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

  • NetScaler License server

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Zero-capacity hardware

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

Currently, the following zero-capacity hardware, running the NetScaler software release 11.1 Build 54.14 or later, support NetScaler pooled capacity:

  • MPX-14000Z
  • MPX-14000Z-40G
  • MPX-15000Z
  • MPX-15000Z-50G
  • MPX-25000Z-40G
  • SDX-14000Z
  • SDX-14000Z-40G
  • SDX-15000Z-50G
  • SDX-25000Z-40G
  • SDX-26000Z-100G

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 AWS
  • Microsoft Azure


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.


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

NetScaler license server

NetScaler license server is a component in NetScaler Management and Analytics System (NetScaler MAS). NetScaler pooled capacity uses NetScaler 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.

The following table summarizes the Maximum bandwidth/instances, minimum bandwidth/instances, and minimum bandwidth unit for all supported NetScaler instances.

For NetScaler MPX/SDX/CPX

  MPX 8900Z MPX-14000Z/MPX-14000Z-40G/MPX 14000Z-40S/MPX 14000Z-40C MPX-15000Z/MPX 15000Z-50G MPX-25000Z-40G SDX-14000Z/SDX-14000Z-40G/SDX 14000Z-40S/SDX 14000Z-40C SDX 15000Z-50G SDX-25000Z-40G SDX 26000Z-100G CPX
Maximum Bandwidth (Gbps) 33 100 100 200 100 100 200 200 1
Minimum Bandwidth (Gbps) 5 20 20 100 20 20 100 100 NA
Minimum Instances NA NA NA NA 5 5 20 20 1
Maximum Instances NA NA NA NA 25 25 115 115 NA
Minimum Bandwidth Unit 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps NA

For NetScaler VPX on hypervisors and cloud services

Hypervisor/Cloud Service Citrix XenServer VMware ESXI Linux KVM Microsoft Hyper-v AWS AZURE
Maximum Bandwidth (Gbps) 40 Gbps 100 Gbps 100 Gbps 3 Gbps 5 Gbps 3 Gbps
Minimum Bandwidth (Mbps) 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps
Minimum Instances 1 1 1 1 1 1
Maximum Instances 1 1 1 1 1 1
Minimum Bandwidth Unit 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps

The following table summarizes the license requirement for different form factors.

Zero Capacity Hardware Purchase    
Bandwidth & Edition Subscription  
Instance Subscription  

NetScaler Pooled Capacity