As a kid, one of my favorite toys was the Erector Set. I would tinker around with it for hours. The metal building kit lets kids assemble practically anything — from a crane to a mini forklift to a race car to a gondola system. My set contained hundreds of pieces and a small electric motor with a battery pack. It was fun and educational. In fact, Disney used an Erector Set to build a prototype for their popular theme park ride Soarin’.
The projects included in the set were amusing to start with. But I soon ventured off to build my own creations. The key to that was understanding the details of each part — the sizing, the spacing. Some of this I had from the architectural diagrams and part descriptions included in the instruction manual. Some of it I learned myself. I needed to know things like when to double up pieces, when to use rigid instead of flex pieces, and what type and kind of spacers to use. I was building a mental repository of virtual blueprints, architectural details, and guidelines for myself.
Like an Erector Set, enterprise software solutions also require blueprints, architectural details, and guidelines. Two environments using the same components are rarely the same, yet all environments can greatly benefit from IT having a solid architectural understanding of what’s possible, including use cases. That’s the goal of our new reference architectures!
Reference Architectures at Your Fingertips
Reference architectures on Citrix Tech Zone launched in early January 2019. Tech Zone is one of the first Citrix web “properties” to use the next-generation Citrix documentation platform. Our primary goal with Tech Zone: to provide a consistent, centralized location to deliver and maintain reference architectures for various Citrix solutions and deployment patterns. The first three RAs posted cover Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, image management, and the Workspace app. We plan to deliver new reference architectures every few months, while keeping existing ones continually updated.
Our solutions architect team — part of the strategic alliances organization here at Citrix — is building many of these reference architectures, but the initiative is a cross-organizational, collaborative effort. We’re working with other teams both inside and outside Citrix (including Engineering, Product Management, Consulting, partners, and more) to bring this goodness to market.
You may be wondering, “Why is the alliances team driving the reference architectures project? Why not Consulting, Engineering, or another group?”
Collectively, our solutions architects have a deep understanding of Citrix technologies, as well as a ton of field experience. We’re also in a position to work closely with key alliance partners that we believe are fundamental to providing real-world, relevant guidance on how to make Citrix technologies work like a champ. Truth be told, our alliance partners already host Citrix-related reference architectures, and we’ve been collaborating on them for years.
Here are links to some of our partners’ published Citrix reference architectures:
- Microsoft (Azure Site Recovery | Linux VDI on Azure)
- Oracle (Deploying NetScaler VPX on OCI)
Note that in the case of AWS and Google, we haven’t yet published “reference architectures” per se (though those are in the works). But the links above will give you some insight into what will be in the RAs once they’re published. They will take you to the trial automation templates we’ve built for the respective partners’ platforms and are essentially customizable, reproducible design patterns that follow most of our leading practices already.
Send Us Your Feedback
So there you have it. The new Citrix reference architectures initiative is here! A great first set of RAs are available today with more to come every few months. We encourage you to check it out here.
As always, we welcome your input on the work we produce and plan to produce. On any reference architecture page, you can click “Send us your feedback about this article” or submit feedback through the Tech Zone form here. Suggestions for new content may be submitted here.
Until next time, happy architecting your solutions!
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