At Citrix Synergy San Francisco, registrants had the opportunity to attend the Learning Lab session on how to configure NetScaler to load balance Outlook Web App for Exchange 2010. The session had excellent reviews and will be repeated at Citrix Synergy this October.

Load balancing improves server fault tolerance and end-user response time. It distributes client requests across multiple servers to optimize resource utilization and improve server performance. NetScaler accelerates the application response time by forwarding each client request to the server best suited to handle the request.

OWA provides access to e-mail from any Web browser. Redesigned in Exchange 2010, it features such as chat, text messaging, mobile phone integration, and enhanced conversation view.  Typically, requests come in from the Internet through the DMZ and are terminated at the NetScaler, which then performs the following functions on the request:

  • Terminates SSL connection and performs SSL decryption. This reduces CPU load on the Client Access servers enabling them to handle more client requests.
  • Check health of the Client Access servers. This increases availability of the servers.
  • Load balances multiple Client Access servers to handle OWA requests efficiently to ensure high availability of the servers.
  • Compresses traffic to decrease response times.

Join me in my session for a three hour deep dive hands on in which each attendee will have a NetScaler to configure and get firsthand experience. I will cover NetScaler best practices for load balancing, SSL offload, rewrite and responder and attendees will follow a step by step lab guide to optimize and provide redundancy for OWA.

Florin Lazurca
Worldwide Technical Readiness, Citrix Systems Inc.