Citrix has launched a software upgrade that it claims could cut server workload by up to 90 percent.

The application delivery controller (ADC) market is becoming increasingly competitive as more enterprises look to adopt Web 2.0 implementations; just a fortnight ago, F5 introduced a new version of its Big-IP application delivery platform.

"This is a smaller in scale than the F5 launch," said Damian Saunders, manager of application delivery systems at Citrix UK, "but it's still very significant."

Known as NetScaler Web 2.0 Push, the software manages connections between users and servers in both directions, instead of just the one. This helps in deal with the increasing amount of interactivity thrown up by Web 2.0 applications.

Saunders said that the first wave of websites could get by with layer 4 load balancers to control traffic but said that the onset of Web 2.0 had changed the game. "Just as television was a more sophisticated and more expensive version of radio, so ADC is more sophisticated and complex advance on legacy load balancers," he said. "We've started to use the Internet in ways that it wasn't intended and we need to be able to cope with that," he added.

Key to the new upgrade is the ability to move unwanted overhead away from the servers by maintaining the links to the users. Saunders said that by pushing some of this workload away from the servers, some 90 percent of the processing could be reduced. "Obviously, that's just for very specific applications - for example, one where there's a lot of interactivity among thousands of users, but very little backend involvement. If there's any back-end processing requirement, the saving will be a lot less, " he said.

NetScaler Web 2.0 Push, which will be available from the end of the month, will not be a paid-for add-on said Saunders. It will be included in NetScaler Enterprise and Platinum editions, although existing users will get a free upgrade.