To address the exponential growth in cloud, mobile and corporate data, Citrix Systems has unveiled a breakthrough new DataStream technology in its popular NetScaler service delivery networking product line.

NetScaler is already firmly established as the delivery infrastructure of choice for most of the world’s largest consumer Web sites and cloud providers, touching an estimated 75% of all Internet users each day.
Leveraging its expertise in Web applications, NetScaler becomes the industry’s first service delivery controller to extend the benefits of scalability, availability and security for the Web tier to the data tier for both enterprise IT and cloud and mobile providers.
Corporations of all sizes are dealing with an explosive growth in data. This growth is driven by broader trends, such as the rise of social networks, video and Web, along with the expanding number of mobile and consumer devices being used in the workplace.
Providing visibility and business intelligence into this data is placing increasing demands on traditional databases, cloud storage models and unstructured file systems like Hadoop. Together, these trends have created an increasing need for solutions that can effectively scale, secure and optimise data infrastructures.
The new NetScaler DataStream technology addresses this challenge by inspecting data traffic in real time, and applying optimisation and security policies. It is the first networking solution of its kind to apply native data protocol and transaction intelligence to both structured and unstructured data.
For databases like Oracle MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server, NetScaler with DataStream technology enables enterprises to scale-up their data infrastructure by offloading CPU and memory-intensive database server connections. For cloud providers who experience three times the average client traffic of the enterprise database, creating a cost-effective, massively scalable database infrastructure is also a key benefit.
The new NetScaler DataStream technology also helps companies scale-out their data centres and private clouds by intelligently load balancing SQL requests to the most appropriate and available servers.
It also allows customers to set policies that secure, control and audit data access in real time.
Highlights of the technology include:
* Native SQL fluency – using its powerful new DataStream technology, NetScaler now inspects data traffic in real time using native SQL fluency and protocol aware policies for Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL database servers.
For Microsoft SQL Server, NetScaler natively parses the Tabular Data Stream (TDS) protocol, enabling integrated policy and control with Microsoft System Centre. For Oracle MySQL, NetScaler performs SQL-intelligent load balancing, policy control and comprehensive health monitoring to enable secure, large scale Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) deployments.
* Database server offload – NetScaler with DataStream now offers SQL connection multiplexing, significantly reducing the number of SQL connections to backend database servers, and optimising database infrastructure by enabling database servers to effectively scale-up to host more databases.
The ability of NetScaler to offload SQL connection management provides a cost-effective means of database server consolidation and virtualisation.
* Cost-effective scale-out – by adding native SQL protocol support, NetScaler with DataStream technology now enables advanced load balancing and health monitoring policies to ensure the best performance, efficiency and reliability. By routing all database traffic to the optimal server, companies can even establish custom policies such as directing all read requests to a read-only database server pool.
This capability also enables cost-effective high availability by applying advanced SQL health monitoring, to ensure that SQL connections are routed only to backend database servers that are performing properly.
When combined with a rich set of load balancing policies, including global server load balancing (GSLB), the active monitoring of database servers increases availability and provides organisations with an attractive alternative to expensive database clustering solutions.
* Data security and threat control – using the new DataStream technology, polices can also be applied at the user level to control access to back-end database servers. This allows NetScaler to inspect all SQL transactions and perform SQL protocol validation and data access control. Data access events can also be audited and logged to meet compliance requirements.
As a result, NetScaler now provides a holistic view of the Web, app and data tiers to enable comprehensive security and risk management of data across an entire data centre or cloud environment.