AIDS Healthcare Foundation enhances application performance and user experience with Citrix CloudBridge and NetScaler

Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is a global organization providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to more than 200,000 patients in 28 countries. AHF is the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the U.S with 70 branches located in various states. 

The Challenge: Optimizing bandwidth use and application availability

AHF has a main datacenter at their headquarters in California and a secondary datacenter for disaster recovery in Florida. The network is based on a hub-and-spoke model providing hosted MPLS services from the main datacenter to all the branch offices. The Internet is delivered via MPLS using 1.5 Mbps pipes from the datacenter to the branches. AHF is also a major user of XenApp and XenDesktop 6.0. “We wanted a robust global Layer 7 load balancing solution to ensure 24x7 availability of web servers between our datacenters. In addition, we needed to efficiently manage the bandwidth usage and utilize QoS to prioritize ICA and VoIP traffic in the small pipes between the datacenter and the branch offices,” says Art Kirakosyan, senior IT manager of datacenter operations at AHF.

The Solution: Optimize WAN traffic and application delivery

In 2006 -2007, AHF installed two NetScaler MPX 5500s, one for each of their datacenters to provide global load balancing of web servers. For WAN traffic optimization AHF reviewed and conducted proof of concept (POC) on Riverbed Steelhead and Citrix CloudBridge. In the POC, Citrix products offered better optimization and prioritization of both ICA and VoIP traffic than Riverbed Steelhead.

“We selected and implemented two Citrix CloudBridge 3000s to complement the two Citrix Repeater 8820s and four Repeater 8540s already at our two datacenters. For traffic optimization at our branch offices we had implemented 20 Branch Repeater 300s,” says Kirakosyan.

NetScaler MPX appliances are high-performance; hardware-based solutions that provide industry-leading web application delivery and load balancing. They also enable a full-service delivery fabric that spans enterprise datacenters and cloud infrastructures to make applications and cloud services run five times faster. All NetScaler MPX appliances support Citrix nCore technology, which enables customers to tap the power of multi-core CPU systems to realize multi-gigabit performance and massive scalability for all application delivery workloads. Flexible pay-as-you-grow licensing helps customers protect their investments, avoid costly hardware upgrades and reduce the overall cost of ownership. NetScaler MPX appliances support small enterprises, massive global websites and everything in between.

The Citrix® CloudBridge family now represents the merging of the CloudBridge, Repeater and Branch Repeater platforms into a unified platform that accelerates applications across public and private networks to provide superior application performance and end user experience. CloudBridge offers a broad base of features including protocol acceleration support, market-leading VDI acceleration for Citrix® XenDesktop, secure and optimized between clouds and sophisticated quality of service (QoS).

Key Benefits

Reduces bandwidth usage expenses by 50%

By standardizing on CloudBridge WAN optimization at their datacenters and branch offices, AHF was able to reduce bandwidth usage and expenses by 50%.

Provides mission critical traffic prioritization 

By providing a granular logging of bandwidth utilization and a QoS engine, CloudBridge enables AHF to prioritize ICA and VoIP traffic over regular Internet traffic.

Enhances user experience 

Citrix NetScaler and CloudBridge provide the best end user experience by accelerating the performance of web applications, XenApp and XenDesktop and also by providing a single point of support for both products.

Looking Ahead

“Currently, we are exploring CloudBridge Plug-ins for providing acceleration anywhere for our smaller branch offices and remote users. Also, NetScaler App Firewall for our web servers is a feature we might evaluate.” Kirakosyan said. 

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is the cloud company that enables mobile work styles—empowering people to work and collaborate from anywhere, easily and securely. With market-leading solutions for mobility, desktop virtualization, cloud networking, cloud platforms, collaboration and data sharing, Citrix helps organizations achieve the speed and agility necessary to succeed in a mobile and dynamic world. Citrix products are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Annual revenue in 2012 was $2.59 billion. Learn more at

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For WAN traffic optimization AHF reviewed and conducted proof of concept (POC) on Riverbed Steelhead and Citrix CloudBridge. In the POC, Citrix products offered better optimization and prioritization of both ICA and VoIP traffic than Riverbed Steelhead.
- Art Kirakosyan

Senior IT Manager, Datacenter Operations



Key Benefits

  • Reduces bandwidth usage by 50%
  • Provides traffic prioritization
  • Enhances user experience

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