Citrix NetScaler is the defacto application deliver controller (ADC) standard for Cloud, Dot-com and a majority of Enterprise customers. NetScaler powers business across the technology landscape and now offers customers greater competitive advantage in the Telecommunication industry (Telco). As a technology leader, Citrix constantly strives to deliver innovative products to the marketplace. We challenged ourselves to think outside the box, literally, and are pleased to announce a product offering for an entirely new market segment – Telco.

Building upon our expertise in the Telco space,and given rapid rise in traffic volume and the industry’s specific need for scale and performance, it makes sense for a performance leader like NetScaler to deliver unmatched services for Telco. In last few years, NetScaler has powered several Telco deployments in core IMS and non-IMS layer with capabilities like SIP Load Balancing and Acceleration, DNS Proxy and Caching, Radius Load Balancing and Acceleration and similar other use cases.

So what’s new? Telco deployments are unique and have many facets that touch upon various technology layers. While Citrix plays an important role in some of the layers, there is a lot more happening in Packet Core and Mobile Core in the transport layer. NetScaler is in a unique position to offer added value to the IMS/non-IMS layers as well. Hence, this 10.5.e release is focused on bringing out the features and capabilities within NetScaler, which enhance its benefits to customers using Telco specific solutions targeted for Transport and IMS/non-IMS layers. Let’s review the core capabilities of this new offering in more detail.

Carrier Grade NAT/LSN

Carrier Grade NAT/LSN (CGNAGT) is the core module developed for the transport layer that helps NAT translations at large scale for Telco. It is common knowledge that the Internet has run out of IPv4 addresses and, while IPv6 is gaining adoption, widespread adoption is still not here. The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 will take several more years and during this time Telco operators must deal with the coexistence of IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 will continue to be used at a large, but there arises a need to determine the best way to maximize the use of IPv4 addresses.

CGNAT solves this industry issue and we have seen many hybrid IPv4 IPv6 deployments in the APAC region. It’s interesting to note that CGNAT technology is a particularly hot topic of discussion in Europe (UK) and the U.S. where Telco operators are looking at possible solutions as they face the impending exhaustion of available IPv4 space. CGNAT is not a single solution or technology rather it is a combination of multiple technologies and solutions which come together under this umbrella to solve a core problem within Telco. NetScaler provides complete support for CGNAT deployments with this release and is production-ready today.

CGNAT technology support:

  • Mapping Behavior
    • Endpoint Independent
    • Address Dependent
    • Address and Port Dependent
  • Filtering Behavior
    • Endpoint Independent
    • Address Dependent
    • Address and Port Dependent
  • NAT Types
    • Full Cone
    • Address Restricted
    • Port Restricted
    • Symmetric
  • Paired IP Pooling
  • Hairpinning
  • Large Scale Logging
  • Deterministic NAT
  • Static NAT
  • Port Block Allocation
  • Parity/Range Preservation
  • Fair Resource Allocation
  • Leverages all core NetScaler features

The Citrix NetScaler CGNAT module is unique because it works seamlessly with all other core NetScaler infrastructure and offers a competitive advantage over other players because many other implementations treat CGNAT as special use case. We believe CGNAT will interoperate with other core ADC technologies in big way

SIP over TCP and TLS

NetScaler has many powerful SIP stack and layer 7 features which can address any type of payload- based operations. Our current SIP implementation works over UDP channel while we see some of the SIP implementations moving over to TCP and few to TLS as well. Given the importance of calls over SIP, moving to a TCP-based communication medium is a natural move whereas the move to TLS is more security-oriented. We can work in any kind of SIP deployment using all of these protocols. All the Layer 7 features for content parsing and modification will also work on the TCP layer.

Layer 7 Radius Features

Native Radius protocol load balancing is supported from last few releases but given the Telco use cases, we should be able to look deep into Radius payload and make intelligent decisions. These decisions might require us to change the payload on wire and all those actions can be applied now with new features supported. We now support Rewrite, Responder, Content Switching, Rate Limiting and Advance Policies for Radius protocol.

SMPP native Load Balancing

SMPP protocol is used deep inside the IMS layer as every Telco has to deal with text based messaging. There are cluster of SMPP endpoints deployed which require efficient load balancing and connection management. SMPP is a message-based protocol and our offering provides message-based load balancing within the core packet engine. Our stack delivers very high performance for the SMPP deployments and ensures even traffic distribution.

Download the new release here