In American football, there are precisely 11 offensive players on the field at any one time. Ultimate success requires the disciplined coordination amongst all of the players. Yet, there are two positions that typically anchor the strategy for the entire squad – the left tackle, and the QB. Why?

The left tackle is primarily responsible for protection. Namely, protecting the quarterback’s ‘blind side’ so the he can execute the offensive play as planned. A breakdown in protection is a recipe for failure. The quarterback, of course, is the player most responsible for delivering the ball to a teammate – any running back, any receiver, any tight end. Pretty elementary stuff for most football fans. But, what does this have to do with Cloud Networks?

Well, consider a traditional enterprise network – many discrete elements, numerous policies, and multiple networking experts required to pull it together. Strong network protection and the reliable delivery of applications, however, stand out as IT imperatives for all organizations. For such highly critical objectives, the football owner/general manager often uses their first-round pick to select the very best talent. If instead you’re responsible for your company’s network, then you choose best-in-class solutions for protection (network security) and delivery (ADCs and load balancing).

Which brings us to today’s big news. Citrix is proud to announce a strategic, multi-phase partnership with Palo Alto Networks – the leader in next-generation security solutions. Citrix and Palo Alto have forged a partnership based upon a common vision of how enterprise networks must adapt in the Cloud Era. Specifically – our partnership will provide the right solutions that, when used together, enable our mutual customers build networks that seamlessly deliver any application, desktop and data to any user, in any location, while maintaining the very best performance, availability and security. When you’re able to do this at scale, that is what Citrix and Palo Alto Networks call a Cloud Network.

Citrix NetScaler. Palo Alto Networks. One seamless, scalable Cloud Network.