Experiences with Citrix Load Balancing products?

Anyone used them? Good? Bad? Ugly? I don't know a lot about their products but I know they're new to the market compared to some of their competition. Seems they're buzzword compliant but I could care less about that, I'm really curious how they work in the real world.

E-mails off list and I can summarize, or we can just have it out on the list (I'd rather the latter, I think this is relevant).

Talking with someone in their engineering or sales group but it sounds....like a lot of impossibly big claims in terms of concurrent sessions, throughput, and who's using them.


Complete mistakes, errors, and ommissions might be mine.

Most people who have had experience with the NetScaler products prior to Citrix seemed to have mostly liked them and been happy with the service and support. I had fewer people respond from this camp though so that might be skewed, the people that did respond seemed much more satisfied than the people that responded who'd bought the Citrix product.

Common complaints were Windows and/or Java only WebUIs on both the product and Citrix' support site. No email support to open a case. Required to fill out a Word Doc form for RMAs. People who've tried bonding had various issues with it, but atleast one was able to get it working.

The biggest common complaint was the support since going to Citrix was almost universally bad. I had one person who said they'd had good support since the switchover, with others complaining of support chasing the wrong issue, taking many days, requiring remote sessions to windows boxen in order to use a browser on the other end to diagnose, changing settings without consulting the customer.

The boxen themselves seem to perform as advertised and are reliable for most people. The general consensus seems to be their is a lack of documentation, a lack of tracking of release issues. It points to a lack of QA/Testing on Citrix' part for new software releases.

They seem to not be really well suited for hosting environments with many services, having some limitations in that arena, although the limits do seem to be fairly generous (I wasn't able to get hard numbers).

On the whole, noone really raved about the Citrix product. Most were lukewarm at best.

My verdict is that we'll keep an eye on them but not going to bother with an eval now. Our deal breakers are the requirement of windows or java webui's to manage the product, or even to get support. Also the general consensus of everyone responding that Citrix' support isn't very great. A few responders did have good support experiences, and reported that during the transition period from NetScaler->Citrix things were definitely sketchy.

I'm deliberately not making direct references to any of the people who responded to me, this is just a brief summary of the various conversations I've had today.

Thanks again to everyone who responded. I know some of you had much better experiences with Citrix than I've portrayed here, and I honestly hope that that will become the norm, but on the whole people had a fairly poor view of Citrix' support for this product.