Add Azure Autoscale settings

Efficient hosting of applications in a cloud involves easy and cost-effective management of resources depending on the application demand. To meet increasing demand, you have to scale network resources upward. Whether demand subsides, you must scale down to avoid the unnecessary cost of idle resources. To minimize the cost of running the application, you have to constantly monitor traffic, memory and CPU use, and so on. However, monitoring traffic manually is cumbersome. For the application environment to scale up or down dynamically, you must automate the processes of monitoring traffic and of scaling resources up and down whenever necessary.

You can use Autoscale with Azure virtual machine scale sets (VMSS) for VPX multi-IP standalone and high availability deployment on Azure.

Integrated with the Azure VMSS and Autoscale feature, the NetScaler VPX instance provides the following advantages:

  • Load balance and management: Auto configures servers to scale up and scale down, depending on demand. The NetScaler VPX instance auto detects the VMSS Autoscale setting in the same virtual network where the VPX instance is deployed, or the peered virtual networks that are in the same Azure subscription. You can select the VMSS Autoscale setting to balance the load. This is done by auto configuring NetScaler virtual IP address and subnet IP address on the VPX instance.
  • High availability: Detects Autoscale groups and load balances servers.
  • Better network availability: The VPX instance supports back-end servers on different virtual networks (VNets).

VPX Azure Autoscale

For more information, see the following Azure topic

Before you begin

  1. Read Azure-related usage guidelines. For more information, see Deploy a NetScaler VPX instance on Microsoft Azure.

  2. Create one or more NetScaler VPX instances with three network interfaces on Azure according to your requirement (standalone or high availability deployment).

  3. Open the TCP 9001 port on the network security group of the 0/1 interface of the VPX instance. The VPX instance uses this port to receive the scale-out and scale-in notification.

  4. Create an Azure VMSS in the same virtual network, where the NetScaler VPX instance is deployed. If the VMSS and NetScaler VPX instance are deployed in different Azure virtual networks, the following conditions have to be met:
    • Both the virtual networks must be in the same Azure subscription.
    • The two virtual networks must be connected using the virtual network peering feature of Azure.

    If you don’t have an existing VMSS configuration, complete the following tasks:

    a) Create a VMSS

    b) Enable Autoscale on VMSS

    c) Create scale-in and scale-out policy in VMSS Autoscale setting

    For more information, see Overview of Autoscale with Azure virtual machine scale sets.

  5. Create an Azure Active Directory (ADD) application and service principal that can access resources. Assign contributor role to the newly created AAD application. For more information, see Use portal to create an Azure Active Directory application and service principal that can access resources.

Add VMSS to a NetScaler VPX instance

You can add the Autoscale setting to a VPX instance with a single click by using the GUI. Complete these steps to add the Autoscale setting to the VPX instance:

  1. Log on to the VPX instance.

  2. When you log on to the NetScaler VPX instance for the first time, you see the Set Credentials page. Add the required Azure credentials for the Autoscale feature to work.

    Autoscale credentials

    The Set Credential page appears only when the application ID and API access key are not set or the correct application ID and API access keys (same as application secret) is not set in the Azure portal.

    When you deploy the “NetScaler 12.1 HA with back end Autoscale” offer from the Azure Marketplace, the Azure portal prompts for Azure service principal credentials (application ID and API access key).

    Azure Autoscale offer

    Azure principal credentials

    For information about how to create an application ID see Adding an application and to create an access key or application secret see Configure a client application to access web APIs.

  3. In the default cloud profile page, enter the details, as shown in the following example, and click Create.

Azure Autoscale cloud profile

Points to keep in mind while creating a cloud profile

  • The virtual server IP address is auto-populated from the free IP address available to the VPX instance. For more information, see Assign multiple IP addresses to virtual machines using the Azure portal.
  • Autoscale setting is prepopulated from the VMSS instance that is connected to the NetScaler VPX instance either in the same virtual network or peered virtual networks. For more information, see Overview of Autoscale with Azure virtual machine scale sets.
  • While selecting the Auto Scaling Group protocol and port, ensure that your servers listen on the protocols and ports, and you bind the correct monitor in the service group. By default, the TCP monitor is used.
  • For SSL Protocol type Autos Scaling, after you create the Cloud Profile, the load balance virtual server or service group is down because of a missing certificate. You can bind the certificate to the virtual server or service group manually.

After the first-time logon, if you want to create a cloud profile, on the GUI go to System > Azure > Cloud Profile and click Add.

Add Azure cloud profile

The Create Cloud Profile configuration page appears.

Create Azure cloud profile

Cloud Profile creates a NetScaler load balancing virtual server and a service group with members (servers) as the servers of the Auto Scaling Group. Your back-end servers must be reachable through the SNIP configured on the VPX instance.


From NetScaler release 13.1-42.x onwards, you can create different cloud profiles for different services (using different ports) with the same VMSS in Azure. Thus, the NetScaler VPX instance supports multiple services with the same Autoscaling group in public cloud.

To view autoscale-related information in the Azure portal, go to All service > Virtual machine scale set > Select Virtual machine scale set > Scaling.

Add Azure Autoscale settings