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Jeju Air Ensures Scalable and Secured SSL Web application with F5

Jeju Air, the fastest-growing major airline in Korea, sought to enhance its online event promotions to expand touchpoints with consumers. It needed a solution to handle traffic surges, strengthen its system security, and guarantee service reliability during online promotions. F5 solutions were deployed after demonstrating superior performance and cost-efficiency in a benchmarking test on Jeju Air’s main website.

With F5 integrated architecture, Jeju Air efficiently managed the traffic bottleneck problem without burdening the server—and simultaneously strengthened security. Donghwa Lee, IT Manager, Jeju Air

Business Challenges

Jeju Air’s former ADC solution had challenges in managing traffic bottlenecks during online event promotions. Improvements were needed in handling SSL traffic more efficiently, as well as managing sessions and connections during overloads.

Due to online transaction characteristics, the company required Web Application Firewall (WAF) to protect web applications. It also needed greater system stability and security to prevent DDoS attacks, protect customer information, and maintain system availability.

Solution

In order to select a new ADC solution to solve high traffic issues, Jeju Air implemented a real network proof of concept (POC) with F5’s BIG-IP solutions. To ensure that the BIG-IP system was optimized and could be operated in the actual user environment, its management function was tested on the Jeju Air main web page, instead of in a virtual network.

During online promotions, Jeju Air tested F5’s high-performance ADC — BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM), and F5’s Web Application Firewall — BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM).

 F5 solutions met Jeju Air’s requirements: to manage the rapidly increasing traffic in the SSL environment, achieve high cost-efficiency while minimizing server overload with optimized integrated appliances, and to protect the system from various online threats.

After testing stages, Jeju Air found that the F5 solutions improved system availability and security while demonstrating excellent performance compared to other vendors.

We decided that F5 solutions are excellent in terms of the system’s availability and security, and have thus chosen to deploy them. Donghwa Lee, IT Manager, Jeju Air

Benefits

With BIG-IP ASM and BIG-IP LTM, Jeju Air is now able to efficiently handle traffic overloads in the SSL environment, enabling the smooth management of online services. F5 solutions are optimized and integrated to support SSL traffic management without deploying more servers or delaying the processing speed. They also guarantee stable services by detecting attacks and threats in real time.

Manage traffic overload in an SSL environment

During the online event promotion, BIG-IP LTM and BIG-IP ASM effectively managed user traffic floods with load balancing, and showed excellent performance in managing SSL in L7. F5 products also received high evaluation by managing volumes 2.4 times faster than Jeju Air’s previous product. The F5 solutions guarantee expandability to prepare for large volumes of SSL traffic that may increase in the future.

Increase cost-effectiveness while minimizing server overload

As F5 architecture provides solutions based on the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and SSL chipset infrastructure, the server eliminates the burden of handling the SSL. This minimizes server delays and guarantees stable services despite a large number of user visits. Moreover, BIG-IP LTM and BIG-IP ASM do not rely on the CPU for the L4 traffic, but transmit it through the FPGA. Thus, it minimize the server overload, its cost effectiveness is almost five times higher than competitor solutions.

Protect the system from a variety of online threats

BIG-IP ASM protects the system from intelligent security threats that grow online. The solution detects attacks such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and buffer overloads, and also guarantees service stability by detecting a variety of threats in real time. 

In addition, BIG-IP ASM solves security issues that come from increased access due to mobile devices, and can prepare for DDoS attacks—not only on L4 but also L7, which is tricky to defend.