While Enterprises are moving from data center to the private clouds, the key differentiator is automation of the whole fabric and service management. Microsoft® System Center 2012 cloud and datacenter management solutions brings together various pieces to help deploy and manage the private and public cloud applications and infrastructure. It delivers flexible and cost effective solution with all of the cloud principles and techniques embedded, manages multi-hypervisor environment and ensures dynamic optimization of resources and provides load balancing and high availability solutions, to ensure application availability and acceleration.

As applications are moved to public/private cloud environment, their availability and acceleration remains key. SCVMM 2012 enables support for load balancing and ADC solutions such that they are core part of the Fabric management feature stack. NetScaler as an ADC works with SCVMM module from long time and provides immense value to the applications being deployed. With the automation of application deployment in cloud, NetScaler has a key role to play in ensuring application availability, acceleration, optimization, visibility and security. NetScaler can help define service templates which can fully automate the application deployment and management. SCVMM 2012 specifies a VIP (virtual server) template which further simplifies the load balancer configuration and deployment.

You can download the NetScaler LB provider package for SCVMM 2012 from:

https://www.citrix.com/English/ss/downloads/details.asp?downloadId=2319228&productId=21679

Once the installation is complete, you can view the package installed in configuration provider section for Virtual Machine Manager:

Now you are ready to add a Load Balancer for NetScaler. Start the Add Load Balancer wizard from Load Balancer available in Networking and complete the logical flow:

  • RunAs Account
  • Select Host group where NetScaler is available
  • Select the manufacturer and model
  • Specify the IP address / DNS hostname
  • Select the load balancing configuration provider
  • Run “Test” to validate basic functions of the load balancer

 

With successful test run, load balancing configuration is successful.

Now you need to define the VIP template which sets up the core load balancing parameters for a virtual server to be created. This step is the key as it defines parameters which make an application highly available, optimized, and secure. The load balancer VIP template wizard takes you through the following steps to configure VIP Template:

  • Basic details
    • Template Name
    • Description
    • VIP Port
  • Type of load balancer
    • Select specific
    • Manufacturer as “Citrix Systems, Inc.”
    • Model as “Citrix NetScaler”
  • Load balancing protocol
    • The protocol could be HTTP, HTTPS or Custom
    • Custom lets you use the wide variety of protocols available on NetScaler
  • Define the persistence parameters
    • Persistence could be set as Source IP, Dest IP, Session ID or Custom
    • Custom lets you use one of the several other persistence parameters available
  • Select the load balancing method
    • Least Connections, Fastest Response Time, Round Robin or Custom
    • With custom you can use other efficient load balancing method on NetScaler
  • Define service health monitoring
    • Health monitor types available are HTTP, HTTPS, TCP, PING, UDP
  • Summary of the VIP template configuration

Above is a sample screen which you would see once you get to the last step of this wizard. When you click Finish, the load balancer setup is completed and a VIP template is created. You can now use this template in any service template deployment!!

Get started now 🙂