Citrix Virtualizes Its NetScaler App Server

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-05-05

Virtualization software provider Citrix Systems on May 5 launched a new virtual version of its NetScaler MPX hardware server appliance, called NetScaler VPX.

The company made the announcement at its Synergy 2009 conference in Las Vegas.

In the past, the NetScaler physical server has been deployed to house large-scale Web applications-such as those used for financial services and scientifics-and needed purpose-built equipment that required specialized networking expertise to deploy and manage.

With the new NetScaler VPX software, this functionality is now available to users in a much easier-to-use, low-cost form that can be downloaded from the Web and run on any standard x86-based server.

Virtualizing the NetScaler platform opens up a wide range of new dynamic, on-demand deployment options, for both enterprise customers and cloud service providers, Wes Wasson, Citrix's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, told eWEEK.

"This does a couple of things: It makes it more accessible, you can run smaller applications, you can do multitenancy, and it's less expensive," Wasson said. "Essentially, you can now do all the things that traditional networking guys who use big proprietary hardware-backplane kinds of environments are doing. It just doesn't seem like that's the way the world is going.

"It [VPX] also helps create a very dynamic, Web-delivery fabric, where you've got hardware NetScaler systems running up front, and VPXes running in a SAN storage environment that are connected with the application workload, as demand goes up and down. This is going to break open a lot of new ground here."

Software-based application delivery controllers (known as "soft ADCs") such as VPX are becoming a trend of sorts. SoftADCs make it easier for IT organizations to apply established application deployment processes for tasks such as provisioning, charge-back and automation to their application delivery infrastructure.

"SoftADCs will be an important component of the ADC market, serving customers from small to midsize enterprises, where price is critical, to large enterprise and cloud data centers, where flexibility and agility are paramount," said Gartner Research Vice President Joe Skorupa. "By 2013, softADCs will account for nearly one-third of all ADC units shipped."

NetScaler VPX will be available for public tech preview on May 18 and can be downloaded here.

NetScaler VPX will be available for general commercial purchase in the third quarter of 2009. Pricing for the new VPX versions of these appliances is not being announced at this time, Citrix said.

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