ADC Refresh for a High Volume Trading Company

Challenges

As business applications continue to grow and become more complex, the technology needed to support these systems must follow suit. This is especially apparent within financial institutions as critical bank records and user applications need to remain secure and always available.  When a large New Jersey financial institution approached Vandis with a need to replace their end-of-support Juniper Redline load balancers, Vandis realized that is was very important to find a solution that would be reliable and could seamlessly integrate into their already established environment.  One of the primary challenges was determining the best solution that could be implemented within their 90 day time constraint.

Selection Criteria

After the financial institution learned that their current load balancers were end-of-support and could not get a contract extension, they needed to work quickly to find a solution that could handle the thousands of users and 90 plus applications that relied on the network being available. The organization was using a reverse proxy from the internet to route different applications from one point to multiple different servers. Each application had its own server pool that sat behind a load balancer to ensure that if there was a problem with the individual application, it would not affect the overall network.  The reverse proxy allowed the organization to spread all of their traffic across several different servers and avoid having a single point of failure.  The centralized entrance point would ensure that the users were logging in with a valid security certificate and would then direct them to the proper application which ranged from federal banking portals to payroll systems. Prior to the organization calling in Vandis, they had purchased a solution that they thought could handle this infrastructure. However, it failed on implementation and never got off the ground.  Shortly after, Vandis was called in with strict instructions, complex performance metrics and an even tighter time constraint. Due to their requirements, Vandis engineers realized that it was imperative to find a solution that was flexible, reliable, and could be implemented immediately.

Solution

Since the organization was battling the looming deadline of their current devices being no longer viable, they had to make a decision quickly. After identifying the 90+ mission critical applications and the processes needed to run them, Vandis believed that F5 would be the proper fit due to their flexibility, reliability.  One of the most important features was F5’s iRules software which would allow the organization to use custom logic for all of their applications. However, after being disappointed previously by another purchased solution, they wanted to see the F5 LTM in action ahead of time.  Vandis and F5 then conducted a successful two week POC that left the organization impressed and ready to implement the solution into their environment. The financial institution purchased 14 F5 BIG LTM8900’s establishing an HA pair at each of their three data centers as well as a pair at their disaster recovery site.  Once the devices were installed, Vandis worked with F5 and the organization to write over 90,000 lines of code for iRules.  In order to make sure that the applications worked correctly logic code was added to the iRules which allowed multiple rules to be used at the same time.

Results

Due to Vandis’ understanding of the tight time restraints, the solution was implemented before the 90 day deadline and completely out performed expectations in all of the organization’s metrics testing.  Vandis was able to replace their old end-of-support load balancers with a solution that would be quicker, more reliable, and offer much greater customizability for any future applications that they would want to run.

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