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Citrix have finally released the Citrix NetScaler product for comsumption in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. Previously I have written an article on building and configuring Citrix NetScaler in Amazon AWS. I thought I would pay the same respect to Microsoft and write a similar guide on doing it in Microsoft Azure. In this 2 part blog article I will describe deploying a Citrix NetScaler into Microsoft Azure and Setting up and Configuring NetScaler Gateway to provide access to your Windows Applications and Desktops in the cloud.
Whilst Citrix have release documentation on this build (http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/netscaler-vpx-10-5/nsvpx-rn.html) it is not the most comprehensive and does not describe the process of setting up the Azure side of things too well.
Setting up the Azure Infrastructure
Before you deploy the NetScaler it is recommended that you have an existing network in place as well as a Storage Location and a new Cloud Service for your deployment. Make sure these are all in the same geographical location as this will make life easier as you move through the build.
Deploy The NetScaler
Navigate to https://portal.azure.com and log in with your Microsoft Azure Credentials.
￼As you can see, I have a cloud service already in place for the Citrix NetScaler, I also have a vNet and Storage Account in North Europe ready to deploy the NetScaler to.
Click the Marketplace button.
Type NetScaler in the search box and press enter.
Click on the NetScaler VPX Bring Your Own License and click Create.
This will bring you to the screen that you start to configure the NetScaler Basic Networking and Deployment.
Enter a hostname for your NetScaler, a default username (Not nsroot, this will be created for you) and set a default password. Click on Resource Group and select your resource group for the region you are deploying the NetScaler to. Then click on Optional Configuration to really tweak how you want to deploy the NetScaler.
Click on Network, select the virtual network that you have prepped for the deployment, select the subnet that you want it to be deployed into and select the Cloud Service domain name you created for the deployment. Click on OK.
Click on Storage Account and select the Storage Account you have in the region that you want to deploy into.
Click on Endpoints and add an endpoint for Web Access to the GUI.
Once your ready click on create and then buy to start the deployment.
Your NetScaler will now be deployed using the configuration you specified.
Wait for the deployment to finish then open up a local web browser and navigate to the cloud service and endpoint you defined during the build stage. For example http://bretty-netscaler.cloudapp.net:8080
At this point you are able to login with the user name and password you specified during the deployment stage and start to configure the NetScaler.
Please be aware that the Citrix NetScaler will be running in Single IP Mode and there are some restrictions around what will run in Microsoft Azure. Please be sure to read through whats possible before deploying a NetScaler into Azure.
In part 2 of this article I will describe the process of setting up NetScaler Gateway in Azure and providing access to your Windows Applications and Desktops hosted in the Cloud.