Product Documentation

Citrix NetScaler Virtual Appliance Overview

Jan 28, 2016

The NetScaler virtual appliance product is a virtual NetScaler appliance that can be hosted on Citrix XenServer®, VMware ESX or ESXi, Linux-KVM, and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platforms.

A NetScaler virtual appliance supports all the features of a physical NetScaler, except virtual MAC (vMAC) addresses, Layer 2 (L2) mode, and link aggregation control protocol (LACP). VLAN tagging is supported on the NetScaler virtual appliances hosted on the XenServer and on VMware ESX platforms.

For the VLAN tagging feature to work, do one of the following:
  • On the Citrix XenServer, configure tagged VLANs on a port on the switch but do NOT configure any VLANs on the XenServer interface attached to that port. The VLAN tags are passed through to the virtual appliance and you can use the tagged VLAN configuration on the virtual appliance.
  • On the VMware ESX, set the port group’s VLAN ID to 4095 on the VSwitch of VMware ESX server. For more information about setting a VLAN ID on the VSwitch of VMware ESX server, see http://www.vmware.com/pdf/esx3_vlan_wp.pdf.

This overview covers only aspects that are unique to NetScaler virtual appliance. For an overview of NetScaler virtual appliance functionality, see Understanding the NetScaler.

Note: The terms NetScaler, NetScaler appliance, and appliance are used interchangeably with NetScaler virtual appliance unless stated otherwise.

NetScaler Virtual Appliance Setup for the XenServer Platform

Updated: 2013-08-23

When you set up NetScaler virtual appliance on XenServer, you must use the XenCenter client to install the first NetScaler virtual appliance. Subsequent virtual appliances can be added by using either the XenCenter client or Citrix Command Center.

XenServer

The XenServer® product is a server virtualization platform that offers near bare-metal virtualization performance for virtualized server and client operating systems. XenServer uses the Xen® hypervisor to virtualize each server on which it is installed, enabling each server to host multiple virtual machines simultaneously.

The following figure shows the bare-metal solution architecture of NetScaler virtual appliance on XenServer.

Figure 1. NetScaler Virtual Appliance on XenServer

The bare-metal solution architecture has the following components:

Hardware or physical layer:
Physical hardware components including memory, CPU, network cards, and disk drives.
Xen hypervisor:
Thin layer of software that runs on top of the hardware. The Xen hypervisor gives each virtual machine a dedicated view of the hardware.
Virtual machine:
Operating system hosted on the hypervisor and appearing to the user as a separate physical computer. However, the machine shares physical resources with other virtual machines, and it is portable because the virtual machine is abstracted from physical hardware.

A NetScaler virtual machine, or virtual appliance, is installed on the Xen hypervisor and uses paravirtualized drivers to access storage and network resources. It appears to the users as an independent NetScaler appliance with its own network identity, user authorization and authentication capabilities, configuration, applications, and data. The paravirtualization technique enables the virtual machines and the hypervisor to work together to achieve high performance for I/O and for CPU and memory virtualization.

For more information about XenServer, see the XenServer documentation at http://support.citrix.com/product/xens/.

XenCenter

XenCenter® is a graphical virtualization-management interface for XenServer®, enabling you to manage servers, resource pools, and shared storage, and to deploy, manage, and monitor virtual machines from your Windows desktop machine.

Use XenCenter to install NetScaler virtual appliance on XenServer.

For more information about XenCenter, see the XenServer documentation at http://support.citrix.com/product/xens/.

Command Center

Command Center is a management and monitoring solution for Citrix application networking products that include NetScaler, NetScaler virtual appliance, NetScaler Gateway Enterprise Edition, Citrix® Branch Repeater™, Branch Repeater VPX™, and Citrix Repeater™. Command Center enables network administrators and operations teams to manage, monitor, and troubleshoot the entire global application delivery infrastructure from a single, unified console.

This centralized management solution simplifies operations by providing administrators with enterprise-wide visibility and automating management tasks that need to be executed across multiple devices.

Command Center is available with Citrix NetScaler Enterprise and Platinum editions.

You can use Command Center to provision NetScaler virtual appliance on XenServer, and then you can manage and monitor the virtual appliances from Command Center.

Note: You must use the XenCenter client to manage XenServer. You cannot manage XenServer from Command Center.

For more information about Command Center, see the Command Center documentation.

NetScaler Virtual Appliance Setup for the VMware ESX Platform

Updated: 2013-08-23

The NetScaler virtual appliance setup for the VMware ESX platform requires a VMware ESX or ESXi server and the vSphere client.

VMware ESX and ESXi are virtualization products based on bare-metal architecture, offered by VMware, Inc. Citrix NetScaler virtual appliance can be hosted on a VMware ESX or ESXi server.

For more information about VMware ESX, see http://www.vmware.com/.

The vSphere client is a graphical interface for managing virtual machines on VMware ESX servers. You use the vSphere client to allocate resources on the ESX server to virtual appliances installed on the server or to deallocate resources. For example, you can allocate virtual network ports to a virtual appliance.

For more information about VMware vSphere client, see http://www.vmware.com/.

NetScaler Virtual Appliance Setup for the Microsoft Hyper-V Platform

Updated: 2014-08-07

Note: This feature is only available in releases 9.3.e and 10.
The NetScaler virtual appliance setup for the Microsoft Hyper-V platform requires Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012 with the Hyper-V role installed. Like all virtualization systems, Hyper-V enables you to create a virtualized computing environment that results in better utilization of your hardware resources.

Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor that comes preinstalled with Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012. It needs to be enabled as a role on the Windows Server.

For more information about Hyper-V, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc816638(WS.10).aspx.

NetScaler Virtual Appliance Setup for Linux-KVM Platform

Updated: 2014-03-07

The NetScaler® VPX™ is a virtual NetScaler appliance that can be hosted on a kernel based Virtualization Machine(KVM). The host Linux operating system must be installed on suitable hardware by using virtualization tools such as KVM Module and QEMU. NetScaler VPX runs as a virtual appliance on Linux-KVM server. Like all virtualization systems, KVM enables you to create a virtualized computing environment that results in better utilization of your hardware resources.

Hypervisors Supported on a NetScaler Virtual Appliance

The following table lists the details, such as system ID (sysID) and whether support is available for multiple packet engines (multi-PE), for the different hypervisors supported on a NetScaler virtual appliance.

Table 1. Hypervisors Supported on a NetScaler Virtual Appliance
  VPX on XenServer VPX on VMware ESX VPX on Microsoft Hyper-V VPX on generic KVM VPX on Amazon Web Services
Hypervisor Version  6.2, 6.5

5.1, 5.5, 6.0

Note: Support for ESX 6.0 (build number: 3073146)  is available from NetScaler 11.0 Build 64.x onwards.

2012, 2012R2 Linux - Fedora Core 20, Ubuntu 14.10 N/A
SysID 450000 450010 450020 450070 450040
Multi-PE Supported Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Clustering Supported Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Licenses VPX-10, VPX-200, VPX-1000, VPX-3000, VPX-8000 VPX-10, VPX-200, VPX-1000, VPX-3000, VPX-8000 VPX-10, VPX-200, VPX-1000, VPX-3000, VPX-8000 VPX-10, VPX-200, VPX-1000, VPX-3000, VPX-8000 VPX-10, VPX-200, VPX-1000, VPX-BYOL