Applications are the core of any business. To respond quickly to changing business requirements, IT organizations must be able to deploy applications rapidly across a broad range of physical and virtual infrastructure while ensuring performance, scalability, security and visibility.

But applications are only as agile as the infrastructures on which they run.

With traditional datacenter infrastructure, it can take weeks to make an application change. Cloud, mobility and virtualization trends further complicate the interplay between applications, network services and the underlying infrastructure. Achieving a truly agile, application-driven datacenter requires a flexible infrastructure that can respond dynamically to application needs, automatically provisioning and configuring the necessary resources independent of their location.

Citrix and Cisco Systems have worked to accelerate the transformation to new network service delivery models that provide greater business agility. They deliver a robust set of capabilities–from product integration and validated designs to new technologies–that provide immediate benefits to customers while streamlining the transition to software-defined networks (SDN) and application-centric infrastructure.

NetScaler: Cisco ACE replacement

Citrix NetScaler™ is a best-in-class application delivery controller (ADC), providing deeply integrated Layer 4-7 services including load balancing, application acceleration and security. NetScaler is a leader in the enterprise networking market for both physical and virtual network appliances and powers the world’s largest cloud networks. Eight of the top 10 Internet-centric companies have standardized on NetScaler. Cisco recommends Citrix NetScaler as a direct replacement for its discontinued Cisco ACE line and for building next-generation datacenter networks. NetScaler’s rich feature set simplifies, accelerates and secures the delivery of complex applications while reducing hosting costs.

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,

Key features include:

• Outstanding performance: The Tolly Group independently validated that NetScaler provides a 480% performance increase over F5 in real-world application delivery, and provides greater consistency of performance as more features are enabled, ensuring superior performance within each multi-tenant device.

• Superior mobility support: NetScaler’s multi-layer optimization for content streaming maximizes mobile page downloads and rendering. In addition, NetScaler MobileStream improves mobile performance by virtually eliminating the impact of sporadic connectivity, and boosts productivity by significantly reducing delivery times to mobile devices.

• Efficient troubleshooting and analysis: Citrix’s advanced application visibility solution, NetScaler Insight Center™, combines network-based instrumentation that’s both network and application-aware with an efficient, powerful management system that transforms raw data into actionable information.

• Simplicity, flexibility and density: NetScaler significantly reduces capital and operational expenses, lengthy procurement cycles+ and installation times for new application services while maintaining performance SLAs. Its TriScale® feature ensures you buy only what you need today and lets you easily scale up application services with a simple software license upgrade.

Toward SDN with NetScaler-Cisco Nexus integration

The integration of NetScaler into a range of Cisco Nexus platforms gives customers a best-in-class ADC with simplified service deployment, automated control and built-in multi-tenancy. You benefit from superior network service provisioning and performance, lower operations costs and investment protection. Integration examples include:

• RISE integration: Cisco’s Remote Integrated Service Engine (RISE) technology lets NetScaler appear as a remote services blade on the Cisco Nexus 5000, 6000 and 7000 Series switches.

• Cloud support: NetScaler is the only ADC that fully integrates into Cisco’s Unified Fabric Cloud Network Services portfolio. Citrix NetScaler 1000V is integrated with the Cisco Nexus 1100 Cloud Services Platform and vPath service insertion architecture.

The app-centric datacenter with NetScaler – Cisco ACI integration

Cisco ACI is a policy-driven, application-centric network infrastructure solution for datacenter and cloud deployments. ACI is the first solution to offer full visibility and integrated management of both physical and virtual networked IT resources, all built around the policy requirements of the application.

ACI is based on an innovative switch fabric and the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), which provides a centralized policy management and control point for the entire infrastructure. The foundation of an application-based datacenter, ACI supports network component programmability through centralized automation and dynamic, application-driven network policies.

Cisco ACI integrates with NetScaler Series MPX, SDX, VPX, and NetScaler 1000V appliances, which enables you to control network services in a unified, automated manner for rapid network service provisioning and reduced complexity. ACI integration also enables NetScaler to deliver application insight to the network, so applications can scale dynamically and migrate throughout datacenters based on business requirements or critical application-specific policies.

Key benefits of ACI-NetScaler integration include:

• Centralized network control with ADC service policy coordination and automation: The Cisco APIC acts as a point of configuration management and automation for NetScaler 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, 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 is fully compatible with existing ADC networks, preserving existing service operation models, and uses open, standards-based protocols.

Investment Protection through Open, Proven Solutions

Cisco and Citrix are committed to delivering open, innovative and proven solutions, based on:

• Open ecosystem support for service integration: Cisco and Citrix are fully committed to open source technologies and standards-based solutions. Both companies helped found the OpenDaylight Project and are active in the IETF. Both are working to standardize the Network Service Header (NSH) Protocol, which focuses on the movement of service functions and application workloads, and OpFlex, a protocol for communication between a policy controller and network devices, including hypervisors, switches and ADCs.

• Validated designs: Joint Citrix-Cisco initiatives include the publication of Cisco Validated Design (CVD) reference documents, which allow customers to easily deploy integrated product solutions, such as Citrix NetScaler as part of the Cisco Unified Data Center.

The Citrix-Cisco partnership offers customers the immediate benefits of improved datacenter operations and business responsiveness along with a seamless migration path to the application-centric datacenter. Whether deploying private, public or hybrid clouds, you benefit from increased agility as a result of automatic, dynamic service provisioning based on business and application requirements.

For more information, see the Citrix and Cisco Partner page.