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SaaS Vendor Uses F5 to Boost Uptime, Speed Service, and Ensure Security in the Cloud

VAGAS Tecnologia, provider of online human resources recruiting and staffing solutions, needed to ensure the performance, security, and reliability of its recruitment and selection tool—the VAGAS e-partner application. The company adopted a cloud-based infrastructure and chose F5 BIG-IP Application Delivery Controllers to manage application traffic and to provide web application firewall capabilities. Now, VAGAS meets aggressive service-level agreements, providing e-partner app customers with 99.72 percent uptime. It has also reduced system response time by 0.6 seconds, and F5 firewall capabilities have helped VAGAS identify and address vulnerabilities to ensure data security in the cloud.

Business Challenges

 

Brazil-based VAGAS Tecnologia provides online recruitment solutions to enterprises and other organizations. The company relies on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model to deliver applications, through the  Vagas.com portal, to human resources (HR) departments at organizations such as the Pão de Açúcar Group, Coca-Cola, and Itaú Unibanco—as well as numerous staffing consultancies.

Vagas.com has experienced approximately 50 percent growth each year for the past six years. It receives 500,000 individual daily visits and 130 million page views per month.

The company’s fast-paced growth has challenged its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) team, who works to guarantee the performance, security, and reliability of the VAGAS e-partner app—the company’s primary recruitment and training management tool. The e-partner app is used by more than 1,800 companies throughout Brazil and Latin America, and has more than 5.7 million registered users.

VAGAS continually improves the e-partner app to meet business requirements and provide users with a top-notch experience.  “The words ‘version’ or ‘release’ really no longer apply,” says Galeno Garbe, Chief Security Officer of Vagas.com. “Everything changes all the time.” A heterogeneous app that uses data and functions from a variety of environments, databases, and protocols— VAGAS e-partner is also highly complex and requires near-daily maintenance. To minimize disruption to users, VAGAS used to conduct maintenance in the early hours of the morning.

In early 2012, VAGAS decided to migrate Vagas.com to a cloud-based infrastructure to best support its growth. “By moving to the cloud, we could maintain the elasticity of our environment and guarantee that VAGAS e-partner would continue to offer the superior level of service, of which we have always been proud,” says Garbe. With the migration, VAGAS also needed to find a solution that would reliably support the distributed nature of the application—and guarantee top performance. Security in the cloud was also a concern. “A large part of the VAGAS e-partner application data infrastructure would become virtual, which meant we needed to look at a new generation of security solutions,” says Garbe.

“F5 technology enabled us to decrease the response time of VAGAS e-partner from 1.3 seconds to 0.7 seconds.” Galeno Garbe, Chief Security Officer, Vagas.com

Solution

 

VAGAS evaluated solutions from different vendors, including F5. It conducted a trial with F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM), in which it became clear that the BIG-IP system was capable of fulfilling the application delivery and security requirements of Vagas.com, in a distributed environment.

BIG-IP LTM provides intelligent and dynamic traffic management capabilities in physical, virtual, or cloud-based environments, and BIG-IP ASM is a certified web application firewall that addresses threats at the application level. “BIG-IP LTM supports all the main market protocols equally well, which is essential for guaranteeing the distribution of the different components that make up our application,” explains Garbe. “And BIG-IP ASM acts as the firewall for VAGAS e-partner in the cloud, which is essential for preserving the safety and integrity of what is, for our customers, a mission-critical application.”

Dell Brazil, an F5 global partner who has provided VAGAS with technology services and solutions for more than 10 years, helped VAGAS implement the new BIG-IP system– based infrastructure. Dell also subcontracted professionals from systems integration company F9C to help with configuration and implementation.

“BIG-IP LTM is part of a group of solutions that helps us offer our customers a very aggressive SLA of 99.72 percent uptime.” Galeno Garbe, Chief Security Officer, Vagas.com

Benefits

 

Using the BIG-IP system, VAGAS successfully migrated to a cloud-based infrastructure from which it can reliably serve its SaaS-based applications to an ever-expanding customer base. Since implementing F5 technology, VAGAS has boosted availability, improved performance, and ensured data security.

Higher availability and reliability

BIG-IP LTM devices, which make applications consistently available, have significantly contributed to the ICT team’s ability to offer VAGAS customers a very aggressive SLA.  “BIG-IP LTM is part of a group of solutions that helps us offer our customers a very aggressive SLA of 99.72 percent uptime,” says Garbe. Furthermore, the BIG-IP system provides flexible traffic management capabilities, which enable the ICT team to perform maintenance tasks during business hours. “With BIG-IP LTM we can carry out maintenance procedures without affecting response time and quality of service.”

Better performance

F5’s infrastructure offload and web performance optimization capabilities contribute to making services faster and more efficient, and VAGAS e-partner customers are experiencing much better performance. “F5 technology enabled us to decrease the response time of VAGAS e-partner from 1.3 seconds to 0.7 seconds,” says Garbe. This figure is provided by Alexa.com, which rates the VAGAS portal and its e-partner application among Brazil’s 100 fastest sites for 2012.

Enhanced security

The BIG-IP ASM web application firewall ensures the secure delivery of the e-partner app to VAGAS customers. For instance, BIG-IP ASM can identify vulnerabilities in VAGAS’s Microsoft SQL Server environment. “BIG-IP ASM stops attackers from gaining access to the application and copying data or changing the system and sending false data to users,” explains Garbe. BIG-IP ASM also analyzes false positives, revealing the location of weak points so that system administrators can more easily correct them. “BIG-IP ASM further increases the reliability of our environment, as well as the quality of the services that we offer to businesses that use VAGAS e-partner as their recruitment and selection application.” Garbe concludes: “Innovation in business is always worthwhile. Being original in our planning, traditional in our testing, and selective in our choice of partners and suppliers really makes a difference.”