With the Citrix Cloud management platform, IT professionals can manage virtual desktops and applications with the latest Citrix tools and newest utilities. But, first, they must understand the logistics and limits of using Citrix Cloud.
Citrix Cloud is the first to receive the management features that the vendor introduces. In some cases, it allows the elimination of SQL Server management altogether, and the platform can manage workloads hosted in a public cloud, private cloud, on premises or some mix of all three hosting methods.
However, even the latest management bells and whistles aren't enough to attract some organizations that need existing tools to keep up with day-to-day operations or that must comply with industry regulations. Citrix has made progress addressing these potential Citrix Cloud customers' concerns with features, but some organizations are still wary of such a major change to their management processes.
At Citrix Synergy 2019, Paul Stansel and Shane O'Neill, two Citrix technology professionals who are acutely familiar with the ins and outs of Citrix Cloud management from hands-on experience, hosted a session on Citrix Cloud deployment to address the improvements and shortcomings of the platform.
What's new with Citrix Cloud
Stansel, director of national EUC practice at Presidio, and O'Neill, advisory engineer at CVS Health, hosted a similar session at Citrix Synergy 2018, and they reported some significant improvements in the platform since then.
"Last year, I had a pretty significant list of cons, which were significant barriers to adoption. But the good news is that everything on my list from last year is fixed," Stansel said.
For example, the addition of configuration logging makes Citrix Cloud more accessible to highly regulated industries. Stansel cited several Citrix customers in the finance industry that were unable and unwilling to migrate to Citrix Cloud management because it previously lacked configuration logging.
Citrix Cloud also now incorporates the ability to manage numerous legacy server farms. This process would typically be a major pain for IT departments in larger organizations, with multiple farm locations to manage. O'Neill said it's commonplace for enterprise organizations to have scattered server farms, with little to no domain trust.
"Citrix Cloud doesn't care about your domain forest trust ... and that means you can bring the management of all those farms into one single control plane. If I need to make a policy change, it's just inside [Citrix Cloud], and I can make sure it applies to whatever [server farms] I need," O'Neill said.
Organizations that want to set up multifactor authentication (MFA) with Citrix Cloud can now use the straight-out-of-the-box MFA tool.
"That's going to be a huge benefit if you don't have the staff, resources, skill set or even the money to deploy your own MFA solution," O'Neill said.
Customers need compatibility to adopt Citrix Cloud
Paul StanselDirector of national EUC practice at Presidio
Some customers who attended the Synergy session are more ready to make the leap to Citrix Cloud management because of the additional features.
"There weren't any show-stopping red flags that would stop us from migrating to Citrix Cloud. It comes down to how well it will work with Microsoft 365 and other existing components, but we're optimistic," said Serge Bowers, Citrix manager at USI Insurance Services in Valhalla, N.Y.
Some other IT professionals were less optimistic. After he heard O'Neill and Stansel's session, Alisharoz Mohammed, solutions architect for Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Pearland, Texas, said his organization can't use Citrix Cloud.
"We use SecureAuth for MFA, and with that we use Imprivata for security badges ... and I just don't know how that will work with Citrix Cloud," Mohammed said.
Even if some Citrix Synergy attendees aren't ready to move to Citrix Cloud right away, it may be their best option moving forward. Cloud-based management isn't going anywhere, and the emphasis that Citrix has put on the Citrix Cloud platform -- ensuring that Citrix Cloud customers have new features first, etc. -- demonstrates that it will receive plenty of improvements and updates moving forward.
"Companies are also looking to the future, and when they decide on a management platform, they don't want to heavily invest in a legacy platform," said industry analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates in Northborough, Mass.