The Choice is yours in the Citrix Cloud

Synergy 2014 is over and while I work to catch up with everything else (apparently life does move forward outside of Synergy), I keep thinking about one keynote demo that really made me stop and think… Citrix Workspace Services.

Based on my understanding, you can think of Citrix Workspace Services as the following (these are the brief notes I took during the keynote):

  1. Citrix provides a “Control Plane” running in the cloud (It happens to be on Azure if you are wondering)
  2. The Control Plane lets an organization spin up a XenApp or XenDesktop environments anywhere

This is a pretty easy concept at the high-level, but the more I think about this, the more interesting it becomes.

Every solution must include

  • Physical layer resources (the hardware) – The physical layer resources can be anywhere. They can be in any number of IaaS providers (Azure, AWS, CloudPlatforms, etc., etc., etc.), or they can be within your own data center.
  • Control layer resources (the management). The control layer resources must be accessible from anywhere so that administrators can support their environment even when they are travelling and out of office and the control layer resources must be able to access the physical layer components located anywhere.

Now here is what gets me really excited about this idea… (Remember, this was just a keynote demo. I’m not sure what functionality it will have, how it will work, or how all of the nuts/bolts fit together. This is all my speculation).

  • The cloud frightens me: Many of the concerns with a cloud-hosting is that they are risky and that there is a risk that the IaaS vendors can see your data and know all of your secrets. Every organization has secrets and they don’t want them in the cloud but every organization also has other resources that can be in the cloud. (Do you think KFC will put the Colonel’s secret chicken recipe in the cloud?). With Citrix Workspace Servers every organization can have a single solution where portions of it are within the on-prem data center while other portions are in the cloud.
  • IaaS Does Not Own Me: One of the biggest concerns I hear when people think about moving to the cloud is that they are locked into to the provider (much worse than trying to cancel your fitness club membership). It sounds like Citrix Workspace Services might make this easy to overcome. Let’s say you deliver your apps from AWS and next year you find that you will get better results with Azure. You don’t have to re-design your entire solution or learn a whole new solution. All you will need to do is go into Citrix Workspace Services and deploy a new solution on Azure while you shut down your AWS deployment. What about migrating machines/data? No idea yet as this as still just a demo.
  • I want to deliver something good too: Let’s say I’m a service provider and want to get into the hosting game. This would appear to make my life easier. I don’t need to setup my own infrastructure, I can leverage Citrix Workspace Services and let it build my environment on any platform I choose. I can then build my own services around it.

Seems like Citrix Workspace Services brings a whole new meaning to any, any, any.

Virtual Feller’s virtual thoughts