The core belief of the NetScaler Cloud Gateway is ONE application access point, with ONE login for all applications, for users – while providing enterprise IT teams ONE centralized way of controlling all applications, enterprise or cloud based. This user experience and IT control is available for ANY application, across ANY device, on ANY network, by integrating with the Citrix Receiver.
Citrix Receiver seamlessly integrates with NetScaler Cloud Gateway, along with XenApp, to provide a single window access to any application. Users can subscribe to applications, pin it to their start menu or other device specific shortcuts. If users do not have access to an application, they can even request for an account from within the Receiver. This way, users can access any application – either enterprise or cloud based, Windows or Web.
Receiver’s support for a variety of platforms, and complete integration with the Cloud Gateway means that the users have the same experience across any device – personal or corporate.
The underlying SSL VPN capability within the Cloud Gateway, makes it possible to connect to intranet applications from outside the enterprise network, on-demand. The access control policies also make it possible to identify the user’s network, and accordingly grant access to applications.
The NetScaler cloud gateway supports federation technologies like SAML, but equally importantly supports authentication to non-SAML applications as well, using the application’s APIs, HTTP federation or other alternate mechanisms. The end user experience is single sign-on, always based on their own enterprise domain credentials. Users never have to deal with forgotten credentials or lock themselves out of their applications again.
The Cloud Gateway can provision user accounts either based on their directory group association, or allow the users to request access to applications. This request initiates approval workflows – and once access is provided, those applications become available within the Citrix Receiver. At any point in time, either to add their available applications, or request access for new applications, a user only has to go to one place – the Citrix Receiver.
SaaS and cloud applications, by their nature of being departmental, or being procured without necessarily keeping the enterprise IT teams in the loop, lead quickly to scalability issues around organizational processes. The enterprise IT teams, that offered services and managed enterprise applications in the past can extend those same services for the delivery of SaaS and Cloud applications as well. What stops them from being able to do that is the lack of a consolidated control point for these external applications. NetScaler Cloud Gateway addresses this by providing key administrative capabilities for a diverse set of administrators – either to manage user permissions for the busienss user, manage license and utilization for the application owner, or monitor and assess SLA compliance for the operations teams.
So there you have it – NetScaler Cloud Gateway, a new product from Citrix, providing ONE view, ONE login and ONE control for ANY application, on ANY device, over ANY network.
Update – Mar 13 2012
Prathap’s comment below prompted me to revisit this blog that was written some time back. The product has undergone a couple of key changes over the past year, resulting in the launch of CloudGateway Enterprise late last year. CloudGateway Enterprise is a broader product, which adds on to the ability of delivering XenApp applications and XenDesktop though CloudGateway Express edition. We’ve since refreshed the Web/SaaS controller piece with a newer version with additional capabilities in Feb 2012. The links below walk through the changes, and timelines -