Many organizations want to migrate their workloads to the cloud. But they struggle to find a secure, application-optimized WAN edge solution that makes it easy to connect branch offices to the cloud while meeting performance needs and keeping costs under control.

To simplify your move to the cloud, we’ve collaborated with Microsoft to bring you a joint solution — Citrix SD-WAN for Microsoft Virtual WAN — to speed and automate network deployments of any size. Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN is a networking service that provides automated, secure branch connectivity to other branches, datacenters, VNets, and applications across the Microsoft global transit network.

Citrix SD-WAN with Azure Virtual WAN Use Cases

Connect branch offices to workloads running on Azure VNets
Branch offices can easily connect to Azure Virtual WAN hubs to access applications on Azure VNets, even on a large scale. With the option to choose from 160+ edge sites, or global network points of presence (PoPs), serving 54 regions globally, latency can be drastically minimized.

Traditional Leased Lines and MPLS can Hold You Back
As enterprises with geographically dispersed locations continue to migrate applications to the cloud, traditional WAN architectures using leased lines or MPLS are becoming less viable for traffic destined for the cloud. Backhauling this traffic to data centers only exacerbates the latency issue. Existing technologies like MPLS VPNs are cumbersome, slow to implement, less flexible, and costly. IPsec from the branch to the cloud is a viable option, but often introduces configuration and management complexity.

The Citrix SD-WAN for Microsoft Virtual WAN solution automates network deployments, removing the complexity of connecting branch offices (including retail outlets and warehouses) to nearby Azure PoPs. This is a shift from the traditional WAN provisioning definition, eliminating the dependency on the outdated telco model that strictly determines the location and premium cost.

The connection enables customers to enjoy optimized routing within Microsoft’s global network, making access to Azure resources and other sites across the globe easier. Cohesive policy configuration and deep analytics simplify network expansion and troubleshooting. For large-scale deployments, the available template-based cloning makes it easier to expand your network and enforce policies.

How to Connect

Standard based IPsec connection to Azure hub
In this scenario, there’s no need to install anything in Azure. The Citrix SD-WAN appliance in the branch initiates standard-based IPsec tunnels, which will terminate at the head-end Azure Virtual WAN hub. Your virtual networks (VNETs) will be peered to hubs in the same and other regions by going across Microsoft’s backbone. Citrix SD-WAN will use the Microsoft Virtual WAN APIs to connect SDWAN branches to Azure Virtual WAN.

Added resiliency for branch office to Azure connections
With this shift to the cloud, the internet now provides the most direct path for branch office users to get to resources in Azure. Cloud services need to always be up and running to ensure a high-quality experience. This means that the quality and availability of last-mile connectivity from branch offices to Azure is crucial. Mitigating the last mile as a single point of failure can greatly reduce the risk of downtime while ensuring a smooth end-user experience.

Benefits of the Joint Solution

Onboarding automation
Azure Virtual WAN API integration with Citrix SD-WAN reduces the time it takes to connect branch offices to Azure. Without this automation, a network administrator would need to manually connect each branch office into the Azure hubs — a time-consuming and tedious process that can drastically increase operational complexity and support costs. Citrix SD-WAN automates these functions:

  • Connecting branch offices into Azure hubs over IPsec 
  • Monitoring the connections and automatically steering the traffic to alternate links depending on the link quality 
  • Express policies on branch-hub connectivity (available to / used by Citrix SDWAN through Azure APIs)  Scaling these operations for the entire fleet of branches 
  • Inter-hub backbone connectivity

To read full download the whitepaper:
Citrix SD-WAN for Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN