Citrix Adds Web 2.0 Push to NetScaler Product Line

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print

As Web 2.0 applications creep into the enterprise, solution providers are finding that social networking and other rich, interactive Web applications are placing increasing demands on server infrastructure, slowing performance and decreasing utilization rates.

Citrix’s new Web 2.0 Push technology aims to combat server overload and sprawl caused by Web 2.0 applications by offloading Web 2.0 workloads, thereby freeing up bandwidth for line-of-business applications and improving performance and utilization rates.

Web 2.0 Push will debut as an integrated feature in Citrix’s flagship NetScaler product line, says Greg Smith, director of product marketing for Citrix. In addition to performance and utilization rate improvements, Smith says Web 2.0 Push can also help solution providers reduce the number of servers customers need in their data center as well as lower the costs associated with the remaining servers.

While Web 2.0 applications bring enhanced functionality, collaboration and responsiveness for end users, they are a highly inefficient way to use server computing resources, Smith says.

Creating the rich, interactive experience Web 2.0 applications are known for requires users to maintain a direct connection to back-end servers for extended periods, putting strain on data center resources and slowing performance.

"These applications are slowly making their way into the enterprise, but at a cost," Smith says. That cost is increased demand on the network and on the servers that deliver Web 2.0 applications, he says.

"Imagine you have an application pushing rich, interactive features and data to lots of users," Smith explains. "The server has to maintain separate connections with each user, even if it’s doing duplicate work. With Push, it can push those workloads out to NetScaler, and NetScaler will push to users," he says.

By offloading these tasks from servers, Smith says server costs for delivering these applications can be reduced by five to 10 times, and can increase utilization rates by as much as 80 percent.

Smith says Citrix resellers have a competitive advantage over other virtualization and Web 2.0 solutions, since this technology is the first of its kind. Not only do solution providers benefit from a solution that can save their customers money and reduce server sprawl and complexity on the front end, but back-end network administrators and Web application developers also reap the rewards.

For ISVs and application developers, knowing that their applications won’t negatively impact data center performance can allow them to make these applications richer and more complex, since Web 2.0 Push can handle the workloads better.

Network administrators, too, can ease the strain on their primary networks, since bandwidth once devoted to Web 2.0 applications is now delivered directly to users, Smith says.

Web 2.0 Push was released in a recent NetScaler build, Smith says, and is available free to solution providers whose customers have deployed some of Citrix’s higher-end technologies.

There are also opportunities for driving new customer business, as well as to upsell existing customers, Smith says.


Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.