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Citrix Workspace Cloud And Browser Apps Service Coming Online By End Of 2015

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Citrix Systems made two significant announcements in the past week. At Citrix Synergy, it previewed Citrix Workspace Cloud, showing the first cloud platform to manage and securely deliver apps and data from customers' public cloud or hybrid infrastructure. Citrix also introduced a technical preview of the Workspace Cloud Browser Apps Service. This provides simple, secure, high performance remote access to any internal or external web application that has been enabled.

This is significant because it overcomes challenges with applications requiring full VPN-level communication in situations where this is not possible (on the client), too complex, or too expensive to deploy.

Citrix identified three scenarios driving remote access decisions. For organizations concerned with absolute security, no remote access is provided. While technically secure, this has become increasingly impractical, as employees shifted away from offices and began to utilize a diverse set of mobile devices, and workforces increasingly demand access to corporate assets from any location.

The next rung is deploying a VPN. Over the past decade, VPNs have become slow, overburdened, expensive and unwieldy. They are also predominantly focused on desktop- and notebook-class machines, because smartphone and tablet configuration offers mixed results. Finally, for organizations that invested heavily in externally-hosted SaaS-based applications, the core questions on security are re-introduced, and the applications require significant upfront and ongoing support.

The elegance of Citrix's new Workspace Cloud Browser Apps Service is twofold. First, it is built on top of Citrix's core Workspace Cloud, trusted by organizations requiring easy remote access to enterprise assets, yet demanding the highest level of security. Second, a non-VPN browser-enclosed model balances a high degree of user experience and flexibility, because everything happens behind the scenes.

To expand on the security aspects, Citrix can limit external SaaS applications to certain IP addresses to minimize "outside-in" security threats, yet still offer availability to external users. In essence, end point devices are not directly connected to the intranet, but they still have access to applications behind the corporate firewall. Further, because end points are not directly accessing the website, an organization can explicitly prevent any data from touching these end points and prevent data loss.

On the usability side, everything is contained within a browser. The Browser App Service offers automatic redirection of processing and logic with presentation to the user through an HTML5-enabled browser. Citrix has eliminated the need for administrators or end users to configure VPNs or quirky tunnels.

This service is available in beta form now for Workspace Cloud customers and will be generally released by the end of 2015.