Citrix NetScaler steps in for Microsoft TMG/ISA

Into the Breach

NetScaler in Production Use

To use NetScaler optimally, the device should have at least two network interfaces. One interface is connected to the internal network and the other to the external network. However, as with Microsoft TMG, NetScaler also works with a single network card.

In production, note that you must import a license file. These can be found in the System | Licenses area of the web interface. In many cases you need the host ID of the NetScaler server to license on the Citrix website. This is the MAC address. If you are using a VPX version, you can determine the MAC address directly in the hypervisor.

Even with the trial version and the free NetScaler VPX Express Edition, you can comprehensively secure networks and publish applications. To do so, you will need to download and install AppExpert templates [8]. They provide configuration support similar to that of the setup wizard for publishing Exchange and SharePoint. The templates are simple XML files.

In the web interface, you will find the AppExpert templates for NetScaler in AppExpert (Figure 4). In the middle of the window, you can open the AppExpert template download page and press Import AppExpert Template to import the virtual appliance.

Figure 4: Citrix NetScaler provides an easy way to import templates into the firewall.

After integrating the templates, administrators can connect internal solutions such as Exchange, although not as conveniently as with TMG. Before putting NetScaler into production, you need to gather some network information and make some adjustments. Although the product is installed quickly, publishing the various services can take a long time.

Managing NetScaler

In addition to the features already mentioned, you can integrate NetScaler as an access gateway for XenDesktop or XenApps. To do this, go to the Access Gateway in the web interface. This is where you can centrally manage these areas for publication on the internet. Different subsections and wizards help you with the setup.

You can also monitor internal applications and database operations using the web interface. This is available in the Dashboard, launched in a tab at the top of the web interface (Figure 5). The Reporting tab tells NetScaler to create detailed reports.

Figure 5: NetScaler monitored in the web interface.

You can modify NetScaler suit your needs, start various wizards, and import various AppExpert templates in the Configuration section. In the left pane, select the area in which you want to make the changes, and then adjust the settings in the right pane.

Improved Access to Desktops and Apps

The new 10.1 version of NetScaler lets you provide better protection for published desktops or apps, while at the same time accelerating the publication process and improving the user experience on smartphones and tablets. NetScaler uses the Citrix HDX protocol to do this. Additionally, Citrix has integrated an Exchange ActiveSync proxy into NetScaler that allows users to access Exchange mailboxes securely while on the road using NetScaler.

Companies that rely on NetScaler SDX can create and operate a separate instance for Exchange ActiveSync on this basis. Even if the line speed of the connected smartphones constantly changes (e.g., from 3G to LTE or WiFi), the connections are kept. NetScaler uses Multipath TCP for this. Also, new protocols such as Google's SPDY extension are supported by NetScaler version 10.1. SPDY can significantly speed up HTTP connections.

Companies that rely on older versions of NetScaler can upgrade to version 10.1. MPX and VPX appliances are compatible with the new version. If you have a maintenance agreement with Citrix, you can upgrade for free.

Buy ADMIN Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs

Support Our Work

ADMIN content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you've found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More”>


		<div class=