Migrating apps and services to Microsoft Azure

If you’ve already started to migrate applications and services to Azure you’ll already be aware that for the vast majority of use cases, an Azure tenancy typically consists of multiple isolated environments (known as vNETs), each providing a home for a piece of the service delivery puzzle. Invariably, these vNETs need to communicate with both your users and each other so Microsoft came up with the idea that each vNET could be connected to a central hub via a vNET Connection to create a virtual Wide Area Network (Azure vWAN) in your public cloud. Cool.

Connecting your users on the ground to Azure

Those familiar with traditional WAN architectures will recognise the ‘spoke and hub’ topology which gets it’s name due to it’s similarity to a bicycle wheel. In an Azure vWAN world, the spokes represent the connections to the vNET instances with the hub in the centre, just like a data centre and branch locations in a regular WAN. Those with international user bases can go a step further, using Microsoft’s super high performance global network to connect hubs in different regions – Europe to the US, Asia to Africa, that kind of thing. It’s a great way to connect Azure to Azure but what it doesn’t do is the really critical bit, it doesn’t do anything to help connect your users on the ground to Azure. Not so cool. 🧐 Quick note here is that there are options around vNET connectivity architecture, but there’s invariably a single point of access in and out of tenancy so it’s a same same but different kinda thing.

Alternative to ExpressRoutes

To overcome this, Microsoft brought ExpressRoutes to market – a proprietary point to point connectivity solution that for all intents and purposes is very similar to having an MPLS circuit from your data centre to Azure and just like MPLS, ExpressRoutes are expensive. They are a single point of failure, they take an eternity to deploy, they have to be over provisioned or risk being congested (adding to the cost) and above all, they still don’t connect the branch user direct to the Azure resources unless you have the budget to put an ExpressRoute into every branch location. As a result, most organisations choose to connect data centres to Azure and then force all users to access Azure based resources via this route. If user experience, service agility and cost management are the ultimate goals, hair-pinning user traffic via the data centre to get to Azure isn’t going to achieve the objective.

Bridging the gap between the user and Azure based services

Microsoft know that the ultimate measure of success for Azure based services is user experience which is why they’ve partnered with Citrix to develop Citrix SD-WAN for Azure vWAN, a joint solution that allows organisations to bridge the gap between the user and the services that live in Azure. It’s secure, resilient, can be rapidly deployed on top of commodity networks (such as public internet circuits so it’s super cost effective) and it provides both enterprise grade Edge Security features and detailed user experience analytics, all driven from a centralised management console to keep the operational effort in check.

With Citrix SD-WAN for Azure vWAN, cloudDNA customers have been able to;

  • Reduce the time taken to connect data centres and private clouds to Azure from days, to less than 30 mins with a secure, reliable, credible alternative to ExpressRoutes or single point of failure static VPNs.
  • Simplify and scale performant branch connectivity with intuitive configuration and template based cloning for multiple locations.
  • Prioritise and optimise the delivery of latency sensitive applications and services to improve user experience and productivity.


Download our e-book bundle to learn more or schedule a call with a specialist to discuss how Citrix SD-WAN for Azure vWAN can help you. Call 0330 010 3443 or email hello@clouddnagroup.com.

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