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Citrix to unleash containerised NetScaler this month

Microservices make a lot of traffic that needs taming, which can get expensive and in-locky

Citrix is mere weeks away from releasing the containerised version of its NetScaler application delivery controller is revealed last December.

“NetScaler CPX” was shown off at the company's Synergy conference last month, but NetScaler veep and general manager Ash Chowdappa today told The Register the software has snuck into a “we'll sell it if you really must have it now” version and will be generally available by month's end.

Chowdappa said the swift release is attributable to strong demand: apparently folks footling with containers find they make a lot of East/West traffic as containers spawn wherever they can. NetScaler's traffic-grooming features come in handy to stop LANs melting down as container counts climb.

NetScaler CPX is a Docker container. Chowdappa explained that, ideally, when containers are created and/or orchestrated with the likes of Kubernetes it makes sense to fire up a CPX Container too, so that the whole collection of containers in a microservice can start to enjoy its light traffic-tickling touch.

All of which sounds sensible, but there's also a small trap here for the unwary. That danger comes from the fact that Citrix assumes you'll be using containers at sufficient scale that you also need log file management to make sure you record all that spontaneous spawning, plus analytics so you can understand what's in those log files. And in a colossal non-surprise, Citrix has just added log management and analytics to NetScaler.

Shelling out for NetScaler CPX is therefore going to give you very good reasons to consider other bits of the NetScaler suite. No wonder Chowdappa seemed unruffled when he told The Register NetScaler's expected to become a growth engine for Citrix. He did, however, add that Citrix knows it lacks rivals' scale in terms of sales team size and reach. That issue, he added, is being addressed as Citrix restructures. ®

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