The cloud has become an essential resource today, and has emerged as a major saviour for organisations at all levels. But the awareness of its vast potential is yet to be spread across the IT world. C. Ramanan, director of cloud networking – India subcontinent, Citrix, speaks about the importance of cloud technologies and open source in today’s IT environment to Jagmeet Singh of OSFY. Edited excerpts:
Q How is the recently launched NetScaler distinct from competing load balancing models?
Citrix understands Bimodal IT and has, thus, developed NetScaler on a Linux container that helps DevOps in application development and to stay agile. Our NetScaler is the first technology that offers a load balancer for Docker containers to enable the microservices load balancing functionality. This helps the new application development mode to do east-west load balancing between multiple microservices.
Q Why is there a need for a load balancer in the advanced world of cloud computing?
Traditionally, for any Web or mobile application that is built on the HTTP platform, customers generally prefer a load balancer to increase the application delivery performance and security. The advanced technology helps in reducing the back-end server workload. It also enhances the performance of application delivery and ensures secured delivery as well as protects the app from any web attacks.
But today, enterprise apps need NetScaler that is way beyond a simple load balancer. This solution helps to reduce the workload of back-end application and SSL servers and increases the application delivery performance by up to five times.
Q Why did you opt for the open source way of developing your load balancing technology?
In the places where microservices and Docker containers are required for developing applications, it is more efficient and highly effective to go for open source.
There is a vital need for every single microservice within that particular framework to communicate flawlessly. And to enable a flawless experience, you require a load balancer. It works as a reverse proxy and distributes network or application traffic on multiple servers to reduce workload.
We launched the open source NetScaler CPX around eight months back to solve the problem of application delivery through microservices and Docker containers. It gives developer teams the ability to customise and configure the tool to meet their requirements.
Q How do you view the parallel movements of open source and the cloud?
In the present open source world, there are two prime areas of focus—application development and orchestration.
Though the first area is a traditional one and developers are already aware of it, the second is critical for the current trend. If you look at the cloud model, it requires various components in your infrastructure such as the server, storage, network and firewall, among others. A mediator is therefore required in this process to enable communication between different technologies and to simplify the whole process. This is the automation task of the orchestration layer.
Nowadays, there are various open source orchestration layers available in the market. CloudStack, OpenStack and OpenDaylight are few open source orchestration solution available today. NetScaler Nitro API seamlessly integrates with these Orchestration solutions and provides L4-L7 functionalities as a part of the complete automation, which is critical for enterprise app delivery.
Today, open source private cloud orchestration is attracting a large number of organisations. There is also quite a lot of adoption for open source in the private cloud market.
Q Is it profitable to choose open source for a new IT solution, instead of taking the proprietary path?
This would depend on customer requirements and the expectations in the market. The profitability is another factor that would be considered. Going the open source way obviously has both advantages and disadvantages. It is the same if you go the proprietary way.
Customers are not looking for any brand value. Instead, they prefer a solution that meets their needs and helps them to grow their business. The IT world is no longer looking for just some standardised solutions. The market has changed completely, and clients are now looking to fulfil their requirements from any efficient solution—whether it is open source or proprietary.
It is difficult to analyse the profitability matrix through open source or proprietary solution. However, if open source helps customers bridge the gap between what they plan for in the future and where they are today, it would be the best fit. Customers are also looking for flexibility, which more often comes from open source solutions. The flexibility can be with respect to enhancing the existing architecture, migration, seamless adoption to applications or the deployment of an existing application to a new area.
Q How is the Indian market different from developed markets like the US and UK when it comes to the open source space in the IT field?
The rate of adoption for new and emerging technologies is lower in India compared to the US and UK maybe in terms of percentage of adoption. But India has always been a volume player. The number of adoptions in the country will definitely supersede other parts of the world over server load balancer over supersedes. If we take the example of public cloud adoption, it took a little time in the Indian market to gain some success. In the same way, open source is slowly getting bigger in the IT industry in the country.
India is an IT and development hub, we see the growth of open source developer community in the country. Certainly, with more resources available in the market, open source adoption in India will certainly grow.
There is a mix of people who are migrating to the public cloud or building their own open source orchestration for their data centres. Also, some of the clients look for hybrid solutions. These dual-world technologies help them run their critical applications on their data centres and non-critical applications on the cloud. This trend is growing these days.
Compared to previous years, in the last year we have seen a lot of customers showing great interest in automation that uses private cloud deployments for data centres.
Q Do you think that it is hard to be a marketer of open source solutions in India?
New development areas as well as the latest software adoptions are inclined more towards open source. That is where we see the growth potential for the whole open source community in India.
So we can say that it is not difficult to market open source solutions in the Indian market. In fact, it is becoming easier even for new technologies like our NetScaler.
Q Is there any growth projection for cloud networking in India?
Cloud networking business is definitely growing in India. We see huge potential for cloud networking business in India.
Today, customers want the flexibility to host their apps and securely, seamlessly and optimally deliver these apps to the end users, who will be accessing them from any device on any network. Citrix NetScaler solution meets all these demands, and moves in parallel with all current and future technology trends through our ‘software first’ approach. Our NetScaler ADC, gateway, application firewall and SDWAN come as a part of our cloud networking offerings.
With all innovations, advanced cloud networking solution providers like NetScaler help customers keep their app anywhere (on-premise or on a public or hybrid cloud). We take care of optimally delivering these apps to the end users in a more secured manner, in a more controlled and managed the environment.
So the growth for cloud networking in India is indeed very high compared to what it was in the past. We see double-digit growth for NetScaler adoption in the Indian market, as the use-case for NetScaler today is way beyond just simple server load balancer.