Citrix NetScaler: What Exactly Is It? | Parallels Insights

Citrix If you thought Citrix NetScaler was one product, you’re mistaken. Citrix NetScaler is actually the defunct name for a line of networking solutions from Citrix. The NetScaler brand was abandoned in 2018, just a few days after Citrix’s annual Synergy conference. It consisted of the following products: 

The core product was NetScaler ADC. In most cases, when people used the term Citrix NetScaler, they actually meant NetScaler ADC. Some of the products mentioned above are offered either as standalone or as part of NetScaler ADC. Moving forward in this article, we’ll just be focusing on NetScaler ADC. When we say Citrix NetScaler, we simply mean NetScaler ADC/Citrix ADC. 

Choices, choices…

If people usually mean NetScaler ADC when they say Citrix NetScaler, then Citrix NetScaler IS just one product in a way, right? Not really. Citrix NetScaler alone is actually offered in several versions: 

It also comes in Premium, Advanced, and Standard editions, with Premium having the most features and Standard having the least. After that, you have a wide range of models that support different system throughputs, L7 HTTP requests/sec, SSL transactions/sec, compression throughput, and so on. You have model names like MPX8905, MPX/SDX 14020-40G, and MPX/SDX 26200-100G, to mention a few (there are many more). 

So how much do these things cost? Since there are several models to choose from, you could imagine they also come at a wide range of price points. To just give you an idea, a single Citrix ADC VPX 10 Mbps Standard Edition costs $2,440—a VPX 1000 Mbps Standard Edition costs $18,300. A 3000 Mbps VPX Premium Edition costs $43,920. These are just the purchase costs of the product itself. We’re not even computing support costs and other associated costs in the product’s lifetime. 

Citrix NetScaler in virtual application and virtual desktop delivery 

Although it has several capabilities, it’s often deployed as a load-balancing tool in virtual application and virtual desktop delivery environments. In every practical sense, that’s overkill. If all you need is a way to distribute workloads across nodes in a virtual application/desktop server farm, then a more cost-efficient solution is to use Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS).  

Parallels RAS offers built-in load balancing 

Parallels RAS is a virtual desktop and virtual application delivery solution that already has a built-in load balancer specifically designed for this purpose. Because load balancing is included in each Parallels RAS license, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of that load balancer is zero. In addition, Parallels HALB Appliance can work as a standalone load balancer—and it comes free with a very few simple installation steps. Parallels RAS can even integrate with Citrix NetScaler! 

Load balancing certainly plays a critical role in application and desktop delivery, but it doesn’t have to be overly complex and expensive. Want to try a simple and affordable alternative to Citrix NetScaler?  

 

Try your 30-day evaluation of Parallels RAS today!  

 

References:  

CloudDNA | NetScaler ADC FAQ 

CloudPro | Citrix quietly ditches Xen and NetScaler brands days after Synergy 2018 

IT Central Station | Citrix NetScaler ADC vs. Loadbalancer.org 

Carl Stalhood | ADC Fundamental Concepts