Everyone loves a surprise, and we wanted to give it to you right up front: NetScaler in a Container is here!

The new NetScaler CPX is in tech preview, and we’re looking for a few good folks to work with us to give it a spin.

We’re really excited by this. After years of adopting virtualization and the advent of Containers (a fire sparked by our friends over at Docker), customers are now finding a new method to re-engineer their applications for agility and speed that was not as easy to do with virtual machines.

Here in the Citrix NetScaler group, we have been tracking these changes for some time and staying close to how our customers are adopting these new technologies. While there are still a lot of questions swirling around the Container space, we think that it’s the right time for us to join and contribute to this new movement.

We’re finding that the adoption of Containers has not only been in the obvious parts of our customer base, such as e-commerce and cloud, but also in the general mainstream enterprise market as well.

Here’s what one of our customers – Matt Chamley, who is the Head of Infrastructure for Woolworths Limited – has to say about this:

The networking landscape is in the midst of a dynamic evolution to containerized applications. As a long standing NetScaler customer, we are excited to see Citrix stay ahead of this shift and provide leadership to the industry with the offer of new platforms specifically targeted to enabling our application developers. We look forward to a continued partnership with Citrix on the management of our IT infrastructure as our DevOps teams progress their journey on leveraging container and microservice architectures using the container-based NetScaler.

To our existing NetScaler customers–primarily the core networking team: this provides a brand new form-factor of the product that you use today in production and allows you to proactively give your application developers a production-grade, supported load-balancer that they can use instead of a generic or “first hit off of Google” product that they might be using.

CPX joins its sibling products – VPX, MPX, and SDX – in providing a single, consistent set of ADC services to application developers unified through a single API, management console and policies. When an application developed using CPX is ready for production deployment, you can continue to use CPX or cutover to a larger, scaled version of NetScaler that is run by the central infrastructure team. The good news is that all the hard work you did to automate and scale NetScaler through APIs and scripts will move over unchanged.

In this new form-factor, NetScaler CPX can be used by application developers right on their laptops, with the ability to develop their code with the same enterprise-grade ADC and load balancing functionality that they can use all the way through to production. And in keeping with the way developers want to use our functionality,  NetScaler CPX can be provisioned and deployed using the Docker command line just like any other Container in the system.

So what does this tech preview mean?

In our discussions with customers it is clear that they are moving towards Container-based architectures, but have not yet made final decisions on how to operate this infrastructure at scale. Our goal with the tech preview is to engage customers in a conversation on how they are building their applications and how they plan to consume the services that our products provide.

Having a running, early version of NetScaler CPX that they can utilize and integrate into their applications and infrastructure struck us as the best way for us to get feedback and to improve the product along the way to make sure it meets customer needs. Given the early nature of the market, this feedback will be incredibly valuable in helping us build the right product for a market that is evolving at a dramatic rate.

As the first major player in our market to deliver this functionality, we also hope to use this as an opportunity to continue to stay ahead of our competition.

Interested in getting your hands on the NetScaler CPX tech preview? Good news! You won’t have to wait to open this particular present! If youre interested, contact your Citrix sales representative or partner who can help get you on the list for the tech preview. Please note that space is limited.

And as everyone knows, it is the small boxes that sometime hold the best presents.