Cloud Networking Services Comparison: Citrix AD vs. Akamai

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Cloud networking is a significant part of many organizations’s digital infrastructure. Connecting to the cloud saves time, increases accessibility, and streamlines complicated IT processes. With increased transparency and collaboration within cloud computing, cloud networking is driving innovation. 

Cloud computing can be broken down into three basic models; software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and infrastructure-as-a-service. Networking has always been an important aspect of computer infrastructure, and is even more so with the rise of cloud computing. Cloud networking services provide a scalable, accessible, and secure customer engagement platform. However, before choosing one, you should know that there is no “one size fits all” solution. Each service provider has its own strengths, weaknesses, and specialties.  To make an educated decision between the two heavyweights in the cloud networking world: Citrix and Akamai, we’re going to compare the overall offerings of these solutions.

Also read: Cloud Networking Services Comparison: Arista vs. Dell Cloud

Citrix AD Overview

Over time Citrix has grown significantly and is now a major contender in providing virtualization, mobile, and enterprise cloud services. Since 1989, Citrix has grown from a developer of re-implementation of Microsoft Windows platforms into a powerhouse technology company pushing the boundaries of IaaS cloud computing. Citrix Systems Inc. provides server, application, and desktop virtualization technologies as well as cloud computing services. There are approximately 400,000 Citrix users globally, including 99 percent of Fortune 100 companies and 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies. The company has an extensive product line that caters to multiple enterprises. 

Citrix AD Features

  • Citrix Cloud allows you to authenticate workspace subscribers using your on-premises Active Directory (AD).
  • Citrix power management consistently delivers high-performance power management solutions. 
  • Citrix AD monitoring helpdesk administrators can monitor, debug, and support users using virtual desktops and apps from a single centralized perspective. When delivering apps and desktops, the console is the same.
  • Citrix’s solutions integrated with multi-factor authentication provide for more secure access from any location, regardless of the device.

Pros and Cons of Citrix 

Pros Cons
Multiple levels of protection License is quite costly
A simple online portal login is all that is required. A high-level skill set is required for implementation and setup
Maintenance and expansion of settings for business requirements are simple.Setting it up and maintaining it is time-consuming due to the number of moving parts.
Improves user acceptability by integrating effectively with contemporary apps to provide optimal user experiences similar to native applications 
Effective support when there is an issue. 
Allows remote access to any device from anywhere, eliminating the need to manage endpoints as a typical VPN would. 
Flexibility in applying policies to diverse use cases such that relevant security mitigations are in place with little effort 

Akamai Overview

In 1998, a group of MIT students created Akamai, one of the first content delivery network (CDN) providers. Now one of the world’s largest CDN providers, Akamai features an intelligent cloud computing architecture built on top of 200,000 servers in about 110 countries. The company helps customers build, preserve and extend their digital presence with solutions that provide performance and security for connected devices as well as delivers, optimizes and secures online content and business applications. 

Akamai Features

  • Protect your apps and APIs, halt credential misuse, and transition to a Zero Trust security paradigm.
  • A caching system that compresses and stores dynamic information, allowing for fast download speeds for your end customers. 
  • Pre-fetching operates in the background to improve the user’s experience on the internet. As a result, it pre-fetches data to enable faster download speeds when demand is high. 
  • Routing optimization: it’s like having a GPS on your phone for your consumers. Instantly upon entering the site, it searches for the closest server and provides a reliable, secure fetching mechanism. 

Pros and Cons of Akamai

Pros Cons
Application-layer cyberattacks are protected by a proprietary WAF.Akamai’s massive CDN structure makes it difficult for security rules to transmit promptly.
The use of rate limitation technologies helps to manage traffic segments based on their request rate. It takes a little longer setup
It’s possible to add 2.3TB of bandwidth devoted to DDoS attack absorption with Prolexic’s PLXedge. The website is said to be difficult to navigate. 
In the globe, Akamai has the most Points of Presence.There is no pricing information available.
Highly adaptable, you may change the ways to suit your needs.

Akamai Vs Citrix: Which is Best?

While each platform is powerful, there are fundamental differences:

Performance Scale
Deployment Flexibility
Deployment Elasticity
Pricing Flexibility
Ability to Understand Needs
Software Accessibility
Quality of End-User Training
Timeliness of Vendor Response
Ease of Integration using Standard APIs and Tools
Core ADC functionality
Advanced ADC Functionality
Overall Capability Score

Citrix offers strong security and monitoring capabilities, as well as a flexible price model. It’s also simple to use, set up, and maintain. The price structure is not listed on Akamai’s website, however, you may contact their sales staff for additional information. This can be frustrating, especially when you need to make a rapid choice but information is not readily available.

If you’re a small or medium business searching for a means to enhance your online services, Citrix is the answer. As a result, both the online and mobile experience is enhanced. Citrix is a good option for a beginner who isn’t familiar with CDN services. Citrix ensures the application’s availability and security. Because it can handle unexpected traffic spikes and infrastructure failure, it’s able to keep up with rapid applications that are adaptable and available.

However, Akamai is a very advanced CDN worth considering if you want to distribute your site’s content quickly. Akamai is, however, geared for enterprise customers who can hire their engineers, rather than those who are just starting. The best option between Akamai and Citrix is Akamai. However, your choice will be informed by the size of your organization and the extent of your web presence. In comparison to a typical server, Akamai’s sophisticated dynamic site accelerator may boost a website’s speed up to five times quicker. For websites with heavy traffic and an international audience, Akamai is the best choice.

As a result, Akamai is most suitable for enterprises who want to serve massive amounts of material quicker and more reliably to a worldwide audience. Furthermore, its security features are state-of-the-art, as are its performance upgrades.

Read next: Best Cloud Networking Services & Solutions of 2021

Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi is an experienced B2B technology and finance writer and award-winning public speaker. He is the co-author of the e-book, The Ultimate Creativity Playbook, and has written for various publications, including eWEEK, Enterprise Networking Planet, Tech Republic, eSecurity Planet, CIO Insight, Enterprise Storage Forum, IT Business Edge, Webopedia, Software Pundit, and Geekflare.

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