CloudBridge 7.3 bundles together unprecedented HDX visibility for branch users with new WAN optimization capabilities for IPv6 and Exchange 2013 traffic.  Moreover, there are some major strides with this release in centralized management which enable administrators to remotely configure new branch appliances  from scratch and perform firmware upgrades on all CloudBridge appliances, thus saving on time, effort and cost. As enterprises migrate their XenApp/XenDesktop workloads to Amazon cloud, they can use this release to deploy the industry-leading HDX optimization and secure cloud connectivity from CloudBridge. Read on to find more about this power-packed release…

Citrix offers the CloudBridge WAN optimization product line that comes with multiple unique capabilities including industry leading HDX optimization, secure cloud connectivity, video optimization and an optional integrated Windows Server. This blog talks about 7 key features in the latest firmware release 7.3 that add further to this diversified list of CloudBridge capabilities.

1. Visibility with HDX Insight and CloudBridge

 

HDX Insight with NetScaler has gained tremendous popularity as a network and application visibility tool among Citrix customers. HDX Insight powered with CloudBridge brings additional value to this solution by with visibility into traffic between branch employees and XenApp/XenDesktop farms. By virtue of its placement within the network and protocol-intelligent parsing, CloudBridge with Insight enables network administrators to pin-point performances issues ahead of users raising complaints by providing live and historical reports that go far beyond what other WAN optimization solutions can provide.

2. AutoConfigure branch-side CloudBridge appliances using Command Center 

With the new AutoConfiguration feature, the data-center administrator can choose a configuration profile for each branch CloudBridge appliance from the Command Center console and create the mapping between intended configuration and the appliance using either IP address or Serial Number. After this, whenever the CloudBridge appliance comes up at any branch, it contacts the Command Center to pull its mapped configuration, applies the received configuration and starts optimizing branch traffic. Thus majority of the configuration process can be automated and orchestrated using the Command Center with minimal effort for branch-side IT staff.

3. Accelerate Outlook traffic for Microsoft Exchange 2013 ( RPC over HTTPS optimization)

We have talked about many capabilities that make CloudBridge an ideal fit for enterprises with a significant investment in Microsoft applications and infrastructure in an earlier blog post. The latest version of Microsoft Exchange, uses “RPC over HTTPS” as the default protocol for communication between Outlook clients and Exchange servers ( instead of “MAPI” which was the default for Microsoft Exchange 2010 and earlier versions). So in order to help our customer accommodate this change without any significant impact on their WAN usage or remote user-experience, CloudBridge brings optimization for Exchange 2013 traffic with similar compression ratios as it provided for earlier Exchange versions.

4. Optimize IPv6 traffic

Google’s statistics put current IPv6 adoption at close to 4% and shows a trend line with increasing growth-rate in past 3-4 years. Many analysts have predicted even higher IPv6 adoption rates in future.

Although some organizations paid heed to these trends and are either preparing for an upgrade to IPv6 or are open to the idea of upgrade, all of them still want to retain IPv4 connectivity. And it seems like IPv6 & IPv4 are destined to coexist within enterprises for the foreseeable future. The new CloudBridge 7.3 release caters to exactly that scenario: you can achieve WAN optimization for both IPv4 and IPv6 data traffic through the same CloudBridge with no additional configuration tweaks. ( save for an “enable/disable” setting for IPv6 optimization)

5. Scheduled Pre-population for video caching

Ever since its introduction CloudBridge release 7.0, video caching became an instant hit with some of our customers in retail and finance industry.  As a follow-up, we are adding multiple enhancements to this feature including an improved configuration GUI, ability to pre-populate the cache at a scheduled day and time, and support for CLI commands and SNMP counters for this feature.

6. Load Metrics

This release comes with additional charts in the GUI, devoted to various metrics, which can help the customer characterize the overall load on the CloudBridge appliance and do capacity planning.

7. Optimize XenDesktop traffic between your company premise and Amazon cloud

 

 

With the release of XenDesktop 7.5 and XenApp 7.5, Citrix offers native integration with Amazon Web Services. ( See our blog: XenDesktop 7.5 and XenApp 7.5 working in Hybrid harmony with AWS). CloudBridge acts as the key enabler for the hybrid cloud deployments like the one shown in the picture where part of the XenDesktop workloads are hosted on Amazon Cloud as an extension to the datacenter. CloudBridge 7.3 release brings a fully validated solution for hosting XenDesktop/XenApp workloads on AWS in form of a secure, seamless and optimized tunnel between AWS and datacenter. The tunnel is built using CloudBridge Connector and the WAN optimization features in the product.

For a comprehensive list of 7.3 release features or for more details on how to configure any of the above features please refer to CloudBridge 7.3 release documentation.