From on-premises to hybrid cloud with Citrix Cloud

From on-premises to hybrid cloud with Citrix Cloud

If before the pandemic teleworking was testimonial, now this type of work has been consolidated as a common option among workers. Having work flexibility has ceased to be a luxury within the reach of a few, to become ‘almost’ a requirement to attract and retain talent. A fact that is forcing companies to update their traditional environments, which were not designed or configured for this work context.

There is a major shift taking place in the way businesses enable access to an ever-increasing set of applications and content, so we thought it would be interesting to take a trip back in time to remember the approaches that were used in more traditional implementations, to see how new trends are affecting the day-to-day of companies.

The change of approach that exists in traditional implementations and current implementations

In more traditional implementations, 100% on-premises, IT administrators centrally managed the physical workstations of the employees (desktops, applications, etc.) and the components of the IT infrastructure. This implied a high workload in updating, patching, configuring and updating devices, and devoting a large part of their work to maintaining the corporate infrastructure.

Currently, the characteristics of these local workspaces can weigh down many companies in a world increasingly based on cloud technologies .

Roughly, we could define these environments with the following characteristics:

  • Employees perform their job functions from a single device.
  • All content is based on a combination of local and network storage.
  • Work applications are largely based on Windows.
  • All users need to be physically present to perform their functions

This type of scenario poses a challenge for IT teams, having to maintain full control over the infrastructure and its components (virtual machines, applications, desktops, security…) while meeting business needs.

The year 2020 was a great challenge for many companies, which, in an accelerated manner, had to adapt their local work model to one that mainly allowed remote work, to guarantee business continuity, data security and productivity. from the workers.

Today’s workplace environment can be defined as a complicated set of applications, devices, and services, unique to each employee or department, accessed from different devices, locations, and networks, complicating access and security throughout the organization.

The challenge for IT departments now is to be able to unify and simplify these work environments. Precisely, the need to unify the user experience and create a managed service model for IT teams prompted Citrix to create Citrix Workspace Services.

By leveraging cloud architecture, organizations are able to connect resources, speed up processes, increase flexibility, and agility, simplify management, and improve security management.

What differences exist between a company that maintains a traditional approach versus a company with a modern approach?

1.- IT team approach 

While in companies with a traditional approach, the IT team makes a significant effort to manage and control the infrastructure, companies that make the leap to Citrix Cloud delegate management and control tasks and IT teams to cloud providers. Internals can focus on improving the user experience and higher productivity tasks.

2.- Access to innovation 

While in companies with a traditional approach, the IT team is in charge of updating the company’s software and hardware, companies with a modern approach refer these workloads to cloud providers who keep the versions updated, latest features, and security patches.

3.- Security 

While in companies with a traditional approach and their most critical applications on-premises, security depends on internal IT staff and they are the only ones who have to be aware of new cyber threats and keep systems updated with patches and protocols. latest protection systems, a company with a modern approach combines this work with a massive ecosystem of cloud providers who are security experts and are responsible for protecting the infrastructure, strengthening its overall security posture, and ensuring business continuity.

4.- Scalability 

When opting for a traditional model, keep in mind that infrastructure limitations dictated by iron make cost-effective scalability difficult. Instead, with a modern, hybrid cloud-centric approach, scalability is infinite and cost-effective, with the ability to modulate the level of computing power and performance required for specific workloads. With this modality, the system connects to the cloud only when necessary, maximizing the return on investment for existing local hardware.

5.- Business continuity 

For companies with all workloads on-premises, it is more difficult to ensure business continuity when an outage occurs. In contrast, with a modern approach, business continuity is seamless, and the centralized management plan allows additional workloads to be quickly deployed to any cloud provider or hypervisor resource location without having to recover core components.

6.- Amortization time 

When going with a traditional approach, initial acquisition times are longer for physical hardware; and the incorporation of new equipment and users is limited by the personnel available to carry out the work. However, turning to innovative solutions like Citrix makes it possible to get additional workloads up and running quickly and save time with simplified user onboarding. Additionally, IT leaders are allowed to focus on more strategic initiatives.

7.– Investment  

If you choose to keep applications on-premises, you are making a significant one-time investment in CapEx (Capital Expenditure), the ongoing and tiered funds of which are required to build infrastructure and keep it running over time. On the other hand, with a commitment to modernize the IT infrastructure, companies benefit from ” Pay as you Go ” and assume the investment as operating expenses.

What are the benefits of taking a cloud approach to our Citrix services? 

Here are the key benefits of modernizing your on-premises desktop with Citrix cloud services:

1.- Simplify management

Working with Citrix Cloud services reduces the complexity of installation, configuration, update management, and integrations.

2.- Improve the user experience

By evolving to Citrix Cloud services, users benefit from a good user experience on all devices and IT can deliver an optimal experience, whether workers are at home, on the road or in the office.

3.- Increase productivity 

By improving management, the IT team can focus on tasks that bring more value to users, while users can enjoy an optimal work experience no matter where they are.

If you are thinking of modernizing your local Citrix services to simplify management, increase the flexibility of your teams and make the leap to the cloud, services we advise you on the best way to evolve towards a cloud approach with Citrix services regardless of whether it is a hybrid cloud environment, private cloud or with Google and Azure hyperscalars.

What is service-oriented architecture (SOA)? What are the benefits in the company?

What is service-oriented architecture (SOA)? What are the benefits in the company?

What is SOA? 

Service Oriented  Architecture, also known as SOA for its acronym in English (Service-Oriented Architectures) , is a type of software architecture that allows its elements. Defines the use of services (concrete programs or tasks with a specific function) to support business requirements.

In conclusion, an SOA architecture allows the integration of software elements that are implemented and maintained separately, allowing them to communicate with each other and work together to form software applications in different systems.  

What characteristics identify an SOA architecture? 

  • The services are autonomous. Each SOA service is independently maintained and developed.  
  • The services are distributable. They can be located anywhere on the network as long as it supports the required communication protocols.  
  • Services can be broken down. Each SOA service is independent of the others and can be replaced or upgraded without breaking the applications it connects.  
  • Services do not share classes. In an SOA architecture, services share contracts and schemas when they communicate, not inner classes.  
  • Services are policy compliant. I understand policies as the definition of characteristics such as transport, protocol or security.  

How do I know the difference between SOA and Microservices? 

  1. Component sharing:   While Microservices minimize the sharing of components across the network, SOA takes full advantage of it. Something that impacts the latency of the environment, making SOA-based systems slower.
  2. Service granularity:  In an SOA architecture, services are more versatile in terms of their business functionality, while Microservices are made up of highly specialized, single-purpose services. 
  3. Coordination:  In an SOA architecture, it is necessary to coordinate with various groups to attend to business requests, while Microservices are generally not coordinated with each other. 
  4. Middleware:   Microservices work with an API layer created between services and service consumers, while a SOA architecture it uses Middleware for its communication, a fact that adds additional capabilities such as mediation and routing, message enhancement, messages and transformation of protocols, etc. 
  5. Heterogeneous interoperability:   If our goal is to achieve the integration of various systems using different protocols in a heterogeneous environment, the best option is an SOA approach. However, a microservices approach will be preferable if all services can be exposed and the same remote access protocol must be used, as with Microservices, we try to simplify the architecture pattern by reducing the number of integration options.  

What are the benefits of implementing an SOA architecture in a company? 

  1. Increase the alignment between business and technology.  The SOA perspective promotes cooperative work between business and IT teams, unlike more traditional models for project management, which are based on business units that express their needs to IT areas for implementation.  
  2. Increase the ROI of IT initiatives.   An SOA approach allows solutions to be created in less time and at a lower cost, since, for example, an SOA approach proposes that the functionalities common to the business must be reusable: the functionality is developed once and is reused for whatever is needed.  
  3. Increases organizational agility.  The cooperation between IT and business teams allows them to seize and create market opportunities in a more agile way.  
  4. We reduce the operational burden of IT: We reduce the cost of maintenance, administration, and development efforts with the standardization and normalization of services.  
  5. We increase interoperability. We promote transparent communication without intermediaries, which allows us to reduce integration efforts in the different systems of the IT environment.  
  6. Increases association:  Improves the ability to distribute and organize the company into logical units that can function independently, as long as they comply with the same government policies and guidelines, thus allowing the company and its departments to evolve quickly. 

If in your company you are considering implementing a project for the adoption of an SOA architecture or any other that involves your ICT infrastructure, at services we can help you with its implementation and start-up. Contact us and our advisors will contact you as soon as possible.  

Cloud computing in small businesses

Cloud computing in small businesses

The proliferation of new technology, such as Cloud Computing, is always accompanied by a period of adaptation. Generally, large corporations and companies linked to the technology sector are the first to implement and enjoy the advantages of these new advances.

In the case of cloud computing, its degree of adoption has been expanding over the years, reaching all strata of the business fabric. Small companies have also benefited from this evolution and have implemented Cloud Computing services that allow them greater flexibility and security in actions and tasks such as accounting, customer relations or data storage.

The arrival of Cloud Computing to small businesses has had a certain democratizing effect, putting within their reach technological resources hitherto limited to large organizations. Let’s take a look at those functionalities linked to Cloud Computing that are most relevant for small businesses:

  • Flexibility for staff: the possibility of working both from home and in the office itself, always having access to all our resources, allows workers in small businesses to be provided with a high degree of independence.
  • Savings in hardware and infrastructure: access to a Cloud Computing service means not having to implement an infrastructure of equipment, network, and physical servers in the company, with the consequent savings that this entails. Through any computer or device with an Internet connection, we can work with all the advantages of Cloud Computing.
  • Online Backups and Security: Cloud Computing solutions such as services integrate online Backup systems and high-level data security. Small businesses can benefit from these features from day one without having to perform complex operations.
  • Collaboration Tools – Scenarios such as working from home or working with an outside provider are common in small businesses. Through cloud services, a collaboration between different actors is a simple process.
  • Built-in maintenance: Computer maintenance can be a real headache for small businesses, significantly increasing your monthly expense. With cloud computing, maintenance is built in.

Cloud Computing in small businesses has long been a reality that provides numerous advantages. In addition, the process of migrating to cloud services for a company is a simple process: at services we have accompanied many businesses in this change, contributing to their digital transformation process and opening the doors to the advantages of Cloud Computing.

How to Approach Windows Server and SQL Server 2012 End of Support

How to Approach Windows Server and SQL Server 2012 End of Support

Maintaining security on servers and databases is a must to avoid problems and be vulnerable to new cyber threats.

In the current context, where cybercrime is at an all-time high, with an accumulated cost of 1.4 billion dollars for companies, security is not an option.

The FCA’s Cyber ​​and Technology Resilience Report reveals that nearly half of companies fail to update or dispose of end-of-life assets within a reasonable time frame.

Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are close to being out of support, more specifically as of October 10, 2023. On the other hand, the SQL Server 2012 version has been out of support since July 2022.

Keep in End-of-life corporate infrastructure systems carry significant risks, as these systems will no longer receive regular security updates and will become gateways for cybercriminals.

How to upgrade Windows Server and SQL Server? What options exist?

We have 3 ways to approach this situation:

  • Upgrade with a full modernization: We can see aging systems as an opportunity to modernize servers and transform the application from the ground up with cloud services.
  • Upgrade and change technology: We can see outdated systems as an opportunity to migrate servers and applications to the cloud, without significant changes to the underlying application and infrastructure.
  • Upgrade without changing our technology: We can continue to invest in existing on-premises infrastructure and upgrade as needed.

Let’s look at the different scenarios in more detail:

Transform our infrastructure in Azure.

In this scenario, we will make significant changes to infrastructure and applications, with the integration of modern cloud services, that will allow us to increase the efficiency of workloads and processes by modernizing the architecture.

Lift&Shift migration to Azure of our servers.

In this scenario, we are going to perform a migration of the servers and applications as we currently have them in our infrastructure, although always after validating their viability to be migrated to Azure. In this way, we will obtain free ESU licenses (Extended Support Update), which will allow us to extend support for a period of 3 years, taking advantage of working in the cloud.

Migrate and upgrade servers in Azure.

In this scenario we are going to perform an update of the operating systems in Azure, creating new servers with the updated versions and then migrating the information and applications as we currently have them in our infrastructure. In this way, we update our systems and at the same time obtain cost savings compared to on-premise infrastructure.

Invest in our On-premise facilities.

Finally, if we choose to continue investing in our physical infrastructure, we have two courses of action. On the one hand, we can update our servers to newer versions with active support. We recommend not to update to version 2022, but to 2019. On the other hand, we can purchase an ESU license to maintain support for an extended time.

Modernize IT infrastructure with services.

We’ve already seen the importance of keeping corporate systems up to date and the options we have to approach Windows Server and SQL Server 2012 End of Support.

At services, we have experience in modernizing corporate IT infrastructures with cloud solutions. Do not hesitate to contact us to evaluate your situation and the different scenarios.