IPExpo Europe has become one of the highlights of the year for the cloudDNA team.
For the 3rd year running, Citrix invited us to join them in their village and 2015 has been extra special as we’ve been celebrating becoming the first global partner to achieve the Networking for Data Center Specialist accreditation.
As usual, it’s been a great chance to hear about the challenges faced in the real world by a wide range of organisations and the end of the second day was off the scale for a NetScaler & CloudBridge geek but more about that later…
First though, I thought I’d give a quick overview of the most popular topics discussed as they might be relevant to many readers of the blog.
- HDX Insight – Got XenApp or XenDesktop? You need this. AppFlow records generated by your NetScaler and CloudBridge appliances provide granular service delivery metrics from the applications to the end points. If you get support tickets saying that XenApp/Desktop is slow, the output of this analytics tool will help pinpoint the route cause of the issue in seconds to enable rapid remediation. Feed the output in to Desktop Director and you’ve just built the thing that Admin dreams are made of.
- CloudBridge vWAN – If you want WAN resilience that is practically bomb proof, or your MPLS links need beefing up but the budget is holding you back, then this is a game changer. Logically bond multiple links such as MPLS, DSL, Cable, Satellite and 3/4G together to create a virtual hybrid WAN. Lose one of those links and vWAN directs the traffic to the remaining paths quick enough to not be noticed on a VoIP call. This is CloudBridge but with an additional capability beyond traditional WAN optimisation to provide a link throughput that is the aggregate of the links bound together (the bandwidth of the MPLS + the bandwidth of the DSL + the Cable bandwidth etc). This can save vast amount of money in comparison to MPLS upgrades but it’s the resilience that really got IPExpo buzzing.
- Microsoft Threat Management Gateway replacement. So long TMG, hello NetScaler! Those rusty old TMGs are rapidly approaching the end of their useful life and with the majority of customers primarily using the reverse proxy (Authentication, Compression & Caching), Network / Application Firewall and VPN features, NetScaler is the perfect replacement.
- Unified Gateway. Single point of sign on for all services that your users access throughout their day. XenApp/Desktop, SaaS, Web and mobile apps all delivered from one place to make the user’s life easy. Admin get to audit who’s doing what and when the user leaves the organisation, their access rights to everything can be removed in a couple of clicks. No more passwords on post-it notes!
- MobileStream. From workspaces to web services, those pesky users keep trying to access content on their mobile devices. Sending huge retina grade images to 5 inch screens? Resize them on the fly to reduce the volume of data passing over the airwaves. Polish up TCP to get more bandwidth through the network (potentially +30%) and re-direct traffic via a friendly wifi link with MultiPathTCP when the user comes in range to ensure the best path is used at all times.
To cap it all off, our friend from Citrix on the West Coast, suggested that we swing by for a bite to eat as he was in town. Andy (our lead Architect) and I walked in to find a chunk of the senior NetScaler and CloudBridge product marketing teams sat round the table! Future blog post ‘gold dust’ conversations 🙂
A great evening with some great friends and a great way to end to our best ever IPExpo Europe.
© Al Taylor
8th October 2015