Citrix NetScaler is an application delivery solution that provides many benefits: Ensuring application availability, acceleration of response times, and providing security to web application servers. But perhaps NetScaler’s biggest claim to fame is the tremendous cost savings provided to network operation centers. From consolidation of multiple point products including local and global server load balancers, Layer 7 content switches, SSL VPN appliances, web application firewalls, and application caching, NetScaler does it all at up to 50 Gbps of HTTP traffic. Resulting savings can lower datacenter costs by over 70 percent with reduction in needed servers by over 86 percent. Now add one more feature: Native Web Interface for Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp.
Web Interface is a principal component for both XenApp and XenDesktop. It lists applications and desktops available to a particular user, and publishes these in a browser. In the past Web Interface was typically run on separate servers. NetScaler now provides the ability to run the Web Interface service directly on NetScaler when using an nCore based operating system. This might not sound like much of a cost savings until you consider how some larger size operations demand numerous such servers.

One particular healthcare MSP has over 60 such Web Interface servers! Your operation might have hundreds. They also manage over 1000 Web Interface sites. With the scalability of NetScaler providing over 20 Gbps of Layer 7 traffic on the MPX 17500 model, you can consolidate all your Web Interface sites on to one such high availability pair of appliances. And at around a grand for each server, that could save you close to the cost of just one higher end NetScaler device. Now add in the headaches of server installations and on-going maintenance, and the savings on your IT administration staff could exceed those of your capital expenses. In fact, the company in question had two dedicated IT staff members for the Web Interface servers alone. What is the annual cost per IT employee these days?

IT administration costs are further reduced as the Web Interface feature can be enabled via the GUI used for all other NetScaler features with wizards and a simple five click process. Oh, and what does it cost to house, power and cool all those servers? I can assure you it is orders of magnitude more than two NetScaler MPX 17500 units with their space saving 2U appliance form factor and typical power use of 350W each. Let’s just say the two units are more than paid for.

Of course, not every datacenter scales to such proportions. For those smaller operations Citrix provides an ideal cost saving solution. NetScaler comes in two forms: the built-for-purpose MPX-series hardware appliances and the ultra economical VPX virtual appliances for use on industry standard servers. These VPX models have all the features of the MPX appliances and include integrated Web Interface as well. With the entry price point of VPX around that of a server, VPX is again essentially paid for. What better TCO can you ask for?