Citrix NetScaler VM Network Bandwidth Sizing on Microsoft Azure

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Introduction:

Ever since Microsoft released the D-series V2 virtual machine sizes on Azure, mostly all vendors especially Citrix advised every one to use this series for all related server and desktop virtual machines including Citrix NetScaler virtual appliance.

Citrix has done some bench-marking on different types of VMs and concluded that the D2_V2 or DS2_V2 ( S being premium SSD disk storage ) can yield the best performance and is the most cost effective in terms of back-end infrastructure servers and XenApp workers.

https://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/white-paper/deploying-citrix-xa-7-11-and-ns-on-microsoft-azure-using-arm.pdf

Sizing:

Now for NetScaler in terms of CPU, Memory, and Disk DS2_V2 is more than enough providing 2 VCPU and 7GB RAM but that is not the important part. How can we size bandwidth requirements in terms of NetScaler on Azure !?

Lets start by what type of NIC/Bandwidth each DS-Series come with and elaborate on that further:

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The only information Microsoft provides in terms of bandwidth on Azure is relative meaning only profiles values are provided ( low / moderate / high / very high / extremely high ). Each VM size can have the Max number of NICS listed above and each NIC is associated with an Azure Bandwidth profile.

To interpret these profiles into realistic bandwidth values in terms of throughput and latency which are critical to any NetScaler deployment, VIOREL IFTODE did an amazing job benchmarking all profiles using real world scenarios and documenting all findings. They might not be 100% accurate but are the best credible information out there on the subject.

https://www.vioreliftode.com/index.php/what-does-microsoft-mean-by-low-moderate-high-very-high-extremely-high-azure-network-bandwidth-part-1/

Azure Low network bandwidth:

  • Maximum: ≈20 to 30 Mbps
  • Average: ≈14 Mbps
  • Latency: >1 mS
  • Ideal for: DNS, LDAP and in general all the protocols
    who are not data intensive (smaller network packets -> case in which the
    latency is improving <1mS).

 

Azure Moderate network bandwidth:

  • Maximum: ≈500 Mbps
  • Average: ≈491 Mbps
  • Latency: ≈1 mS for large and <0.5 mS for
    smaller network packets
  • Ideal for: any type of network traffic and average
    computing VMs

 

Azure High network bandwidth:

  • Maximum: ≈1 Gbps
  • Average: ≈930 Mbps
  • Latency: ≤0.5 mS
  • Ideal for: any type of network traffic and
    production VMs with moderate to high usage

 

Azure Very High network bandwidth:

  • Maximum: ≈3 Gbps
  • Average: ≈2.1 to 2.5 Gbps
  • Latency: <0.5 mS
  • Ideal for: any type of network traffic and heavy
    production VMs

 

Azure Extremely High network
bandwidth:

  • Maximum: ≈3 Gbps
  • Average: ≈2.1 to 2.5 Gbps
  • Latency: <0.5 mS
  • Ideal for: any type of network traffic and heavy
    production VMs

 

Remember that NetScaler licensing also applies, so when choosing the type of VM size to suite your NetScaler bandwidth requirements , you have to take the VPX type and license purchased as well. NetScaler VPX 10 , VPX 200 , VPX 1000, and VPX 3000 are supported licensing models on azure and each has throughput limitations based on its number so VPX10 throughput would be 10 Mbps  and so on.

Conclusion:

With that in mind and given the fact that NetScaler VPX requires a minimum of 2 vCPU and 2GB RAM, I would recommend that the DS2_V2 always be used for NetScaler deployments on Microsoft Azure for up to VPX1000 since you still get the required maximum 1 Gbps throughput you paid for and if it is less you still need the 2 CPU cores requirements which is covered by the DS2_V2 VM.

If VPX3000 is to be deployed , DS3_V2 can be deployed which as per Microsoft Azure can reach up to 3000 Mbps.

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Salam Smile .

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2 thoughts

  1. Good one, seems Azure Very High network bandwidth and Azure Extremely High network bandwidth have same recommendation or some typo 🙂

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