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5 Benefits of Migrating Your Citrix Environment to Microsoft Azure
Gordon McKenna, CTO, Public Cloud
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

By 2023, the Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) market is expected to grow 29 percent, as more and more companies reap the benefits of a cloud workspace.  

But what exactly are these benefits and how do they differ from those currently seen on-premises? 

For businesses adopting a cloud-first strategy, desktop migration is the next natural step. As Citrix continues to forge a winning partnership with Microsoft Azure, there is no better time to make the leap to securer, cost effective, and more flexible desktop delivery.  

Desktops on-demand 

So far, on-premises VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), including Citrix VDI, has remained a fairly limited tool, with companies experiencing a number of challenges in its implementation, such as: 

  • Large deployment and management costs 
  • Issues with hardware failure and image sprawl 
  • Over-provisioning due to unpredictable workloads 
  • Expensive end-user support 

However, Citrix on Azure is changing the game for everyone. If you’re already moving data and applications to the cloud, there are several compelling reasons to move your workspace, too.  

1. Simpler OS migration and updates 

More than 65 percent of companies have delayed their migration to Windows 10. But remaining tethered to outdated operating systems results in slower, less protected desktops.  

Committing to a Citrix on Azure solution makes it easier to upgrade to new Windows versions without maxing out network capacity or limiting the functionality of mission-critical applications.  

The flexibility of Azure eliminates the need to build a temporary on-premises environment during transition, so your employees can continue working right up until the moment they switch.   

2. Rapid elasticity for an evolving workforce 

As a growing company, you’re likely to experience ebbs and flows in the size of your workforce. Seasonal employment, new staff onboarding, and mergers and acquisitions all lead to changing business needs.  

By moving your on-premise VDI architecture to the Azure cloud, your company is able to scale on-demand, simplifying the process of workspace deployment. As a result, you only allocate the resources you need, so there’s no chance of over-provisioning. What’s more, spinning up a new desktop, deploying Windows 10 and provisioning Office 365 applications takes just a few minutes, so you don’t have to wait weeks to complete procurement.   

3. Pay only for what you need and use on Azure 

While on-premises VDI also enables you to spin up new desktops from a single golden image, it comes at a considerable cost. Fresh infrastructure is needed with each desktop deployment – a huge CAPEX investment which may remain dormant for months at a time.  

Azure’s pay-per-use pricing model eliminates CAPEX all together and significantly reduces OPEX too. Since Citrix Cloud is run on Azure as a subscription service, you’ll never pay for more than the resources you use. What’s more, migrating your VDI estate to Azure can add $2,015 (£1,450) in additional value per user per year.  

‘When customers make an investment in Citrix, there’s usually a large capital expenditure which then constrains them to the capabilities of the resources that they’ve published. By using the Citrix Cloud [Citrix VDI on Azure], we can actually adapt and make the workloads do what is desired at that period of time, without having the restraint of the capital expenditure.’  

– Ryan Boud, Solution Architect at Inframon, an Ensono company  

4. Built-in security and privacy 

83 percent of businesses say they’re at risk from security breaches because of the complexity of their business and IT operations. For this reason, secure and simple architectural foundations are the key to reducing vulnerabilities in application and desktop delivery.  

Azure provides the secure foundation necessary for your desktop infrastructure needs. In fact, 94 percent of Citrix on Azure users fulfilled security benefits they didn’t have on their on-premise infrastructures. 

The thorough integration between Microsoft and Citrix’s services means that Citrix on Azure provides a seamless end-to-end solution. Intelligent systems that are built into Azure’s DNA, such as real-time risk analysis and identity access management (IAM), ensure security measures are not just present, but proactive in both environments.  

In addition, by migrating your on-premise VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) estate onto Azure, your business can benefit from the reassurance of Azure’s physical, watertight data security.   

5. Build on the Microsoft environment you know and love 

With 90 percent of the Fortune 500 on Azure, it’s clear Microsoft’s popularity is as ubiquitous as ever. This is great news for companies whose legacy systems already run on Microsoft technology. By moving your Citrix environment to Azure, you get all the flexibility and convenience of the cloud without the struggle of retraining employees to use unfamiliar tools.  

Providing this continuity across both on-premises and cloud environments eases the burden on your IT team and allows them to manage all user desktops from one central and accessible location.  

Are you ready to move Citrix VDI to Azure? 

Understanding your goals, use cases, and data location is crucial to the success of any DaaS solution. Therefore, when migrating from Citrix VDI to Citrix on Azure, it’s important to focus on specific business outcomes and ensure you build a clear roadmap to adoption. 

About the Author

Gordon is Ensono's CTO of Public Cloud. Gordon has been awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) 2018-2019, Cloud and Datacenter Management. He is one of the world's leading experts in Microsoft Cloud and Management Technologies, with over 22 years experience in Microsoft datacentre and cloud based technology from his early days as a management specialist with Mission Critical Software and NetIQ, and more recently as founder and owner of Cloud Transformation Specialist Inframon, an Ensono company. Gordon has been personally responsible for some of the largest implementations of System Center and Azure in EMEA and is one of the leading evangelists and industry thought leader for these technologies in the world, regularly presenting at global technology events such as Ignite, TechDays Online Microsoft Tech Summit as well as various other community and partner based events worldwide.