We all understand the concept of optimization across a private network. It’s easy to visualize what you can do when you control both sides of the connection,using products like Citrix Netscaler and Citrix Cloud Bridge. We are able to extend the L2 domain across a wide area infrastructure and provide fully transparent, optimized connectivity at the application level. The big question is, how can we leverage this technology when your end users are not on a network that you control and how do you extend that reach across the globe without spending huge amounts of money deploying infrastructure across the world?

Enter NetScaler CloudConnector for CDN….a solution that is specifically designed to take a publicly available CDN and make it available for not only “public facing” Internet apps, but for “private” applications as well. CDNs, as we all know, are designed to push content as close as possible to the end user, regardless of where they may be globally. They make use of technologies like caching and other optimizations while using things like BGP anycast for DNS resolution to ensure the first mile, from the end user’s perspective, is kept as short as possible. However, CDNs are generally based upon caching content. What about non-cacheable content? And what about private “intranet” apps?

NetScaler CloudConnector for CDN provides a “hybrid” networking solution that uses Netscaler technologies and a CDN network. With NetScaler CloudConnector for CDN even the non-cacheable content is accelerated and delivered to the end user from the closest possible access point, on both ends.

The deployment architecture for the solution leverages simple configurations either on an existing Netscaler at the data center or on a dedicated Netscaler to be used for Cloud Connector. This enables optimized connectivity to the various CDN POPs which are also Citrix Netscaler enabled allowing for the following:

  • Caching
  • Data Compression
  • Data Deduplication
  • TCP Optimizations
  • Fully secure and encrypted connectivity between the CDN POP and the Origin Data Center
  • Full Fault Tolerance providing multiple access points for the accelerated content

The end user is seamlessly directed to the closest CDN POP where the Citrix Cloud Connector will accelerate and optimize any content that has to be fetched from the origin site. So, in one fell swoop, you are reaping the benefits of caching at the edge, optimization of any/all dynamic non-cacheable content and extending the reach of your network and applications to the edges of the world with one converged solution. As mentioned above, this solution also adds a significant amount of fault tolerance allowing for many access points, all geographically dispersed, with multiple fault tolerant routes to the actual source content. Access to the source content can also be locked down and fully secured thru IPSec connectivity provided by the Citrix enabled CDN.

This solution has obvious benefits in the enterprise by delivering accelerated content to the edges without the added cost and complexity of deploying additional infrastructure across the world. The very same architecture can also be leveraged in accelerating employee access to SaaS applications, that may reside outside the enterprise.