Two key trends are transforming the datacentre space as we know it – one stems from the need to create a centralized capacity to power individual applications and the other is driven by the need for free movement of data between clouds – from public to private or vice versa.
With India turning out to be a breeding ground for new age SaaS players, there’s however one key factor app developers seem to be missing out – that of context.
Citrix, which has been in the business of delivering applications securely to business customers for three decades now, has made it its single-minded focus to make data applications accessible to users in a contextual manner through its Workspace offering. The fact that it’s contextual means certain applications may ask for additional authentication if an unusual instance of access is detected.
Furthermore, the need to deliver applications over a wider network, especially in challenged networks, has also been a prime driving force behind the SD-WAN success story.
Growing at a rate of 40.4 percent annually, IDC predicts the SD-WAN market could hit the USD 4.5 billion mark by 2022, making it the “backbone of the enterprise”.
In an exclusive interaction with Ravindra Kelkar, Area Vice President – Sales & Services, India sub-continent at Citrix, he brings to light how the acquisition of Sapho and NetScaler adds firepower to Citrix’s application delivery prowess and why SD-WAN scores a one-up on Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS).
Ravindra, we’re seeing an application-sprawl in the enterprise today. CIOs desire a single user interface and secure application delivery. How has Citrix’s Workspace aligned itself to the market need and what does the acquisition of Sapho bring to the table?
IT leaders often experience unfamiliarity and issues with various user interfaces every time they log into different applications – sometimes they have to go to the fourth or the fifth link to get the job done. The biggest challenge in terms of application delivery simply because it lacks context.
It’s all about making data applications accessible to the users and in a contextual manner. Citrix Workspace brings a single user interface in which all applications are integrated. Today 75 leading applications are integrated out of the box. Some of these capabilities were added after Citrix acquired Sapho and this enabled us to build the intelligent workspace solution.
The fact that the Workplace solution is contextual ensures that applications will ask for additional authentication if it detects unusual user activity or access.
With AI and ML stitched in, access control and rights management have been automated and this makes it a whole lot easier for CISOs and IT managers.
Additionally, the virtualized capacity of the Application Delivery Controller (ADC) can serve multiple applications. So rather than building ADC capabilities application by application, you can have a single ADC capability that powers the entire datacenter.
ADC capabilities that were traditionally in the datacenter can now easily move between clouds, and this can help CIOs avoid vendor lock-in as well.
Could you walk us through the SD-WAN space in the Indian enterprise today? Some say SD-WAN can lead to cost savings for customers, especially if it is decoded in a high-grade environment. A small fraction though says it’s a hype. What’s your take on this?
SD-WAN is a great way of delivering applications, especially when you want to do so in real-time. Agreed, any new technology has a lot of hype around it and has everybody talking. However, in the case of SD-WAN, that phase has passed. SD-WAN is real, and it’s here to stay.
Customers are looking at alternate connectivity, and with 4G LTE coming into the country, customers are exploring ways of making the best of it. If you look at the agility factor, today we can bring down readiness from seven days to just two hours.
In comparison, MPLS can achieve a 99-point-something uptime, but that still translates to 5-6 hours of downtime in a year. If you look at IoT workloads in factories, they need 100 percent uptime. You will not be able to deliver this if you do not have SD-WAN.
Also, say for instance you want high-quality voice data to be delivered, you simply do not have a choice but to look at SD-WAN.
In addition, Using SD-WAN, what we basically do is packet level filtering through which packets are getting transferred over both the media in MPLS, 4G or whatever back-up we have and then packet by packet, I build it.
What really happens to the desktop virtualization side – to the Zen Desktop portfolio? When does that integrate into the current context?
So, all these three portfolios whether look at virtualization or whether look at Workspace now or whether look at SD-WAN or NetScaler. There is a story of better together. What I mean by that is if you look at just Citrix desktop virtualization, the protocol we use ICA. On Citrix SD-WAN we are the only vendors who can optimize ICA.
For customers using Citrix virtualization, it is much better to go with Citrix SD-WAN portfolio because now we can do it much better than any other vendor.
There is a lot of speculation about Citrix trying to move media into the Citrix cloud. How much of that is actually going to happen and how has been the customer's reaction towards it.
If not properly implemented customers are not going to see value or users are going to get affected. The moment you move to Citrix cloud, we are the best people to manage and run Citrix infrastructure. Customers will definitely see faster adoption better SLAs and you know things of that sort.