Simple Technology Solutions

Modernizing Legacy Application to AWS leveraging Citrix Virtual Apps (XenApp)

Description

Migrating a high-profile legacy application to the Citrix Virtual Workspace (XenApp) solution in the Cloud.

Categories

Cloud Migration
Data Migration
DevSecOps

PDF

BACKGROUND

A large U.S. Government Agency required a turn-key solution to migrate its legacy mission-critical applications to the cloud. The target application was a legacy Windows-based client server application that had “fat-clients” deployed locally to hundreds of Windows workstations across the country. The agency needed a means to centralize the application, implement real-time capacity autoscaling, and provide cost-saving hardware consolidation. The legacy Windows client-server application migration required a quick turnaround to maintain the end user’s usability pattern.

ANALYSIS

Simple Technology Solutions (STS), under the Innovation Lab Program, conducted a technology assessment and identified the Citrix XenApp solution to migrate the legacy thick-client application with a web interface to the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS). STS engineers worked with the agency management team and implemented a Proof-of-Concept Citrix XenApp solution on a parallel stream in AWS and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). After the success of the initial Proof-of-Concept, STS engineers (with their stakeholders) scoped out a Citrix XenApp prototype in the AWS non-production environment as the next experiment. With prioritized objectives, STS engineers developed a high-level Citrix infrastructure design for a highly available, auto scalable infrastructure to support Personal Identity Verification (PIV) based Single Sign-on authentication facility within their portal application.

SOLUTION

STS set up an AWS-based Citrix platform that could be streamlined without the need to manage agency hardware infrastructure in service centers across the nation. Citrix Virtual Workspace (XenApp) was identified as the best solution for their needs without requiring a major code change. The STS team worked quickly to setup the platform and streamline the process by leveraging Infrastructure as Code (IaC) scripting, architecture and security analysis, testing, and implementation. CHEF, a Continuous Automation software, automated the application configuration management. STS engineers planned and implemented the prototype design after a successful Proof-of-Concept deployment.

BENEFIT

Citrix Virtual Workspace (XenApp) automates installations and updates on cloud-based servers to ensure high-performance, high-availability, and scalable solutions to meet and exceed performance expectations. With the XenApp automation, the agency’s end-users were able to launch applications remotely, conduct business operations, and run queries on the centralized AWS Relational Database Service (RDS) database. STS configured the full solution in a pre-production environment to automate the entire process. The team then migrated a Window client-based solution re-hosted in a Windows 2016 server to achieve backward compatibility with minimal disruption of service. STS successfully migrated a critical legacy client-server application that served thousands of users across multiple service centers into a centralized cloud based solution that meets or exceeds the required performance metrics for the application.  

SOLUTION ARCHITECTURE DIAGRAM

STS successfully migrated a critical legacy client-server application that served thousands of users across multiple service centers into a centralized cloud based solution that meets or exceeds the required performance metrics for the application.   

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COVID-19 Message

As we all adapt to a “new normal” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Simple Technology Solutions (STS) is here as your trusted federal information technology (IT) partner. STS leadership has more than 50 years of combined experience and have served various law enforcement agencies that protect our safety and well-being. Now, as we navigate uncharted water together, we want to bring that same peace of mind to you. While we adapt to new challenges like working from home, STS is here to help as we keep your safety and that of our team top of mind. Our company platform was designed with telework in mind and enables a 100% remote workforce. In the coming weeks (and maybe months) we must all rely on a foundation of understanding and flexibility. Communication is key and in these uncertain times let’s work closely and collaboratively to overcome the challenges ahead.