Citrix NetScaler – Simple HTTP Site Load Balancing

KB ID 0001188 


Here is the simplest load balancing scenario I can think of, I’ve got two web servers, (on http port 80) and I’m presenting them though my NetScaler as an HTTP (Virtual Server).

Netscaler Load Balance HTTP



First we add the ‘back-end’ servers. Connect to the management IP of your NetScaler and login > Configuration > Traffic Management  > Load Balancing > Servers > Add.

Load Balance Servers Netscaler

Define a name for the first server and enter its IP address > Create.

Web Servers Netscaler

Repeat to add the second internal web server. 

Add Web Servers to Netscaler

Now I’m going to group these servers together in a ‘service group’, (you don’t have to, you can present them individually to the virtual server you will create in a minute if you prefer). Configuration > Traffic Management  > Load Balancing > Service Groups > Add.

Add Service Groups to Netscaler

Name the group and set the protocol to HTTP  > OK.

Add Service to Netscaler

When created, you will see it says ‘No Service Group members’  > Click there.

Add Monitor To Service Group

Select ‘Server Based’ > Click the search arrow.

Add Member To Service Group

Tick them all > Select.

Add Service Group Member

Set the port (HTTP is TCP port 80) > Create.

Add Service Group Port


Service Group Save

Now we need to add a monitor, this is what the NetScaler will use to monitor the service availability of your ‘back-end’ servers on TCP port 80 (HTTP). Click Monitors.

Service Group Monitor

This confused me for a while, selecting things on the right, drops them at the bottom of the main page > Click ‘No service Group Monitor Binding’.

Service Group Add Monitor

NetScaler has a monitor for http pre-configured, so I’m going to use that > Click the search arrow.

Service Group Add Monitor

Click ‘http’  > Select.

Netscaler Add Monitor


Netscaler Bind Monitor


Save Service Group

Now we tie all that together in a ‘Virtual Server’ > Configuration > Traffic Management  > Load Balancing > Virtual Servers > Add.

Netscaler VIP

Give the Virtual Server a name > Protocol is HTTP > Specify the IP address (this will be the VIP the NetScaler presents to the outside world)  > Port 80 > OK.

Netscaler Virtual Server

Now we need the add the group we created earlier, click where it says ‘No load balancing Virtual Servers Service Group Binding’.


Click the search arrow.

Netscaler Add Service to Virtual Server

Click the group you created earlier > Select.

Netscaler Add Service Group to VS


Netscaler Bind Service Group to VS


Netscaler Bind Service Group to VS


Load Balancing Virtual Server

Save your hard work.

Netscaler Save Changes

You should be green across the board.

Netscaler STATE UP

To test this I put a different web ‘welcome’ page on both of the servers, that way as I refresh the page I can see that the NetScaler is doing its job and balancing the requests across both back-end web servers.

Load Balancing Website


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Author: PeteLong

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