Cisco CSR000v and Citrix NetScaler on Azure Government, Storage Client Library for Xamarin Hits GA

Azure Government adds Citrix NetScaler, Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000v, Azure Blueprint for DoD, obtain Cloud Security Alliance STAR Certification. Azure Storage Client Library GA for Xamarin.

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Citrix's NetScaler is available now for the Azure Government Cloud community to help agency IT teams securely and efficiently support a mobile government workforce while cutting operational costs.

"Citrix NetScaler is a virtual application delivery controller (ADC) that accelerates application processing, as well as provides the flexibility to establish a networking foundation that adjusts to the changing needs of an environment," explains Microsoft.

NetScaler provides an interface between multiple applications across on-premises resources and those deployed in cloud environment. That means agencies provide better, more efficient services while reducing operational costs and improving security.

With this solution, "employees can securely access their apps and data they need to provide vital services wherever they are located, on any device," team Azure writes.

Agencies can get started today with the Citrix NetScaler VPX available directly from the Azure Government Marketplace.

In addition, Cisco CSR1000v is now available on Azure Government Cloud as well, that provides best in class routing capabilities including "full path encryption with strongest cipher suites, L4-L7 firewall capabilities and L7 visibility and control."

Because Cisco CSR1000V runs full featured Cisco IOS-XE, it becomes "another location inside an already deployed Cisco based network and plugs in easily to existing management tools and operations," azure team expalins.

To launch CSR 1000V on Azure, admins can use solution templates that allow to deploy different resources at the same time.  And, to deploy Cisco CSR in Azure Government, "go to the solution templates for 2-NIC and 4-NIC Cisco CSR1000v in Azure QuickStart Repo on Github."

The solution details are as follows:

  • 2 or 4 Network-Interface-Cards (NICs).
  • VNet configured with two or four subnets, one private or three private and one public
  • Routing tables on each subnet, with user-defined routes, the private subnet will use private-facing interface as the gateway so the VMs behind the router will not have direct access to the internet
  • Enables IP forwarding for each interface
  • Adds UDP port 500 (ISKAMP) and 4500 (NAT-T) in the security group on the public subnet for VPN connections
  • Azure D2 or D3 instance type compute

For step-by-step deployment instructions for solution templates from Github in to Azure Government Cloud, see these technical documentation: Cisco CSR1000v, Cisco CSR1000v 4 NIC.

Azure Blueprint has today expanded to support for the Department of Defense (DoD) customers working in Azure Government, enabling them to document their customer security responsibilities.

Microsoft notes, the DoD migration to the cloud is guided by the Department of Defense Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG) Version 1 Release 2. All cloud systems "must meet the security standards outlined in the SRG for use by DoD customers."

With this availabilty, "Azure Blueprint Customer Responsibilities Matrix (CRM) and System Security Plan (SSP) template can now be used by DoD mission owners and third-party providers building systems on behalf of DoD customers," azure team writes.

Azure recently obtained the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR) Certification, the only major public cloud service provider to earn this certification "with the highest possible Gold Award for the maturity capability assessment," writes Alice Rison, Microsoft Azure senior director.

With the CSA STAR Certification, customers can be confident that Azure is meeting customer needs and relevant regulatory requirements, as well as actively monitoring, measuring and continually improving the effectiveness of Azure's management system, Rison says.

The general availability release of the "Azure Storage client library for Xamarin" announced today, enable developers to use a shared C# codebase to create iOS, Android, and Windows Store apps with native user interfaces.

This generally available release supports all features up to and included in the 2015-12-11 REST version.

To get started, simply follow the steps below:

  • Install Xamarin SDK and tools and any language specific emulators as necessary: For instance, you can install the Android KitKat emulator.
  • Create a new Xamarin project and install the Azure Storage nuget package version 7.2 or higher in your project and add Storage specific code.
  • Compile, build and run the solution. You can run against a phone emulator or an actual device. Likewise you can connect to the Azure Storage service or the Azure Storage emulator, team explained.

"Sources for the Xamarin mobile app development platfor release are the same as the Azure Storage .Net client library and can be found on Github," wrties azure team. While the installable package can be downloaded from nuget (version 7.2 and beyond) or from Azure SDK (version 2.9.5 and beyond). You can then install it via the Web Platform installer.