Today Citrix announced the general availability of Workspace Cloud – Now Available: Workspace Cloud Changes Everything. It has been an 18 month journey and I am happy to have helped the Workspace Cloud team since November of 2014 by testing and giving feedback for the Apps and Desktops Service. Congrats to the Workspace Cloud team on the launch and general availability!

Citrix Workspace Cloud brings an architecture to XenApp/XenDesktop deployments that is very similar to the ShareFile model. The control plane is hosted in the cloud by Citrix and the XenApp/XenDesktop workloads are hosted anywhere we choose. Workspace Cloud also consists of XenMobile, ShareFile, and more. The control plane contains XenApp/XenDesktop resources such as Delivery Controllers, Director, StoreFront instance, and SQL database instance. That’s right, the SQL database instance for a XenApp/XenDesktop site. With Workspace Cloud we focus on the XenApp/XenDesktop workloads and deploy them where we choose while Citrix maintains the infrastructure components for Delivery Controllers, Director, StoreFront, and SQL. The is huge as SQL high availability is always a huge conversation point during deployments and not all customers have the licensing for SQL high availability options.

To connect the XenApp/XenDesktop workloads to the Citrix Workspace Cloud control plane the Workspace Cloud Connector is downloaded and installed where the workloads are. For example on premises in your datacenter. It runs on a Windows Server and allows resources to be extended to Workspace Cloud. Think of the Workspace Cloud Connector as a mini Controller for desktops and applications workloads. An example of this would be pointing on premises workloads like the VDA in XenApp and XenDesktop for brokering and resource publishing. Another example would be pointing StoreFront (depending on your needs StoreFront can be deployed on premises along side NetScaler Gateway) for XML and STA enumeration and NetScaler Gateway for STA enumeration. In traditional XenApp/XenDesktop deployments we install the vCenter certificate for vSphere integration and the System Center Virtual Machine Manager console for Hyper-v integration on the Delivery Controllers. With Workspace Cloud this would go on the Workspace Cloud Connectors. The Workspace Cloud Connector also allows for enumeration of authentication for publishing resources to users in Workspace Cloud.

What does Workspace Cloud mean to us? Workspace Cloud is another deployment option versus traditional deployments. The benefits I see for Workspace Cloud over traditional deployments are:

  • Choice – Choice of where to deploy XenApp/XenDesktop workloads.  This could be across multiple on premises datacenters, Azure, AWS, etc for example.  This could even be an extension of our on premises datacenter to the cloud for disaster recovery or bursting for more capacity when needed.  We choose where the workloads go.
  • Evergreen – With Workspace Cloud being hosted and maintained by Citrix, the control plane is kept up to date and maintained seamlessly in the background.  Just like with the ShareFile model.  We only maintain the workloads VDA and image content along with on premises resources such as NetScaler Gateway.
  • Time to Value – Quickly being able to get up and started with XenApp/XenDesktop deployments.  Skipping the infrastructure pieces and focusing more time on the workloads.

The Frontline Chatter team of fellow Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) Andrew Morgan and myself were fortunate to have discussed Workspace Cloud and the launch with Joe Vaccaro and Harsh Gupta from the Workspace Cloud team. Check out our Citrix Workspace Cloud is a go! Hear the latest from the A-team! podcast for more information/details on Workspace Cloud and the launch.

Try out Citrix Workspace Cloud for yourself and stay tuned for more to come from the Workspace Cloud team!

If you have found this article interesting or if you have any insights, please feel free to contact me via email.