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Netscaler firmware 13.1 Build 33.47 does not work with the old but free 5 Mbps Gateway license


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Hi Carl,

 

as the license 5 VPX is not freely availiable any more since almost 5 years the date has to be in the past.

But it worked fine till the newest version. Many small customers still use the 5 VPX as a free ICA proxy.

 

Beginning of the file:

SERVER this_host 0050568b1234
VENDOR CITRIX
USE_SERVER
INCREMENT CNS_SSE_SERVER CITRIX 2017.0213 permanent 1 \
    VENDOR_STRING=;LT=Retail;GP=720;CL=SSE;SA=0;ODP=0 \
    ISSUED=7-mar-2017

<Snip>

INCREMENT CNS_V5_SERVER CITRIX 2017.0213 permanent 1 \
    VENDOR_STRING=;LT=Retail;GP=720;CL=V5,STRONG,EXP;SA=0;ODP=0 \
    ISSUED=7-mar-2017 

<Snip>

#CITRIXTERM FEATURE 2.0    CNS_V5_SERVER    DE    Citrix ADC VPX 5|Server

#CITRIXTERM FEATURE 3.0    CNS_SSE_SERVER    DE    Citrix ADC Standard Edition|Server

 

Thomas

 

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Good Morning Thomas,

i had the same problem with a VPX Standard license file downloaded in 2019 and a VPX Premium license file downloaded in 2020. I never read in any Release Notes that dates are now checked and even current Citrix ADC Upgrade Guides (and Trainings) do not treat it. And this is dangerous.

 

First i didn´t recognize that my license file was not valid after the failover from secondary to new primary. I usually do the upgrade via CLI and after failover i check the config via GUI. When the license file is not valid, it doesnt´t show a license popup (like when you are on Freemium and install a Standard/Premium license file). But due to the high traffic and downgrade to Freemium, the bandwidth exceeded and GUI took a long time to load. Other Webservices as well. I did a failover back via CLI. The GUI was now fast again. I checked the license and... there was no valid license. After downloading the license again and failover back again, it worked like expected. That´s no problem when your appliances are licensed with Standard.

 

But attention!

 

Okay. No problem. Now I know that the license is not valid any more after the installation and reboot. I will first install a new license, save the config and do the failover afterwards. Nice try guy... What happened in this moment? This pair of ADC was licensed with Premium. Due to the fallback to Freemium, all Premium configuration got lost. Some configration got disabled, some deleted. But i didn´t knew so far. My mistake was to only check the valid license and that every VServer was up. And saved the config. I updated the second appliance, the configuration got synchronized and suprise. Where is my ADC Gateway wtf? AppFW? BotProtection? Compression?

 

I had to compare the old configuration with the new configuration and insert all missing lines. I had to set compression on every service/service group again. Since I migrated some existing configurations to new ADC pairs in the past, I knew what to do and what´s the fastest way. This issue was produced due missing information (date check) and inattention by myself. If you are not very familiar with ADC, such a problem could be your nightmare.

 

I think every new ADC Upgrade Guide should notice how you can check the validity of your license file or to download and install a new license file before starting your upgrade. Everytime we update a Virtual Apps and Desktop farm, we have to check the license server version. Why don´t we check the ADC license validity too?

 

Best regards,

Jens

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/14/2022 at 9:41 PM, Carl Stalhood1709151912 said:

Citrix removed that license long ago. The replacement is the freemium license, which doesn't include Citrix Gateway. I think the 13.1 firmware is now checking the dates in the license file and thus that's why the license stopped working.

 

Hi Carl,

 

I suffer from the same problem and notice that indeed after the upgrade my valid license now instead gets interpreted as a "freemium" license as of 33.xx, even after reallocation and generation of a new and different license file ! I also tried just changing the date mentioned in the 3 green locations (screenshot below) but it doesn't seem to change the behaviour. As soon as I reboot the Netscaler after editing the date in the license is considered "freemium" once more, even before upgrading the firmware. This leads me to believe that as soon as you manually tamper with that file it becomes invalid.

 

Note that redownloading the license file or even reallocating does not change that date mentioned in the license file for me. If I read your documentation:

 

https://www.carlstalhood.com/system-configuration-citrix-adc-13/#upgrade

 

I'm lead to believe that for you it does change it.

 

Have you been able to successfully fix it by changing the date ? If so, what exact modification did you make to get it to work ?

 

image.thumb.png.bcf3d503da159bacc242c2b5487e9a4a.png

 

Thanks in advance

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

To everyone: After the source of this problem has become clear and the solution validated I have this conclusion to share:

 

As of the mentioned Netscaler firmware Citrix (sneakily) built in a hard check for the technical license file format causing it to fail whenever something is considered wrong with that file. On top of that, much earlier Citrix had also made a non-communicated technical change to our licenses on our online licensing portal during our yearly renewal (creating new identical license definitions beside our existing ones) causing the existing format of our downloaded license files to no longer be accepted by this new firmware and cause it to revert to freemium, even after return and reallocation.

 

In other words in retrospect our existing license definitions had become a technical problem as of that moment in the past but we never realized as a customer because there was no hard check in the firmware and no communication from Citrix

 

The solution was to simply completely decommision our existing license definitions in the online portal and starting the new ones instead that Citrix had put there without communicating. License files downloaded from these new definitions have the correct technical license format with up-to-date dates in it and cause no issues.

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I am in this situation with this license. Could somebody please explain what Andy Vanderbeken means in the last post when he says.

"The solution was to simply completely decommision our existing license definitions in the online portal and starting the new ones instead". 

Is it possible for me to update the license files with the date updated or will it always stay with the old date?  because these 2 products have old "Product Dates". 

#CITRIXTERM FEATURE 2.0    CNS_V5_SERVER    DE    Citrix ADC VPX 5|Server

#CITRIXTERM FEATURE 3.0    CNS_SSE_SERVER    DE    Citrix ADC Standard Edition|Server

Although I can not confirm the dates when the products expired. 

To be able to upgrade to the latest firmware and maintain Citrix Gateway functionality do I need to buy a new license?

Am i mixing up 2 independent issues?  and the solution suggested only works for products still supported?

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2 minutes ago, chris walker1709156149 said:

I am in this situation with this license. Could somebody please explain what Andy Vanderbeken means in the last post when he says.

"The solution was to simply completely decommision our existing license definitions in the online portal and starting the new ones instead". 

Is it possible for me to update the license files with the date updated or will it always stay with the old date?  because these 2 products have old "Product Dates". 

#CITRIXTERM FEATURE 2.0    CNS_V5_SERVER    DE    Citrix ADC VPX 5|Server

#CITRIXTERM FEATURE 3.0    CNS_SSE_SERVER    DE    Citrix ADC Standard Edition|Server

Although I can not confirm the dates when the products expired. 

To be able to upgrade to the latest firmware and maintain Citrix Gateway functionality do I need to buy a new license?

 

Hi Christopher,

 

It practically speaking means that you will have to:

 

1. Log on to your license portal and view your current licenses and click on "view my products"

 

image.thumb.png.73eaffc43d4fee7c0e0615d8f5c40285.png

 

2. Inspect the expiration dates there for your existing Netscaler products, identify any obsolete as well as active licenses with correct future expirations

 

image.thumb.png.3f8499482d18db6dbb6638cb5fec9b93.png

 

image.thumb.png.a260098a11c66aa3089691f4429c7346.png

 

and note the order numbers on the right side for the ACTIVE (=valid) ones

 

3. Go look on the other tab "Manage my licenses"

 

image.thumb.png.a293ed7ca28347a5135c07944a2e5689.png

 

"View all licenses"

 

image.thumb.png.fc24dc0f397cf0e2472d693890847549.png

 

4. Find the specific Netscaler licenses with the same order number, ensure those are the ones allocated to your Netscaler (return faulty ones first if needed) and then download the resulting generated file for that active license to replace your current faulty one by uploading this new file into the Netscaler.

 

image.thumb.png.32703883bca0a50f3c51d1b2334f32cb.png

 

 

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