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Citrix Technical RoundTable

Hi folks,

here some sentences to describe the event i have attended some weeks ago ... yes, very late, forgive me for that.

Then, during the morning, CTO Christian Reilly have made a long talk about the present and the future of IT and Citrix , sure this ultimate one more in specific. It has been a very general discussion, all in English (!!), about how much the cloud concept has been changing the "picture" of the information technology and how Citrix has been moving to stay keep up with this motion. The cloud, and hence the virtualisation, has been the principal argument but the focus was on commercial side, on how a firm could coupe with this change, on how and if workers will be able or will want accept new concepts , new ways of working, new technologies. So, in my opinion a little boring (sure when i understood his English speech:)

Instead, during the afternoon, there are been three technical table on three different technologies. Below i have written down some sentences trying to give a brief description, a brief explanation, about these three talk ... i hope them won't be too boring !!

Cloud and Virtualization It's a huge "new" world where any IT firm is putting a lot of effort to grow its skill and knowledge, sure in the end to do business. Citrix works in partnership with Azure, the name of Microsoft cloud, to give the possibility to all customers have the chance to choose where and how deploy their virtual desktop and Virtual Apps enviroment. You can , for example, install a battery of Windows 10 desktops using the power of citrix virtualization but non doing this on premise but on the cloud. You have now flexible and scalable environment distributed in remote on Azure, with the citrix VDI and Apps technology. It's a very interesting thing, sure the future of IT landscape where all the power you need , all the desktop pc you need is installed in a very quick mode outside your local network. This impact heavily the infrastructure of your CED that can be simpler as never in the past but sure you need a good and strong connection, in term of HA and bandwidth, to the outside if you want exploit all the possibilities of this technology.

ADM Citrix Application Delivery Management has been the second talk, about the new version of the formerly know as "NetScaler Management and Analytics Service" This is a very powerful centralized web and cloud based console, from where you can operate on all yours citrix deployment. This tool, if i have understood right, it's only available on the cloud and is built to permit you manage whatever you have in your data center or even on the cloud. Is a multi-site central point management and from it you can not only monitor your citrix infrastructure but also set up and deploy application delivery in ADC environment. To deploy and use the ADM on the cloud you have only to sign-in, after that you will need to initiate the build-in agent in the instances you want manage via ADM and then add them on the service (on the cloud). After these operations ADM will talk periodically with the instances to collect data and information and also the instances themselves have to be able to send traffic directly to ADM. I this manner you are advised very fast on the rising of issues on your ADC infrastructure. If you like a well monitored environment through an unique point ADM is for you.

SD-WAN From my point of view this talk has been very interesting, more than the others. SD-WAN , software defined WAN, seems be a very powerful technology whom permit , for example, branches of a firm to connect in a very smart way to the headquarter. We usually are used to view the topology of a firm with a central data center and the remote branches connecting to it through technology like MPLS or even VPN on the Internet public network. SD-WAN insert itself in this picture optimizing the traffic on a per software base. We can think, at a scratch level, we have an appliance in every branch and one in the central DC. Each branch send the traffic toward this gateway whom take care of all the rest of the work, filtering analyzing encapsulating and forwarding. This technology is able to connect with every type of connectivity present on the market (mpls,adsl,isdn,satellite....) and permit you to choose its behavior based on the actual links, e.g. mpls + adsl. In the case there is available only one link, you can't do very much apart use it, but if you have 2 or more technology to reach the central DC, or the others branches, you can decide how them have to be used by the SD-WAN. Because, it always monitor all the links available and it is able to select only the best (if you want) for the most important traffic. Who decide which traffic is more important and which is less ? Sure there is a default behavior but you can change it , you can select the traffic you want, with a software/application based approach. In short, one can think about it like a very high level "firewall" whom have not only the possibility to control all the traffic ,permitting it or not into the 7th layer, but also it has the possibility to customize where send the "good" traffic (on MPLS ? on internet ?), how send the traffic (prioritising it, encapsulating it ...) and even if send the traffic (for example if some links are down you can decide to not forward the less important data). A very flexible and powerful technology, i would say it's an all in one solution that permit a firm to engineer at the best its remote connectivity thanks a "programmable instrument". Sure if you have a situation with only a link (no redundancy) its power is less exploitable even if you can still work selecting and prioritising the more important fluxes. In fact, if the link is performing bad for some reason, SD-WAN detect the misbehavior in real time informing you and reacting in the way you have previously told it.

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