Citrix Updates NetScaler SD-WAN Platform for Greater Cloud Compatibility

April 20, 2017

By Frank Griffin, Contributing Writer

Flexible, open, and cloud-based WAN technologies are in greater demand because they don't require propriety or specialized WAN technology that are more costly in term of capital and operations. Software defined networking has catapulted Software Defined WAN or SD-WAN into one of the fastest growing segments in IT, and as more organizations deploy the technology, service providers are providing more options to make it available easily. Citrix is doing this by updating its NetScaler SD-WAN platform to provide increased compatibility for cloud providers and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.

As more of the services enterprises use is being accessed through the cloud, the move by Citrix (News - Alert) to make NetScaler cloud-friendly is a logical choice. As Donna Johnson said on the company blog, "Even companies that have already taken advantage of hybrid WAN connectivity and SD-WAN solutions are looking at strategies to deal with the growth of cloud and internet traffic, increasingly reorienting their WAN to be cloud-first and not datacenter focused."

The new features Citrix has developed is going to let enterprises build secure connections directly from the branch to the cloud. This eliminates the need to backhaul traffic to the datacenter by identifying and offloading internet and cloud traffic. According to Johnson, this is accomplished while improving the user experience and security profile, but without sacrificing reliability

Citrix says it has created the most powerful integrated WAN Edge solution on the market in NetScaler SD-WAN by combining the best virtual WAN technology built on real-time path selection, enterprise-grade routing and WAN Optimization services. The new addition also includes an integrated zone-based, stateful firewall and enhanced application identification for SaaS applications and websites. Secure connections can now be enabled to cloud providers like Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) along with thousands of different SaaS applications from the branch.

Organizations will be able to simply configure how resources are accessed by limiting the type of applications and sites users can access building application policies from the same centralized and intuitive GUI. In addition to the simplified configuration, more than 4,000 applications can be identified, which now includes sub-applications, whether they are encrypted or not.

Administrators will have more tools for easy access to firewall and application policies so they can better understand which applications are in use with usage reports. And with the expansion of the Zero Touch Deployment service, they can accelerate the deployment time and eliminate the need for technical personnel on site while doubling the number of sites that can be managed with a single instance of a NetScaler SD-WAN controller.