Adding an External Link to NetScaler’s Universal Gateway

I’ve found myself really digging the Universal Gateway feature of NetScaler.  I admit I don’t do a TON of NS work but it’s become almost a necessity for a good Citrix admin to have some good knowledge there.  With that said, I was presented with a very interesting scenario that took me a few hours of digging.  A customer has a 3rd party help desk system with no SSO.  They wanted a link for that to be on the Universal Gateway page, but by default any link you add NetScaler treats as an INTERNAL link so it rewrites it.  They wanted this to go straight to the external link without the need for internal proxy, etc;  The answer turned out to be pretty simple but not one easily found by Google 🙂  Here’s how I did it (please note there are likely other ways to do this too, this is just what I found!)

  1. First we add a bookmark through the normal process.  In this example I’m using docs.citrix.com.  Netscaler Gateway -> Resources -> Bookmarks

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2. Next we define the actual bookmark.  Please note we are NOT using the NetScaler as a Reverse Proxy.

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3. This gives us a simple bookmark.  But if you click on that today it’s going to try and proxy it for you and you aren’t getting where you want to go (or if you do, not how you want it to get you there).

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4. So we need to tell NetScaler to NOT try and proxy that domain.  And the way we do that is in NetScaler Gateway -> Global Settings -> Configure Domains for Clientless Access.  Under Allow Domains we are going to add the FQDN that we created the shortcut. for.

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5.  Now log in to your Universal Gateway VIP and you are presented with the shortcut.

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6. And finally when you click that link, your browser goes directly to the site.  No NetScaler proxy involved.

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Yes it’s a very specialized use case but it’s interesting enough to note.  Who knows maybe someone else will find this helpful 🙂

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