Most Helpful Review
One feature that works really well is the SSL VPN. It's very easy to set up and you can go very granular with it. You can define what user groups get what kind of access and the management overhead is very low.
I like the monitoring ability as it enables me to identify when an internal (load-balanced) resource is having issues before it becomes a problem in production.
Content Switching provides flexibility for routing traffic as desired to designated real servers. It also provides good geo capabilities through its GSLB feature.
Provides resiliency for applications that reside on servers, as well as connectivity to remote applications.
HTTP analysis and action. We have a lot of custom web applications that sometimes require custom header insertions. Some of these custom apps are external and, via the content switching, we can use one IP and leverage various back-end web app servers.
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.
We now get notifications when pool members go down, and we eliminate our downtime by not sending traffic to downed pool members.
We have about 30,000 connections going through at any one time and it's fine, it doesn't seem to sweat. It doesn't get overloaded.
Most important for us that it makes sure that the load is distributed and that we always have access to the end servers.
The user interface precludes need to be well versed with Linux IPVS command line. This make it easy for junior team members to participate in managing load balancing needs.
The customization has always been a key area where some improvements are required. In the beginning, everything was for customizing the outer shell of it. You had to use the command-based utility and you had to do a lot of manual work. They have improved it a little bit and now there are some GUI-based functionalities that can be used. However, more can be done that doesn't require a lot of intervention. Right now there are some features, there are some customizations that can be done, but it's still very tedious, very cumbersome, a lot of work. So that could be simplified.
In every release - and it doesn't matter if it's a minor release or a major release - they keep moving things around and they keep changing the mechanism. So certain things can work in one version one way, and everything works really well, then when you upgrade it to the next version, it breaks everything because they have a new way of doing it.
Getting to use some of the advanced tools, even with the assistance of Citrix support, can be challenging.
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.
I would like a notification when a new version of the software is available. They told me to sign up for their newsletter, but I have not received any notification for a newer software version.
Possibly a more graphical overview page (with colors) to give a two second overview to see if everything is working fine.
The automatic refresh of the System Overview webpage: It sometimes has an extra webpage reload (after a change) before you see it is executed. This can be confusing.
They're mostly designed to balance a particular type of traffic. I wanted to load balance DNS, and they just don't do it the way that we wanted to. So they're not used as DNS load balancers.
It would be great if there was a way to gain access to the graphing data, to create custom reports. If we had a way to use the graphing data, we could use it to present certain information to our client, such as the uptime status for their service.
If I have to say something, I suppose they could add an automated configuration backup to an FTP location (or something similar) so you don’t have to manually do it. I don’t see this as a problem, of course, as the configuration rarely changes and we only need one backup, but maybe for other users that feature would be handy.
Pricing and Cost Advice
It is true that it is a bit pricey compared to newer technologies coming to the market. For example, A10 is a load balancer that does everything that Citrix can and it does a lot more than what NetScaler does when it comes to the security space, and their prices are so cheap. Every box comes with its own license and support built into it. When you compare that with NetScaler, you have to buy licenses separately, you have to buy a support agreement that is going to be separate. A small NetScaler, even if it is a VPX which is a virtual server, could cost you close to $150,000 to $200,000 dollars. So the pricing is really high.
It is inexpensive, and even their “unlimited” version, the VA MAX is still far cheaper than competitors.
I love that they do not price on some arbitrary throughput rating where you are guessing at what the load balancer is going to handle.
We've got an unlimited license, which doesn't costs that much compared to other vendors, and we don't have to buy it again.
Compared 43% of the time.
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Also Known As
|Also Known As||NetScaler|
|Overview||Citrix NetScaler is deployed in thousands of networks around the globe to optimize, secure and control the delivery of all enterprise and cloud services, and to maximize the end user experience for all users including mobile clients.|
Loadbalancer.org leads the market in delivering high-performance load balancers and load balancing solutions to customers around the world. Customers who depend on the high-availability of business critical applications can take advantage of unparalleled versatility, affordable costs and instant access to the industry’s most responsive 24/7 support – even during a free trial. Founded in 2002, Loadbalancer.org has offices in the USA, Canada, Germany and headquarters in the UK. With thousands of physical, virtual & cloud-based appliances deployed across six continents, Loadbalancer.org ensures the uptime of e-commerce websites & mission critical applications globally, whilst also improving performance, security, scalability and providing a rapid return on investment (ROI). Loadbalancer.org offers a no-nonsense approach and complete focus on load balancing.
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|Sample Customers||ABB Schweiz, Aer Lingus, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Amnet Technology Solutions, Aramex International, Ascenty, Atos, Autodesk||Vodafone, NASA, Mercedes, NBC, Siemens, AT&T, Barclays, Zurich, Penn State University, Fiserv, Canon, Toyota, University of Cambridge, US Army, US Navy, Ocean Spray, ASOS, Pfizer, BBC, Bacardi, Monsoon, River Island, U.S Air Force, King's College London, NHS, Ricoh, Philips, Santander, TATA Communications, Ericcson, Ross Video, Evertz, TalkTalk TV, Giacom, Rapid Host.|
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