Citrix and Microsoft: Better Together in the Azure Cloud


Citrix spends a lot of time talking to their customers about not just current business issues but also where they want to go in the future with their computing strategies.  We find that many of our joint Citrix and Microsoft enterprise customers are currently assessing the needs of their users and applications, and asking themselves how they can leverage cloud technologies to make improvements.  We are pretty jazzed about the solutions Citrix has to offer our customers for Microsoft Azure Cloud!

While many of these customer applications will continue to run within their Enterprise datacenters, there are others whose dynamic compute requirements make them good candidates for the Azure cloud.  The challenge here is to take advantage of the compute elasticity and economics of cloud computing without sacrificing the security their information assets – databases, directories, repositories – gain from being located on-premise within the business’s own datacenters. To address these needs, Citrix believes a hybrid strategy must be implemented that addresses several challenges:

  • The bugaboos of IT:  Unsecure and complex connectivity issues like incompatible network policies, unaligned IP address ranges, unencrypted public networks, and other network management issues must be overcome to allow applications to span on-premise and Azure cloud environments.
  • Complexity of business applications – Enterprise applications commonly depend on shared services, including directories and databases, which reside in the on-premise datacenter. These applications must be made to work in the Azure cloud without migrating or duplicating the shared services.
  • Proliferating IT silos – While the on-premise datacenter and the Azure cloud represent distinct infrastructure environments, care must be taken not to create duplicate tools, processes or teams.

To address these challenges, enterprise organizations need to bridge their datacenters transparently to the cloud.  Citrix CloudBridge does exactly this by serving as the “back door” of the corporate datacenter, providing access to the infinite capacity of the Azure cloud. By aggregating the addressability and manageability of the on‐premise and Azure cloud networks into a Service Delivery Network (SDN) fabric, CloudBridge makes Azure cloud-hosted applications appear to administrators, tools and even the applications themselves as though they are running on the enterprise network.  And by doing so, resolves the problems identified above.

Applications are just one element of this infrastructure; organizations also need to make decisions about how corporate data is stored, accessed and shared. Citrix ShareFile is a follow-me data solution designed for the enterprises. It allows users to share, sync, and secure files on any device, anywhere and helps IT address concerns with the increase in use of unsecure file sharing services that put corporate data at risk.

The StorageZones feature of ShareFile allows IT to store data in Citrix-managed secure cloud options or on-premises or a mix of both. To provide more cloud based storage options to customers, we plan to deliver Citrix-managed StorageZones on Microsoft Azure in 1H 2013. This partnership will allow our customers to leverage the reliable and powerful capabilities of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Customers will be able to designate data across a global network of Microsoft Azure managed datacenters in addition to the seven locations Citrix currently offers.

ShareFile helps organizations kick-start their mobility journey by offering a solution that is good for both users and IT. Users can share large files from any device, with people both within and outside the organization. Integration with workflow tools, virtual desktops and existing network shares makes it possible for users to access all of their data. Just because its feature rich and offers true follow-me data capabilities doesn’t mean that ShareFile is difficult to provision and manage. The brilliant service is effortless for IT to manage while providing the security and control IT expects.

In 2013, the powerful combination of Azure and ShareFile will give more options to IT and allow them to place data close to the users to enhance performance.

Come check it out at the Citrix booth this week; demo station #3 – Mobilise your data with Citrix ShareFile – to learn why we are so excited about another great example of Microsoft and Citrix collaboration – this time between Citrix ShareFile and Azure. Be sure to check out newly available Windows 8 compatible tools, ShareFile Sync for Windows and ShareFile Outlook Plug-in.

Citrix strongly believes that networking between clouds is a cornerstone capability for cloud adoption and will continue to broaden our portfolio of cloud solutions on Azure.  ShareFile on Azure enables follow-me data solutions that allows users to share, sync, and secure files on any device, anywhere while  CloudBridge on Azure provides secure, optimized connectivity from enterprise data centers to the Azure Cloud.

Astha Malik, Senior Product Marketing Manager ShareFile
Rod Hoffman, Dir., Microsoft Strategic Alliance team
Ted Chamberlin, Sr. Dir., Product Marketing-CloudBridge + Branch, Cloud Networking