Manage App Delivery for Next Gen Data Centers and Hybrid Cloud

The current approach to building networks and data centers is outdated. Today’s world is filled with heightened mission demands that place an increased burden on agency’s IT departments to adapt without an increase in budget.

Key trends that are driving an increase in mission demands are:

Mobility—With an increasingly mobile workforce, agencies are being forced to evaluate device, network and security stacks to provide secure access of applications to the mobile endpoint.

Cloud—The rapid adoption of cloud-based applications such as Office365 is challenging the concept of the traditional network security perimeter to ensure government data is protected when accessed from a cloud.

Security—Breaches are on the rise at a network, application, data and user level like never before.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service—Agencies are adopting IaaS to provide flexibility and cost savings for developing and deploying new applications.

Dev Ops app methodologies—This is increasing the speed of application innovation at agencies while also drastically changing networks patterns to E-W traffic. 

“Since these traditional network architecture approaches tend to be hardware and device centric, agencies have typically seen slow application deployments, as well as reduced responsiveness for workers and developers while being costly to manage, upgrade and maintain—resulting in overall lack of agility for the network administrator,” says Faisal Iqbal, Senior Director of Networking at Citrix Public Sector.

Many organizations respond to these changing dynamics by buying more tools and hardware to perform specific functions. While this strategy can work in the short term, it will inevitably lead to more hardware purchases, increasing costs and complexity.

A Better Way

The way forward is to move to an open architecture that supports your legacy datacenter and apps of today, but also allows for the adoption of cloud and hybrid approaches in the future.

Instead of cobbling together multiple solutions across hardware, software and cloud to solve this application delivery challenge, consider a holistic platform-agnostic approach to App Delivery—an approach that is “software-first” by abstracting your apps and workloads from a specific physical network devices, hypervisor, cloud or container.

The software-first approach goes even further by providing visibility for all applications in your environment regardless of location or platform. “This type of network visibility can help agencies make smarter decisions in regards to when applications are deployed, where capacity is needed and where there are security breaches.” Iqbal says, “all while providing investment protection to ensure you can get the longest life out of your hardware.”

A software-first approach to networking also generates efficiencies by consolidating duplicative hardware appliances. Instead of managing multiple network appliances for individual siloed functions—Load Balancing, GSLB, VPN, App Firewall, DDOS protection, Web Proxy, and Auth Gateway—a software-first approach can virtualize and consolidate these functions while retaining the performance benefits of hardware, thus ensuring administrators retain control.

The software-first approach can reduce or even eliminate another challenge with traditional networks—managing spikes in network traffic. Whether caused by an unexpected event like a national disaster or security breach, or expected seasonal spikes due to filing deadlines, traditional networks have difficulty handling these spikes because they are statically programmed. Software-based networks, which have on-demand capacity, allow networks to ramp up when necessary, much like cloud-based architectures.

A traditional hardware-centric approach to networking is too limited to address today’s mission requirements, which require more speed, scalability, agility and visibility. Only a software-first approach to application delivery can provide:

  • a flexible approach that allows faster scaling and the ability to deploy new services/applications on demand
  • a secure utility based consumption model that allows the business to use the best technology, whether in house or externally to meet their business strategy
  • easy scaling up or scaling down of IT services to meet changing business demands
  • significantly consolidated network devices and drive out operating costs
  • the best security and IT control without hindering the business or user productivity

Visit the Citrix Government Briefing Center to learn more about how you can take advantage of a software-first approach to networking to meet your mission-critical government objectives.