With relinquishing control of core infrastructure, learning to use cloud services, and planning a roll out, your journey to the cloud can be a daunting experience. But with the Citrix Workspace intelligent experience just around the corner, there has never been a better time to begin using Citrix Cloud! Here are five tips to help you get started:
1 – Create a Plan
Not sure where to start on your journey to the cloud? The Citrix Cloud Success Center has you covered. Included as part of your MyCitrix account, it’s a great place to get started, with myriad documents and other resources for your perusal. But that’s not all! It gives you the ability to create a timeline and plan a roll-out schedule, and it gives you loads of tips on delivering Citrix Cloud services to your users. You can even get a link to your plan so you can share your success with others!
2 – Manage Your Users
Users are the most important part of any cloud journey, so ensuring they’re on board with your transition to the cloud is vital. With that in mind, here are a few tools and design decisions that can simplify your user-management process.
Cloud Connectors are a key infrastructure component, connecting your on-premises site to Citrix Cloud. They are self-updating and require little administration. There is a range of installation and configuration options for your Cloud Connectors, but the setup is quick and easy. Once you have your connectors and cloud account linked, users from Active Directory will be able to log in to Citrix Workspace. You can also monitor key cloud connector metrics by navigating to Resource Locations through the Citrix Cloud admin site. See the image below for an example of the monitoring charts available.
Azure Active Directory Connect
You can link your on-prem Active Directory to Citrix Cloud, but why not take the extra step in your cloud journey and use Azure Active Directory? Citrix Cloud supports Azure Active Directory for both administrators and users logging into Citrix Workspace. After your user accounts are synced to Azure, log in to Citrix Cloud and head to Identity and Access Management > Authentication and connect to your Azure account.
If you use delegated administration with your on-prem Virtual Apps and Desktops site, you’ll be delighted to know that Citrix Cloud features refined controls for multiple services, allowing you to have greater control over who can administer and access your cloud services. You can see an example of this below.
Navigate to Identity and Access Management > Administrators to configure access levels for each individual user.
Once you’ve configured the back end, prepare your users for Citrix Cloud by distributing the user guides from your success plan (shown below).
3 – Automate the Pain Away
Rest assured, those countless hours you’ve spent in front of a command shell, writing scripts for your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployment, are not wasted! Citrix Cloud features a Remote PowerShell SDK for the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service. Below are a few commands to try out:
Using the Remote SDK
Download the Remote PowerShell SDK and use the following commands to get started:
Add the Citrix snap-ins:
Authenticate to Citrix Cloud:
Import and Export CVAD Policies
Once you’ve authenticated, you can enter the same commands that you would use against your on-prem site. For example, move your policies to Citrix Cloud by entering the following commands:
Export your existing policies (Run this against on-prem site):
• Export-BrokerDesktopPolicy | Out-File –FilePath policies.txt
Import your policies (Run this using Remote PowerShell SDK):
• Import-BrokerDesktopPolicy (Get-Content policies.txt)
4 – It’s Great to Recycle
If your cloud goal is to leverage the best of both worlds with a hybrid solution, Citrix Cloud enables you to reuse a lot of your on-prem infrastructure through the use of connectors and cloud services.
The Citrix Gateway service gives you the flexibility to deploy Citrix Cloud gateways or connect your existing on-prem gateways.
Head to Resource Locations > Gateway (+) to try this out and manage your Citrix Cloud services all in one place.
You can also leverage the capabilities of the Citrix Application Delivery Management service to monitor and manage your on-prem gateways via Citrix Cloud — from anywhere.
Connect Content Collaboration
If you already have a ShareFile Cloud account, you can link it to the Citrix Content Collaboration service.
Once you have linked your existing account or have created a new one, users will be able to access files and folders, as well as other resources, such as Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix Secure Browser, and SaaS apps — all from Citrix Workspace!
If you’ve spent time making your on-prem StoreFront look customized and branded, why not use this branding to make your Workspace equally aesthetic? In the Citrix Cloud admin portal, you can add logos to the log in user interface, and the post-log in user interface, as well as change the color scheme to match your branding.
Navigate to Workspace Configuration > Customize to make your workspace look awesome.
5 – Try the New Stuff!
Now that your cloud journey has begun, why not make use of all the shiny, exciting services and features. Here are a few to try out:
With the Citrix Analytics service, collecting performance and usage insights, as well as securing your site, has never been easier.
In the on-prem world, it’s difficult to enforce endpoint rules, such as preventing jailbroken devices connecting to your resources. With Citrix Analytics, it’s easy to set policies and subsequent actions to prevent such behavior. Machine learning algorithms also track user behavior, which allows you to spot oddities and prevent potential threats.
Create your own policies via the Analytics Service (shown below)
The Intelligent Workspace
By now, you’ve probably heard of the Citrix Workspace intelligent experience. (Don’t worry if you haven’t. You can catch up here.) With services like microapps and virtual assistants forming part of the workspace, Citrix Cloud is leading the path to increased productivity for your users.
I hope these tips come in useful for your cloud journey. If you have any tips of your own, be sure to leave them in the comments below.