We just returned from a successful engagement at Cisco Live in Las Vegas where we demonstrated our integration with Cisco ACI that features the new NetScaler Management and Analytics System (NetScaler MAS).

I was impressed with the energy and conversations – Cisco Live was the place to be if you want to see the latest in data center technology. In my role as a product marketer, I learned first-hand from our customers how the application delivery solution, featuring integration with Cisco ACI and Citrix NetScaler, helps them increase IT agility. The solution aids in the deployment of both the data center switching infrastructure and the necessary networking services. Customers are excited about the real results they are seeing including better application performance and high availability.

At Citrix, we realize that as your application infrastructure evolves, you are faced with a sprawl of components to manage and applications to monitor and troubleshoot. Citrix created the NetScaler Management and Analytics system to help you deal with your growing application infrastructure and to help you provide a better experience for your application users. NetScaler MAS is an orchestration, automation, visualization and analytics platform for application delivery services. NetScaler MAS works with Cisco ACI to give you automation of network services along with automation of the network switching. I presented about NetScaler MAS at Cisco Live and I’d like to share the message with you here.


Presenting the NetScaler MAS solution in the booth theater

We created NetScaler MAS to help you reach your goals

When we created NetScaler MAS, we thought about what’s going on in your business and how we can support you better. The answer lies is in the approaches to IT and how we can help your business:

  • Increase IT agility – to help your organization develop and deploy applications quickly with the ability to to apply services to them easily.
  • Drive OPEX reduction – to make it less expensive to manage the network and help reduce costs through automation that reduces operational complexity.
  • Deploy on any cloud – to aid organizations who frequently use applications from their own datacenters and in the cloud. You need to be able to manage the services for all of your applications where ever they reside.
  • Enhance customer experience – to heighten the productivity of your users by good performance and availability from their applications. You need to be able to monitor performance and to expand capability on demand.
  • Make everything data driven – use data as the way to get a handle on your application performance. NetScaler MAS provides you with the data that you need to troubleshoot effectively.

NetScaler MAS gives you all of the pieces to the management puzzle

  • App-centric lifecycle management – offers you the same features and functionality from dev to ops
  • Configuration management – makes it simpler to automatically configure your devices
  • Orchestration – lets you automate device instantiation in the cloud
  • Integration with Cisco ACI – delivers integration for automated network services with Cisco
  • Analytics and insights – provides you with data on the status of your applications.
  • Scalability – supports your need to scale out applications as your business grows.

App-Centric automation drives the application lifecycle

As organizations deploy applications, there is a need for applications to be discoverable in an automated way. NetScaler MAS provides a service discovery mechanism that is automated and works in a dynamic environment where containerized apps are spun up and spun down and services are applied. NetScaler MAS provides developers with access so that they can deploy services for their applications. NetScaler MAS lets you put NetScaler in the development environment in a way that is consistent with the production environment.

Configuration through StyleBooks makes it easy

We transform the way networking operations and developers can program the infrastructure to create the app delivery services. NetScaler MAS provides Stylebook Engine, a method for composing configurations using agile IT practices. Stylebooks can be created by developers or network operations teams using simple expressions to describe the structure of a NetScaler configuration. You create them once and reuse them. These Stylebooks contain all of the parameters for configuring NetScaler to benefit an application in a simple to use template.

NetScaler MAS orchestrates delivery of services

NetScaler MAS integrates NetScaler cloud and SDN systems. It supports SDN controller integrations, OpenStack APIs and integrations with container management systems. This functions includes the capability to turn up a virtual machine (VM), a container based or VM-based NetScaler, perform service discovery by querying or listening to messages from container management systems.

NetScaler MAS supports Cisco ACI deployment modes


NetScaler has support for all 3 Cisco ACI deployment modes using MAS

MAS provides NetScaler bootstrapping support in Full stack (L2-L7) automation mode of ACI fabric where device package integration enables complete delivery of complete L4-L7 capabilities from the Cisco APIC, with the APIC doing the full network configuration.

MAS works in Network policy mode – for L2-L3 automation from the APIC and with MAS providing full configuration management for NetScaler.

MAS is architected to support Services manager mode – providing the best of both worlds – full Stack automation with operational flexibility, where the APIC configures the network and talks to MAS via a device package to configure network services.

NetScaler Supports multi-cloud, multi-platform

NetScaler MAS supports all Citrix networking platforms including NetScaler ADC platforms (CPX, VPX, SDX, MPX) and NetScaler SD-WAN platforms, which can be managed by NetScaler MAS.  Our roadmap includes management for Open source to bring all devices under the control of NetScaler MAS. NetScaler MAS supports deployment in your local data center, in your private cloud environment and in a public cloud.

Logging and analytics provide insights

The logging and analytics capability provides insights for infrastructure bottlenecks, security, web, applications and user experience (UX). It identifies app and infrastructure performance using real-time and historical data, displays telemetry from NetScaler platforms and allows the operator to do trend forecasting. With this capability. NetScaler MAS provides correlated analytics for an end-to-end view of application performance and user behavior across the service delivery chain.

NetScaler MAS Analytics are designed to scale

NetScaler MAS logging a highly scalable infrastructure that collects thousands of transaction data points and counters from NetScaler across a large fleet every few seconds. It supports a model that scales to thousands of NetScaler data sources. Data is indexed, map-reduced and stored using big data techniques. Queries can be conducted on the data to generate insights.

For more information

NetScaler MAS provides you with a complete solution for managing your networking services infrastructure. It delivers full lifecycle management for all devices and orchestration and automation, which are integral to helping save costs and improve IT agility. NetScaler MAS is the ideal environment and provides network administrators with the tools to make their jobs easier. In addition, the analytics for troubleshooting and application performance management, and the ability to manage application infrastructure at scale, make NetScaler MAS a key solution for making your life easier.

To learn more about see, NetScaler Management and Analytics System and watch this video on the MAS introduction at Citrix Synergy, Next gen management and analytics for NetScaler.

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