With Cisco Live coming up in San Diego at Citrix we are ramping up to talk about NetScaler and the integration that we have done with Cisco Application Centric Architecture (ACI).

The world’s leading enterprises, service providers, cloud computing platforms, and eight of the top ten internet-centric companies, have standardized on Citrix NetScaler to deliver their business-critical web applications. By integrating with Cisco ACI we are bringing the benefits of the top application delivery controller to the leading software defined network architecture and enabling our customers to automate NetScaler deployments.

We are excited by the direction Citrix has taken with NetScaler and their integration with Cisco ACI. We believe that a concrete SDN solution with L4-7 automation is a game-changer in how next-generation datacenters will operate and deploy applications. — Matt Chamley, Head of Global Infrastructure, Woolworths

Challenges with Application Delivery
As businesses look to IT as a point of strategic differentiation, agility in the datacenter becomes more critical than ever. Fundamental to this change is the capability of IT to respond quickly to changing business requirements. Applications serve as the core of any business, but applications are only as agile as the infrastructure on which they run. With yesterday’s datacenter infrastructure, this can mean waiting weeks for an application change. Application agility, mobility, and rapid deployment require the datacenter infrastructure to dynamically respond to application needs as a result of changing business requirements.

Citrix NetScaler® simplifies, accelerates and secures the delivery of complex applications while reducing the cost of hosting and operating web applications and NetScaler delivers application insight to the network. By integrating with Cisco ACI, and leveraging NetScaler integrated technologies, datacenter and cloud administrators can control network services in a unified manner with seamless insertion and automation of best-in-class services. Cisco ACI is the foundation of an application-based datacenter. Together, Cisco and Citrix enabled applications can dynamically scale and migrate throughout datacenters on demand and with an automated approach based on business requirements or critical application-specific policies.

Citrix NetScaler is recommended by Cisco
Cisco recommends the NetScaler to its customers as a direct replacement to its ACE product line and for building next-generation datacenter networks. Citrix® NetScaler provides the ideal upgrade path from older Layer 7 products and is the recommended replacement to the discontinued Cisco ACE. Cisco is fully integrating NetScaler into its Cloud Network Services architecture and NetScaler is the only application delivery controller that fully integrates into Cisco’s unified fabric. NetScaler is integrated into the ACI architecture through a device package on the Cisco APIC SDN controller. This unique, joint development by Citrix with Cisco further enhances the delivery of an application centric datacenter for private, public or hybrid clouds.

The Cisco ACE to NetScaler Migration Tool makes converting ACE configuration files to NetScaler configuration easy. See this blog for details on how to use it, ACE to NetScaler Tool.  This video shows you how easy it is to convert Cisco ACE configuration files to NetScaler configuration files, How to use the ACE Migration Tool. To access the ACE conversion tool visit CIS here, cis.citrix.com.

The Citrix NetScaler and Cisco ACI Solution
Achieving the vision of a truly agile, application-based datacenter requires a sufficiently flexible infrastructure that can rapidly provision and configure the necessary resources independent of their location in the datacenter. With Cisco ACI, this is achieved with the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), a centralized policy management and control point for the entire infrastructure.

Citrix NetScaler ADC provides deeply integrated services such as load balancing, application acceleration, and application security. Citrix NetScaler powers the world’s largest cloud networks and is a leader in the enterprise networking market for both physical and virtual network appliances.

The unique joint Cisco ACI and Citrix NetScaler solution improves datacenter operations and application deployment, using the Cisco APIC as the central policy control and management station while the NetScaler provides integrated Layer 4 to 7 services such as load balancing, application acceleration, and application security.

The main benefits include:
Central point of network control with ADC service policy coordination and automation: The Cisco APIC acts as a point of configuration management and automation for NetScaler SDX™, NetScaler MPX™, and NetScaler VPX™ appliances; tightly coordinates the ADC service delivery with the network automation; and provides end-to-end telemetry and visibility of service-aware applications and tenants.

Scalable and elastic architecture for physical and virtual appliances: Cisco ACI defines a policy based service insertion mechanism for both physical and virtual ADC appliances, providing full lifecycle service management based on workload instantiation and decommissioning.

Investment protection: Cisco ACI and Cisco APIC are fully compatible with existing ADC networks, preserving existing service operation models and using open standards protocols.

Open ecosystem for service integration: Cisco and Citrix are guiding the IETF standard for the Network Service Header (NSH) Protocol, with the promise of agile and elastic service delivery capable of supporting the movement of service functions and application workloads.

Citrix and Cisco Deliver for the Business
As businesses quickly move to make the data center more agile, application centric automation and virtualization of both hardware and software infrastructure become increasingly important. Cisco ACI builds the critical link between business-based requirements for applications and the infrastructure that supports them. Citrix NetScaler ADC connects infrastructure and applications and makes that insight available to the Cisco APIC though deep integration.

Our Cisco and Citrix joint solution development built on our unique and strategic development partnership that has integrated Cisco RISE, VPath and OPFlex, to significantly improve Cisco Nexus and ACI environments, provides you with higher resiliency, improved agility and increased leverage of both your switching and application investments. This is why Cisco recommends the NetScaler solution as the “go-to” from ACE.

For more information see the, NetScaler Cisco Partner Page