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NetScaler VPX Hits Launch

Charter members include Ankeena, Apere, Arista, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Oracle, SoftLayer, Trend Micro and Vyatta

Citrix Wednesday delivered a finished NetScaler VPX, the software-based virtual appliance version of the NetScaler MPX hardware appliance that it started previewing back in May as a publicly available tech release.

NetScaler has typically targeted large-scale, mission-critical web applications with purpose-built equipment that required mucho networking skill to deploy and manage.

NetScaler VPX is supposed to deliver the same functionality in a simple, relatively low-cost format that can be downloaded and run on any standard server platform.

The widgetry is meant to tickle application delivery and provide load balancing and security from an appliance-turned-virtualized service.

Citrix sorta figures it’s created the ADC-as-a-service market, at least the cloud side of software-based application delivery controllers in a virtual footprint.

Judging from the 3,000 downloads experienced during the preview, Citrix expects the virtual platform to open up a new range of on-demand deployment options for enterprise customers and cloud service providers.

To push it, it’s come up with a Citrix Ready Open Networking Program in support of a partner ecosystem for the thing, friends of the family like platform partners armed with deployment options, application partners with turnkey solutions, cloud and hosting providers with on-demand application networking, and solution partners with, say, cloud-based messaging security and identity management products.

So-called charter members include Ankeena, Apere, Arista, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Oracle, SoftLayer, Trend Micro and Vyatta.

Citrix says NetScaler VPX virtualizes a good chunk of the networking, like L4-L7.

And it endows multi-tenant architectures with what Citrix calls “flex tenancy,” user-coveted application-specific and tenant-specific acceleration, security and traffic management close to the application in a flexible software tier that complements the MPX hardware appliances at the data center edge that are handling large-scale services common to all tenants.

It says it’s the first time application delivery and load balancing can be provisioned as an on-demand service by cloud and hosting providers, giving them something else to sell.

It also says that VPX makes it possible for application delivery to be “baked” into an application.

The networking infrastructure can be virtualized and used for testing and staging before going production, something that would have been pricy to do before.

To win hearts and minds it’s got a free VPX Express Edition that it imagines being used for evaluation and non-production test and development environments.

There are Standard, Enterprise and Platinum Editions that vary in price from $2,000-$30,000 depending on the throughput: 10 Mbps, 200 Mbps or 1 Gbps. The free stuff is only 1 Mbps.

Citrix says NetScaler VPX is also available as an on-demand cloud-based service from cloud vendors such as SoftLayer.

It’s come up with a Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) that starts at $80 a month for one instance. The service provider only pays for what he uses.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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