When discussing cloud with customers, some of the most common themes are “How do we get started? What are my options for Citrix in the cloud? And what steps should we follow?”
A cloud strategy is not one-size-fits-all. Getting started, adding another solution to your cloud portfolio, or diversifying across cloud providers can be intimidating. It helps to first understand where you are in your cloud transition so you can plan the best path forward for your Citrix environment.
I typically come across varying types of customers in the field, many of which can be characterized by one of the three stages in the “Enterprise Cloud Journey”:
- Cloud Builders – Building is the first step. These are customers who are just getting started, have no cloud footprint, and who typically need to establish cloud policies internally before starting deployment of a cloud solution. Their overall theme is experimentation and discovery as they prepare for delivery of their first cloud workload. This includes understanding the intricacies of cloud costs and aligning existing on-premises roles and responsibilities (security, network, storage, etc.) to public cloud workloads.
- Cloud Consumers – If your organization is on Office 365, you have already started your cloud journey! Consumers utilize at least one form of IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS based services within their organization. Existing cloud policies are enforced and refined to facilitate the adoption of more cloud technologies across business units. A consumer’s goal is to optimize cloud costs as they leverage greater numbers of solutions to generate more business value.
- Cloud Brokers – At this stage there is an extensive use of SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS services. Internal IT sees their day to day shift from standard systems management to directing a series of cloud providers to accomplish business goals. At this stage a customer’s focus is governance as they begin to broker solutions across multiple clouds, promoting greater availability and preventing vendor lock-in. Additionally, cloud policies evolve into cross-cloud policies.
The stage you are in as an organization will influence the steps you need to take to get Citrix to the cloud. We can break this process down into three high level phases:
- Assess – This phase is centered on identifying the Citrix delivery model and use cases that help accomplish your business goals. For example, a Cloud Builder should target a simple, well defined Citrix workload, review Citrix scalability data, and analyze how public cloud costs differ from on-premises workloads.
- Connect – This phase highlights creating the cloud subscriptions necessary to support your workloads and connecting your existing data center to the cloud. For example, the Citrix team in a Cloud Consumer is targeting an entire business unit for migration into Azure. They will need to assess the existing subscription utilization and review existing cloud policies/steps required to add Citrix workloads to their established Azure resources. Depending on workload projections, this can at times require the creation of a new subscription to host and isolate the Citrix environment. The subscription governance of the Citrix environment can impact the growth of the environment if competing with other systems against Azure’s predefined subscription limits. Additionally, the type of subscription (shared vs. dedicated) will also impact how the Azure Service Principal is created for integration with the Azure MCS service.
- Build – This phase is the fun part, taking the data gathered during the assess phase and using the bridge established in the connect phase to build the environment. This includes creating the public cloud building blocks, Citrix infrastructure, and Citrix workloads. For example, a Cloud Broker may already have an established Citrix environment in AWS, but a new foundation would need to be created in Azure to support new or existing use cases. Considerations need to be made regarding translating availability recommendations (availability sets vs availability zones) as well as delegation of permissions through Azure Role Based Access Controls from AWS Identity and Access Management.
Whether you are a Cloud Builder, Consumer, or Broker, Citrix is here to help! We will cover the Citrix on Cloud deployment models, considerations, and lessons learned in a free technical deep dive webinar on Thursday, October 19 at 9AM or 2PM EST.
If you want to learn more, please join us to walk through the cloud design and deployment process in greater detail, including a live Q&A session at the end to answer your burning cloud questions.