Global Natural Resource Company
Establishing a firm foundation of scalability to facilitate future technology refreshes across the business
BlueFort partnered with a global natural resource company who has a wide number of business-critical applications which are accessed by multiple teams across the globe. A legacy load balancing solution was in place to ensure availability of these applications to business users. The load balancing technology was very labour-intensive to manage and was not in line with the overall technology strategy of the business. BlueFort established a firm foundation of scalability to facilitate future technology refreshes across the business.
- Simplification of management of load balancing technologies
- Requirement to auto sync configurations to ensure seamless traffic management
- Facilitation of a test / development application environment
- Future proofing technology to allow for future cloud scaling
BlueFort worked closely with the IT team at one of the world’s largest diversified natural resource companies to refresh the load-balancing solution for the main campus site and two key data centres. Replacing the legacy load balancers with an Advanced Traffic Manager solution from F5; introducing a standardised, automated and streamlined solution whilst removing the labour-intensive management requirement. Establishing a firm foundation of scalability to facilitate future technology refreshes across the business and bringing the solution in line with the overall business’ strategy.
Simplified and streamlined F5 solution with auto-syncing configuration
One of the key requirements for the load-balancing transformation project was ensuring that the new technology would make intelligent traffic decisions that adapt to the changing demands of the company's application suite. The newly installed F5 BIG-IP LTM (Local Traffic Manager) ensures consistent application availability and scalability. It also facilitates auto syncing of any configuration changes across the cluster so that the back-up would be truly viable should it be required and to remove the manual configuration. The management has been further simplified and automated through the use of iApp templates which allow for simplified deployment of new applications consequently decreasing the time it takes to deploy, ensuring best practice and enabling the company to initiate new configurations more quickly and more predictably than before. The iRules feature significantly enhanced the ability to customise traffic management to suit the IT team's exact needs.
The newly installed F5 technologies unlocked a myriad of user-centric features including the Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing (vCMP) feature of the F5 BIG-IP system that allows the provision and management of multiple hosted instances of the BIG-IP software on a single hardware platform. This not only reduces overall capital investment and operational expenses but also increases overall security.
Commenting on the additional functionality the Infrastructure Manager detailed; “This new solution provides the flexibility of multiple instances which allows for separate configs without the need for additional hardware so that we can conveniently spin up test environments whenever necessary. It’s really convenient for testing; when we are happy with a new configuration, we can simply sync it into a live environment.”
F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is the basis of the F5 architecture and helps to deliver applications to users in a reliable, secure, and optimised way.
The load-balancing transformation was future-proofed to accommodate the planned “campus site” network refresh with the flexibility to build in other F5 modules into the solution at a later date as required.
Technical support, design and expertise
The BlueFort professional services team supported with initial design, advice and installation of the F5 solution. Working closely with the application owners to ensure the F5 solution was fit for purpose and configured to meet end user expectations. BlueFort also supported with configuration and replacement of the legacy load balancers, and assisted in undertaking service health checks to ensure each application is optimised for performance, resilience and scaleability. BlueFort also setup configuration sync which enabled replication across all the load balancing devices and therefore removing the requirement for manual syncing. The Infrastructure Manager concluded; “We find the support from BlueFort invaluable, their team specialise in cyber security technologies and are supporting these technologies everyday so we can rely on them to be up to speed with the new releases, best practice, configurations and functionalities.”