"NetScaler VPX Changes the Game"

by Tabrez Khan    Jul 09, 2009

How NetScaler has changed the game in web application delivery?

NetScaler VPX changes the game in the web application delivery market in three ways:

First, by making NetScaler more affordable, NetScaler VPX will enable any IT organization to deploy NetScaler not just for their most mission critical web applications, but for all of their web applications.

Second, NetScaler VPX allows customers to further converge networking and virtualization within their data enters. NetScaler VPX can not only be used to optimize web applications hosted on virtualized servers, it enables web application delivery itself to become a virtualized service that can be easily and rapidly deployed anywhere in the datacenter. This brings web application delivery closer to the application and lets IT organizations use their standard datacenter process for tasks such as provisioning, automation and charge back for the web application delivery infrastructure.  

Third, NetScaler VPX opens up new deployment architectures that are not practical if only using physical appliances. NetScaler VPX instances can be cost effectively deployed on an app by app basis, dedicated to the individual needs of each respective application and handling processor intensive actions such as compression and application firewall inspection.

How does the NetScaler VPX complement the NetScaler MPX hardware appliance?

NetScaler VPX complements existing NetScaler MPX appliances to create a comprehensive, centrally managed web application delivery fabric. In a two-tier architecture, for example, NetScaler VPX can be deployed in close proximity to each web application, delivering specific capabilities demanded by that application such as custom application security protection and sophisticated traffic management policies. At the data center edge, NetScaler MPX appliances handle network-wide tasks such as SSL encryption, denial of service (DoS) attack prevention and global load balancing to provide disaster recovery in multiple data center environments. Pairing high-performance NetScaler MPX appliances with easy-to-deploy NetScaler VPX software brings unparalleled flexibility and customization capabilities to modern, large-scale datacenter environments.

Who is the main target of NetScaler VPX?

NetScaler VPX will be interesting to anyone responsible for rolling out or supporting web applications in any size organization. Traditional networking teams within large organizations will be attracted to NetScaler VPX because it provides a more cost effective, flexible way to deploy NetScaler within their test/lab environments.

For application owners NetScaler VPX could be attractive because it enables NetScaler to be deployed directly in front of the apps they own, even if their app wasn’t "important enough" in the past to warrant full NetScaler functionality.

Service provider/cloud providers will be attracted to NetScaler VPX because the flexibility of the virtual appliance allows them to very flexibly spin up/spin down NetScaler VPX instances on demand.  Flexible per-tenant scaling will become possible with a configuration that places an MPX series appliance product responsible for handling traffic processing for things such as DoS attack prevention and SSL offloading at the front of the network, behind which VPX for each tenant are installed to provide functions such as application firewall and compression.  This makes it easy for any organization to provide multi-tenant services without having to invest in expensive, special-purpose networking equipment. As individual tenant needs change, NetScaler VPX instances can easily be given more capacity or migrated to higher performance hardware.

Considering that dynamic provisioning is simple with virtual appliances and the potential cost reduction effects from reducing server load, the use of VPX also spells benefits for cloud operators.  In the past, bringing new application capacity online to meet a sudden surge in demand, for example, entailed duplicating a complete physical network infrastructure or running with considerable excess capacity. With NetScaler VPX, customers can now leverage a "virtual-only" footprint for disaster recovery or "burst" scenarios. These on-call virtual NetScalers could also be spun up in external cloud environments, allowing for true "cloud balancing" scenarios as needed. Breaking the dependence on physical infrastructure drives lower overall costs and allows NetScaler VPX to be tightly coupled to existing application deployment processes.

Small and medium businesses will be attracted to NetScaler VPX because it gives them the ability to deploy full NetScaler functionality for their web based applications such as Microsoft SharePoint, OCS and Exchange, but at price and performance points that fit their business. For such customers, a product that is easy to install must be the most attractive option. With that in mind, the NetScaler VPX uses Citrix AppExpert Templates for quick deployment and configuration of popular applications like Microsoft” SharePoint” .

Major application ISVs can directly integrate NetScaler VPX into their turn-key solutions, providing a better user experience for their customers while also cutting deployment time and cost.

When and how will NetScaler VPX be available?

Currently, NetScaler VPX is available as a tech preview - downloadable from citrix.com

General availability is currently scheduled for Q3 2009. NetScaler VPX will be offered in NetScaler Standard, NetScaler Enterprise, and NetScaler Platinum editions and offered at a range of performance points.

How does NetScaler VPX fit into the Citrix Delivery Center Strategy?

With the availability of NetScaler VPX, the entire Citrix Delivery Center offering is available virtualized on Citrix XenServer. Now, the entire Citrix Delivery Center benefits from the powerful management, provisioning, monitoring and reporting capabilities available in Citrix XenCenter and can be deployed rapidly into almost any environment, and managed centrally from anywhere. With one integrated, virtualized application delivery infrastructure, organizations can deliver desktops, client/server applications and web applications.