The last thing mobile users need to worry about when working while traveling is accessing their apps and data seamlessly. At Citrix, we truly embrace the “work-from-anywhere” mantra. Our IT department uses Citrix NetScaler GSLB to deliver these services via a single URL, giving employees an easier way to access their workspace regardless of where they are.

NetScaler GSLB provides high-availability for users in the event of an Internet circuit outage or other unplanned event that might prevent users from accessing their local data center.

NetScaler GSLB worked great the vast majority of the time. Unfortunately, if an employee traveled across the country, or somewhere else in the world, they could still connect to their home-base data center rather than the one closest to where they actually were. This is because the DNS requests are typically made to the respective LDNS server, rather than the actual client IP address. The IT team, unsatisfied with the situation, decided to leverage the integrated capabilities that Citrix products bring to the table.

So, how did Citrix IT management prevent their remote users from having a sub-optimal experience when connecting to their workspaces via Citrix Receiver?

The answer is twofold. Now, not only can you bring your users to the closest data center, you can also bring the Gateway closer to the VDI. GSLB Powered Zone Preference finds the nearest location to the user while Optimal Gateway Routing finds the nearest Gateway to the VDI.

First, Optimal Gateway Routing for StoreFront allows you to route the user authentication to any of your StoreFront servers, but will ensure that the HDX app or desktop launch connects through the local NetScaler so that the connection is secure, and the user experience optimized. The credential handling is secured between the client machine and the StoreFront servers via SSL. With the customization completed on the StoreFront servers, the ICA Ticket then routes the user connection through the optimal NetScaler, regardless of which NetScaler is used during authentication.

NetScaler Gateway Optimal Routing has reduced GSLB misdirects at Citrix by roughly 33%!

Read more about NetScaler Gateway Optimal Routing now.

Second, with NetScaler GSLB Powered Zone Preference, NetScaler Gateway examines the client IP address when an HTTP request arrives at the appliance and uses the real client IP address to create the data center preference list that is forwarded to StoreFront. StoreFront uses the information provided by the appliance to reorder the list of delivery controllers and connect to an optimal delivery controller in the same zone as the client.

StoreFront selects the optimal gateway VPN virtual server for the selected data center zone, adds this information to the ICA file with appropriate IP addresses, and sends it to the client. StoreFront then tries to launch applications hosted on the preferred data center’s delivery controllers before trying to contact equivalent controllers in other data centers.


Even better, these two features complement each other when used together. IT can use GSLB Powered Zone Preference to select the closest VDI to the user’s present location, which ensures the most optimal resource is selected for a user. The delivery controllers managing the zone where the VDI is located have Optimal Gateway settings to select the most optimal Gateway for the particular VDI. These two features coupled together allow for the best VDI and Gateway selections.

By adding NetScaler Gateway to the mix, you can ensure your users always launch their apps and desktops from the local Gateway, giving them the best user experience when working from anywhere, on any device.

Try NetScaler Unified Gateway free for 90 days now.

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