Deploying Citrix NetScaler on Nutanix AHV

Citrix NetScaler VPX, the virtual appliance, is available for XenServer, VMWare ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM hypervisors. Since Nutanix AHV is based on KVM, it is possible to run your NetScaler VPX on the Nutanix native Acropolis hypervisor AHV.

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NetScaler Gateway VPX is a virtual NetScaler Gateway appliance that is hosted on a hypervisor. NetScaler Gateway VPX supports all the features and functionality of the physical NetScaler Gateway appliance.

Kees Baggerman (@KBaggerman) wrote an article, published on his blog some time ago. With the latest release of Citrix NetScaler 12.0 and a couple of Nutanix releases later, I was wondering if this is still working and if we can simplify the deployment steps needed. My facit is yes it works, and yes it has become easier. Here is my how-to deploy Citrix NetScaler 12.0 on Nutanix AHV.

  1. As a first step you need to download the NetScaler VPX for KVM Build from download.citrix.com.

    download_appliance
    Download the NetScaler VPX Appliance for KVM Build
  2. The download is a .tgz archive. We need to extract the disk image from this file. I used 7-Zip to grab the NSVPX-KVM-12.0-41.16_nc.qcow2 file. That’s all we need to deploy our NetScaler VPX on Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor.

    7zip_extract_image
    Extract the Disk Image
  3. Now we need to upload this disk image to the Image Configuration within Nutanix Prism. Place the image in the container where you also want sit your NetScaler VPX disk.

    Create Image
    Upload the Disk Image to the Image Configuration
  4. Create the NetScaler VM with at least 2 vCPUs and 4 GB memory, remove the CDROM  from the disk section and add a NIC sitting in your desired VLAN.

    create_vm
    Create VM, Remove CDROM, Add NIC
  5. Add a disk by cloning from Image Services and selecting your uploaded disk image from step 1. Make sure to choose IDE as bus type. Save your settings and create the VM.

    add_disk
    Add IDE Disk, Clone from Image Service
  6. To make our NetScaler VM bootable it is still necessary to add a serial port to the VM. This can be done only through CLI, so we have to connect to the Nutanix CVM and execute the following command. Replace with the name of your NetScaler VM created in step 3.

    acli vm.serial_port_create <VM Name> type=kServer index=0

    add_serial_port
    Add a serial port to the VM
  7. Now we are ready and can power on the VM. If everything works as expected, the NetScaler VPX will boot and we can move on with the initial IP configuration through command line.

    boot_netscaler
    Boot the NetScaler VPX VM
  8. Log in to the NetScaler CLI with the default user / password, which is nsroot / nsroot. From here you can do the initial IP configuration by entering config ns.

    config ns

    config_ns
    Setup NetScaler’s IP adress and Netmask
  9. Probably the IP of your NetScaler will not be in the same Subnet as your management station, so you also have to set a default gateway. This is done  via CLI.

    add route 0.0.0.0 .0.0.0.0 X.X.X.X

    add_route
    Set the Default Gateway

    Don’t forget to save your config.

    save ns config

    Reboot your NetScaler.

    reboot

  10. After the reboot you can browse to the NetScaler IP and log into the management interface to set up and configure all the shiny NetScaler features.
    netscaler_login.png
    Log into the NetScaler Management Interface

    netscaler_management
    Start your NetScaler fun

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