Accessing and Managing your NetScaler

Citrix NetScaler devices are a powerful tool with an array of features that help to enhance and refine your SoftLayer solution in a multitude of ways.  This article is aimed at helping you find the device's information in the Customer Portal, as well as how to connect to the device so that you can configure some these features.  First, let's take a look at where you can find the NetScaler's information in the Customer Portal.

Locating NetScaler information in the Customer Portal

Citrix NetScaler devices are listed in the Device List, just like any other server you have on the SoftLayer Platform.

To find the Device List:

  • Log into the SoftLayer Customer Portal here:
  • Hover over the Devices tab at the top
  • Click on Device List

Here you will see all of your devices listed.  By default, they are sorted by Device Name.  If you look at the column just to the right of the Device Name, you will find the Device Type column.  NetScalers will be listed here as such.

If you look to the far left side of the row for your NetScaler, you will see an arrow that you can click to expand that line.  Clicking this arrow will expand the line, and show you the Username and a masked password for NetScaler management access.  Checking the box that says Show Password will unmask the password so that you can copy/paste it or take mental note of the password.

Other details listed here for the NetScaler include the Location (data center in which the NetScaler resides), Private IP address (which is used to connect to the NetScaler for management functions)*, Start Date (when the machine was ordered and provisioned, and the Actions drop-down list.

*Note:  While the Private IP address of the NetScaler is listed in the portal, the Public IP address of the NetScaler is not.  This is because management of the NetScaler is done using the Private IP address, and the Public IP addresses for NetScaler devices are used as the device's VIP(s), or Virtual IP(s), which are used for load balancing services.

In the next portion of this article, we'll discuss how to connect to your NetScaler device so that you can properly configure and manage it.

How do I connect to the NetScaler to manage it and make configuration changes?

To move forward from this point, you will need to be connected to the SoftLayer Private Network.  This can be accomplished by connecting to the SoftLayer Management VPN (PPTP or SSL).  If you need instructions on how to accomplish this, please see this link: SoftLayer VPN

Citrix NetScaler devices can be managed in two ways.  SoftLayer does not restrict access to the NetScaler device, as SoftLayer grants full root access to the device.  The customer has access to the NetScaler GUI (Graphical User Interface), or they can connect to the device via SSH for those times when the CLI (Command Line Interface) is necessary, or preferred.  Let's take a look at how to get access to each option.

NetScaler GUI Access:

Once connected to the SoftLayer VPN, navigate to the Device List in the customer portal, and find your NetScaler device.  Click the arrow to the left of the NetScaler device's name.  Once expanded, you should see the Actions drop-down list at the far right-hand side of the line.  If you click this, there is an option for Manage Device.  Once you click on this, a new tab on your browser will automatically be opened, and it will ask you for your NetScaler device's username and password.  These can be found on the same screen you expanded to get to the Actions drop-down list.

Alternatively, you can copy/paste the NetScaler device's private IP into a web browser, which should lead you to the same page.

NetScaler SSH Access:

Once connected to the SoftLayer VPN, navigate to the Device List in the customer portal, and find your NetScaler device.  Click the arrow to the left of the NetScaler device's name.  Open your preferred SSH client, and enter the Private IP address of the NetScaler device, along with the default port number (port 22).  When you initiate the connection, you will see the device requesting the username.  Enter the username and press enter on your keyboard.  Next, you will enter your password (which is case sensitive), and press enter on your keyboard.

Once you log in, you have full root-level access (either GUI or command line, depending on which one you followed) to the NetScaler device.  From here, you can make configuration changes, access reporting features, and work with the full range of the features that your NetScaler device offers.