Notes from the field: NetScaler VPX & Intel Xeon Gold

Quite recently I came across an issue when deploying a VPX instance on VMware 6.5, which resulted in a bug of the VPX image and underlying physical hardware.
For reference the following hardware was backing the hypervisor:
Supermicro SYS-2029U-E1CR25M
Intel(R) Xeon(R) Gold 5118 CPU @ 2.30GHz
VMware ESXi, 6.5.0, 7967591 with vSAN
NetScaler VPX 12.0 57.24nc

When deploying the VPX appliance it will get the default VM version 7 which needs to get upgraded to VM version 11/13 to support VMXNET3 NIC interfaces, well easily said and done configured the setup and booted the appliance and got stumped with the following error:

right.. that’s a beauty.. after some troubleshooting and migrating the host to another host/cluster it started booting. Migrated it back and crashes.. reimported the appliance let it stay at hardware level 7, and upgraded it to 11 and still works, went to 13 again and crash.. Ok so this is not a user error :).

Logged a case with Citrix support and after some time got the reply this is in regards to a known issue with Intel Xeon Gold processors. The resolvement should be in NetScaler 12.1 build which is expected to release Q3 this year.

For now the workaround is to keep it at level 11, as a reference case# 77116209 can be used to log the same if it applies to your setup.


Sadly the 12.1 release does not fix the problem, support couldn’t give me an update in regards to when the fix will be included only that it will occur in the next or upcoming updates.
On a side note the issue is also seen when deploying NMAS (also the latest 12.1 release) with hardware level 13 on a Intel Xeon Gold backed CPU