Top 5 Reasons to Replace Citrix NetScaler with Progress Kemp LoadMaster

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There have been a lot of changes for NetScaler customers to understand and absorb during 2023. Citrix has sold the NetScaler products as Citrix ADC (Application Delivery Controller) for the last few years, but they are now once again sold under the NetScaler brand after a private equity firm acquired Citrix. Both companies are now wholly owned subsidiaries of Cloud Software Group (formally TIBCO). Part of these changes introduced significant modifications to the NetScaler load balancer product family and how they are licensed. 

We wrote about the licensing changes introduced by NetScaler in an August 2023 article titled: Citrix NetScaler Gateway Perpetual License End of Sale (EoS) - What to do next? Summarizing the info outlined there:

  • NetScaler announced, “the decision to end of sale (EoS) NetScaler (Citrix ADC) perpetually licensed hardware (MPX, SDX) and perpetual software (VPX/BLX) effective 5th March 2023.” 
  • From that date, to license new NetScaler MPX and SDX deployments, organizations will have to move to a subscription model.
  • The products supplied under the new subscription model will have the focus for software updates and support.
  • The article discusses what organizations can do to reevaluate their use of NetScaler and provides some information and advice on switching to LoadMaster.
Note that in this article, we assume that readers know what a load balancer is and what application delivery controllers provide. If not, the linked articles have the background you need.

Webinar: Top 5 Reasons to Replace Citrix NetScaler with Progress Kemp LoadMaster

To provide current NetScaler users with additional advice on why switching to LoadMaster is a value-led proposition, we hosted a webinar on the Top 5 Reasons to Replace Citrix NetScaler with Progress Kemp LoadMaster. During the session, Andy Redman (Progress Director of Solution Engineering) and Rochelle Wheeler (Progress Campaign Manager) summarized the changes that have occurred at NetScaler, what they mean for the NetScaler product range, pricing and support that customers can expect and also why switching to LoadMaster makes sense from features, support and pricing perspectives. The 30-minute webinar is a good use of your time if you are a current or potential NetScaler customer who is looking to make informed load-balancing infrastructure decisions. 

We highlight five reasons to replace NetScaler with LoadMaster in the sections below.

Reason 1: Enhanced Performance and Scalability

After Citrix acquired NetScaler in 2005, the focus for NetScaler ADC shifted to become a component of the infrastructure that Citrix provides to deliver desktop and application virtualization. The change of name to Citrix ADC reflected this change in focus. Irrespective of what happens in the future now that NetScaler is operating separately again, the product still has a Citrix focus today. 

Most organizations operating today use a wide range of technology solutions across on-premises infrastructure and multiple cloud platforms. Delivering the best performance and scalability in hybrid environments like this requires load balancers that can provide ADC (and other) functionality across solutions. Kemp LoadMaster design focuses on delivering in these complex environments.

LoadMaster’s design and implementation mean that it isn’t a component of a broader solution stack like NetScaler ADC has become. LoadMaster has optimizations that make it fit into the real-world IT deployments used today. 

Because of this approach, LoadMaster can provide industry-leading application experiences for multiple vendor applications, in-house bespoke apps and Citrix digital workspace deployments. LoadMaster’s advanced load balancing algorithms, SSL acceleration and other LoadMaster features make it an ideal replacement for NetScaler ADC. One that delivers enhanced performance and scalability across all your applications, not just one.

Reason 2: Cost-effectiveness

In addition to being an industry-leading replacement for NetScaler ADC for your whole application delivery infrastructure, LoadMaster is also a lot more economical to deploy and maintain. Table 1 below shows a typical 5-year TCO comparison between NetScaler ADC and LoadMaster. 

Note that these figures are based on current MSRP figures and calculated across four different licensing models for a typical Enterprise organization. Each organization has unique needs, so you should contact LoadMaster Sales to discuss yours and how much you could save by replacing NetScaler ADC with LoadMaster.

Cost comparison between NetScaler and LoadMaster
Table 1: Cost comparison between NetScaler and LoadMaster

As the table above shows, the savings over a typical deployment plan are significant, even from the first year.

Licensing LoadMaster can be done using a traditional per-instance perpetual licensing model, with subscription, or via one of our more flexible Pooled or Metered Licensing methods. The LoadMaster licensing page outlines the options.

You can also install and test a completely free 30-day trial of LoadMaster. Our industry-leading support teams are also available to help you set up and evaluate LoadMaster.

Reason 3: Ease of Deployment and Management

NetScaler can be complex to configure and maintain when used outside of its ADC support role for Citrix VDI. A function that has been the focus for the last few years, as mentioned above. 

Organizations can easily deploy LoadMaster using multiple infrastructure deployment models, and it has an extensive library of deployment templates that ensure correct setup. These free templates cover industry-standard applications from Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, Dell, Oracle, Apache, Progress and others. There are also industry-specific templates for applications common in healthcare and education.

As discussed in the webinar, you can deploy many instances of LoadMaster correctly (and securely) with a just few mouse clicks. System admins can build the deployment process into DevSecOps and other workflows using a REST API or PowerShell scripting. And once deployed, many instances do not need ongoing maintenance beyond applying software updates to LoadMaster when released.

Reason 4: Comprehensive Application Delivery Features

The list of LoadMaster features provides a comprehensive snapshot of what LoadMaster delivers. For some of the important reasons for deploying an ADC, we recommend reviewing our June 2023 blog titled What is an Application Delivery Controller (ADC) and Why Should You Use One?.

Many organizations and application delivery providers have seen the benefits of using our application delivery fabric to provide scalable, cost-effective load balancing for application traffic using unlimited instances that rely on existing infrastructure and our flexible licensing options.

Reason 5: Robust Security

Kemp LoadMaster includes extensive cybersecurity enhancements along with its industry-leading load balancing capabilities. LoadMaster security-focused features include:

  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) - LoadMaster’s web application firewall builds on the industry-leading ModSecurity engine, backed by open-source rule sets. WAF deploys on top of a LoadMaster load balancer instance. It is a fully supported component of the LoadMaster solution backed by our industry-leading consulting team, security experts and support staff. LoadMaster WAF takes advantage of all the benefits of our flexible licensing models. Deploying via LoadMaster instances with a metered license allows flexible WAF placement that fully meets an organization’s unique application delivery and security needs.
  • Edge Security Pack (ESP) - ESP includes a suite of network tools designed to deliver new security protections or replace the discontinued Microsoft TMG (Threat Management Gateway) product. ESP on LoadMaster provides Reverse Proxy, End Point Authentication, Active Directory integration, RADIUS authentication, Single Sign On (SSO) across virtual services, RSA SecurID dual factor authentication and Persistent Logging and Reporting on top of the regular LoadMaster features. Learn more on the Edge Security Pack (ESP) support page.
  • Intrusion Prevention - LoadMaster includes an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) compatible with rules created in the Smart IPS syntax. Administrators can use the engine to apply Permit/Deny IP by address rules for HTTP or HTTPS traffic with SSL offloading enabled. More details on the IPS engine are available via this LoadMaster (IPS+SNORT) support article.

The security features provided by WAF, ESP and IPS on LoadMaster help organizations protect their systems, data and people against the threat of DDoS attack and other common cyberattack activity. These security features complement existing security protections such as Firewalls and Network Detection and Response (NDR) solutions (see ref 1 in the related content section).


Migrating from NetScaler ADC to LoadMaster delivers performance benefits, reduced costs, broader web application support, simplified deployments and management, plus enhanced security via WAF, ESP and IPS. Given the significant changes underway within NetScaler and their product and licensing changes, now is an ideal time for organizations using NetScaler ADC to consider LoadMaster as an alternative. 

As outlined in the webinar, the LoadMaster support scores are industry-leading — a 4.9/5.0-star rating via 368 reviews on Gartner Peer Insights (related content ref 2). You can get a taste of this exceptional support by signing up for the free 30-day LoadMaster trial, which includes full access to our support team for the duration of your testing.

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Doug Barney

Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug has also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.