Citrix Improves Web App Deployment, Security Features In NetScaler 9


Complex, dynamic Web applications are inefficient users of server and network resources, according to Citrix, and system managers often lack deep knowledge of specific applications. NetScaler, which is sold exclusively through the channel, combines application optimization tools with technology that gathers data about application status and performance.

The software, part of the Citrix Delivery Center product line, also improves Web application security, a growing problem for businesses given that hackers are increasingly targeting vulnerabilities in applications instead of operating systems.

Altogether, NetScaler 9 has some 350 enhancements and new features, according to Citrix. Perhaps the most significant additions are the AppExpert Templates that help automate application deployments by recording deployment details. They can be used to simplify application lifecycle management, said Greg Smith, product marketing director for Citrix's application networking group.

Channel partners can develop deployment services around the AppExpert Templates, said Jason Gress, president of InterVision, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based solution provider and NetScaler reseller. Gress said Citrix has done a good job in the last one-to-two years of building a message around NetScaler about the financial benefits of using the product -- especially in these tough economic times. "It's a TCO [total cost of ownership], cost savings, ease-of-use message," he said.

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NetScaler 9 also includes AppExpert Visualizer that provides system administrators with a view of application run-time performance status. AppExpert Rate Controls help IT managers comply with service level agreements for different classes of users without over-provisioning network and server infrastructure. And the new release offers integrated XML security to help protect Web applications from hacker attacks.

Citrix NetScaler 9 is currently undergoing beta testing and is scheduled for general availability Nov. 26.