It’s a topic that seems to be on the lips of every C-level executive these days: How do I move my business to the Cloud?
Most of our customers are expressing some sort of Cloud-first strategy, but many are struggling with where or how to begin or how one goes about migrating their “classic” on-prem XenApp and XenDesktop infrastructure to a public cloud. Luckily, our Consulting team has been involved in almost every Citrix-based Cloud deployment to date. And we’ve learned a couple things along the way.
Here are just a few of the “lessons learned” from our first large Cloud projects.
Cloud Strategy. Customers are extending workloads to the cloud with XenDesktop host connections for AWS or Azure, forklifting existing infrastructure to a public cloud XenDesktop site or using our cloud service, Citrix Cloud, as part of their cloud transition. Each customer has a unique approach that evolves as they progress on their journey to the cloud. Whichever option (or options!) you take, a cloud strategy is not one-size-fits-all. If you are just getting started, define your requirements and select a model that aligns with your business goals. Then target user groups with periodic, predictable growth and simple application portfolios first, to get some cloud wins and build confidence.
Networking Considerations. Cloud providers have locations all over the world and they continue to add locations and capacity. As a result, organizations can easily locate XenApp and XenDesktop workloads close to on-premises application backends for best performance. It is never too early to start thinking about which Cloud resource locations are proximal to your on-premises datacenters and how you are going to connect them. Talk to your Cloud provider about the best way to interconnect your locations and the Cloud – think ExpressRoute for Azure and Direct Connect for AWS. Fortunately, we are seeing low latencies and solid performance using these connectivity options. But it’s never too early to start looking at the networking prerequisites or take an ExpressRoute for a test drive. We have found that a lot of customers underestimate the time it takes to securely connect their datacenter to a cloud.
Workload “Sweet Spots”. This is something I’ve written about in the past, but we still get questions on a weekly basis from customers asking if it’s better to scale out or up for XenApp & XenDesktop workloads. Or which VM spec or specific Azure instance type is best for a customer’s specific workload. The short answer is that it’s best to actually scale out in the cloud world since it comes down to maximizing density at the lowest cost per user per hour.
Those are just a few of the lessons learned from our first field engagements at a high level. Want to know more technical lessons learned or want some more details on these? If you are tired of learning lessons the hard way and want to find out more about what your peers are doing to successfully transition to a Cloud-first strategy with Citrix technologies, then join me, Ryan McClure, John Bromfield, Kevin Nardone, and Rich Meesters for a free webinar on Wednesday, April 26 at 9:00 AM ET/ 3:00 PM CET. We’ll also be doing live Q&A, so you can ask us anything you want – after all, who doesn’t love a little free Consulting? 😉
Please feel free to drop us a note in the comments section if there are additional topics you would like to see covered. We look forward to seeing you there!
Nicholas Rintalan, Principal Architect & Sr. Director of Enterprise Architecture, CCS