NetScaler VPX: Ready for Prime Time

28 09 2009

Well NetScaler VPX is now GA, actually I’m a little late as it was announced last week.  If you recall, I touched on this subject a few weeks ago when harping on the importance of a true load balancing solution for high availability in a XenApp environment.  As a brief recap, the VPX line of NetScaler is a virtual appliance solution that gives you all of the functionality of the hardware based version but runs on top of a hypervisor, mainly XenServer at this point. 

But take heart VMware lovers, word on the street is NetScaler VPX will be released for vSphere by November of this year.  According to the NetScaler VPX site  a free Express Edition is available for download.  Upon further inspection of the license guide, link below, the Express edition allows unlimited use of the Standard Edition functionality at 1Mbps full-duplex throughput.

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX122426 

While that isn’t exactly practical for full production use, it does allow you to adopt and gain experience with this technology in your environment without being confined to an evaluation period.  The Express Edition binaries can be downloaded from the following link:

https://www.citrix.com/English/ss/downloads/details.asp?downloadId=1857216

Once your ready to move it to production you have a few choices regarding full purchased versions.  The following is a breakdown of the different VPX appliance flavors along with retail pricing:

  VPX 1000 VPX 200 VPX 10
HTTP Throughput 1 Gbps 200 Mbps 10 Mbps
New SSL requests/second 500 500 500
SSL Encrypted Throughput 1 Gbps 200 Mbps 10 Mbps
HTTP Compression Throughput 750 Mbps 200 Mbps 10 Mbps

VPX 1000 Standard = $15K

VPX 200 Standard = $5K

VPX 10 Standard = $1,200

The Standard edition gets you all the critical functionality around load balancing, short of GSLB which I’m not happy about, and Access Gateway Enterprise edition.  There are also Enterprise and Platinum editions of the appliances, an outline of the features can be accessed here:

http://www.citrix.com/%2Fsite%2Fresources%2Fdynamic%2Fsalesdocs%2FDataSheet_NetScaler_Sept09.pdf

Once you’ve decided which version you will be implementing you can use the following guide to get started:

http://support.citrix.com/servlet/KbServlet/download/20331-102-577426/NS-VPXGettingStarted-Guide.pdf

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