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Citrix Tightens Ties With Cisco

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Citrix Tightens Ties With Cisco

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Citrix is announcing the ability to virtually add a NetScaler appliance to a Cisco Nexus 9000, a sign that the companies’ relationship continues to deepen.

It’s one of several announcements Citrix is making today in Los Angeles at Synergy, the company’s annual customer event. The headliner announcements involve MobileStream, a set of features that improve NetScaler’s performance on mobile devices. They’ll involve protocol acceleration, faster rendering of content, and the like.

Cisco gave up on its application delivery controller (ADC) ambitions in 2012 and is instead using Citrix as a partner in that field. Citrix even says “Recommended by Cisco” on the NetScaler overview web page.

Going beyond recommendations, though, NetScaler has become available as a virtual remote blade on Nexus platforms. That is, the Nexus 7000 can think of a neighboring Netscaler appliance as one of its own line cards, as the companies
announced last month. As of today, that capability is available for the Nexus 9000 as well.

The NetScaler/Nexus relationship is also growing in terms of features. NetScaler can spin up more instances of a service if it’s deemed necessary. That capability will be extended so that NetScaler, through the Nexus gear, can call up the necessary network changes as well.

“It’s a two-way street,” says Graham Melville, Citrix’s director of product marketing for NetScaler. “We have information that things need to be done, but we need information from the network about where they should be done.”

Citrix is working with Cisco to develop this capability; details aren’t being revealed yet.

This feature could be done with other vendors and other types of gear, but only if those vendors have the right hooks to make it happen, Melville says. In many cases, Citrix sees other vendors waiting for the right open standards to form; Cisco, which barreled ahead with its Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI), is further along on this path, he says.

Citrix won’t be demonstrating NetScaler with the Nexus 9000 at Synergy but does plan to show it off at Cisco Live, Cisco’s own event being held in San Francisco the week of May 19.


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