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Networks follow apps to the cloud

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Applications are fast migrating out of legacy data centres to the Cloud, which offers more simplicity, better economics and the potential for an improved user experience. As these apps move from the data centre, the network must follow them to the cloud.

Troye technical director, Kurt Goodall says choosing Microsoft Azure for IaaS or PaaS will make life much easier for the IT operations team. “In conjunction, Citrix SD-WAN will help automate your on-ramps to the cloud, deliver exceptional application experience, and provide comprehensive security.

“Firstly, extend the network to the cloud. With Citrix SD-WAN, customers can connect their branches to Azure VNets with physical appliances on one end and virtual ones (VPX instances) on the other. This is done with just a few clicks from the Citrix SD-WAN Orchestrator service, with Azure ZTD (zero-touch deployment),” he explains.

Once this is set up, the network benefits from traffic shaping on diverse, bonded commodity internet links; selective packet replication for voice and video; and sub-second, non-disruptive link failover.

Goodall says the next step is to add some apps or workloads. “Citrix SD-WAN has bi-directional QoS and the ability to monitor not only latency, packet loss, and jitter but also congestion, supporting 17 QoS classes to fine tune your network and prioritize business-critical applications.”

Citrix SD-WAN for Office 365 can direct traffic to one of their 150 front doors. With Citrix’s API integration, one can dynamically connect branch users to the Office 365 SaaS cloud with minimal latency for an optimised experience.

Citrix optimisation for Microsoft Teams is one of the most widely used collaboration platforms today, delivers the modern desktop for today’s mobile workforce. As a form of edge computing, Citrix offloads the multimedia processing of Teams traffic onto the Workspace app on a user’s machine.

Used in conjunction with the Office 365 integration, one can ensure that the network will identify, prioritise and route voice and video streams for the best possible user experience.

If one runs Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops or Citrix Managed Desktops on Azure, Citrix SD-WAN can discern the difference between real-time traffic such as voice and video and prioritise it – automatically – over a file upload or a print request. It can ensure that keyboard and mouse inputs, critical for a good virtual app experience, are treated with high priority.

To secure it all, as part of the flexible and comprehensive approach to protecting one’s business, Citrix offers the following options for security:

ICSA Labs-certified, application aware, stateful firewall integrated into their physical and virtual appliances
Secure Web Gateway (SWG) options from Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler, Symantec, and more
Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) from Palo Alto Networks as a VNF on the Citrix SD-WAN 1100 platform

“Citrix SD-WAN, together with Microsoft Azure, can help businesses automate the on-ramps to the cloud, deliver exceptional application experience and provide comprehensive security. Provisioning automation is provided through Citrix SD-WAN Orchestrator for the SWG and NGFW options,” he concludes.