Citrix Command Center
Citrix Command Center is a central management product, to manage the Citrix NetScaler, Citrix WANScaler, Access Gateway Enterprise Edition and Citrix AppFirewall devices. Command Center provides you with a collection of functionalities, that will ease the management of these products in your infrastructure.
Command Center is a software solution, that can be deployed on servers running Windows or Linux Operating Systems. While Command Center works perfectly well with its own internal database, its also possible to point Command Center to external instances of Oracle or MySQL databases, if there is a need for higher scalability, and you need to leverage advanced database functionality available in these enterprise databases.
Command Center provides you the following modules to centrally manage the Citrix Application Networking infrastructure
Command Center provides a place to inventorize all the NetScaler, WANScaler, Access Gateway Enterprise and AppFirewall devices. The inventory management is possible both in a tabular manner, or as a graphical grouping of devices on different maps, which could be logical representation of the devices' locations. The global dashboard of devices provides a quick view of overall devices health, and its possible to drill down to specific device properties, execute device tasks, look at historical information on the device etc.
Using Command Center, its possible to centrally configure the Citrix appliances listed above, and Command Center already provides a built-in set of tasks that can be used for this purpose. Command Center also provides the mechanism to script custom tasks, based on an environment's unique needs, and its possible to schedule these tasks, view the schedule and execution logs, provide granular permissions and limit task usage to only a certain set of defined users etc. Command Center uses the SSH interface to the devices to execute these tasks, and while this capability is currently not availaable for the WANScalers, a future release of Command Center will support WANScaler central configuration as well
SSL Certification Management
Command Center can also function as the central console for management of all the SSL certificates deployed on the Citrix appliances. In a scenario where there are multiple SSL Offload virtual servers on the NetScalers, with multiple certificates, this central console on the Command Center becomes invaluable in providing a single window to manage different aspects of certificate management. Firstly, its possible from within this console to view the expiry dates of all the SSL certificates, and even alert configured administrators if a certificate is approaching expiry. Its also possible from the same window, to update the certificate on a NetScaler, or generate a certificate signing request (CSR). The overall benefit of the feature is that it makes certificate management on multiple NetScalers possible in a easy and simplified manner.
Change Management is a unique capability that Command Center provides with the NetScalers, that lets you view and control the configuration changes on the device infrastructure. It is possible to define golden templates that contain the expected configuration on the NetScaler devices, periodically match the device configurations with these golden templates, and view if any of the NetScalers are out of sync with the define templates. Its also possible to use the Change Management module to look at the history of configuration changes on the NetScalers, and verify if the in-memory and on-disk configurations on the NetScaler are in sync with one another
Beyond the configuration management capabilities, Command Center provides an SNMP management console, that will let you perform standard fault management functions on the NetScalers. Command Center can aggregate network events from multiple NetScalers and WANScalers, of varying severity, and display them on the management console. Its possible to pick events, act upon them, look at a history of events, set up filters to act upon certain type of events, and even update the inventory snapshot so that at any point of time its possible to look at the high level status of the devices on the network, and drill down to the actual fault conditions in case the global dashboard displays that an alarm is pending on certain devices.
Command Center's performance management functionality provides you with the ability to look at any of a number of performance variables on the NetScaler, and look at historical data for those variables. These reports are very valuable for troubleshooting, as well as planning activities. One could also watch the performance values on the NetScalers, and set up thresholds, so that if these set thresholds are breached, a network event is generated within the Fault Management module.
Command Center is available on the global price list, and there is also an evaluation copy that is available for all NetScaler and WANScaler users via MyCitrix. This evaluation copy comes with a 90-day trial use license. After the trial use, you could continue to use Command Center by replacing the evaluation license with a purchased registered license. To download this eval version, please visit the MyCitrix site here