It looks like Cisco and Citrix are sorting through their respective record collections, with The Borg putting the Citrix-derived NetScaler 1000V products on its end-of-life list.
Even in the high-turnover world of Cisco stock-keeping units (SKUs), the Citrix NetScaler 1000V has had a brief life. The two companies first announced their strategic alliance in 2011, and the Netscaler 1000v was launched in 2013.
The idea was to integrate the Borg's virtual networking portfolio with what amounted to a customised version of the NetScaler application delivery controller (ADC). In the other direction, Citrix wrote Cisco's Nexus 1000 cloud service platform and Nexus 1000V vPath technologies into the ADC.
Even as recently as last year, the tie-up looked solid, since the VMWare-Cisco-EMC ménage à trois was happy enough to offer a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) integration service for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, complete with the Citrix ADC. VMware and Citrix compete head-to-head in VDI, so the presence of Citrix in a VCE product was notable.
This year, however, things are different. Citrix last week revealed the new new NetScaler VPX, and is making much of having a virtual appliance with a claimed 100 Gbps performance.
That, it seems, is fast enough for Citrix to achieve escape velocity from Planet Borg, and Cisco has put the NetScaler 1000V on three months' notice.
As Cisco's end-of-life announcement states:
“Advances in software-defined networking (SDN) and data center automation have led to an open Layer 4 through Layer 7 ecosystem to enable network functions virtualization on various Cisco solutions. As part of that transition, customers are requesting that the Citrix NetScaler 1000V (sold by Cisco) to be at feature parity with Citrix NetScaler VPX (sold by Citrix), and hence it simply made sense to direct customers to Citrix NetScaler VPX and implement the end-of-life (EoL) process for the Citrix NetScaler 1000V.”
In other words, Cisco currently sells the 1000v, but has decided not to sell its successors. Which surely signals some shift in the relationship between all parties.
May 20 is when the Bartender of Borgdom will call “last orders” on the product. Bug fixes and software maintenance releases end in May 2017, and a more generous August 2020 is the last date for which Cisco will allow customers to renew service contracts for the product. ®