Cloud Services...

Secure, scalable and cost-effective solutions to help 
you on your journey to the cloud.

Cloud Hosted Virtual Workspaces

Our primary focus is on the design, build and management of secure Citrix Virtual Workspaces on the Microsoft Azure platform.  However, we recognise that, for some clients, they might not be ready to go ‘all cloud’ and, for this reason, a hybrid-cloud solution may be more suitable in the short-term.  If that sounds like you then please read on.

So what is a Virtual Workspace

What used to be known as a virtual desktop has, over the last decade, been evolved by Citrix into a true digital workspace that addresses the diverse needs of today’s individuals and organisations.

The Citrix Workspace product suite allows us to provide secure virtual apps & desktops; secure document sharing; enterprise mobility tools; collaboration tools and to seamlessly accelerate and interconnect a diverse range of wide area network and cloud components. Reflecting the relentless move towards Everything-as-a-Service; Citrix Cloud services places the Citrix control plane under Citrix’s stewardship in their own cloud; freeing you up to focus on delivering business outcomes.

And, why Microsoft Azure?

Simple: Microsoft and Citrix have been partners for over 25 years so they have a deep understanding of how each other’s technologies work.  Unlike other vendors, they adopt an open approach to the wider community, allowing organisations to combine a far wider range of technologies into a solution.

By combining Citrix and Microsoft technologies we are able to provide a seamless experience for all (yes – all) use cases.  Beyond the Azure platform, our solutions provide the best way to deploy Windows 10, access Office 365 and to provide integrated end-point mobility for all end-points.

What does instrato mean by ‘Hybrid-Cloud’?

First and foremost, we don’t see hybrid cloud as a compromise.  To us, hybrid-cloud is the thing you do on your way to a SaaS only world.  It allows you to make best use of available cloud technologies; whilst leveraging existing investments in on-premises and co-located workloads.

To us, the challenge with a hybrid cloud architecture is seamlessly integrating the various on-premise, SaaS and IaaS components as your journey to SaaS unfolds.  This is what we do at instrato.

So on-premises is ok?

Of course it is – you can start there; cloud isn’t for everyone.

Our private cloud solutions deliver the benefits of scalability, agility and resilience for those who aren’t yet ready to take the leap to full cloud.  Although, in reality, you’ll probably already be using some public cloud technologies (think Office 365); so we make sure that they are fully integrated with your private cloud solution. When you’re ready; our private cloud solutions are ‘cloud migration ready’, so you don’t have to worry about deferring the decision at the outset.

Software Defined Wide Area Networks

As organisations look to deliver IT services across branch offices and geographic regions; they are having to invest in ever more costly Wide Area Network (WAN) connections. Furthermore, the increasing use of Public Cloud services sees Internet based applications deployed in favour of on-premise applications.

Modern IT services require guaranteed bandwidth and low latency connections.  These are, by definition, the more expensive connection types.  Most large organisations will deploy costly MPLS networks to provide the levels of performance they require. Their need for high levels of availability further compounds the cost problem by requiring, often unused, failover connections. In an effort to reduce the costs associated with WAN connections; organisations will often opt for multi-year contracts with their service providers.  Whilst saving money; they are also locking themselves into inflexible contracts with a punitive cost of change.  With Public Cloud services increasingly providing line of business applications; the impact of a lost Public Internet connection can prove extremely damaging. Today’s distributed organisations need to be able to operate their wide area network infrastructures with the same level of agility as their cloud infrastructures.  To accomplish this we use is Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN.

The Benefits of Citrix SD-WAN?

By aggregating numerous cost effective network connections; organisations can both reduce costs and maximise the return on their expenditure.

Provide Enterprise Grade resilience for regional and global branch offices at an affordable price.

Detect and failover to alternative network paths without user intervention.

Allow additional bandwidth to be provisioned without the need to re-negotiate costly WAN contracts.

Provide optimisation and security for public cloud based applications (e.g. SalesForce) over public internet connections.

Identify over 4,000 applications and apply QoS and firewall policies from a single centralized management window.

Hybrid Cloud Orchestration

Whilst there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ organisation; it is estimated that such a hypothetical typical SMB organisation will have deployed over 75% (68% for mid-market and enterprise) of their business application using SaaS by 2020.  As we say: the dash for SaaS is well and truly underway. So does this mean that, come 2020, the need for in-house IT teams will begin to disappear.  We doubt it – but we do think that traditional IT functions need to evolve to cope with a largely SaaS based application estate.  The reason for this is simple: in 2017 the average number of SaaS applications deployed by an organisation is 17, this will rise to 35 by 2020.  With each SaaS application requiring setting up, administering and protecting from unauthorised access and use; does this sound like a simple future? The increasing complexity of SaaS models, coupled with the concept of zero-trust security models and IDaaS; forms the basis of our Hybrid-Cloud Orchestration solution. By deploying Citrix’s industry leading NetScaler ADC we are able to orchestrate the most complicated of hybrid-cloud architectures and, instead, provide a Software Defined Network architecture that incorporates:
  • Single Sign On
  • MFA
  • Mobility Management
  • Automated hybrid cloud provisioning

Cloud Analytics

The increasing complexity of hybrid-cloud solutions makes the process of monitoring and responding to security and performance issues a serious challenge.  Think of it in terms of the following questions (and how easy they are to answer in your environment):

  • Is what Alice or Bob are doing on the network any different from any other day?
  • Does that workload usually speak to that other workload?
  • Has my user experience changed over time?
  • Which applications and data are being used the most?

By deploying Citrix Cloud Analytics our clients can ask the above, and many more, questions by gaining deep insights into what is going on in their hybrid cloud environment.  They can proactively manage user and application security threats, improve application performance and support continuous operations using actionable insights collected across Citrix offerings.

Citrix Analytics applies machine learning to data that spans network traffic, users, files, and endpoints to identify and take action on malicious user behaviour and app performance anomalies. Delivered as a Citrix Cloud service, straightforward visual dashboards present findings that are easy to understand.

Fancy joining us on the journey?