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Citrix Unleashes NetScaler VPX

Two things today: Usually, as the days lose daylight and the summer slips into fall, the news cycle starts turning again in a serious way. We haven't noticed that to be the case so much this year, perhaps because much of the technology world is anticipating the release of Windows 7 (even though there's probably nothing about it we don't know). The bigger vendors have been relatively quiet so far this fall.

That was the first thing. Here's the second: Here at RCPU, we're technology generalists, meaning that we fit the old expression, to some extent, about being jacks of all trades and masters of none. It's worth mentioning, however, that we've mastered some areas of technology over the years more than we've mastered others. Your editor has a penchant for ERP, cloud computing, security and a few other categories. But there are times when we'll admit to our lack of expertise, and this is one of them.

Citrix this week finally made generally available a product that's been in the hands of lots of users for months, Citrix NetScaler VPX. It is, according to the company, "the industry's only leading application delivery and load balancing solution that is available as a virtual appliance. So, there you go.

We're not above admitting at this point that our expertise in such a product category is pretty limited, so we're not going to spend a lot of time critiquing this offering or discussing the importance of it. But it does sound important (especially at a relatively slow time for news), and Sunil Potti, vice president at Citrix Systems, spent some time on the phone with RCPU yesterday going over some usage scenarios that the company does a better job of explaining than we could. So, courtesy of Citrix's PR folks, here they are, from the company's press release:

"Making Shared Services Work in Cloud and Enterprise Datacenters
NetScaler VPX enables next generation multi-tenancy architectures bringing application-specific and tenant-specific acceleration, security and traffic management close to the application in a flexible software tier, complementing NetScaler MPX hardware appliances at the data center edge that are handling large-scale services common to all tenants.

On-demand Load Balancing and Application Delivery
For the first time, industry-leading application delivery and load balancing can be provisioned as an on-demand service by cloud and hosting providers seeking to enhance the elasticity and profitability of their offerings. Datacenter architectures are freed from the inherent rigidity of appliance-only solutions.

Moving NetScaler Upstream in the Application Lifecycle
NetScaler VPX makes critical application optimization, security and management technology capabilities readily accessible to development teams so that application delivery can be baked into the application. Additionally, it addresses thorny configuration support and change management issues by allowing evaluation of application delivery policies in test and stage environments, before promoting into production environments."

What's really interesting to us is that this product comes with its own little partner program, dubbed the Citrix Ready Open Networking Program. The program is open to all sorts of partners, from solution providers and hosting partners to ISVs and platform partners. Oracle is the big apps partner for the moment, and conspicuously missing from the list of players in the Open Networking Programis Microsoft, generally a big buddy of Citrix.  

But Potti said that Citrix should be able to snare Microsoft some time within the next few months, thereby forming an alliance that will allow the two virtualization chums to "promote Hyper-V against VMware with a value-added services stack," in Potti's words.

Now, that we get. And, for Microsoft partners -- especially those who have bought into the company's virtualization vision -- any development that helps combat VMware is a positive one. So, maybe we understand all we need to know about this product after all.

Have any comments on Citrix, NetScaler VPX (maybe you've used it and can shed some light on it for us), Microsoft, VMware, virtualization or anything else? Send them to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on September 23, 2009 at 11:55 AM