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  • Codename Your SD-WAN Transformation Project Butterfly


    ljmartinrnd.png by Lyndon-Jon Martin, CTA, Citrix

    The world as we know it has changed. We are consuming tools within our workspace in a profoundly different way versus two years ago, and many organisations are struggling with on-boarding of NEW tools, let alone MANAGING all of them, in today's workspace. Citrix Workspace App (https://www.citrix.com/products/workspace-app/) is the enabler to unlocking your future state of on-boarding + managing all these NEW tools (LOB Apps) within our workspace. Previous challenges now become part of the daily routine for IT, and saying YES more often!

    I have to be honest. For me, this is only one part or piece (BUT an important one) of your digital puzzle, as you drive ever onwards towards your Workspace (Digital) Transformation outcomes along your "Journey.” To be frank, this journey is consistently changing and becoming more evergreen as it morphs day-by-day and week-by-week. Thus, be sure to learn more about Citrix Workspace App today, as it will help you.

    Transforming a Workspace + Workplace (personally) begins with implementing modern authentication platforms and standards (e.g., OAuth 2.0) inline with workspace app/HTML5 portals that support contextual access empowered with Biometrics + closed loop analytics, stepping towards passwordless workspace access controlled by user behaviour with a modern form of identity (e.g., AAD). It's clear in my mind when I do engage customers through our Citrix partners (themselves too) who have already undertaken this Identity transformation, shifting to AAD, OKTA, etc., they are near to completing this piece of the digital puzzle.

    Next, is to morph your WAN at all sites into a single logical (virtual) link, much like how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, enabling flight (i.e., WAN agility + security) and of course, beauty (i.e., an ALWAYS-ON HD experience to consume any type of traditional/current/modern Line Of Business (LOB) app).

    Once your WAN has morphed into a butterfly, users, application + infrastructure servers, (cloud) hypervisors, and even the IT server individuals see a butterfly fluttering or in flight. In order to achieve a flutter vs. flight (e.g., the mechanics of flight + movement), Citrix SD-WAN enables everything to work together collectively (head, body, wings and legs) as one. This is what Citrix SD-WAN does–it morphs your Wide Area Network (WAN) into a butterfly by converting it into a Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN).


    Why a butterfly to describe SD-WAN?


    Simple: its beautiful once it morphs from a caterpillar and, when all the mechanics come together, flight or a flutter (your choice) in any weather condition (breeze, high winds, storms) is now possible. I’ll define the butterfly's anatomy as follows: SD-WAN Centre is the head, the body (thorax), of course, is the Master Control Node (MCN). The abdomen is the optional Regional Control Node (RCN), and the wings (fore + hind) are your branch and satellite offices (e.g., 210-SE-LTE appliance) and finally, the legs/antenna could be remote workers consuming the SD-WAN Plug-in, which is use-case dependant (WANOP).


    So why all the fuzz about SD-WAN? Isn’t this just a new bunch of buzz words? Now maybe I’ve added butterfly into the mix?


    No and here is why.


    If you are purely a SaaS LOB app + Content & Collaboration (EFSS) house, for the tools in your workspace, you definitely need Citrix SD-WAN today now more than ever. Why? These tools depend heavily upon an ALWAYS-ON WAN that is secure and provides an HD experience each and every time a tool is consumed. If you have children, they most likely consume a digital multimedia service (e.g., streaming their favourite cartoons, animation movies, etc.). What happens if you don’t have anything synced to a device(s) and the internet goes offline or that platform offering multimedia content has an outage? If you're a parent like me, you’ll know what I am talking about and can fill in the gaps with your own children.


    We, as adults, are similar to our children when we are consuming SaaS LOB apps + Content (EFSS) consistently and it works–we are HAPPY. But> when our internet connection (e.g., WAN) underperforms or is OFFLINE (e.g., my SaaS LOB app doesn’t open at all or loads VERY slowly), we get upset, grumpy and annoyed. Let's be honest with one another: it somehow also always seems to occur when a deadline is due or a customer is requesting something quite important, right?


    Therefore in this new blog series, I’m going to explore a few areas around the importance of becoming a consumer of Citrix SD-WAN, looking into the following topics:


    • How relevant is WANOP in the world of today (2018) vs. what exactly is it?
    • Why did Citrix call one edition of Citrix SD-WAN “Standard” and why is it critical to your workplace + workspaces success?
    • Why we need to consider SWG’s to support internet breakouts and more? 


    One thing though, that is very clear in my mind, is that for today, tomorrow and the future, a WAN that transforms into an SD-WAN (e.g., a “Butterfly") which is ALWAYS-ON, HIGH-AVAILABLE and SECURE, will provide the BEST IN CLASS USER EXPERIENCE for all the tools within the workspace + workplace today, tomorrow and into the future ahead. For me, it will be the enabler for whatever the next transformation agenda is as we embark upon this current great shift in IT/Technology. Stay tuned for the next blog post in the series, where I will focus on one of the above topics in a random order.


    The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix.

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