What is Citrix Cloud?
Citrix Cloud is a platform as a service that hosts and manages and administers Citrix services. It connects to your resources via a Citrix cloud connector.
Citrix with cloud infrastructure allows you to create, manage and deploy workspaces with applications and data to your end-users from a single console.
The Citrix cloud hosts and operates the platform and services used to manage your environment.
As the customer, you can host and operate your applications, data, networks, and virtual machines.
Citrix cloud has a lot of different services some of services.
Some of them as listed below:
- Citrix virtual apps and desktop service
- Endpoint management service
- Secure browser service and
- Content collaboration gateway services
Once you log into the Citrix cloud, you see a list of services. Among those services, we need Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop Services.
Also, the Citrix Cloud is like a management layer.
Before getting into the CVAD with Azure, let us get to know more about Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft Azure is a public cloud hosting environment and a leading IAAS vendor.
The Azure Framework supports both on-premises and cloud deployments. It has 90+ compliance offerings that are trusted by 95% of fortune 500 companies.
Azure supports a broad selection of operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, databases, and devices.
It has a Powerful add-on for Citrix cloud for hosting resources.
That means the Citrix cloud can assist and manage if you choose to place your processing space and desktops and published applications on Azure.
For the latest updates on the Citrix with Microsoft Azure, check out the link https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/services/virtual-desktop/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops-for-azure/
Architectural Overview of the Citrix virtual apps and desktop Environment
The Citrix Virtual App and Desktop have got five layers in their architecture. These architectural components are mapped to their functions.
Let’s have a look at them individually.
1. User layer:
- The user layer looks after the endpoint device. Whether they are internal or external and what OS is used on that endpoint.
- In the user layer, deployment and installation with updates to the client software are considered and planned.
- Endpoints can be internal or external. If they are external they have to come through a firewall to gain access. That has been configured for the end-user.
2. Access layer:
- The Access layer covers all the Citrix infrastructure components providing access, authentication security, and orchestration of the published resources.
- It acts as middleware between the end-user and their endpoints.
- Typical deployment requires external users to make a secure and encrypted connection using SSL to a Citrix gateway. The storefront server could be on-premises, or it could be in the Citrix cloud.
3. Control layer:
- The Control layer has the delivery controllers and domain controllers SQL server. Licensing server and the components within the control layer determine the flexibility and scalability of your deployment. The control layer is used to group and understand the core components of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop implementation.
- The delivery controller makes the load balancing decisions and manages the availability of the device in the resource layer.
- A delivery controller is a central broker that handles all requests for sessions. It includes both apps and desktop across server OS and desktop OS and hosts.
- The controller also manages the provision and maintenance of the published applications and resources.
- Citrix licensing server centrally manages and disperses licenses for connections. So it is crucial to understand what is in the control layer as it is the control layer and the components that we have to manage that we can move up into the Citrix cloud.
4. Resource Layer:
- It describes and encompasses all the resources so that authorized users can gain access to resources. Such as applications, desktops, user data profiles, and documents.
- The resource layer is also the architectural orientation where the Citrix administrator considers how to deploy, manage, and control these resources.
5. Hardware Layer:
- The hardware layer provides the hardware resources for the deployment. This influences the scalability and performance of the deployment.
- It provides the virtual computing needed to access control and deploy the resource layers.
- Hence the h/w layer is presented beneath those layers.
- Hardware layer components are network infrastructure, wireless storage processors, RAM, GPU accelerators, and of course, your choice of physical machines that the resources are loaded on.
Now let’s get an overview of Citrix combined with Microsoft Azure.
Also Read: What is Azure Cost Management Savings Plan?
Citrix Virtual App and Desktop Deployment Model on Microsoft Azure
For the deployment of the citrix virtual apps and desktop on Azure we have four deployments model:
1. Complete Move/Forklift:
- Forklift constitutes moving your entire Citrix stack from on-premises to Azure. Moving all the VMs, processing space, SQL Server, and AD into the cloud. That is called a forklift or complete move.
- This approach will deploy and maintain your delivery controllers, and will not be using Citrix cloud. So you do not need Citrix cloud connectors.
- It might lead to higher costs as compared to on-premises or the Citrix cloud deployment for the SQL database.
2. Extend Environment:
- Extend Environment approach involves creating a new zone in your on-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop infrastructure. It deploys an additional delivery controller and Citrix gateway in Azure.
- After getting the infrastructure, you can then use the azure plug-in to deploy machine-created service catalogs. You are deploying the on-premises product directly into the cloud.
- Additionally, you are managing the delivery controller, database, and active directory. Citrix to cloud connectors is not required as you are not using Citrix cloud.
3. Disaster Recovery:
- Some organizations look at the cloud as a disaster recovery data center. In this, we primarily process on-premises, and then we use Azure as a failover environment.
- So using Azure as a data center or recovery is almost the same except, we deallocate the resources while not being used.
- Deallocation means we will only be paying for the storage in Azure while the virtual machines are not running.
- We need to ensure, that we have a process in place for the disaster zone and that the process is tested if we have to failover to the cloud instance.
4. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop Essentials:
It is a service that allows you to deliver Windows applications from Microsoft Azure to any user on any device. The service combines the industry-leading Citrix virtual apps and desktop service with the power and flexibility of Microsoft Azure. It is a replacement for the Azure remote app.
The essential service is designed specifically for the Azure marketplace. So you would go to the Azure market space and subscribe to Citrix virtual apps and desktops essentials.
This is some of the basic information shared about the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Along with their deployments models.
Due to the latest boom in the WFH pattern Citrix Virtual App and Desktop with Azure have brought great ease for deployments. Citrix, with the enhanced feature of Microsoft Azure, is sure to make further progress and modernize your business infrastructure.
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