NetScaler Bootcamp

The most advanced cloud network platform.

The most advanced cloud network platform.

A few of us at iVision just completed a two day NetScaler bootcamp led by Richard Nash at my old office in Alpharetta. With access to a hands-on learning lab, we were able to gain a solid understanding of Netscaler fundamentals.

Day one started with a lecture that covered core topics, including the following key features:

  • TCP Connection Multiplexing
  • Load Balancing
  • SQL Load Balancing (DataStream)
  • Compression
  • Clustering
  • High Availability
  • SSL Acceleration
  • Attack Defense
  • Application Firewall
  • Global Server Load Balancing
  • Caching

We then worked through several scenarios in the learning lab. Being new to NetScaler, I was impressed with how well the Java UI performed, and was quite pleased with it’s functionality and ease of use. The main menu was a bit scary looking at first, but once I navigated through the categories a few times, I was able to quickly find the settings I needed to configure.

The day one lab gave us a good understanding of the steps needed to setup a NetScaler VPX HA pair for load balancing, content switching, and SSL Offload. Generating the SSL cert was a hassle as it always is,  but fortunately the lab was already equipped with a Certificate server.

On day two of the bootcamp, we spent time working with HTTP header modification, port redirection, and URL transformation. We also covered DataStream SQL load balancing and rate limiting, which was very impressive functionality to configure and see in action. Database responders, token-based load balancing, and integrated SQL caching really rounded out the lab.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to cover Access Gateway, but I took some time to review Bill Hackley’s step by step instructions on the Citrix Blogs, which I was able to fairly easily implement in my lab environment. I was pretty satisfied with this training, and believe our team is much better equipped to lead many successful implementations with the foundation that this two day crash course provided!


First post – A little bit about me

Greetings, and welcome to my blog! My name is Kenny Baldwin, and I work as a Senior Citrix Consultant with iVision in Atlanta GA. I spent the last few years prior to iVision working as an Escalation Engineer for Citrix Systems, during which time my main area of focus was troubleshooting advanced technical issues reported by enterprise customers and Citrix partners alike. I’m MCSE/CCIA/Security+ certified, and have been in the field for over 10 years. I’m an Atlanta native, and have a wife and two daughters (1 & 3).

I’ve been working with Citrix products since 2009, and was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time working with source code to help isolate and resolve customer reported bugs. During my time at Citrix I learned about many advanced debugging and troubleshooting techniques, with a focus on XenDesktop and XenApp issues. I gained a deep understanding of the inner workings of HDX, brokering, session launch, and site architecture, developing tools and scripts along the way. Working at Citrix also helped me to increase my understanding of Windows internals, as well as administering and troubleshooting the various supported hypervisor platforms.

I presented at TechEdge 2010 on HDX Flash as well as troubleshooting XenDesktop, and was awarded the ‘Services Hero 2012’ distinction for providing ‘world-class’ technical support. If you’ve ever worked with XenDesktop 5.x, you might be familiar with the ‘Site Checker‘ tool, which I created mostly out of necessity while supporting the product. I’ve been a major contributor to the XenDesktop support forum and visit much less often than I’d like to.

Now that I’m a consultant with a Citrix partner, my main focus will be designing and implementing Citrix solutions. I hope to combine my unique understanding of XenDesktop and XenApp with iVision’s field-proven delivery assurance model to provide world-class Citrix solutions to our customers.

My hope is that this blog will give me an outlet to share my experiences with XenDesktop and XenApp including various tips, tricks, scripts, how-to’s, and troubleshooting tools for other Citrix professionals.

Thanks for stopping by, and may you find some Zen in your Xen! 🙂