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POC Guide: Deploying a NetScaler VPX on Nutanix AHV

  • Contributed By: Citrix Technical Marketing Special Thanks To: Richard Faulkner, David Brett, Nagaraj Harikar, and Abhishek Gautam


This proof of concept guide is designed to provide a step-by-step method to deploy an instance of the NetScaler VPX on Nutanix AHV and prepare it for use. NetScaler VPX running on Nutanix AHV is supported through the Citrix Ready Program. This guide will assist in deploying a VPX appliance using Prism Element with some basic best practices. This guide will NOT cover the specific needs for every deployment. It is recommended that deployments and testing are conducted to define the best method for a particular need. 


Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) is a modern and secure virtualization platform that powers VMs and containers for applications and cloud-native workloads on-premises and in public clouds that can run any application at any scale.


This guide assumes the following prerequisites have been completed:

  1. Nutanix AHV is configured and ready for use
  2. Nutanix Prism Element will be used for the deployment (not Prism Central)
  3. Sufficient resources are available to support the recommended VM configuration
    1. The NetScaler VPX requires a minimum of 2 vCPUs and 2 GB of RAM (4 GB RAM or more is recommended).
    2. At least one vNIC (2 or more vNICs recommended for Management and Production networks)
    3. At least 20 GB of disk space
  4. A basic understanding of Nutanix AHV
  5. A basic understanding of Nutanix Prism Element
  6. Familiarity with the Acropolis Command Line Interface (ACLI)
  7. Familiarity with the initial setup of a NetScaler VPX appliance.

Considerations for NetScaler VPX appliances

A proof of concept deployment is set up to try out different functions of the VPX appliance. With a POC deployment, customers can:

  1. Try different features
  2. Familiarize themselves with the environment
  3. Try different configurations to see how they impact performance, usability, etc.

A POC is not intended for production workloads and should only be utilized for learning and feasibility purposes. 

Therefore, a virtual appliance running with (2) vCPUs, (4) GB RAM, and 20 GB of disc drive should be sufficient. In a production environment, it is recommended to provision the appliance with adequate resources for the expected workload. With a virtual appliance on Nutanix AHV, scaling up or down on resources is very easy, making the virtual appliance very flexible. To determine the required resources for your workload, use the following NetScaler Form Factors Datasheet

Deploying the NetScaler VPX

  1. Download the VPX virtual appliance (the example below shows the latest 14.1 version of the firmware, however other versions are available for AHV should this meet your business requirements)


  2. Download the “Citrix ADC VPX for KVM” file.


  3. On the first extraction, it will become a “tar” file. Extract that until you see the “.qcow2” and “.xml” files.


  4. Login to Prism Element (not Prism Central)
  5. From Home, select Settings
  6. Choose Image Configuration
    1. Give the image a name
    2. Select the “DISK” image type
    3. Pick a storage container
    4. Choose “Upload a file” and navigate to the NetScaler VPX “.qcow2” file
    5. Choose “Save” to create the image


7. Once the file uploads, you should see the image listed and the status should show as

  “ACTIVE”, this may take some time as Prism Element processes the image file.




8. Navigate to VM and then click Create VM







9. On the Create VM Screen, remove the CD ROM Drive

10 Add a new disk

  1. Select “Clone from the image service” from the drop-down menu
  2. In the Bus Type, select “SCSI”
    1. Note: The NetScaler VPX has been deployed with PCI, SCSI, SATA, and IDE bus disks without issue
  3. Choose the NetScaler image that was uploaded
  4. Choose “Add”


11. The disk will then be added


12. Add VLANs as necessary. A minimum of two VLANs (Management and LAN) are



13. Do not set affinity now, as it will be set later in this guide

14. Choose "Save"

Once the VM is listed and shows as powered off, we must add a serial port. The VM appliance will not boot without a serial port connection, and Nutanix AHV does not add a serial port by default.
  1. To add the Serial Port
    1. SSH into the CVM using the username “nutanix” and the password you set for that account (You can find a list of CVM IP addresses in the “Hardware” section of the Prism Element console)
    2. Enter the ACLI 
    3. Enter the following command to create the serial port where <vmname> is the name you gave to the VPX Appliance
      vm.serial_port_create <vmname> type=kServer index=0


At this point, you can snapshot the VM to be used as a template later should you wish to deploy more instances (an HA pair, for example).

Initial Configuration

  1. Power on the VM
  2. Launch the VNC console


  1. Watch the VM Boot


  1. Log in with the default credentials of nsrootnsroot You will be prompted to change the password. It is recommended that you change it at this time
  2. Manually run the “config ns” command from the CLI
    1. Assign the IP
    2. Enter the NetMask
    3. Choose “Apply changes and exit”


6. Restart the VM

When the appliance reboots, log back into the CLI and add the default route using the command below, replacing <default_route> with the default route assigned to the network that your NSIP resides on.


route add <default_route>


  1. Save the configuration using the command below to ensure the default route persists during a reboot
save ns config
  1. Now you can connect to the GUI

After this point, the configuration proceeds like any other NetScaler setup. 

Additional Considerations

High CPU usage

CPU usage will show high by default on NetScaler VPX appliances. If you desire to enable CPU sharing, then you should enable CPU Yield.

  1. From the GUI
    1. Navigate to Settings and click the “Change VPX Settings link


    2. Change “CPU Yield” to Yes
    3. Save the configuration


2. From the CLI
set ns vpxparam -cpuyield YES

Running a pair of appliances for high availability (HA)

If you are going to run an HA pair of appliances, it is recommended that you set anti-affinity rules so the appliances will always be run on separate AHV hosts

To accomplish this:

  1. Login to the CVM via SSH
  2. Create the VM group where <vmgroupname> is the name you give to the group of NetScalers you deployed on AHV
    vm_group.create <vmgroupname>
  3. Add the existing NetScalers to the group where <vmgroupname> is the name from the previous step, and <vm1name> and <vm2name> are the NetScaler VMs to be added to the group
    vm_group.add_vms <vmgroupname> vm_list=<vm1name>,<vm2name>
  4. Set the Anti-affinity rule where <vmgroupname> is the name given in step 2 above
    vm_group.antiaffinity_set <vmgroupname>


Disaster Recovery and GSLB

Suppose multiple sites are to be used, and Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) is utilized for access. In that case, it is recommended that an HA pair of NetScalers be deployed on AHV at both locations. You can then use Nutanix technologies such as DR replication to ensure the availability of your NetScaler pair should you experience a cluster outage. More information on Nutanix DR replication can be found here.


NetScaler Form Factors Datasheet

FAQ on Deploying a NetScaler VPX




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