Citrix Cloud - What is it and why does it matter?

Posted by James O'Regan
on 13-Apr-2018 11:25:07

In my previous blog I spoke about migrating from XenApp 6.5 to XenApp 7.15 LTSR. But moving to 7.15 LTSR is not simply an upgrade, it’s a full migration because you are moving from an IMA (Independent Management Architecture) Architecture to a FMA (Flexible Management Architecture) Architecture so now it is the perfect time to examine your cloud strategy and look at what Citrix Cloud has to offer.

Firstly, you need to understand what Citrix Cloud is. It’s not a public cloud such as Azure or AWS, it is in its simplest term “Citrix as a Service”.

Here is a breakdown of what is available and as you can see pretty much every technology offered by Citrix is available from the Cloud with some of them such as Citrix Analytics introduced as a cloud first offering. It is important to remember that all new technologies will first be released in the cloud and Analytics is just one such example.


To investigate further we will focus on the XenApp/XenDesktop service and to start let’s look at a traditional On- Prem Citrix XenApp environment.

This diagram shows that there are a lot of infrastructure components and quite a lot of complexity and you must manage StoreFront, Delivery Controllers, SQL, Licensing etc. You also must look after updating and managing these servers.



Now if we look at what Citrix Cloud’s XenApp/XenDesktop Service does, it takes away the complexity of the Citrix Infrastructure components and allows you to concentrate on the delivery of Apps and Desktops. As you can see from the diagram above in Citrix Cloud, Citrix takes over the delivery and running of infrastructure components such as Delivery Controllers, Licensing, SQL and provides a cloud-based version of Citrix Studio.

So, what are the key advantages of Citrix Cloud?  

•    Reduction in the number of servers
•    Local SQL Licensing costs removed
•    No worries about maintenance and upgrades, scalability or high availability as this is controlled by Citrix
•    Simplified administration


As the diagram above shows Citrix Cloud gives you the flexibility to host your apps and desktops on-prem using any hypervisor or in the public cloud.

How does it work?

The main component of Citrix Cloud is the cloud connector, its purpose is to allow communication from Citrix to your resource location whether it is on-prem or public cloud.
Let’s look at that in some more detail.
The Cloud connector is an agent that sits on a machine on the resource location and acts as the communication point to Citrix Cloud.


As shown above the Cloud Connector is responsible for provisioning VMs, VDA Registration, Identity and authentication. All the above is secured over HTTPS.


In terms of requirements the cloud connector must sit on either a Windows 2012 R2 or Windows 2016 servers and it is recommended that for HA you follow N +1 or have at least 2 connectors per resource location.

Previously I have mentioned the term resource location, so what is it?

A resource location is where you host the apps and desktops you are delivering whether that be a local data centre or a public cloud location. Citrix Cloud gives you the flexibility to manage and deliver workloads from any resource location.



As you can see Citrix Cloud offers you flexibility to deliver apps and desktops from any location whether cloud or on-prem, to discuss Citrix Cloud further contact Zinopy to see how we can help with your cloud strategy. 

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Written by James O'Regan

James is a Senior Solutions Architect with over 13 years Citrix experience focusing on the architecting and implementation of EUC (End User Computing ) projects. In 2017 James was awarded the status of Citrix Technology Advocate which rewards those in the community that have demonstrated the technical knowledge, community passion, and thought leadership that Citrix would like to recognise.
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