What is our primary use case?
We use the NetScaler ADC in three primary use cases. The first is to provide load balancing services for our internal applications. The second is for Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) to provide data center resiliency and failover of our externally accessible services, as well as proximity-based access. The third is for the Unified Gateway to securely provide external access to some of our key applications. We deploy VPX appliances running in our VMware environment.
How has it helped my organization?
The GSLB feature allows us to move services between data centers. We can do this in either a planned or unplanned manner. We have experienced service provider outages at our primary data center and GSLB will kick in to automatically modify DNS records to point to a secondary data center (active/passive). We also make use of GeoIP information to point clients to the closest data center for accessing applications.
What is most valuable?
The features I find most useful are
- Load Balancing
- Unified Gateway.
I love being able to terminate connections to the boxes and look at all of the packet headers to determine which way I want to send the traffic next. GSLB provides amazing ability to do active/active or active/passive deployment of services. Unified Gateway allows me to provide secure external access to applications for suppliers and customers while requiring Multi-Factor Authentication.
What needs improvement?
The main areas for improvement would be around documentation and support. If a feature can be used in two or three ways, show that feature being used in all of those ways. Documentation seems to only cover the primary use case and leaves you to either run through trial and error or consult the user community. In terms of support, I have never actually had them solve any of my issues. I have always solved them myself and then provided the resolution to support.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What other advice do I have?
I would rate the NetScaler a nine out of 10. It is a fantastic platform to work with and the features/functionality are top-notch. The only ding would be for the documentation, but the user community is fantastic.