NetScaler App Templates

Simplify application deployment on NetScaler

As an Application Delivery Controller, NetScaler needs to work more closely with applications than the network. “Configuring a device” is the wrong place to start, because this is exactly what the applications person does not want to do. An app owner wants to deal with service constructs, and abstractions of policies, which might at the end of the day, be operationalized as network level configuration, but is never visualized or constructed as such.

Applications are not just about a service running over HTTP/HTTPS. Applications are getting complex with many new features and capabilities, and application content today has a mix of everything possible and valid. The growth of applications to a next-gen cloud-enabled model means NetScaler needs to deliver such applications in a distributed fashion ensuring they go through secure and authenticated channels. Application Templates ensure that an application owner can successfully configure a NetScaler appliance without too much dependency on network staff.

Application Templates enable configuration abstraction that makes it possible to visualize an application’s set of components, and articulate through a drag-and-drop style interface. It allows admin level decomposition of duty for various actions to be taken on components like authentication, caching, compression, transformation, redirection, application firewalling, DDoS protection, etc. Imagine this sequence of events, where the NetScaler is racked up by an operations team, IP’ed, and delegated access is provided to an application owner/admin, who connects to the Citrix community site, downloads a template for one of the popular packaged applications, imports that into the NetScaler, visualizes various policy attributes and actions, and hands off to the application team that actually has the resources from where those applications are served. The application team then applies a set of IP addresses and ports that describe the end points from where the application is served, the end-user facing IP address that the DNS servers for that application point to, and the application is ready to be delivered – secure, optimized, and highly available.

Simplified workflow for using a published template

Simplified workflow for creating your own template

The key here is that this model helps build a community where people can create their own templates and share them for broader usage. Being able to reuse all of the template definitions, while hiding private details like IP addresses, is the beauty of this model.

There are various Application Templates available to download at the community site:

  • Microsoft OWA
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Citrix Storefront
  • Citrix Web Interface
  • Oracle
  • SAP

 

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