CloudBridge is known as the industry-leading product for improving remote-user experience for XenApp and XenDesktop. But that is not all it does. CloudBridge is also the perfect WAN-optimization solution for any enterprise with Microsoft-dominated IT environment.  With CloudBridge, you get boosted data throughput and faster response times for business-critical applications like Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft SharePoint and Windows file sharing. Also the multifunction CloudBridge product line caters to diverse enterprise requirements, ranging from consolidation of Windows branch services in a CloudBridge device for a small branch to secure connectivity to applications hosted in Azure cloud.

CloudBridge Plug-in for Windows 8

CloudBridge plug-in on Windows 8, released with CloudBridge firmware release 7.0 is the latest additions to the series of industry-wide firsts that CloudBridge has achieved for optimization of Microsoft applications and environment.

The era of mobility has ushered in a new set of challenges in workplaces.  A number of organizations today sanction telecommuting and employees experience slow responses as they try to access the office IT environment over the Internet. Sluggish access to office applications and vital data while on the go is the new travelling-salesman problem.

CloudBridge Plug-in is a WAN-optimization PC client application meant for roaming employees and  teleworkers. By optimizing access to applications and data hosted on datacenter and branches CloudBridge Plug-in delivers the Citrix promise of “Work Anywhere”.

CloudBridge is also available with Citrix receiver as a bundled package and is supported on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and now Windows 8 as well.

CloudBridge virtual appliance on Microsoft Hyper-V

Citrix CloudBridge VPX for Microsoft Hyper-V is an easy-to-install, scalable and cost-effective virtual appliance, recommended for small to medium branch offices.

Back in 2008, when Microsoft launched its hypervisor ‘Microsoft Hyper-V 2008’, Citrix was the first company to do a tech-preview of a virtual appliance for WAN-optimization which could be hosted on Hyper-V. (See our blog: Branch Repeater VPX Going Hyper-V – Unveiling Tech Preview at Microsoft TechEd 2010). With the release of firmware 7.0, CloudBridge virtual appliances can also be hosted on the updated version Microsoft Hyper-V 2012.

Protocol-intelligent optimization of Microsoft Outlook and Windows file share

Microsoft Outlook and Windows file share over network are based on protocols (MAPI and CIFS/SMB respectively) that inherently “chatty”. That is, these protocols require multiple round-trip messages to be exchanged between client and the server before any useful data is transferred. This slows down the responses for remote users accessing these applications and data over high latency connections. CloudBridge uses protocol-intelligent optimization to eliminate this “chattiness” and complete data transfers using minimal round-trips – thus accelerating effective transfer speed and improving user experience.

For details on advanced optimization of Outlook and file-sharing traffic using CloudBridge refer to our blog: Secure file-share and email synchronization made faster with Repeater 6.1.

Secure connectivity to Windows Azure

The Connector feature of CloudBridge provides secure connectivity between your enterprise datacenters and Azure cloud, making Azure a seamless extension of the enterprise network. The connection is established by creating a tunnel between the CloudBridge appliance (physical or virtual) and a gateway that resides in Azure cloud. Thus CloudBridge Connector enables multiple enterprise use-cases including hosted applications and staging environment for development and QA on Azure cloud.

To find out more about CloudBridge and its features please visit: http://www.citrix.com/products/cloudbridge/overview.html

Note: CloudBridge is the new brand name for Citrix WAN-optimization product line that was formerly known as Branch Repeater. Some of the links in this blog may still be using the old name.