People are still in doubt when it comes to the deferent Netscaler platforms. They usually ask what the difference is between them. After that they also have to choose which edition that are best for them and their needs. In this article I will explain the different platforms and also the difference between the editions and what you should be aware of.
VPX is the virtual appliance. You can run it on HyperV, VMware ESXi and XenServer. With the Netscaler VPX, it is very easy to get started. You download the right image and import it into your hypervisor. You boot it up, give it an IP address and you can access the web interface. The VPX is a good solution for small companies that needs to give remote users access to their applications. It can also help you if you need to load balance applications. Many people wonder if this edition is powerful enough. It all has to do with your hypervisor. If it is overcommitted, your Netscaler will perform very well. But if you give it the necessary resources, you can very far with this edition. If you need SSL offload in a significant scale, I will recommend you to take a look at a hardware edition.
This is the hardware appliance. The difference between Netscaler VPX and MPX is that, the MPX comes with a dedicated SSL offload chip build-in. If you are planning to use your Netscaler for SSL traffic and you wish to terminate your SSL sessions on the it, it would be a good idea to consider the MPX edition. Another thing is that the Netscaler will have all the hardware for itself. This allows you to use the Netscaler more intensive and leverage some of all the features it has.
This platform is a hardware appliance that enables you run virtual instances of Netscaler. At the time writing, you can run up to 115 instances on one appliance. It is a very powerful appliance with a XenServer running inside. Since Citrix owns the whole stack, they have enabled the instances to penetrate the hypervisor layer and leverage the SSL chip that is also build in the SDX platform. The SDX appliance is used by hosting companies or large corporations that have the need for multiple Netscaler for different systems in their organization.
The newest shot in the Netscaler product portfolio is the Netscaler CPX. It is a lightweight ADC made for containerized microservices architecture. Designed for developers, so they can create applications that makes use of Netscaler technology. Netscaler comes with a full feature set, just as any other Netscaler edtion. It can be deployed by using Docker.
Standard, enterprise and platinum license
Once you have come to a decision about which Netscaler edition you want, you need to decide which license you need. The license controls which features you get access to. Citrix can sometimes change the features in a license and new features also are also developed. Because of that I will recommend to take a look at the feature matrix right here. One other thing that the license also controls is the throughput. If you are in doubt how much throughput you need, you can always start low. Citrix offers a very flexible license model, that enables you to scale out when it’s needed.