Enterprise companies continue to look for ways to improve the application experience for users in geographically dispersed locations. They’re investing in technologies such as software-defined WAN to help them do this. A 2018 Network World article states, “As enterprises move to the cloud, SD-WAN is the network of choice.” This is clear from the number of vendors in the marketplace. However, with so many SD-WAN vendors to choose from, customers want a solution that addresses their unique application delivery requirements.

Citrix offers a multi-faceted approach to WAN networking that stands out from the crowd in multiple ways including reliable, cost-effective connectivity for Citrix Workspace and acceleration of SaaS adoption.

I would like to highlight some of the improvements we’re making in these areas in the Citrix SD-WAN 10.1 release.

First, if you’re considering the move to Citrix Workspace, and you have employees accessing virtual apps and data over a WAN connection, SD-WAN is critical for providing always-on network connectivity. Citrix SD-WAN is able to offer more granular control of HDX traffic by improving the automatic configuration of multi-stream ICA mode onx XenApp/XenDesktop. Now with Citrix SD-WAN 10.1 Standard Edition, you can now differentiate each stream even with a single-port configuration, making it more secure while simplifying QoS. This feature is also available in Premium (formerly Enterprise) and WANOP Editions.

With multi-stream ICA, Citrix SD-WAN classifies each of the four streams as separate “applications,” each with its own default class for prioritization. The class determines which packet is scheduled to leave first. SD-WAN’s traffic-routing algorithm chooses the optimal path at a given moment in time. Real-time and interactive traffic is sent over the best path, with bulk and background traffic forced to other links when there isn’t enough bandwidth on the best path. This feature supports both EDT (UDP-based HDX proprietary data transport technology with built-in flow control and congestion control) and TCP (alternative industry-standard reliable transport protocol recommended when using WANOP). For more on the benefits Citrix SD-WAN adds to the Citrix Workspace, read our recent blog post: Reliable, cost-effective Workspace connectivity, Part 2.

Citrix and Palo Alto Networks make it easier to embrace SaaS

Next, we are making it easier for customers to embrace SaaS by providing more choice when it comes to secure web gateway providers. The Citrix SD-WAN solution already provided the ability to break out Internet traffic from the branch. This is critical to delivering a more reliable, low-latency user experience, while avoiding the introduction of an expensive security stack at each branch. With 10.1, Citrix and Palo Alto Networks now offer distributed enterprises a more reliable and secure way to connect users in branches to applications in the cloud.

The Palo Alto Networks GlobalProtect cloud service (GPCS) delivers cloud-based security infrastructure for protecting remote networks and mobile users. It provides security by allowing organizations to set up regional, cloud-based firewalls that protect the SD-WAN fabric. GPCS provides the networking and security to enable business applications and Internet access. By partnering with Palo Alto Networks, GPCS in combination with Citrix SD-WAN offers enterprises a cloud-based secure web gateway for centralizing and simplifying policy management of next-gen security for branch and mobile users worldwide. GCPS provides next-gen firewall for Internet traffic from the branch to reduce the overhead of having to manage firewalls at the branches. Because Citrix SD-WAN provides the ability to route traffic from the branch to the Internet via GCPS, there is no longer the need to deploy firewalls at the branches. Stay tuned for more to come.

In addition, be sure to also read about our recent partnership announcement with Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN. Citrix is proud to partner with Microsoft to provide Citrix SD-WAN solution as the on-ramp to Azure. The joint solution is designed for the WAN edge of Azure to help enhance user experience, deliver consistent productivity and automate branch network deployments.

Citrix continues to drive consolidation in the datacenter by making SD-WAN SDX-ready with this firmware release. This will allow mid-sized datacenters to consolidate even further. The platform will allow for up to a 1 Gbps SD-WAN VPX on NetScaler 11500 and 14000-series appliances. With this addition coming this summer, SDX can consolidate gateway, SWG, ADC and SD-WAN functionalities in a single platform. Citrix SD-WAN VPX will run on SDX with the upcoming maintenance release of Citrix ADC/Gateway 12.1.

At the same time, we are committed to providing more options on retail, micro-branch and small/mid-sized platforms. Throughput improvements on low-end branch platforms include a new capacity options for the 210 and 410 appliances. This allows higher WAN capacity to these existing hardware platforms —up to 100 and 300 Mbps — respectively. This provides great opportunity for scale for micro, small and medium-sized branch needs.

Finally, we have created a new layout and new structure for the SD-WAN Center dashboards. Now, you can create your own custom dashboards. This gives you more choice, flexibility and a great overall user experience.

An enhanced mean opinion score (MOS) dashboard extends what SD-WAN already provides for VoIP to other top applications in a centralized view so you can review and improve the user experience. It gathers statistics for the application at WAN to LAN side of virtual path and calculates a score using packets received, packets lost and latency.

With Citrix SD-WAN 10.1, APIs have been expanded to automate a number of different operations, config operations, alerting operations, or event generations. We’ve enhanced the REST API in the SD-WAN appliance to expand the remote configuration options. You can create your own scripts and create the configuration using the APIs. REST APIs have been opened up, not only for the devices, but also for the SD-WAN center application, as well. You can collect the metrics; you can understand what’s going on in the network; and you can populate your own custom dashboards.

How to get your hands on Citrix SD-WAN
Ready to learn more or to evaluate Citrix SD-WAN in your organization? Call your Citrix Solution Advisor today, and check out the videos and other materials on our web site.