layer 3 solution is most appropriate for your situation, and can help design, deploy, and manage either type for you.
Access Gateways are used to authenticate users into your computing environment. Citrix provides stand-alone access gateways, or integrated access gateway functionality within their ADC fleet.
Cloud Access Gateway
The Citrix Cloud Access Gateway is differentiated from other access solutions by the breadth of use cases that it covers.
Starting with providing secure access for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, whether running on-premises or the Citrix Cloud Services supporting Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS. Citrix Access Gateway also provides single sign-on and multi-factor authentication for SaaS, VDI, and corporate web apps.
Of course Citrix Access Gateway supports Citrix virtual apps and desktops, but it also supports Microsoft RDS virtual apps and desktops, as well as VMware Horizon PCoIP virtual desktops.
As more mobile apps are making their way into the corporate IT landscape, Citrix Cloud Access Control also provides micro-VPN capabilities for secure, per app, mobile computing.
There are many integrated components within a high-performance virtual computing environment, and if any of these components becomes out of tune, your helpdesk will begin to light up.
Citrix Analytics for Performance delivers real-time data and actionable insights into individual user experience scores so you can ensure a great employee experience with every application, every time.
If any component of the overall platform becomes sluggish, you will be able to quickly determine the root-cause and proactively remediate the issue so your environment can return to normal system performance.
Keeping your computing environment secured from malicious actors is a top priority with any I.T. department. Security requirements are heightened within virtual computing environments due to the inherent remote access capabilities.
Citrix Security Analytics is an AI-based service that monitors user behavior and establishes normal routines. The security tool then flags any abnormal behavior that may indicate an issue and can launch automated, pre-defined, closed-loop remediation responses including disconnecting the session if the severity level is high enough. Security Analytics from Citrix is an amazing service that performs like thousands of "threat-hunters" within your environment that are on-guard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.