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Citrix Lifecycle Management cloud service – is it something for you? YES! – #Citrix, #WorkSpaceCloud, #DaaS @EnvokeIT

I must admit that both Microsoft and Citrix are on the right track, it’s amazing to see the number of great “cloud” services that they now are releasing. If you’ve been reading my blog and follow me on Twitter then you know that I’m already a HUGE fan of Azure and all its offerings, and now Citrix comes up with a real interesting cloud based service to simplify the life-cycle management of their offerings, great job!

In this post we’re going to look at little closer to the Citrix Lifecycle Management service. So let’s start of with what it is, have a look at this great overview video:

Citrix Lifecycle Management is a comprehensive cloud-based lifecycle management solution to accelerate and simplify the design, deployment and ongoing management of Citrix workloads and enterprise applications.

Supporting many types of IT workloads across virtual and private or public cloud environments, this solution enables IT organizations to become faster, more cost-effective and more agile, and it helps maintain service quality and high availability with redundancy, automatic scaling and disaster recovery of applications. Built on blueprints incorporating validated reference architectures, configurations and best practices, Citrix Lifecycle Management provides a unified and standardized set of management tools for rapid and best practice-driven design, deployment and management of Citrix workloads and enterprise applications.

See this blog for a further explanation of Citrix Lifecycle Management.

Citrix Lifecycle Management is delivered as a cloud-based service through the newly launched Citrix Workspace Cloud.

The cloud service interacts with many types of supported Resource Locations that can be located either up in a public cloud service like Azure (that rocks!) or your on premise location and leveraging any of these technologies:

Citrix-lifecycle-Management-Resource-locations-support

Once that you’ve connected the service to one of your Resource Locations then you can really start to look at the process of deploying your services to it, here is a good overview of the process of deploying a blueprint:

Citrix-Lifecycle-Management-process-deploy-blueprint

As you can see the process is really straight forward, 1 connect to your Resource Location, 2 Add your blueprint and then as the 3rd step you Deploy it! Read more…

Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing – #ShareFile, #Citrix, #EMC, #Box, #Microsoft

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s not new but it’s something that I discussed the other day with a customer; who is the market leader when it comes to “corporate dropbox” solutions for enterprises? Gartner did update the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing services/solutions and it’s a good read I must say.

You know I am a Citrix fan and a like their story and think that they from an overall virtual workplace offerings are far superior to the other players if you look across the stack from providing “legacy” services like Windows Apps and Desktop, Enterprise Mobility Management capabilities and all the network capabilities to provide the end-to-end service delivery. So it’s really nice to see that they are picking up in the ability to execute and are competing with EMC in the Leaders box!

I just hope that Citrix can stay int he lead and ensure that they price and capacity wise stay in synch with the up comers that are starting to offer really large storage capacity as a part of their cloud offerings. I still see that the capabilities and features of ShareFile are really great, and in some aspects others like Box, Microsoft and others are coming with nice features as well. So let’s see who will rule this market, but currently I think that ShareFile is a really strong player for enterprises but Microsoft will continue to grow and I just wish they add the additional features around security etc that enterprises often require so they can go into the bigger companies as well.

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing
Figure 1.Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing

Source: Gartner (July 2014)

Market Definition/Description

This document was revised on 14 July 2014. The document you are viewing is the corrected version. For more information, see the Corrections page on gartner.com.

EFSS refers to a range of on-premises or cloud-based capabilities that enable individuals to synchronize and share documents, photos, videos and files across multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs. File sharing can be within the organization, as well as externally (e.g., with partners and customers) or on a mobile device as data sharing among apps. Security and collaboration support are critical capabilities of EFSS to address enterprise priorities.

Beyond file synchronization, sharing and access, EFSS offerings may include different levels of support for:

  • Mobility, with native apps for a variety of mobile smartphones, tablets, notebooks and desktops, as well as Web browser support.
  • Security, for protection of data on the device, in transit and in cloud services (or servers), such as password protection, remote wipe, data encryption, data loss prevention, digital rights management (DRM), access tracking and reporting. Mature products ensure that files leaving the sharing location are DRM-encrypted and only readable by those authorized to access the data. Audit and compliance support are also present in complete products.
  • Administration and management, including integration with an Active Directory and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) policy enforcement.
  • Back-end server integration, e.g., with SharePoint and other corporate platforms. Integration is achieved through connectors (e.g., based on the Content Management Interoperability Services [CMIS] standard and APIs).
  • Content manipulation, such as file editing, PDF annotations and note taking.
  • Collaboration, such as cooperative editing on a shared document using change tracking and comments; and document-based workflow process support.
  • Simplicity and usability, with optimized UIs and interactions, such as file drag and drop and file open in applications.
  • Storage, i.e., cloud-based EFSS services often include cloud storage as part of the bundle to implement the EFSS repository. Software EFSS products, instead, may integrate with repositories on-premises or be implemented with a separate repository on-site.

Typical architectures for EFSS offerings are:

  • Cloud: Corporate files are accessed via mobile devices, or shared and are stored in the provider’s cloud. Organizations that want to replace the personal cloud services adopted by employees with an enterprise-class alternative under IT control, while preserving the user experience and enhancing mobile collaboration, prefer the cloud method.
  • On-premises: The remote access, synchronization and sharing component is deployed on-premises and integrates with corporate data repositories, without file replicas. This method is preferred by organizations under strict regulations about data storage.
  • Hybrid: The user and device authentication, security and search mechanisms are implemented in the provider’s cloud. Files and documents are kept in their original location, or can be in third-party clouds. Organizations that want to simplify mobile users’ access to corporate data through the cloud, without creating data replicas in someone else’s cloud, prefer the hybrid method.

There are two types of EFSS offerings:

  • Destinations — Stand-alone products with file sync and share as a core capability, which represents a new purchase for an organization.
  • Extensions — File sync and share capabilities added, and wrapped around established products or applications — e.g., for collaboration, content management or storage. Organizations can use extensions as part of the broader platform (see “Destinations and Wraparounds Will Reshape the Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing Market”).

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Read more…

#XenMobile and the #Citrix Mobile Workspaces Architecture – #BYOD

This is a great blog post by Christopher Campbell and good picture to show the overall capabilities and architecture of the Citrix offering!

You’ve heard us talk about Mobile Workspaces and if you’re a techie you’re probably wondering if Citrix really has the architectural components (a complete, comprehensive and fully integrated architecture) that can deliver any app and data to any user on any device over any network?

Well let’s first identify a few of the market leading technologies that make up the Citrix Mobile Workspaces solution:

  • XenApp mobilizes and secures Windows apps on any device
  • XenDesktop securely delivers virtual Windows desktops and apps on any device
  • XenMobile manages and secures mobile, web and SaaS apps on mobile devices
  • GoToMeeting empowers people to meet and collaborate with anyone, anywhere
  • ShareFile shares and syncs corporate data securely from any location
  • NetScaler optimizes and secures app delivery and on any network
  • CloudPlatform orchestrates and provisions apps, desktops and IT services from any cloud

OK, OK. We know you have the products but do they really integrate?

Yes. Don’t believe me? Well as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is what the Mobile Workspace Architecture looks like.

OK. I get it.  You have the architecture but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a seamless user experience.

Still don’t believe huh? Well this is what the user experience looks like.

XenMobile is a key ingredient in delivering a mobile workspace.  Along with XenApp and XenDesktop it allows organizations to deliver on giving users access to any app from any device. In fact, if you’re an existing XenApp or XenDesktop customer, XenMobile seamlessly plugs into your existing architecture.

If you’re a XenDesktop or XenApp customer this is what your environment probably looks like.

Now this is what you need to enable EMM for BYO and COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled) devices and add that MDM, MAM, Secure Email, Secure Data…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

 

Almost perfect.. #ShareFile StorageZones on Azure is now generally available! – #Citrix, #Azure

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a great addition I must say, but some things are missing!

One thing that I’m missing is the full integration with Azure storage containers! You still have to specify a temp/cache storage location that today ShareFile controller requires to be on a CIFS share when you have multiple controllers. And if you put the controller up in Azure as well, how do you then get that CIFS share and make it highly available? There is no CIFS exposure directly from the Azure storage, you have to setup a couple of VM’s in Azure, do something like DFS to expose is.. and then all of a sudden you have a whole file service to manage there as well.. and to monitor and all of a sudden you need AD and monitoring and reporting of it.. phuuu…

So I hope that in next version we can specify an Azure storage container for that cache/temp storage as well! 😉

The other thing I’d really like to see is NetScaler support in Azure, so that we could do proper AAA/CS/LB of the controllers in Azure as well so that we can get a simple and fully cloud based service in Azure! 🙂

BYOD and a growing global workforce are generating demand for instant access to data, offline productivity and seamless collaboration from anywhere. Organizations are challenged with reconciling these forces with leveraging existing investments, protect intellectual property and meet regulatory compliance requirements – driving interest in ShareFile StorageZones. StorageZones offers IT the flexibility to store data in secure Citrix-managed datacenters in multiple worldwide locations, or on-premise within their own datacenters.

At Citrix Synergy 2013, we announced new ShareFile StorageZones options with Microsoft Windows Azure. We are now pleased to announce the general availability of ShareFile StorageZones on Azure with the release of ShareFile StorageZones Controller software version 2.2. This release includes support for Windows Azure storage containers, therefore if you have a Windows Azure account, you can use an Azure storage container for your private data storage instead of a locally maintained share. Hosting ShareFile data natively in your Microsoft Azure account helps IT build the most cost-effective and customized solution for their organization. This customer-managed solution integrates ShareFile with Microsoft Azure’s Binary Large Object (Blob) storage, a cloud service for storing large amounts of unstructured data that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS.

Product Overview

Azure storage is customer-managed storage hosted in the Windows Azure cloud. File uploads are initially deposited into a temporary storage area shared by all StorageZone controllers. Then, a background service copies those files to the Windows Azure storage container and deletes the local cached copy of the file(s).

Typically with CIFS based StorageZones, the Controller servers are installed on-premise in the customer’s datacenter. However, if a customer is hosting virtual machines in Azure, they could install the StorageZone Controller software on instances running in their Azure account and not necessarily on-premise.

Read the ShareFile StorageZones on Azure Storage Technical Brief and watch the video Installing and Configuring ShareFile StorageZones v2.2 with Microsoft Azure to learn more about this solution.

Check out our Citrix and…

Continue reading here

//Richard

#Citrix #ShareFile StorageZone Controller logs – #BYOD

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

This is great blog post by Dan about where to find that little extra info when you’re having issues with StorageZone controllers!

Citrix ShareFile StorageZone Controller logs

When troubleshooting issues with the Citrix ShareFile StorageZone Controller the first place to look will be on the Monitoring page of the StorageZone Controller configuration page. If there are items in red on that page I’d next recommend looking in the logs for more details information.

StorageZone Controller Monitoring page

The logs for the StorageZone Controller are located by default at c:\inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\StorageCenter\SC\logs.

Within this directory multiple logfiles exist. The main ones you should check are:

  • cfgsrv_%date%.txt – StorageZone configuration logs
  • sc_%date%.txt – ShareFile StorageZone “ShareFile Data” logs
  • CIFS_%date%.txt – ShareFile StorageZone Connectors for Network File Shares logs
  • sharepoint_%date%.txt – ShareFile StorageZone Connectors for SharePoint logs

You can enable extended logging for…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Citrix #ShareFile StorageZone controller 2.2 released – #BYOD

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

If you haven’t seen this then have a look at what 2.2 now has to offer!

  • StorageZones for ShareFile Data — You can store ShareFile data in either Windows Azure cloud storage or a private single-tenant storage system that you maintain. You specify a storage option when you configure StorageZones for ShareFile Data. 
    Diagram of on-premises data storage

What’s new

StorageZones Controller 2.2 provides the following enhancements:

Support for Windows Azure storage containers — If you have a Windows Azure account, you can use an Azure storage container for your private data storage instead of a locally-maintained share.

To get started create a new zone and choose the Azure option when you configure StorageZones for ShareFile Data.

Click here to learn more

Connectors to SharePoint root-level sites — You can now create a StorageZones Connector for a SharePoint root-level site or site collection, enabling users to navigate all of the subsites and document libraries in the site. To provide more limited access, you can continue to create connectors to individual SharePoint document libraries.

Click here to learn more

Connectors to user home drives based on Active Directory — You can now create a Connector for network file shares that reliably points to user home drives. To create a connector for user home drives, set the UNC path to the variable %homedrive%. StorageZones Controller will then create connectors based on the user home folder path property in Active Directory.

Installation on non-English operating systems — You can install the English version of StorageZones Controller on the following operating system versions: French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.

Read more here!

//Richard

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