Not long ago, Australian country artist Keith Urban released Blue Ain’t Your Color. “Blue looks good on the sky. Looks good on that neon buzzin’ on the wall. But darling, it don’t match your eyes,” he croons. Then he tells the object of his ballad, “Baby, blue ain’t your color.”

I love Keith. I really do. There’s nothing better an Aussie singing soulful country music. But today, I’m going to have to disagree.

If you’re an IT leader in a US government entity and you run Citrix Cloud, “Baby, blue really IS your color.”

Specifically, I mean “azure.” That’s the color that people in my home state call “Carolina Blue.” It’s the lovely hue the southern sky takes on during the most beautiful of crisp fall days and it’s the perfect backdrop for a big puffy cloud.

Did I say cloud? Yes, I did. And where is this melange of blue and billowy cloud references headed? To Microsoft Azure Government, the complete cloud computing platform from Microsoft that is designed for government entities.

Microsoft has worked tirelessly to develop sovereign cloud solutions that apply to a broad enterprise customer base. Citrix has been in lockstep, fine-tuning its Workspace services. Fears about security and regulatory compliance, however, have been the stumbling blocks that have prevented many governmental entities from embracing cloud technology.

Are you an IT leader in a governmental entity? Then maybe blue will become your new favorite color.

This week at Citrix Synergy 2018, we announced that later in the year, the management plane for Citrix Cloud XenApp and XenDesktop service soon will be available from Microsoft Azure Government cloud. The provisioning of virtual app and desktop workloads (resource locations) also will be automated on Microsoft Azure Government. What does all of this mean to you? Citrix Cloud XenApp and XenDesktop service will be available on a government-grade public cloud; therefore, assuring your data is highly secured. This is yet another example of how the partnership between Citrix and Microsoft has delivered essential value to customers with specific and stringent requirements.

With Citrix XenApp service and XenDesktop service running in Microsoft Azure Government cloud, you’ll be able to enjoy world-class security, protection and compliance, and scale your environment as needed. What’s more, leveraging your legacy environment won’t be a problem. If modernizing is what’s on your mind, you’ll be able to do that too, as you build an agile hybrid environment. You’ll also have the ability to add capacity to your workloads when and where it’s needed. While you’re at it, you’ll be realizing cost savings and economies of scale across your various departments.

You’re already well aware that consistently complying with government mandates about the use of personal data has been an ongoing challenge. There are regional and national requirements and also industry-specific mandates. Microsoft Azure Government — operated by screened U.S. individuals — supports a number of hybrid scenarios, so you have choices in strategy. You can design and implement solutions on-premises or in the cloud. With Microsoft Azure Government, you get the deepest and broadest suite of compliance offerings delivered by any cloud service provider. You get what you need to be on the way to compliance — including certifications and attestations. Azure Gov is FedRAMP L4 IaaS and DoD Impact Level 5 certified, something that is very important to customers in government entities. Delivering software services on Microsoft Azure Government is the first step toward achieving FedRAMP and DoD compliance certifications. Microsoft Azure Government also can help with CJIS state-level agreements, with the ability to issue HIPAA Business Associate Agreements, and with support for the IRS.

Microsoft Azure Government includes three core components: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), as well as a number of other services. Just like Microsoft Azure, it supports Geo-synchronous data replication and auto scaling.

All of this is great news if you’re in the U.S., right? But what if you’re located in Europe? Don’t worry, there’s good news for you too: Earlier in the year Citrix added support for creating Resource Locations in Microsoft Azure Government and Azure Germany clouds. This meets the needs of customers that must run their workloads in clouds that must fulfill regional laws and regulations in order to stay compliant.

Is there more that will color your perspective? You bet. Obviously, from a security standpoint, this announcement is crucially important to IT customers in government entities. It’s also important to remember, however, that SaaS solutions, such as Citrix Cloud and Microsoft Azure Government can enable users to be more efficient and budgets to stretch further. Studies have shown that this kind of subscription model nets substantial savings per user per year. Pricing and availability are yet to be disclosed.

And so, we’ve come full circle back to Keith Urban. I’ll riff a little and give you my own spin on his refrain: “It’s really very black and white. There’s no need to fight it. Azure really IS your color.”

To write this blog post, I interviewed Jan Andersen, Citrix principal global alliance marketing manager for Microsoft. Paul Carley, Citrix senior product marketing manager and Mikael Lindholm, principal product marketing manager, XenApp, also were instrumental in providing subject matter expertise for this article. Many thanks to these experts!

For further details on this announcement, please reach out to your Citrix Sales Representative for details.

Follow on Twitter: 

@Citrix@XenApp, and @XenDesktop 

Microsoft @Azure 

Kathy Holoman @techiewahoo, Jan Andersen @andersenjan1, and Paul Carley @paulcarley15 

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