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Citrix prepares app publishing bridge to get carriers onto NFV

100Gbps of network-grooming power advanced as enough for thrusting LTE operators

Citrix thinks carriers like the idea of network function virtualisation (NFV) but aren't ready to go there in one giant leap, so is offering its own wares as able to deliver a comparable experience.

There's a little bit of “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” to Citrix's thinking, because the company's hammer is the familiar NetScaler application delivery controller (ADC).

ADCs are appliances – virtual or real – that groom networks so that the many kinks and bumps that packaged applications make in network traffic aren't noticed. The outcome is that even if you've done something unholy when re-packaging an app with XenApp or the equivalent-from-other-vendors, users everywhere on any device enjoy the experience of using the packaged software because the ADC keeps the network in prime condition to handle the traffic the app creates.

Citrix's NetScaler is a prominent ADC and now the company thinks telcos should give it a whirl because their subscribers are going to want apps published to mobile devices over LTE. Whacking in a NetScaler, Citrix reckons, is just the thing to help carriers understand what it will take to run their networks at the scale NFV will demand.

That the company has new, faster, NetScalers ready to roll and just clocked one at over 100Gbps is no co-incidence. That result, by the way, was on a virtual version of NetScaler, giving Citrix a nice little proof point about how virtual infrastructure can scale.

It's no co-incidence this noise is all being made before next week's Mobile World Congress, but Citrix still has fair points to make because telcos are generally very risk-averse and (should be) acutely aware of anything with the potential to degrade user experiences on wireless networks. And given that those networks are being hammered now that the world expects to see cat videos 24x7, tricks that improve performance and represent a step towards NFV look a handy idea. ®

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