I’m currently working on a new Web site project that aims to shed some light on Application Delivery Infrastructure (ADI) and provides best practices for using ADI technologies to deliver applications and desktops. In short, the site will have sections on:

  • Introduction to ADI:  Content explaining the technologies, products, and approaches used to deliver applications to users.
  • ADI Best Practices:  Content generated by Citrix and the ADI community about the best way to deliver applications for specific scenarios and use cases.
  • Citrix Product Architecture:  Content describing how the products that make up the CitrixDeliveryCenter work from an architectural perspective.

First of all, let me explain that ADI is the category of technologies that most of you reading this blog will already be familiar with. They include Server Virtualization, Application Virtualization, WAN Optimization, End User Experience Monitoring, Application Acceleration, and Application Traffic Control. These technologies have one thing in common:  they can be used to deliver applications, both Windows and Web, and desktops to users in a multitude of access scenarios. The Web site I am working on will contain content that explains these different technologies that make up an ADI, as well as descriptions of Citrix product architectures that are part of the ADI.

Over the years, these technologies and their applications (I’m talking about how they are applied, not software apps J) have developed largely in isolation from each other. Vendors of these technologies, and their communities, have been applying them individually as solutions to virtually every type of use case scenario. In most cases, they have been very successful in addressing the scenarios encountered; however, they don’t meet all of the requirements for all of the scenarios. Some scenarios in which all of the requirements are not met would be considered “edge cases,” but others are pretty common.

Once organizations realize that the technologies can be combined into one infrastructure category, they can then apply the technologies in combinations that can address the requirements of every scenario. The challenge then becomes what technologies to use for what scenarios. I have read some good commentary on this subject (an article from Brian Madden, for example) that has roused some passionate discussions. Another function of this new site will be to provide a place for the community to discuss what technologies can or should be applied in what circumstances. To help this discussion along, the site will contain a number of best practices for using ADI as solutions to deliver applications in specific scenarios—scenarios that include the type of application, location of users, business need (such as business continuity), and other factors. The community will be welcome to add their own best practices based on their experiences.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress with this effort. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for additional features and information that you would like to see on this site, please let me know by posting your comments on this blog entry.