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F5 Simplifies and Centralizes Access Management for Citrix Applications

BIG-IP solutions help customers running virtual desktop applications lower IT costs and unify access capabilities for remote and mobile users

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced enhanced support for organizations that run Citrix and other virtual desktop applications. Using the BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager (APM) or BIG-IP Edge Gateway solution, customers can consolidate and centralize authentication and access control for simpler and more predictable access management across all virtual desktop environments, including Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware based deployments.

F5 now provides an access architecture that supports a wide range of virtual desktop and virtualization technologies. F5® solutions secure, accelerate, and ensure constant availability for VMware View and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. By adding support for Citrix technologies, F5 enhances the breadth of its optimized virtualization solutions. This gives customers a choice of flexible solutions to meet their business needs, rather than the prior alternative of point solutions that only worked with an individual vendor’s offerings.

“Many companies rely on secure access to their virtual desktop infrastructure, but rollouts can be incredibly complex,” said Jeff Wilson, Principal Analyst at Infonetics Research. “F5 is in a perfect position to simplify rollouts with BIG-IP, and their focus on solving real-world problems like this demonstrates how well they listen to their customers.”

Details

Many enterprise organizations face the challenge of supporting an increasingly distributed workforce. The profusion of new intelligent clients—from smart phones to tablet devices—requires organizations to scale application environments and accommodate multiple access methods. The challenge in a Citrix environment can be particularly acute. 

For example, in a local Citrix XenApp environment where traditional client devices connect directly to the LAN, Citrix Web Interface servers handle user authentication and authorization. Adding remote users and mobile devices would typically require reconfiguring existing Web Interface servers, or adding and administering additional Web Interface instances to handle remote access. In either case, customers would need to deploy a Citrix Access Gateway solution and manage the Citrix Secure Ticket Authority (STA) service to provide authentication and grant user access. However, the introduction of Citrix support helps F5 customers avoid this added complexity.

F5 customers can now simply use BIG-IP APM or BIG-IP Edge Gateway to consolidate access control in a central location, keeping infrastructure administration concerns to a minimum. With BIG-IP solutions, customers enjoy the flexibility and scalability needed to extend Citrix applications to both local and remote users without changing local XenApp deployments or requiring STA to provide secure remote access to applications.

“With F5 access solutions such as APM and Edge Gateway, we’re making it easy for customers to extend and manage access to their Citrix environments without the need to custom code applications or modify existing servers,” said Mark Vondemkamp, Director of Product Management at F5. “Combining either APM or Edge Gateway with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop gives customers centralized application access control, which helps reduce the size and cost of their infrastructure to support local and remote users.”

Benefits of Deploying Citrix Applications with F5 Solutions

Highlights of deploying Citrix and F5 technologies together include:

  • Reduced Management Time and OpEx – By simplifying and centralizing local and remote access authentication, BIG-IP solutions eliminate the need for customers to add separate Citrix STA infrastructure or make changes to existing Web Interface servers, resulting in an environment that is less expensive to deploy and requires less time to manage.
     
  • Simplified Configuration and Deployment – With BIG-IP solutions, administrators can support users of Citrix applications with fewer devices, configure deployments to support flexible access models, and easily scale the environment. This fully integrated functionality makes it quick and easy for customers to set up and deploy local and remote access capabilities for Citrix applications, keeping users productive.
     
  • Centralized and Comprehensive Access Control – Unlike the separate Citrix products required to adequately support applications for remote users, BIG-IP solutions provide centralized application access control and use a single access policy to support all types of users securely, so IT teams can be confident that application access is aligned with the organizations’ specific business priorities and security policies.


“This announcement further supports F5’s vision of highly efficient, reusable, and dynamic application and network services that can be leveraged across IT,” added Vondemkamp. “BIG-IP solutions deliver a unified, highly scalable access platform regardless of virtualization vendor, application, or protocol type—enabling secure access across the entire network and application environment. Access unification, advanced security, and the ability to layer in acceleration and availability services make BIG-IP Access Policy Manager and BIG-IP Edge Gateway the most comprehensive, cost effective, and flexible solutions on the market today.”

Availability

F5’s BIG-IP solutions for Citrix application deployments are available today. Please visit www.f5.com/products/ for more information.

About F5

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), focused on ensuring the secure, reliable, and fast delivery of applications. F5’s flexible architectural framework enables community-driven innovation that helps organizations enhance IT agility and dynamically deliver services that generate true business value. F5’s vision of unified application and data delivery offers customers an unprecedented level of choice in how they deploy ADN solutions. It redefines the management of application, server, storage, and network resources, streamlining application delivery and reducing costs. Global enterprise organizations, service and cloud providers, and Web 2.0 content providers trust F5 to keep their business moving forward. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technology. For a complete listing of F5 community sites, please visit www.f5.com/news-press-events/web-media/community.html

F5, BIG-IP, Access Policy Manager, APM, Edge Gateway, and DevCentral are trademarks or service marks of F5 Networks, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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