Citrix Technology and Why it Matters
Author: Bruce Elwert | Senior Systems Engineer, Operations
Behind the scenes, IT departments are constantly being challenged to do more with fewer resources. If you are in IT, you know exactly what we are talking about! At BullsEye, we’ve found a few software applications that can truly make our jobs easier and our network more secure.
One of those tools is Citrix software’s XENAPP and XENDESKTOP. This software allows our company to consolidate all its corporate applications into a group of server farms versus having to have it all installed on every user’s PC or laptop. All users then use a client to run these applications remotely either with a virtual desktop or as a seamless application that appears to be part of your local PC or laptop.
Using Citrix in our environment allows us to keep management of applications consolidated at all times and ensure everything is identical per server helping to avoid users having different versions of software running locally.
With today’s security focus being at an all-time high, if one of the Citrix Application servers is compromised in any way, we can easily shut it down while still allowing multiple other servers to stay online so users can continue to work as normal.
Another advantage for administrators utilizing Citrix is the maintenance required to keep a group of server farms updated versus every PC or laptop. This eliminates the issue of having to make sure every user’s laptop or PC is always online in order to do upgrades or updates, not to mention remote users and people who take their laptops home with them, this can take a long time over a slow internet connection. Citrix dramatically reduces maintenance time as we can now update a master image that is shared with multiple servers, eliminating the possibility of applications being out of sync. This is all done from a process called Citrix Provisioning Services while still allowing users to work normally and access all their applications. The result? Uptime and SLA metrics of 99.99% availability.
Citrix makes it possible to work remotely anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Your desktop and applications are exactly the same whether you are working on the other side of the world remotely or in the office.
Security at BullsEye is of the utmost importance in keeping its data secure. Instead of giving every user access to their individual PC or laptop through a remote session, we feel by limiting their access to a group of identical servers to run their applications, the IT department stays in complete control of the systems and keeps the systems more protected from being compromised from hackers, viruses, etc. Even if one of the servers is compromised, it can be taken offline while users can still continue to work by accessing another of the Citrix servers. If a user was not using Citrix and was using their local applications on their PC or laptop and their system was to become compromised, they would not be able to continue to work until their PC or laptop had been restored by the IT department.
Incorporating tools like Citrix has been a win-win for BullsEye’s employees, giving them less to worry about. And with that, they have more time to focus on our business and our clients instead of computer and access issues.