Citrix on Azure Cost Benefits: Why You Should Upgrade Your On-Premise Environment to the Cloud

Your organization has been using an on-premise Citrix environment for a number of years. This Citrix solution is stable and runs as required.

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Your organization has been using an on-premise Citrix environment for a number of years. This Citrix solution is stable and runs as required. However, the on-premise hardware and software you’re using is aging, and upgrading your Citrix software, servers, and storage will be a critical project for your organization in the next 12 months.

If you’re considering an upgrade, then it may be time to consider switching your on-premise Citrix environment to a Cloud-based Citrix on Azure environment instead. Here are the top 5 benefits of switching to Citrix on Azure.

#1: Significant Cost Benefit from Using Smart Scale

Simply put, Smart Scale helps you reduce the costs of running your XenApp or Xen Desktop environment when they’re housed in a public Cloud, such as Microsoft Azure. It’s a proactive scaling and power management option that’s based on a schedule you can define, or the level of demand in a user’s session.

When enabled, Smart Scale dynamically scales the number of registered powered-on machines in your Delivery Group based on need. In fact, Smart Scale provides organizations with the ability to proactively scale using three distinct methods:

  1. Schedule-Based Scaling: you determine the schedule when machines are powered on and off.
  2. Load-Based Scaling: machines are powered on or off depending on the level of demand per session.
  3. Load and Schedule-Based Scaling: using the time periods (schedules) you define, a minimum number of machines will remain powered on when demand (load) requires them.

As a result, using Citrix on Azure provides the flexibility, elasticity, performance and cost savings (up to 50% in many use cases) that makes a compelling case for using Azure for Citrix.

#2: Moving to Monthly OpEx Costs vs Massive Capital Investment

There’s no question that on-premise is more expensive than Cloud. You paid for the “plumbing” when you installed your on-premise Citrix environment, so you know how much Capital Expenditure (CapEx) you’ve already sunk into your environment.

When using a Cloud-based solution like Microsoft Azure to run your Citrix environment, your organization can implement a more cost-effective way to provision your application infrastructure. By moving to Citrix on Azure, you only pay for the compute, storage and network resources that you use, allowing for increasing and decreasing server and storage usage as your business evolves.

A Citrix white paper published in September of 2016 provided a cost analysis of using Microsoft Azure to run Citrix XenApp, which showed that the average XenApp user costs the company just between $6.89 and $8.94 USD per month. Using Citrix’s cost calculator, you can estimate the associated costs of managing XenApp and XenDesktop on-premise versus splitting workloads between on-premises and in Azure, or implementing a full Cloud solution.

#3. Reduce your Administrative Requirements

Citrix on Azure helps you to reduce your administrative requirements in two major ways.

  1. You’re switching from an on-premise to a hybrid or full Cloud environment. If you’re switching to a full Cloud environment, the onus of maintaining the required physical servers is taken away from your IT team and placed on the company that hosts your data (in this case, Microsoft).
  2. Scalability is much easier. With Citrix on Azure, as mentioned above, your IT team can easily scale up or down with just a few clicks of a mouse. Some scalability requirements can even be built into an automated workflow, which leaves your IT team free to do other important tasks.

Your IT team can get your organization started with Citrix on Azure from a simple console in a few easy steps, as indicated in the graphic below.

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#4. Scale Easily – Top 3 Advantages

Many organizations need to be able to scale up and down easily. The elasticity of the Azure platform enables your organization to expand and contract computing resources on-demand, which simplifies management and reduces your costs. Citrix on Azure helps you scale in three ways:

1 –  Increase or Decrease Compute and Storage Capacity Elastically

Azure makes it possible to spin up new virtual machines (or decommission them) in mere minutes, which helps you to adjust your usage as your infrastructure requirements change. Going through a growth period in your organization? Simply implement a new virtual machine through Azure and be up and running almost instantly. 

2 – Automated Processes Help to Regulate Load

Using Microsoft Azure, you can deploy automated processes that turn off your Citrix servers overnight (when your loads are significantly reduced and not in such high demand). Because you only pay for what you consume, this reduces your overall costs by a large margin.

3 – Azure Cloud Storage is Backed by a 99.95% SLA Guarantee

Rely on a growing network of Microsoft-managed datacenters that are supported by Microsoft’s $15 billion USD infrastructure investment, and their 99.95% Service Level Agreement guarantee ensures that you will always have access to your data.

#5: Device Agnostic Mobility

Another major benefit of upgrading to Citrix on Azure is the level of device agnostic mobility available. Citrix’s new receivers include Chrome & HTML 5, Mac 12.6, Windows 4.8, Linux 13.6 and 7.3 for iOS. With these receivers, you can enable mobility, BYOD, flexibility and employee choice while still maintaining the same level of security that you would want for your organization.

Citrix on Azure allows you to deliver your mission-critical applications to your employees anywhere, on any device – all they need is an Internet connection. Using XenDesktop Essentials, you can provide your employees with secured access to a Windows 10 digital workspace on Mac, Android, Windows or Linux devices.

As for your security concerns – Citrix pulls everything from a centralized location (your on-premises or virtual server), so nothing is stored on individual devices. Their commitment to security has led to the integration between Citrix XenMobile and NetScaler with Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite (EM+S). Citrix NetScaler and EM+S will work in tandem to provide Virtual Private Network capabilities for more secure, identity-based access to on-premises applications on Microsoft InTune-managed devices. Join more than 37,000 enterprise customers who have decided to use EM+S to secure their Citrix mobile environments.

Considering Your Citrix Environment Upgrade?

Whether you’re doing it for the increase in administrative freedom, the decrease in CapEx costs, or the scalability it provides, upgrading your current on-premises Citrix environment to a Citrix on Azure environment is worth considering.

Here is a summary of the five benefits of switching to Citrix on Azure. If you want to learn more about Citrix on Azure and see a live demo of the product in action, here is a Citrix on Azure Live Demo On-Demand webinar, co-hosted with Citrix and Microsoft, you can watch at your convenience.

About ProServeIT

As a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner, ProServeIT has been helping organizations of all sizes increase their efficiency, eliminate their “IT debt” and apply a security lens to everything they do. ProServeIT understands that every organization has different needs and challenges, and will work with you to understand your organization’s culture, your customers, and what’s most important to you as a company. Providing customized solutions that help you simplify your IT infrastructure, increase your team’s productivity, and grow your business, ProServeIT can use their expertise and experience to digitally transform your business.