Citrix Allowing more Web Interface Sites on NetScaler

As stated in one of my previous blogs I mentioned that it wasn’t possible to install more then 3 Citrix Web Interface sites on for instance a Citrix NetScaler MPX 5500. If you wanted more then you would have to move to the 7500 series minimum where the limit was 25 Citrix Web Interface sites. For a lot of customers the price difference between the MPX 5500 and the MPX 7500 is not worth just a single Citrix Web interface site.

Appearently Citrix has changed his mind about these hard limits! There was ofcourse a huge gap between 3 and 25 Citrix Web Interface sites and Citrix Support explanation on why this gap existed was that the webserver used for publishing the Citrix web Interface sites could be a huge resource hog and the Citrix NetScaler MPX 7500 is equipped with better/more hardware to facilitate these number of Citrix Web Interface websites. Could be a valid reason ofcourse but you can’t tell me Citrix didn’t limit to 3 Citrix Web interface sites on purpose (marketing).

Ok, so as of now when you reach the limit of you appliance (virtual or physical) you will get the following message:

3-25

Now, happy as I am I clicking Yes, getting the following message:

MemNoEnough

This is my (for testing purposes) Citrix NetScaler VPX 1000 (9.3-48.6) with 2 Gb of RAM assigned to it. Now, let’s do what the message says and look in the Command Log:

Command_Log

Hm, nothing about memory shortage or how much of it. Ok, shutdown VM and assign 4 Gb to the VM and boot it up. Let’s create the 4th Citrix Web Interface, bingo:

4_Sites_Created

So giving your VM enough memory allows you to create more Citrix Web Interface sites. I had already tested this on multiple Citrix NetScaler MPX 5500 and so I know it worked on the hardware models.

Now, how about creating 26 websites (25 being the limit) and changing it to 500 on my Citrix NetScaler VPX 1000 with 4 Gb of RAM Smile. That did not work:

25-500-MemNoEnough

It seems Citrix has decided to change the hard limit per appliance to the amount of memory present in the Citrix NetScaler, I was able to change 25 to 50 on my testing machine though.

I’ve downloaded the Citrix NetScaler 9.3 Admin Guide and there it still mentions the (old) hard limits per appliance model. So I do not yet know what Citrix’s official statement is on this but I think they changed there minds about seeing the performance results of running multiple Citrix Web Interface sites on the more entry or virtual level models and decided the amount of memory should be leading.

Good job Citrix!

Update 6/27/2011: I’ve tested the above setting on the new 9.3 Build 49.5 and it still works, after altering the memory from 2 GB to 4 GB I was able to set the limit to 50 sites. Although the upgrade removed my Citrix Web interface so remember to backup you configs and customizations just in case.

About Henny Louwers
I work as a Consultant specialized in Application Delivery, Virtualization of Servers, Desktops and Apps.

3 Responses to Citrix Allowing more Web Interface Sites on NetScaler

  1. Vivak says:

    We have Netsacler NS 9.3 Build 56.5 nc VPX . On the management page i see there is a Way to create Web Interface.

    How is this different from the web Interface server 5.4 that we have installed and configured.

    Do we need to have a WebInterface Server at all orwe just can create a WebInterface site and Netscaler and that is all.

    Like

    • Hi Vivak,

      It is basically the same Web Interface version, so by using the Citrix Web Interface on Citrix NetScaler you eliminate the need for Windows machines hosting your Citrix Web interface software. The difference is that you have a limited GUI for setting Web Interface parameters and are forced to manually edit the WebInterface.conf (which can edited by the NS GUI console).

      Remember that not all Citrix Kb articles that apply to Web Interface for Windows apply to Web Interface for NetScaler because there are difference when it comes to the code that is used. For instance, there are customers that like to manipulate the dynamic clientname (WI_*) which is possible with the WI for Windows but not with the WI for NetScaler.

      Another issue I run into is that the WI for NetScaler will not do SSO for Windows clients, so if your using XenApp Services (PNAgent) and would like the start menu and desktop icons to be auto-populated, this will not work without the users being prompted to logon.

      Web Interface for Citrix NetScaler is really fast though, on a personal note I like the performance of the WI on NetScaler, so I always implement WI for NetScaler unless a customer has a function that will not be supported by WI for NS like SSO or clientname manipulation.

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  2. Aryan says:

    Hi Henny,

    we are planning to remove our current F5 load balancer, SG/Web interface with NetScaler MPX 5500. Do you have document handy for step by step guide for settingyup webinterface on netscaller MPX 5500.

    Like

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