NetScaler Pooled Capacity

NetScaler pooled capacity is a licensing framework that comprises a common bandwidth and instance pool that is hosted on and served by NetScaler MAS. From this common pool, each NetScaler instance in your data center, regardless of platform or form factor, checks out one instance license and the bandwidth it needs. The license file and, therefore, the bandwidth are not bound to the instance. When the instance no longer requires these resources, it checks them back in to the common pool, making the resources available to other instances that need them.

This licensing framework maximizes bandwidth utilization by ensuring that instances are not allocated bandwidth more than their requirement. The ability of NetScaler instances to check licenses and bandwidth in and out of a common pool also enables you to automate instance provisioning.

You can increase or decrease the bandwidth allocated to an instance at run time without impacting traffic. You can also transfer NetScaler licenses in the pool from one instance to another.

How NetScaler pooled capacity works

NetScaler pooled capacity has the following components:

  • NetScaler instances, which can be categorized into:

    • Zero-capacity hardware

    • Standalone VPX instances or CPX instances

  • Bandwidth pool

  • Instance pool

  • MAS software configured as license server

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Zero-capacity hardware

When managed through NetScaler pooled capacity, MPX and SDX instances are called “zero-capacity hardware,” because these instances cannot function until they check resources out of the bandwidth and instance pools. So, these platforms are also called MPX-Z, and SDX-Z appliances.

Zero-capacity hardware requires a platform license to be able to check out bandwidth and an instance license from the common pool. However, you cannot use NetScaler pooled capacity to manage and install platform licenses. Install a platform license manually, by using the hardware serial number or the license access code. After a platform license is installed, it is locked to the hardware and cannot be shared across NetScaler hardware instances on demand. However, you can manually move the platform license to another NetScaler hardware instance.

Zero-capacity hardware, running the NetScaler software release 11.1 Build 54.14 or later, support NetScaler pooled capacity. For more information, see table 1 below.

Standalone NetScaler VPX instances

NetScaler VPX instances running NetScaler software release 11.1 Build 54.14 and later on the following hypervisors supports pooled-capacity

  • VMware ESX 6.0

  • Citrix XenServer

  • Linux KVM

NetScaler VPX instances running NetScaler software release 12.0 Build 51.24 and later on the following hypervisors and cloud platforms supports pooled-capacity

  • Microsoft Hyper-V

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  • Microsoft Azure

Note

An IPSEC tunnel is configured to enable communication between NetScaler MAS and Microsoft Azure or AWS. For more info, see Add NetScaler VPX Instances Deployed in Cloud to NetScaler MAS.

Unlike zero-capacity hardware, VPX does not require platform license. To process traffic, it must check out bandwidth and an instance license from the pool.

Standalone NetScaler CPX instances

NetScaler CPX instances deployed on a Docker host support pooled-capacity. Unlike zero-capacity hardware, CPX does not require platform license. To process traffic, it must check out an instance license from the pool.

Bandwidth pool

The bandwidth pool is the total bandwidth that is shared by NetScaler instances, both physical and virtual. The bandwidth pool comprises separate pools for each software edition (Standard, Enterprise, and Platinum). A given NetScaler instance cannot have bandwidth from different pools checked out concurrently. The bandwidth pool from which it can check out bandwidth depends on its software edition for which it is licensed.

Instance pool

Instance pool defines the number of VPX or CPX instances that can be managed through NetScaler pooled capacity or the number of VPX instances in an SDX-Z instance.

When checked out from the pool, a license unlocks the MPX-Z, SDX-Z, VPX, and CPX instance’s resources, including CPUs/PEs, SSL cores, packets per second, and bandwidth.

Note

The Management Service of an SDX-Z does not consume an instance.

MAS license server

NetScaler pooled capacity uses the MAS software as a license server to manage pooled capacity licenses: bandwidth pool licenses and instance pool licenses. You can use NetScaler MAS to manage pooled capacity licenses without a MAS license.

When checking out licenses from bandwidth and instance pool, NetScaler form factor and hardware model number on a zero-capacity hardware determines

  • The minimum bandwidth and the number of instances that a NetScaler instance must check out before being functional.

  • The maximum bandwidth and the number of instances that a NetScaler can check out.

  • The minimum bandwidth unit for each bandwidth check-out. Minimum bandwidth unit is the smallest unit of bandwidth that a NetScaler has to check-out from a pool. Any check-out must be an integer multiple of the minimum bandwidth unit. For example, if minimum bandwidth unit of a NetScaler is 1 Gbps, 100 Gbps can be checked out, but not 200 Mbps or 150.5 Gbps. Minimum bandwidth unit is different from the minimum bandwidth requirement. A NetScaler instance can only operate after it is licensed with at least the minimum bandwidth. Once the minimum bandwidth is met, the instance can check out extra bandwidth with minimum bandwidth unit.

Tables 1, 2, and 3 summarize the maximum bandwidth/instances, minimum bandwidth/instances, and minimum bandwidth unit for all supported NetScaler instances. Table 4 summarizes the license requirement for different form factors.

Table 1. For NetScaler MPX and SDX

Table 1. For MPX and SDX

  Maximum bandwidth (Gbps) Minimum bandwidth (Gbps) Minimum instances Maximum instances Minimum bandwidth unit
MPX 8900Z 30 5 NA NA 1 Gbps
MPX-14000Z series 100 20 NA NA 1 Gbps
MPX-15000Z series 100 20 NA NA 1 Gbps
MPX-25000Z-40G 200 100 NA NA 1 Gbps
MPX 8015Z 30 15 2 2 1 Gbps
MPX-24000Z series 150 100 40 80 1 Gbps
SDX 89XX series 30 10 2 7 1 Gbps
SDX-115XX series 42 8 5 20 1 Gbps
SDX-14000Z series 100 10 2 25 1 Gbps
SDX 15000Z-50G 100 10 2 55 1 Gbps
SDX- 15000Z 100 10 2 55 1 Gbps
SDX-22XXX series 120 20 20 80 1 Gbps
SDX-25000Z-40G 200 50 20 115 1 Gbps
SDX 26000Z-100G 200 50 10 115 1 Gbps
SDX 26000Z 200 50 10 115 1 Gbps
SDX 26000Z-50S 200 50 10 115 1 Gbps
SDX 8015Z 30 7 2 2 1 Gbps
SDX-24000Z series 150 50 20 80 1 Gbps

Table 2. For NetScaler CPX

  Maximum bandwidth (Gbps) Minimum bandwidth (Gbps) Minimum instances Maximum instances Minimum bandwidth unit  
CPX 1 NA 1 NA NA  

Table 3. For NetScaler VPX on hypervisors and cloud services

Hypervisor/Cloud Service Maximum bandwidth (Gbps) Minimum bandwidth (Mbps) Minimum instances Maximum instances Minimum bandwidth unit
Citrix XenServer 40 Gbps 10 Mbps 1 1 10 Mbps
VMware ESXI 100 Gbps 10 Mbps 1 1 10 Mbps
Linux KVM 100 Gbps 10 Mbps 1 1 10 Mbps
Microsoft Hyper-V 3 Gbps 10 Mbps 1 1 10 Mbps
AWS 5 Gbps 10 Mbps 1 1 10 Mbps
Azure 3 Gbps 10 Mbps 1 1 10 Mbps

Table 4. License requirement for different form factors.

Product line Zero Capacity Hardware Purchase Bandwidth & Edition Subscription Instance Subscription
MPX License required License required -
SDX License required License required License required
VPX - License required License required
CPX - - License required