NetScaler cloud native solution for microservices based on Kubernetes

As companies transform to innovate faster and get closer to customers, they are rearchitecting their internal process and breaking down boundaries within their organization. They are removing silos to pull together the right skill sets in the same team. One of the goals is to create and deliver software applications with speed, agility, and efficiency. In this regard, modern application architectures based on microservices are being adopted by a growing number of enterprises. Using a microservices architecture, you can create applications as sets of loosely coupled services which can be deployed, updated, and scaled independently.

Cloud native is an approach that relies on the microservices architecture for building and deploying applications with the following key attributes:

  • Deploys applications as loosely coupled microservices or containers
  • Involves a very high degree of automation
  • Implements agile DevOps processes and continuous delivery workflows
  • Centers around APIs for interaction and collaboration

How does Kubernetes help in the cloud native journey?

To provide the desired levels of agility and stability, cloud native applications require high levels of infrastructure automation, security, networking, and monitoring. You need a container orchestration system that can efficiently manage containers at a large scale. Kubernetes has emerged as the most popular platform for container deployment and orchestration. Kubernetes abstracts the complex task of running, deploying, and managing containers from developers and operators and automatically schedules containers among a cluster of nodes. Kubernetes and the cloud native computing foundation (CNCF) ecosystem helps you to build a platform for cloud native solutions.

Some of the key benefits of using Kubernetes:

  • Simplifies application deployment be it on-premises, hybrid, or public cloud infrastructure
  • Accelerates application development and deployment
  • Increases agility, flexibility, and scalability of applications

What is NetScaler cloud native solution?

To maximize the benefits of using Kubernetes in production, you need to integrate Kubernetes with several tools, vendor-sourced, and open-source components. Ensuring production grade reliability and security for their cloud native application is a challenge faced by many organizations. As the provider of industry-leading NetScalers, NetScaler offers a NetScaler cloud native solution to address the challenges in a Kubernetes production environment.

NetScaler cloud native solution leverages the advanced traffic management, observability, and comprehensive security features of NetScalers to ensure enterprise grade reliability and security. It can provide complete visibility to application traffic in your Kubernetes environment, render immediate feedback, and help gain meaningful insights about the application performance.

The following table lists the key requirements of different stakeholders while implementing an Ingress solution.

Stakeholders Job function Needs
Platform administrators Ensure availability of Kubernetes clusters Simpler ways to manage applications deployed across multiple clusters, operation, and platform life cycle management
DevOps ​ Accelerate the deployment of applications to production Integration with CI/CD pipeline, support for deployment techniques like Canary and blue-green for faster deployment
Developers Develop and test microservices Ways to bring traffic into the Kubernetes cluster, tracing and debugging, rate limiting for applications, and authentication for applications
SREs Ensure availability of applications to meet service level agreements Advanced telemetry for applications and infrastructure
SecOPs Ensure security compliance Secure Ingress traffic, API protection, service mesh for secure communication between microservices inside the Kubernetes cluster

The following diagram explains the NetScaler cloud native solution and how it addresses the various challenges faced by stakeholders in their cloud native journey.

NetScaler cloud native solution

NetScaler cloud native solution provides the following key benefits:

  • Provides an advanced Kubernetes Ingress solution that caters to the needs of developers, SREs, devOps, and network or cluster administrators.
  • Eliminates the need to rewrite legacy applications based on TCP or UDP traffic while moving them into a Kubernetes environment.
  • Secures applications with NetScaler policies exposed as Kubernetes APIs.
  • Helps to deploy high performing microservices for North-South traffic and East-West traffic.
  • Provides an all-in-one view of all microservices using NetScaler Console service graph.
  • Enables faster troubleshooting of microservices across different kinds of traffic including TCP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, and SSL.
  • Secures APIs.
  • Automates CI/CD pipeline for Canary deployments.
  • Provides out of the box integrations with CNCF open-source tools.

For more information on the various cloud native solutions offered by Citrix, see the following links:

Components of NetScaler cloud native solution

The following table explains the major components of NetScaler cloud native solution:

Component Description
NetScaler Ingress Controller This container is an implementation of the Kubernetes Ingress Controller to manage and route traffic into your Kubernetes cluster using NetScalers (NetScaler CPX, BLX, VPX, or MPX). Using NetScaler Ingress Controller, you can configure NetScaler CPX, BLX, VPX, or MPX according to the Ingress rules and integrate your NetScalers with the Kubernetes environment.
NetScaler Observability Exporter NetScaler Observability Exporter is a container which collects metrics and transactions from NetScalers and transforms them to suitable formats (such as JSON, AVRO) for supported endpoints. You can export the data collected by NetScaler Observability Exporter to the desired endpoint. By analyzing the data exported to the endpoint, you can get valuable insights at a microservices level for applications proxied by NetScalers.
NetScaler xDS adapter NetScaler xDS adapter is a container for integrating NetScaler with service mesh control plane implementations based on xDS APIs (Istio, Consul, and so on). It communicates with the service mesh control plane and listens for updates by acting as a gRPC client to the control plane API server. Based on the updates from the control plane, the NetScaler xDS-Adaptor generates the equivalent NetScaler configuration.
NetScaler CPX NetScaler CPX is a container-based application delivery controller that can be provisioned on a Docker host. NetScaler CPX enables customers to leverage Docker engine capabilities and use NetScaler load balancing and traffic management features for container-based applications. You can deploy one or more NetScaler CPX instances as standalone instances on a Docker host.
NetScaler cloud native solution for microservices based on Kubernetes