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Posts Tagged ‘content switching’

Choose your #Citrix #NetScaler … wisely… – via @hlouwers

This is a question I get a lot and I must say that Henny Louwers did answer it well in this blog post!

I spend a lot of my time breaking down the different models of Citrix NetScaler appliances and different Software Editions within the Citrix NetScaler portfolio.

I decided to set up a blog about this since the path is usually pretty much (lengthy but) the same. This does not mean the answer is always easy because there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.

The first thing I would like to get off my chest is the following: Stop seeing/selling the Citrix NetScaler as a replacement for Secure Gateway. It is so much more than that. I often have discussions with various engineers and consultants telling me that Citrix NetScaler is so expensive for a Remote Access solution because Secure Gateway always used to be free. No offense but a Citrix NetScaler solution belongs to the networking department, not the Citrix XenApp sys admin department. Or maybe limited.

That leads me to the first difficult thing of a Citrix NetScaler project. The adoption of the Citrix NetScaler appliances to the networking guys of an organization. They need to embrace the solution to make this a success. For some reason they too see it as a ‘’Citrix’’ solution. For that reason one of the most important meetings to setup is usually with the networking guys to try to explain the L3-L7 functionality of the Citrix NetScaler solution. When they realize it competes with F5, Juniper, Cisco, etc then we are on the right track.

NetScaler Gateway or NetScaler Standard Edition

Usually the first question of a customer is regarding something simple like replacing the Remote Access solution. Since the NetScaler is going to be the main platform for publishing Citrix publications a NetScaler Gateway can be considered as a valid option. This is when I tell a customer it would be wise to spend a little extra on the NetScaler Standard Edition since this would leverage the solution be having full load balancing capabilities (among others). When you compare prices between the NetScaler Gateway and NetScaler Standard Edition you will see that the Standard Edition will be somewhat more expensive but I for one think that it is worth the difference given the feature set that come with the Standard Edition. Of course the NetScaler Gateway can always be upgraded to a NetScaler Standard Edition (or higher) if you will.

Another feature of Citrix NetScaler Standard Edition is the ability to run Citrix Web Interface on the appliance. Honestly, I do think is not really that important anymore….

Continue reading here

//Richard

Content Switching instead of Load balancing of XenApp XML brokers? – #XenApp #NetScaler #CS #LB

November 29, 2012 6 comments

Ok, I was contacted by another colleague today again about a customer and their setup of XenApp load balancing. They of course had NetScalers and had read the guidelines and best practises from Citrix on how to do load balancing and monitoring of XML brokers. But they had the same issue that many have, they had to contact the network team when they needed to add farms that they should load balance, and they needed an IP for each LB vServer per XenApp farm…

And this is not the first time I’ve seen this… why doesn’t people use Content Switching instead when doing load balancing of their XenApp farms (and other resources as well of course!)?

This is the Citrix picture on how to do it;

But what I’d do instead and recommend is to use Content Switching (CS) instead. Setup a CS vServer with an IP and an A-record in DNS, in the picture below it’s the one with bogus IP 10.10.10.10 and FQDN of cs8080.envokeit.local.

Then what you do is to configure a CNAME alias for each of your farms in DNS, like farm1.envokeit.local that you can see in the picture. Have the CNAME to be an alias of the CS you just created. Then in the NetScaler you setup your LB vServers just like you’ve always done and create the Service Group and add the correct monitors etc. to it. And remember that you in this case don’t have to have an IP set on the LB vServers, these don’t have to be directly addressable from the network, only through your CS that you just setup.

Then on the CS create your policies to do CS on the hostname of the incoming requests to the respective LB vServer. No more requesting IP’s per farm and all of that, one IP and you can support MANY farms…. I just love CS! 🙂

Happy content switching! 😉

//Richard

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