Citrix NetScaler is a commercial load balancer that competes with open source load balancers such as HAProxy and Nginx. NetScaler is available as a container as well, in a product version known as NetScaler CPX. Even better, there is a free version available, called the CPX Express. For the rest of the blog post, I’m using my Mac laptop running OS X Sierra, and Docker for Mac version 1.12.
CPX Express can be installed from the Docker Store.
$ docker pull store/citrix/netscalercpx:11.1-53.11
You should now have the CPX image available:
$ docker images store/citrix/netscalercpx REPOSITORY TAG IMAGE ID store/citrix/netscalercpx 11.1-53.11 267dfad3a03e 4 weeks ago 413MB
Create a container from this image:
$ docker run -e EULA=yes -dt -p 22 -p 80 --name cpx --ulimit core=-1 --cap-add=NET_ADMIN store/citrix/netscalercpx:11.1-53.11 275626b96389755a88362c8df3ae4851f13e45d22f502b29900612fc2da28444
Determine the SSH port of this running container:
$ docker port cpx 22 0.0.0.0:32849
Login to the NetScaler CPX using the id/password combination of ‘root/linux’:
$ ssh -p 32849 firstname.lastname@example.org The authenticity of host '[127.0.0.1]:32849 ([127.0.0.1]:32849)' can't be established. ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:N3dlhNYbvYjOPkbt9ogrg2fwwUDWPVs8JwvLuE64/RQ. Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes Warning: Permanently added '[127.0.0.1]:32849' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts. email@example.com's password: Welcome to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.19.0-39-generic x86_64)
Once logged in, you can execute almost any regular NetScaler CLI command by passing the command to the
cli_script.sh script. For example:
root@275626b96389:~# cli_script.sh 'show ip' exec: show ip Ipaddress Traffic Domain Type Mode Arp Icmp Vserver State --------- -------------- ---- ---- --- ---- ------- ------ 1) 172.17.0.2 0 NetScaler IP Active Enabled Enabled NA Enabled 2) 192.0.0.1 0 SNIP Active Enabled Enabled NA Enabled Done
In the next blog we’ll see how to exercise the CPX’s primary function: load balancing.