What is NetScaler?

Netscaler refers to networking products and application delivery controllers (ADC) developed by the Cloud Software Group. ADCs are appliances/devices or software solutions that optimize and manage the delivery of applications across networks.

Netscaler devices are widely used in enterprise environments, data centers, and cloud deployments to enhance the performance, security, and availability of applications and services.

While NetScaler devices have been optimized over the years to support Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, they are not limited to Citrix use-cases only. Many enterprises use NetScalers to load balance web applications, for example.

What are the main functions of NetScaler Devices?

NetScaler devices provide various functionalities to enhance application performance, security, and availability:

  • Load Balancing: NetScaler devices can distribute incoming network traffic across multiple servers to ensure efficient utilization and high availability.
  • Traffic Management: NetScaler offers advanced traffic management capabilities such as traffic shaping, prioritization, and quality of service (QoS) to optimize network performance and enhance application delivery.
  • Secure Application Delivery: NetScaler incorporates several security features like SSL/TLS encryption, application-level firewalling, and protection against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, helping safeguard applications.
  • Application Acceleration: NetScalers also implement techniques like caching, compression, and protocol optimization to accelerate the delivery of applications and reduce response times.
  • Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB): NetScaler’s GSLB support enables the distribution of traffic across multiple data centers or geographical locations, ensuring high availability and supporting disaster recovery.
  • Application Firewall: A NetScaler device can also act as a web application firewall (WAF) to protect against common web-based attacks and vulnerabilities.

What are the main types of NetScaler ADCs available?

There are four types of NetScaler ADCs that address various deployment scenarios:

  • NetScaler MPX: This is a physical appliance that provides powerful hardware-based application delivery and load balancing with options for high-performance web application security and SSL offloading. It is ideally suited for web applications that handle multiple gigabits of traffic.
  • NetScaler VPX: This is a virtual appliance-based ADC platform that runs on a virtualization platforms such as VMware, XenServer, and Microsoft Hyper-V. NetScaler VPX offers the same features as NetScaler MPX but provides the flexibility of virtualization and is suitable for smaller-scale deployments or cloud environments.
  • NetScaler SDX: This is a multi-tenant ADC platform that enables the consolidation of multiple ADC instances onto a single hardware appliance. It is ideal for enterprise and cloud datacenters. NetScaler SDX allows secure isolation and management of multiple ADC instances for different applications or customers. It provides resource pooling, scalability, and efficient resource utilization.
  • NetScaler CPX: This is a container-based ADC platform designed specifically for containerized environments such as Docker and Kubernetes. NetScaler CPX provides load balancing, traffic management, and application delivery capabilities for containerized applications.

What is the NetScaler Gateway Service?

While NetScaler is the on-premises solution, NetScaler Gateway service is a cloud service. With the NetScaler Gateway service, you get secure, remote access to applications, without having to deploy a NetScaler Gateway in the DMZ or reconfigure your firewall. The infrastructure overhead of using NetScaler moves to Citrix Cloud.

How are NetScalers monitored?

NetScaler has a GUI-based admin console from where IT staff can track the health of each device. NetScaler devices also support an SNMP MIB and they can be configured to send traps to any network monitoring system. NetScalers also support a NITRO API that external monitoring tools can use to track the health of all the devices. In general, monitoring of NetScalers is done in an agentless manner as it may not be possible to deploy monitoring agents on these devices.

How can you master monitoring of NetScalers with eG Enterprise?

eG Enterprise is a complete Citrix monitoring solution that provides great visibility into the performance and usage of your NetScalers. With eG Enterprise you can:

  • All your NetScaler activities from one console
  • Be alerted to all NetScaler performance anomalies - high traffic, security violations, login errors, load balancing issues, SSL certificate issues, etc.
  • Get to the root-cause of application performance problems in one click
  • Correlate NetScaler performance with that of the other Citrix tiers

What are some of the key questions that eG Enterprise answers regarding NetScaler performance?

  • How many ICA sessions and secure gateway sessions are active through a NetScaler device, from which users, and for how long?
  • Are there logon/authentication errors?
  • How well is Load balancing working?
  • Are all the NetScaler-supported virtual servers up and available?
  • Is the load (connections, data traffic, etc.) being distributed evenly across the virtual servers in a load balancing group?
  • What is the bandwidth saving from compression?
  • What is the bandwidth saving from caching?
  • Is there sufficient global memory on a NetScaler device? Are any of the NetScaler devices under-sized?

For more information, see

What is Citrix Application Delivery Management?

Citrix ADM an intuitive, comprehensive platform that enables automation, orchestration, management, and analytics for application delivery across hybrid multi-cloud environments. Citrix ADM can provide a consolidated view of all NetScalers in your infrastructure. At the same time, it also has the ability to monitor application flows using NetScaler devices as the data sources. Using this information, Citrix ADM provides insights into application latency, throughput and performance. Learn more about the pros and cons of using Citrix ADM for Citrix virtual apps and virtual desktops monitoring.

How does eG Enterprise compare with Citrix ADM?

While Citrix ADM has a lot of capabilities, it is not a complete end-to-end monitoring solution for Citrix environments. Here are some of the key limitations of Citrix ADM:

To learn more about how Citrix ADM compares with eG Enterprise, please visit: