Last week at Synergy San Francisco, Kurt Moody and I presented a session on “Hosting apps and desktops in the cloud: Considerations for leveraging service providers”. In case you missed it, we are able to bring Synergy to you with Citrix-TV. Check out the video recording (below) of our Synergy session that goes over the technical considerations as well how Citrix technologies can help address these.

In this session, we covered a number of technical aspects on getting services from the cloud, categorized into four broad areas:

1. Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS)
When you are getting a desktop from the cloud, the things you need to consider are:

  • What kind of an experience will your users get?
  • How safe or isolated will your users be in a service provider’s multi-tenant environment?
  • As a tenant-admin, how do you get some visibility into the service-provider’s environment so that you can monitor your users, provide helpdesk yourself, and ensure that the service-provider is complying with the SLAs?

2. Self-Service
Along with DaaS, you may want to get a variety of services from the cloud (e.g., email, SharePoint, CRM apps, web-servers, … ). As a tenant-admin, how do you still maintain some level of control over these services, so that:

  • When a new user joins your organization, you can create an account for that user and grant access to the needed services.
  • You can change certain service configuration yourself (e.g., change the Exchange mailbox size)
  • And most importantly, you can delegate these self-service capabilities to other admins in your organization.

3. Hybrid Clouds
As IT admins, you know that you are not going to move all of your applications and IT infrastructure into the cloud overnight. Most likely, you’ll start off by consuming some services from the cloud and then gradually move your complex applications into the cloud. So, when you have a hybrid environment (consisting of your datacenter and a cloud), how do you:

  • Integrate your on-premise apps with a desktop delivered from the cloud (or vice-versa)?
  • Enable apps that are in the cloud to access data that needs to be in your datacenter for security/compliance reasons?
  • Ensure security and performance over WAN links
  • Continue providing a consistent experience to the user, so that the user does not realize where the apps /desktops are coming from?

4. Identity Management
On a day-to-day basis, we access many different types of apps, Windows, Web, SaaS, apps. Some of these apps use Windows authentication, some use their own native authentication and some support newer types like SAML & OpenID.

  • As an admin, how do you efficiently manage all of these identities for a user?
  • How do you accurately track which apps a user has access to, so that say when the user leaves the company you can disable access to all apps?
  • How do you enable SSO so that a user needs just one identity to get access to all apps?

To help address these considerations, at Citrix we are building a number of cloud technologies and enhancing our existing products to be more cloud-friendly, so that a Citrix Service Provider can deliver a solution that meets an organization’s IT requirements.

Check out the video to see how Citrix XenApp, EdgeSight, Cortex Cloud Control Panel, NetScaler Cloud Bridge & Cloud Gateway can help address these technical considerations!