According to leading IT research company Gartner, which is based in Stamford, cloud computing is accelerating globally. Gartner 2011-2017 forecast states an estimation of 250 million users by 2017. Back in 2013, this prediction was supported by a number of enterprises worldwide. These enterprises were relying on cloud technology to develop, market and sell their products and services.

This makes us conclude that the world of enterprise IT is changing at a rapid pace. Both innovators and early adopters have bets on their private or hybrid cloud initiatives, while career and enterprise success hang in the balance. Already Gartner predicts that worldwide software as a service (SaaS) would grow astoundingly on a yearly growth rate of 20.2%. This means it will be growing from the current 19 billion users to about 45 billion users by 2017. That's the reason why many companies are re-branding to get a piece of the pie.

In line with this, Citrix, a leading industry brand in cloud computing has announced the release of Citrix Cloud Platform 4.3. Unlike the previous generations of this platform, Cloud Platform 4.3 is diverse in capabilities. It appears to be the ultimate solution that both corporates and enterprises have been waiting for.

Citrix Cloud Platform 4.3 offers a cloud-management solution that is flexible, scalable and compatible with a diverse range of applications to help you maximize on the potential of your cloud investments. 
It’s currently considered the only cloud orchestration & management system that syncs well with desktop workloads, cloud-native workloads, as well as traditional enterprise application workloads. All this is integrated under one platform to simplify the work at hand.

But why exactly does it matter to Apprenda?

It is a fact that all customers who desire to leverage the efficiency of their cloud operations also want to streamline its integration, communication and collaboration among app developers to ensure rapid development and production of software products and services. 

You see, application development & deployment doesn’t need to be held hostage by infrastructure such as Laas, Hardware, operating systems, or any other '’downstairs dictators’’ in the field. All these things need to be managed from a centralized server-level infrastructure. 

Now, the new Citrix Cloud Platform 4.3 seeks to incorporate both open and flexible infrastructure in order to support modernized Cloud-enabled. Net and Java applications, all of which are tied to the Apprenda Paas. When this is achieved, the system delivers a fully managed and seamless private/cloud orchestration.
Why is Citrix Cloud Platform relevant to the current IT world? What new features does it have?
The IT world expects to reap a lot more benefits from this premium platform. The following is a summary of what users should expect:

  1.  It supports the latest release of worldwide virtualization platforms, not limited to Microsoft Windows Server 2012, KVM, VMware vSphere among others.
  2.  4.3 integrates well with other third-party support systems such as computer storage, networking and other infrastructural components.
  3. It has an intelligent cloud infrastructure resource to effectively manage and control components for efficiency.
  4. It enhances a wide range of connectivity options such as remote access to VPN networks and also site to site virtual private clouds, which facilitates desktop application workloads, data centers, and cloud-native across dispersed data centers.
  5. It enables faster on-boarding of users because it supports directory services through LDAP and Apache directory servers. This ensures flexible scaling of workload, thus improving the quality of service.
  6. Because of the XenDesktop and XenApp factors, users will enjoy a faster workload provisioning system which results in efficient management of operations within the IT system.

Flexibility and Opportunities for Service Providers

The enterprise world expects to see lots of changes and features with the coming of the new platform. The sole purpose of this platform is to offer an open and scalable platform that provides an orchestration layer between administrators and underlying hyper-visor. In the end, virtualized workloads can be worked on with greater simplicity and efficiency. This also eliminates the need to worry about any underlying specs of the infrastructure in question.

It appears that the new virtual machine could just be a virtual desktop or server that operates on Xen VMWare /Hyper-V, even though the provisioning and user experience remains the same. This will automatically offer the ultimate solution for Cloud Service Providers and large enterprises to work efficiently because most of them don’t have just one virtualization solution.

It is upon this that Citrix Cloud Platform 4.3 is built with its new, improved support for hybrid cloud environment, where a data center could be extended into a cloud service provider’s workplace, or in a public cloud where workloads are shared between unlimited users.

It’s currently the only solution that supports desktop, cloud workload and enterprise applications from a single integrated platform.

Thus, there are several features, as well as improvements that we’ve seen with this new creation.

The following is what industry players expect to find with Cloud Platform 4.3.

An increased choice of Virtualization platforms & Infrastructure
It’s a guarantee that 4.3 will increase choices for virtualization platforms to be used. The reason being, it supports the latest release in virtualization platforms, including Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Server 2012 R2, VMware vSphere and many others.

This feature has even made it possible to work with other third-party data center infrastructures in the field. 

The good news is that this will enable users to natively orchestrate and provide computing security, networking and storage of workloads from Jupiter, Cisco, and NetApp. 
4.3 supports a vast array of storage technologies as well as protocols. It seamlessly orchestrate blocks, object and file storage regardless of which storage technology or protocol is being used at the time. Because these concerns practically don’t exist, users are able to work without having to worry about their data security. 

Citrix CloudPlatform 4.3 works with industry-standard APIs to offer the best service there can be. It works with applications such as Platform-as-a-service (also known as Paas), while ensuring efficient monitoring and capacity management. 

Industry APIs are similar to that of Apache CloudStack, plus they are also compatible with the 2 Amazon Web Services, EC2 and S3 APIs.

Orchestration and Provisioning

Citrix CloudPlatform 4.3 is equipped with an automated infrastructure system, whose main role is to enhance end-to-end provisioning through its feature-rich web-based, menu-driven wizard, which combines various tasks, such as networking, assigning IP addresses, and many other operations.
It also ensures complete visibility of the cloud infrastructure through efficient management of all computer operations. Components involved under this feature include CPU functions, IP pools, memory and aggregated storage.

And lastly, it features an intuitive account management system. With this feature, users are able to save time because signing on is easy and quick. Furthermore, it leverages the corporate directory, thus ensuring faster on-boarding experience. 

Mapping new users into a business unit is also very simple with the new 4.3. Tenants can be mapped into a service provider settings with great ease. 

Efficiency & Control is improved

The future of IT is clearly set with the inception of 4.3 into the market. The intelligent cloud infrastructure of 4.3 is no doubt, a big revolution in the IT sector as it assures efficient resource management as well as cloud infrastructure maintenance. 

For a long time, the IT sector has been looking for a solution that would improve their efficiency in service delivery, so this is a big plus for the relevant departments who integrate cloud technology to deliver services to customers.

In the past, IT department also had a challenge when they had to work with geographically-separated data centers. This is not a problem anymore as 4.3 guarantees simplification of App workload management across different geographically-separated data centers, and this is a bonus, especially when it involves handling connectivity options for applications that need virtual private clouds. 

Quick Service Provision

Rapidness is the epitome of the newly released 4.3. It’s going to enhance speed and quality of services offered to customers through its fast end-user provisioning. This accelerates both the app and infrastructure on-boarding, which translates to increased agility and speedy delivery of workloads. This is where XenDesktop and Xen App environments become relevant. 

How Is 4.3 Going To Fit Into Deep Security 9.5?

For a long time, security of data has been a big concern among users. Security challenges have continued to evolve with the release of advanced cloud systems. Because Cloud Platforms give users the ability to provide workload in a physical or cloud location through a single management console, challenges in data security has remained an important area of concern.

It is no longer safe to have a traditional enterprise security solution and think that you’re safe. In other words, what is being offered as a security solution needs to be context-aware? To say context-aware, we would be asking questions such as; is this machine physical or virtual? Was it in an individual’s data center before being migrated into a public-based cloud? Which data center is it in, and should it remain in the public cloud at all? Since the migration of data to the public cloud was advanced, has security consoles changed? And more such questions.

The good thing is that these security concerns have been addressed by the encrypted Secure-Cloud, which offers an ideal platform to meet all the concerns raised above. The system offers industry-leading features that guarantees data protection through VMware NSX Software. 

Through VMware NSX Software, the cloud becomes a secure place for data storage and transmission. It provides anti-ware capabilities, as well as context awareness. Context awareness ensures that security policies are applied on all virtual workloads, and are securely encrypted to seal any loopholes that might grant access to crucial data in case the machine is migrated from one place to the other.

Native scalability & operations

By now, you know that the Citrix CloudPlatform 4.3 offers enhanced cloud-native scalability support through the following features: object storage, region, simplified cloud management, cloud and business management.

Region is a term given to refer to areas where services are deployed within the system. There are multiple zones in which users can deploy their cloud-based services.

Object storage - this feature enhances application availability since it enables cloud-native applications to leverage distributed objects (which are S3-compartible) in a region.

It offers a simplified cloud management system - Other functionality such as user account management, billing and metering, self-service provisioning, and support ticketing all work hand in hand to offer a seamless experience for the 4.3 user. All these features are available through the Cloud portal business manager for Citrix.

Other services that relate to workload encapsulation

Users are offered an opportunity to gain control over all layers of the application. Through port filtering, advanced network isolation and other security features, it is possible to offer advanced tenant isolation within the system. Users can also work with data from restricted server located within address-country specific databases.

Citrix CloudPlatform 4.3 has a complex private infrastructure, which dedicates resources intelligently. Through this feature, tenants are only able to gain access to relevant data alone. Nothing in form of the entire data center will be exposed. This is one security feature that makes 4.3 safer than its predecessors.

With the tier system of the 4.3 Cloud Platform, users can configure different service models by effectively tagging compute/storage options.

And with the advanced cloud networking capabilities, users are guaranteed to work with different types of application workloads. If you like, you can use the system as it is. But there's always an option to customize network offerings to distinguish different classes of services available.

It's the Only Cloud Platform That Gives You the Piece of Mind You Deserve

It's the first ever cloud platform that offers complete control over all the components of the network. It monitors its own network and fixes errors automatically, thus giving you an easy time where service delivery is concerned.

Few other points worth noting

Citrix certification is now solutions-based. It's an entire reflection of the evolving needs of IT professionals and organizations. As a certified expert or professional, you have the real-world experience and skills needed to deliver excellent Citrix solutions.

The Citrix Cloud Platform will remain competitive as ever. With the vast array of features here, the sky is the limit for IT enthusiasts. The ease and diversity that this platform comes with are the most desirable features of Citrix CloudPlatform 4.3. No doubt, the effects of 4.3 are going to be felt in the IT arena.

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