Today, Citrix announced some major enhancements to the NetScaler SD-WAN offering, and if you have not seen the release, you can find it here. Before jumping into the new features in of the release, let’s discuss what the enhanced solution now provides.

Simply put, the NetScaler SD-WAN solution now allows enterprises to rethink application delivery to the branch by simplifying their branch network infrastructure, strengthening security and do so in a more cost-effective way.

With an “application delivery” focus, the NetScaler SD-WAN solution already provided “always-on” application reliability for XenApp/XenDesktop, Cloud or SaaS applications, along with unique support for real-time applications such as Skype for Business.

With these latest enhancements to the NetScaler SD-WAN solution, only Citrix delivers a comprehensive software defined branch edge appliance that is easy to use, easy to deploy and easy to afford in a single appliance with integrated visibility and control. NetScaler SD-WAN offers an all-in-one solution incorporating application-aware virtualized WAN connectivity, dynamic routing, virtual network services, WAN optimization, end-to-end visibility, support for the newest Citrix HDX protocols and secure internet breakout.

Consistent with its approach of easing the migration to new technologies, the NetScaler SD-WAN solution supports multiple deployment modes allowing customers to overlay the SD-WAN technology on their existing network, consolidate their network services into a multi-service SD-WAN edge appliance, or selectively deploy SD-WAN in the mode best suited to each location. This flexibility allows enterprises to roll out SD-WAN across their WAN at a pace that meets their business needs. Regardless of deployment mode, all of these services are managed from a single management platform, with integrated service configuration and monitoring, removing IT operational complexity that drives human costs and operational risks in the multi-pane vendor deployments of today.

To simplify and reduce cost of deployments, Citrix is introducing a new appliance, Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN 410, that provides a new level of affordability for enterprise branches, and announcing the Tech Preview of its new cloud-based, secure Zero Touch Deployment services.

This highly secure service eliminates the need for local technical staff while ensuring that only the appliances purchased or assigned to a customer are deployed, only at the designated branch, using the right configuration. This prevents the addition of rogue branch devices on the network—a risk present in many existing solutions in the market.

For those who want know more about the specific features and benefits, here are the technical details of the release:

  • Integrated Edge Mode. As companies look for opportunities to simplify their branch network and lower infrastructure and support costs, they’re seeking alternatives to the legacy branch router. These new features, added to the existing NetScaler SD-WAN WAN Optimization and virtual WAN functionality, makes NetScaler SD-WAN the most complete branch edge solution. With support for OSPF, iBGP and eBGP, as well as standard functions such as DHCP, the NetScaler SD-WAN appliance can sit on the edge of the branch network and dynamically route traffic across the best link to other locations as well as break out Internet traffic. The edge mode is in addition to the commonly deployed overlay mode, allowing customers to take a hybrid approach across their locations, using existing routers where appropriate and migrating to NetScaler SD-WAN without disrupting operations.
  • Secure Virtual Networks. With the introduction of routing domains, enterprises can build multiple virtual networks that separate traffic, carry overlapping IP address ranges, apply distinct security and QoS policies for a subset of data such as guest Wi-Fi, point-of-sale information and patient records, enhancing the overall application security. As a network-wide capability, Virtual Networks simplify Line-of-Business segmentation and take legacy virtual router concepts to a network level.
  • Attractive Branch Service Economics. This release includes a new, highly affordable branch appliance—the NetScaler SD-WAN-410—that is specifically engineered for highly distributed business with many branch locations. With low annual costs, Citrix allows companies to start with an SD-WAN solution at low entry point and scale to higher bandwidth without needing to swap in new hardware.
  • Zero Touch Deployment. To facilitate the rapid rollout of NetScaler SD-WAN, Citrix is introducing its zero touch deployment service which uses two-factor certification to securely activate branches without technical intervention or the need to log into the appliance. This service from Citrix will authenticate the new appliance and alert the enterprise’s SD-WAN Center to remotely configure the device, allowing a branch to be up and running within minutes. The service is intended to support channel partners to roll-out deployment services to enable global deployments with simplicity.
  • Secure Web Gateway (SWG) Connectivity. Citrix is able to offer secure internet breakout through simplified connectivity to cloud-based SWGs, provided by companies such as ZScaler. Internet traffic leaving the branch can be directed via a secure tunnel to the SWG, which provides firewall, URL filter and usage accounting. This simplifies and centralizes the administration of firewalls and simplifies the infrastructure at the branch.

The NetScaler SD-WAN R9.1 release is now generally available, with the new NetScaler 410 appliance being available in early November. The Zero Touch Deployment service will be available as a Tech Preview in November. For more information about the Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN solution, please visit the SD-WAN product page on or contact a Citrix certified reseller.