After been attending a Citrix Xenapp course the previous week, there was one thing at the course that I’ve actually never heard of and that was Citrix Netscaler.
What is Citrix Netscaler?
After been reading a bit about it, I simply can’t describe what it can do( cause its so much!). Mostly its a hardware based load-balancer.
It can also be used for caching. So if placed infront of a web server klients don’t have to get the information from the web-server it can get it directly from the netscaler. This can take alot of traffic away from the webservers ( Of course you can use it on a fil-server as well) You can also use it for SSL-VPN and as a proxy solution.
It has alot of other features that I don’t know about I myself have just started to read about it.
Who uses it ?
Most of the largest websites in the world use Netscaler infront. Take Microsoft as an example.
http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph/?host=www.microsoft.com and of course Citrix themself use Netscaler.
Alot of the other big sites out there, like Facebook use BIG-IP F5 which is one of Netscalers competitores in the marked.
I want to learn more!
Head over to Citrix website -> http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/product.asp?contentID=21679
Citrix also offers a virtual appliance (built upon FreeBSD) that you can download from their website. Which is useable in vSphere, Xenserver or Hyper-V.
In my case I wanted to try it on my vmware workstation 7.x
I had to download the vSphere version from Citrix
After that I had to use OVF Tool, convert the downloaded OVF format Virtual Appliance to VMX format:ovftool.exe can be located in C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware OVF Tool. The following command can be used (where Source.ovf and Destination.vmx are replaced with the actual paths):
“C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware OVF Tool\ovftool.exe” C:\Source.ovf C:\Destination.vmx
Then I could use the Import function in Workstation, applied some default configuration settings and im good to go.
PS: If you want to login to the console using the CLI the username is nsrecover and password is nsroot. Default for the webinterface is nsroot and nsroot
Type in nsroot and nsroot, and accept the Java plugin. and voila!
The picture above shows what functions I have avalible on my Virtual Appliance, the picture below shows all the features that Netscaler has to offer.
Later im going to show how to load balance 2 webinterface infront of Xenapp and how to use the Netscaler as the webinterface server.