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Citrix Netscaler 9 - AppExpertTemplates simplify deployment

Citrix recently lauched NetScaler 9, an application virtualization and delivery tool. The primary enhancement was the addition of sophisticated templates making deployment of applications via NetScaler dramatically simpler.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

Citrix recently lauched NetScaler 9, an application virtualization and delivery tool. The primary enhancement was the addition of sophisticated templates making deployment of applications via NetScaler dramatically simpler.

Citrix describes the enhancements in the following way:

NetScaler 9 introduces AppExpert Templates that capture hundreds of deployment details so that web application optimizations can be applied immediately, without any manual intervention. With AppExpert Templates, network managers no longer need to master the intricacies of each application in order to realize the performance, offload, security and availability benefits during application production operations.

NetScaler AppExpert Templates simplifies deploying NetScaler for specific applications by encapsulating everything about a NetScaler configuration that is specific to a given application.

Captured within an AppExpert Template are:

  1. The application components (e.g., pages, files, archives, Web Services) that NetScaler will optimize.
  2. The traffic management entities (e.g., VServers/VIPs and associated load-balancing algorithms, SSL offload settings) for these application components.
  3. The specific NetScaler policies for caching, compression, rewrite and other NetScaler functionality used to optimize the application.

Snapshot Analysis

An organization needed to deploy a virtualized desktop environment soon learns that this can be a very involved process if the needs of all of its staff, consultants and customers are taken into account.

The organization's IT planners soon learn that some people just need to access the applications and data in a safe, manageable way using traditional desktop or laptop systems. It is likely that access virtualization would be sufficient to handle their needs.

Others need to have those applications delivered to their system so that it can be taken on the road with them. This can be accomplished using application virtualization if the user's system is very similar to what the application developers had in mind when the application was developed. Various types of processing virtualization can be utilized when the environment differs from what the developers had in mind or if the application is going to be run "in the cloud."

Others need to access everything from an internet kiosk or a handheld device such as a smartphone. This may require one or more of the three types of virtualization depending upon the handheld device in question.

So, a comprehensive approach includes access virtualiation, application virtualization and various types of processing virtualization. Only a very few suppliers offer products in each of these categories. Even fewer offer these tools in a tightly integrated fashion. Citrix falls in this last category.

NetScaler 9, while interesting in its own right and worthy of review by an organization's IT planners, the product really needs to be seen as part of a comprehensive approach to virtualizing and delivering applicaitons to people regardless of where they are, what network they're using or, to a great extent, what type of system they're using.

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