Citrix Systems has announced that its NetScaler SD-WAN will be available as a virtual instance in Microsoft Azure. Sold via the Azure Marketplace, the NetScaler instance aims to make it easier for organizations to connect data centers and branch offices to workloads hosted in Azure.
The NetScaler instance is activated via the Azure interface, but once the instance is created, policies can be set and the instance can be managed via the NetScaler console. Once the instance is added to the NetScaler mesh, it essentially behaves as another branch node on the customer’s WAN.
Customers can direct branch traffic directly to the Azure cloud rather than sending it to the corporate data center and then to Azure.
Note that because Azure is a public cloud service, customers have to use a broadband connection, or sign on to a service such as Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, available through partners such as Equinix, which creates a private connection to Azure’s network.
Citrix also recently announced a deal with Equinix where customers could deploy a physical NetScaler SD-WAN appliance in Equinix data centers to act as a gateway to Azure and Amazon clouds.
Pricing for the Azure-based NetScaler SD-WAN instance is based on throughput, but customers can choose whether to pay on an hourly basis, or to get a perpetual license. Instances are available with throughput increments up to 1Gbps.
The NetScaler SD-WAN in Azure will be available some time in the first quarter of 2017.