Organizations have been looking to move application delivery services to a Network Function Virtualization (NFV) model where they can improve efficiencies by leveraging Virtualized Network Functions (VNF) by running them on x86 machines.

Since 2011 Citrix has offered NetScaler SDX as a platform for running virtual instances of our NetScaler VPX virtual application delivery controller. Now Citrix offers the choice of running NetScaler VPX as a VNF on the Cisco Cloud Services Platform (CSP) 2100, giving organizations the ability to take advantage of NFV quickly and easily.

Making the move to NFV and VNFs
Running network services using NFV is attractive because NFV is designed to support automation of network services on standard x86 servers using virtualized software-based functions through an API-driven approach with elastic scale.

The Cisco CSP 2100 and Citrix NetScaler VPX provide a turn-key solution for the rapid deployment of application delivery services, on an elastic NFV platform, in an automated fashion, without requiring specialized expertise.

The centralized management provided by Citrix NetScaler Management and Analytics System ensures that administrators can efficiently roll out elastic, high-performance, application delivery monitoring capabilities to support their ADC deployments.

How a VNF VPX on the CSP works
The CSP 2100 delivers turn-key NFV capabilities on an open x86 Linux KVM software and hardware platform delivered in a convenient appliance form factor that provides the agility of software with the performance benefits of hardware. With a single CSP 2100 appliance it is possible to support 10s of Gbps of throughput, 10s of thousands of SSL TPS, and several million concurrent connections, with high performance. This system has the ability to seamlessly scale to several Terabits per second of throughput, and millions of SSL TPS as a single elastic application delivery platform.

Software-defined ADC combines with NFV
ADCs have a history of running on proprietary hardware. In the past, this was necessary because purpose-built physical network appliances were needed to deliver the throughput that high-traffic applications demanded. ADCs sit in the traffic path and if they are to avoid being a choke point, they have to deliver high performance. Improvements in x86 performance that have made technologies like NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) possible, are also driving innovative changes in application delivery and they enable high performance implementation these functions on standard x86 hardware. Citrix has supported NetScaler VPX on x86 hardware since 2009 and now we support NetScaler VPX as a VNF on this architecture on the Cisco CSP.

Citrix NetScaler on the Cisco CSP provides an ADC solution that enables the promise of NFV. New ADC instances can be provisioned within seconds and application delivery services can be configured instantaneously. NetScaler VPX provides the capabilities of an ADC in an elastic, software-only solution, which goes beyond load balancing to deliver application analytics, security, application visibility, and predictive auto-scaling.

Management and Analytics deliver insights and automation
NetScaler Management and Analytics System delivers a single point of management and control across all the ADC resources in the data center or hybrid cloud deployments. The Citrix NetScaler MAS platform leverages the inline location of Citrix VPX to gather application data, which it processes with a big data engine and then presents insightful performance, security, and end-user analytics about applications to the administrator. With its software-defined architecture and real-time analytics, NetScaler MAS enables predictive and intelligent auto-scaling of application delivery resources. Organizations can auto-scale network services within a single CSP 2100 or across a cluster of several CSP 2100s. With NetScaler VPX and the Cisco CSP 2100, organizations now have a new choice with greater flexibility for their deployment of application delivery services.

How to get started with the Cisco CSP 2100 and Citrix NetScaler VPX
With Cisco Cloud Services Platform 2100, you can quickly deploy any Cisco or third-party network virtual service through a simple, built-in, native web user interface (WebUI), command-line interface (CLI), or representational state transfer (REST) API. See the link for details, Cloud Services Platform 2100.

You can deploy an SR-IOV-enabled NetScaler VPX instance on Cisco Cloud Services Platform (CSP) 2100 to configure network functions virtualization (NFV) of application delivery services in your environment. See the link for details, Deploying VPX on Cisco CSP.

Customers of Cisco and Citrix can see the flexibility and agility that the combination of the Cisco CSP 2100 and Citrix NetScaler provide. Citrix will be showing the capabilities of this solution at booth #2107 at Cisco Live in Orlando this week. For more on Citrix at Cisco Live see this link, Citrix and Cisco Resources.