You’ve chosen XenApp and XenDesktop as your virtual app and desktop solution. Congrats, on that important decision! Now that you’ve got your virtualization and mobility initiatives covered, the next thing that should come to mind is securely delivering those apps to all your users.
It’s time to choose an app delivery controller (ADC) designed specifically to complement and enhance your investments in XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile. NetScaler is so much more than just a gateway for ICA proxy.
We’ve got 10 reasons to choose NetScaler to enhance and secure your XenApp and XenDesktop deployments:
1. ICA proxy for secure access to Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop
NetScaler acts as the secure gateway for all ICA connections over SSL. Employees can use a Citrix Receiver client on any type of device—laptop, thin client, tablet or smartphone—to establish an SSL tunnel to NetScaler.
Single sign-on pass-through to StoreFront gives users fast, convenient access to all the business apps they need to be fully productive. NetScaler eliminates the need for additional software components or licenses to enable SSL communication.
2. End-to-end user and application launch-related data visibility
NetScaler enables complete visibility and analytics for XenApp and XenDesktop users, channels and apps with HDX Insight functionality, an integral component of the NetScaler Insight Center. HDX Insight allows you to quickly and easily obtain answers to countless operational and strategic questions leveraging the rich underlying data combined with extremely flexible data presentation capabilities for web and XenApp/XenDesktop applications. Real-time and historical reports support end-to-end monitoring for HDX traffic and instant triage of application and network issues.
Gateway Insight provides this visibility and captures end-to-end user experience on NetScaler Gateway. As a network administrator, you want to know when a user is not able to log on to NetScaler Gateway, and you want to know the user activity and the reasons for logon failure, but that information is typically not available unless the user sends a request for resolution.
3. Centrally managed, scenario-based access control
NetScaler leverages SmartAccess and SmartControl to provide centrally-managed, policy-based access control. With SmartControl, you get a centralized point of management to create sophisticated inbound and outbound access control policies for XenApp and XenDesktop across every NetScaler appliance in the environment. These policies are enforced in the DMZ as opposed to the Intranet, improving security at the edge. Before allowing access to resources, SmartControl performs endpoint analysis (EPA) of new devices to ensure that proper OS, patch levels anti-virus, security suites and DAT files are in place.
4. Per-application Micro-VPN support and encryption for mobile apps
NetScaler provides Micro-VPN support for Citrix Worx Apps and mobile apps wrapped and contributed by partners in Citrix’s Worx Gallery. Other EMM solutions only support “per app VPN”, which is an iOS-only feature that allows designated apps to access a single tunnel, and it requires MDM enrollment to be enabled (which is becoming less and less viable in BYOD scenarios). Micro-VPN requires NetScaler for protecting mobile application data and supports iOS, Android, and Windows Phone/Mobile while providing an individual tunnel — with potentially different endpoints — for each managed app.
5. Built-in monitors for StoreFront and XML brokers
NetScaler monitors for StoreFront and XML brokers are fully integrated—not deployed separately as an app on an external server—making it possible to monitor XenApp and XenDesktop apps themselves, not just the reachability of their servers.
6. Easy configuration for XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile
NetScaler simplifies setup for Citrix solutions with step-by-step wizards that help you configure all components the right way, quickly and easily.
7. Single-URL remote access
NetScaler speeds authenticated user access to XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile apps with Single URL, a unified platform to address all mobile and remote access requirements. This works for any other type of application as well! With integrated access via NetScaler Gateway, you can cut down on sprawl from function-specific devices and let employees get to work more quickly and conveniently. Behind this single URL, is a single point for configuration, security, and control of remote access to applications. To accomplish this, NetScaler’s Content Switching capacities and extensive authentication infrastructure provide access to organizational sites and apps through a single URL. Additionally, remote users can use iOS or Android mobile devices and Linux, PC or Mac systems with the NetScaler Gateway client plug-ins for uniform access to the URL.
8. Integrated global server load balancing
Global server load balancing (GSLB) helps organizations with multiple sites and geographically distributed services ensure availability for XenApp and XenDesktop while providing an additional layer of protection, fault tolerance, failover and optimization.
In a distributed XenApp/XenDesktop deployment, StoreFront might not select an optimal datacenter when multiple equivalent resources are available from multiple datacenters. GSLB Powered Zone Preference functionality examines the client IP address when an HTTP request arrives at the NetScaler Gateway appliance and uses the real client IP address to create the datacenter preference list that is forwarded to StoreFront. This allows the user to connect to the optimal delivery controller in the zone via Storefront.
9. Flexible multi-factor authentication
NetScaler’s multi-factor (nFactor) authentication gives you an easy, flexible way to authenticate users, based on different kinds of user access, credentials provided or application demands. nFactor allows you to edit an XML file that contains the page information for the NetScaler to ask users for whatever credentials you would like; in whichever order you would like.
10. Framehawk support for the best mobile user experience
Your employees work in remote and mobile scenarios. How are their experiences on mobile networks and in hotels? NetScaler supports Framehawk technology to improve delivery of XenApp and XenDesktop traffic in these low or challenging bandwidth situations. By grooming ICA transport over less than desirable network paths, NetScaler+Framehawk ensures the best experience for every user.
NetScaler is an ADC designed specifically to complement and enhance current and future investments in Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile ensuring the best experience for your users, the best security for your organization and the best results for your business.