What is needed and where do I get it from?

To do some tests with Citrix ADC / NetScaler you need the following equipment:

  • At least two web-servers publishing the same web page.
  • A Citrix ADC (formerly NetScaler) to load-balance these two websites.
  • A hypervisor to run your test equipment.
  • A client to manage and test.

Wonderkitchen provides you with these web-servers.

The web-servers

My primary interest had been: My test environment had to be as close as any possible to the environment, Citrix Education is using. At the same time, I wanted to avoid some mistakes they did.

These are my servers:

A Citrix ADC

You may download a Citrix ADC from Citrix website. It’s free for existing Citrix partners. You will have to contact your regional Citrix Sales office if you are new to Citrix.

A license is not needed. It will run as a freemium version if you just download the ADC and install it on a hypervisor of your choice.

limitation in Citrix ADC Freemium

Citrix ADC Freemium is a standard edition, limited to 20 MBt/s. Unfortunately, it does not support Citrix Gateway. The Freemium edition is sufficient for most of the labs presented here.

The Hypervisor

You’re more or less flexible about the Hypervisor. You may choose KVM, if your workstation runs on Linux, HyperV or VMWare Workstation if you prefer Windows or Mac (the free VMWare player would be fine as well). Oracle Virtual Box is not supported, but you may find workarounds. I never used it, so I have no idea if it works fine or not. I would stay away from Citrix ADC PBX, as it has no GUI and differs in many ways from all other editions.

Citrix also supports Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure and Softlayer.

Linux users may also install a BLX appliance. The pure NetScaler part is the same as MPX / SDX / VPX, but the BSD part (the BSD shell) is different of course, as it will use Linux.

Technical requirements

A Citrix ADC VPX needs at least 2 GB RAM (I would strongly recommend 3 GB RAM) and 2 virtual CPUs. These CPUs have to be Intel CPUs, CPUs from AMD are currently not supported and don’t work. Disk space required is round about 20 GB.

The workstation for administration and testing

Citrix does not require you to install anything on your workstation, so there are hardly any concerns using your favourite laptop or workstation. Your browser has to support HTML 5, usually no problem with current browsers.

I would strongly recommend using a big screen, as the GUI is optimized for Full HD. I would avoid using tablets < 13″. I’m using a 22″ monitor, and I think, that’s almost perfect.

Our labs sometimes use different browsers. I am using Mozilla Firefox most of the time, but also Opera and (on my windows box) Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge.

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