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Secure your virtual apps and desktops over the last mile

December 2016
Secure your virtual apps and desktops over the last mile

10 reasons why NetScaler is the right ADC for XenApp and XenDesktop Download

NetScaler & virtualization: secure and flexible access for any user on any device

Three letter acronyms (TLAs) are a useful way of summarising the functionality of hardware or software. But they can conceal as much as they reveal.

Take a Swiss Army knife, for example. You know one when you see it. You’re grateful when it performs as required. In certain situations, it can be a lifesaver.

But try describing a Swiss Army knife in a way that’s both clear and succinct.

This is surprisingly difficult. (Particularly in the case of the $200 top-of-the-range Swiss Champ, which boasts 33 separate attachments. Among other things, the Swiss Champ can become a magnifying glass, a fish scaler or a sewing awl.)

Great application delivery isn’t easy.

It’s often challenging to describe TLA products quickly and simply. Arguably, this is the case with Application Delivery Controllers, too.

The idea of controlling the delivery of applications across networks is clear enough. We can add the idea that ADCs optimize the scalability, availability and performance of applications.

But the challenges accumulate as soon as you start to unpack the implications of great application delivery. At this point, things get complex.

There are two reasons for this. First, networks and applications are complex and heterogeneous. Second, complexity begets vulnerability. Although it isn’t acknowledged in the TLA that describes them, ADCs have been securing the vulnerabilities created by the complexity of application delivery for years.

NetScaler’s contribution: technical functions, business outcomes

So how should we describe the wide range of tasks undertaken by a best-in-class ADC like NetScaler?

To narrow the field a little, let’s focus on one vital – and broadly representative — use case scenario: how NetScaler underpins the delivery of virtualized applications used in thousands of organizations around the world: XenDesktop, XenApp and XenMobile.

In this scenario, like all others, there are at least two ways of describing what ADCs contribute.

The first is functional. The second is business-driven and focuses on outcomes. We can analyse these outcomes under three headings: end-user productivity, IT efficiency and the need for security.

#1: Making end-users productive

On the corporate LAN or with remote access, NetScaler allows employees using XenDesktop, XenApp and XenMobile to:

  • Use any type of device—laptop, thin client, tablet or smartphone—to establish secure and personalized remote access to applications
  • Get to work quickly on any device with single sign-on pass-through, offering rapid, unified access to all business applications
  • Enjoy maximum availability and performance worldwide, with NetScaler selecting the best application/computing source for users depending on their geographical location
  • Maximize the user experience on poor quality mobile networks, thanks to NetScaler’s ability to “groom” ICA transport over sub-optimal network paths

#2 Making IT efficient

NetScaler also makes IT more efficient by simplifying and improving administration. IT professionals can use NetScaler to:

  • Proactively monitor and troubleshoot application delivery, exploiting end-to-end visibility and fine-grained analytics across applications, users, the network and servers
  • Adopt a flexible and streamlined approach to user authentication, specifying the credentials required for access, and the order in which they are required
  • Create a central point of management for inbound and outbound access control policies across every NetScaler appliance under your control
  • Monitor applications in a fully integrated way, with specific application-level requests ensuring not just server reachability, but security and efficiency as well
  • Rapidly configure for XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile. This maximizes accessibility and performance; it also minimizes the potential for security gaps and errors.

#3 Securing the mobile enterprise

NetScaler underpins the delivery of Citrix virtualized applications with complete contextual security for a wide range of use case scenarios and end-user device configurations. NetScaler allows IT to:

  • Offer specific end-users the appropriate level of access to applications depending on their profile, device, location and network
  • Define remote access policies dynamically as users move between different scenarios. So, for example, NetScaler could prevent users in insecure environments from copying, emailing or printing data
  • Provide Micro-VPN support for applications, which results in vastly stronger and more flexible security options
  • Enforce policy-based access control in the DMZ as opposed to the Intranet, which makes for a secure network
  • Perform endpoint analysis of new devices connecting to the network, and react automatically depending on a device’s OS, patches, security, DAT files, or the existence of hard-drive encryption

Longevity doesn’t happen by accident

ADC? Today, arguably, this modest TLA no longer stretches far enough to cover the range of scenarios in which NetScaler optimizes application delivery. But perhaps we shouldn’t worry too much if that’s the case.

The Swiss Army knife has been around for over 125 years. In one form or another, ADCs have been deployed inside data centers for decades. Over time, functionality gets tested and stretched. It expands in ways that are useful. Longevity doesn’t happen by accident.

Today, NetScaler allows enterprises to exploit the full flexibility of Citrix virtualization while preserving control and enhancing security. Of course, this is just one of the ways in which you can deploy NetScaler. But in a world where mobility matters more than ever, it’s one of the best ways to deploy it.

Secure your virtual apps and desktops over the last mile

10 reasons why NetScaler is the right ADC for XenApp and XenDesktop Download

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