We learned from XenServer…

It’s been almost two years now since Citrix announced the availability of free XenServer. And in that time, the adoption rate has been dramatic, as has the rate at which users of free XenServer have not only moved it into production roles, but have also added premium editions to the mix in order to implement solutions for high availability, resource balancing, advanced storage integration, lab management, and more.

One of the main things we’ve learned from the success of free XenServer is that part of the main reason that product caught on at a much higher rate than the previous XenServer Express Edition is that it offered a feature set rich enough to be used in lower-priority production scenarios. Simply put, people will use free software if it’s really useful.

Another thing we’ve learned is that people use free software for different purposes – some use it to deliver basic production capabilities, others use it to support development and testing, and others use it to try advanced features for a limited period of time, with an eye toward “buying up” if it meets their needs. A single offering doesn’t necessarily fill the bill.

…and applied it to NetScaler VPX

So we’ve made two changes to the “free” NetScaler VPX offerings. Specifically, we have:

  • Changed NetScaler VPX Express from 1 Mbps to 5Mbps
  • Added a new “free” offering, VPX Developer Edition, a throughput-limited Platinum version that is available only to NetScaler customers.

We continue to offer a time-limited evaluation of Platinum Edition as well.

NetScaler VPX Express Changes

To make VPX Express an even better option for users to put into production in non-throughput-critical roles, we’ve raised the throughput cap from 1Mbit to 5Mbit, while maintaining the Standard Edition capability set. Based on our experience with XenServer, we think it’s likely that, as more users put the new, more powerful VPX Express into production, they will gain confidence in it and pay to license it for higher-throughput roles, and will be primed to explore the full capabilities of the Enterprise and Platinum Editions.

As it is today, NetScaler VPX Express will continue to be available to anyone, through My Citrix and through the Online Store.

Licensed users of NetScaler VPX Express may follow the directions in the Licensing Guide and rehost their existing licenses using the same network address. The system will generate a new license file with the increased throughput cap.

You’ll hear more about this soon in specific usage scenarios. One specific case is that we expect VPX Express to enable users, especially those with colo, managed hosting and/or cloud deployments to be able to use the power of NetScaler where they may have settled for operating-systerm load balancers in the past.

New NetScaler VPX Developer Edition

We have also thought about how users deploy NetScaler in non-production roles. Many customers have told us they’d love to get NetScaler’s Enterprise and Platinum features – which are not available in VPX Express – into the hands of their application development groups, to develop and test their NetScaler environments and to enhance their labs. To make it as easy as possible for NetScaler customers to get the full NetScaler feature set into these users’ hands, we’ve also created a new NetScaler VPX Developer Edition, with the full Platinum Edition feature set, but with a 1Mbit cap. The Developer Edition has a free license renewable annually (as does VPX Express).

NetScaler VPX Developer Edition is available to NetScaler VPX and/or NetScaler MPX customers when they are signed into My Citrix, on the NetScaler page in the Downloads section.

Summary

These enhancements to the NetScaler VPX product line will help grow the NetScaler support community, make managing NetScaler implementations more trouble-free, and will offer each user – the moderate-thoughtput production user, the network solution tester, and the product evaluator – the best choice for their needs.

The following table summarizes the characteristics of each.

VPX Express VPX Developer VPX-1000 90 Day EVAL
Requirement Non-critical and/or lower-throughput production deployments Maintenance of production MPX and/or VPX deployments; lab networks Evaluation and proofs-of-concept for pre-sales
Throughput 5 Mbps 1 Mbps 1 Gbps
NetScaler functionality NetScaler Standard Edition NetScaler Platinum Edition NetScaler Platinum Edition
License duration Perpetual (annual renewal) Perpetual (annual renewal) 90 Days
Available to: Anyone NetScaler (MPX and/or VPX) Customers Anyone