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SiteVision Founds New Web Service on F5 VIPRION Hardware

The Swedish company SiteVision was poised to take a leap in an entirely new business direction. After 10 years of selling its software the traditional way, it decided to start making it available as a service to all businesses, including those with high-end requirements. Its software was proven, its customers were interested, and the market conditions were right—but before the company could embark on its new Software as a Service (SaaS) venture, it had to build an IT network that would offer exceptional reliability, scalability, and security. F5 provided the answer with the F5 VIPRION system.

Business Challenges

 

SiteVision offers a content management system for building and maintaining web sites. The application is widely used across Sweden by leading private and public organisations, including the Swedish Tax Agency and 120 municipal councils. These medium- to large-sized customers install, manage, and maintain the SiteVision software at their own business premises.

Over time, SiteVision started to receive enquiries from a growing number of businesses that wanted to use the SiteVision software but didn’t have the in-house capabilities to run and manage it. To meet the needs of this particular market, the company decided to launch a web-based service called SiteVision Cloud. SiteVision planned to host the websites of these customers and then give them the ability to easily build websites, and add and edit content, using a web browser.

SiteVision knew that the success of its new SaaS initiative hinged on the stability of its network. It absolutely had to ensure that its web service would be both reliable and secure. The company also wanted to offer its customers a lot of bandwidth so their websites would deliver consistent performance, even during unexpected peaks in traffic.

“We aimed to create a high-end environment that would enable us to reach out to new customers who have large demands on their websites,” explains Anders Korsvall, CEO of SiteVision.

“Our use of F5’s VIPRION product allows us to focus on growing our new service, without having to worry about reliability, bandwidth, or security.” Anders Korsvall, CEO, SiteVision

Solution

 

As part of the preparations for launching its new service, SiteVision evaluated several different firewalls and load balancing solutions. However, most of these just didn’t meet the company’s exacting requirements.  Korsvall observes, “Traditional firewalls don’t offer enough bandwidth; they don’t speak the language of the web.”

SiteVision was drawn to F5 because F5 Application Delivery Networking solutions combine both firewall and load balancing capabilities in a single device that is easy to use. The company considered two possible solutions from F5, but ultimately selected F5’s high-end VIPRION Application Delivery Controller with F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM).

“We could see great demand for our new service, even before we launched it,” Korsvall says. “We therefore decided, early on, to select the F5 platform that offered us the greatest amount of scalability.”

The VIPRION device has been designed to meet the exceptional demands of service providers, large enterprises, and web-based businesses. Customers can gradually add up to four blades to the chassis to increase capacity without disrupting applications.  Working with F5, SiteVision installed two VIPRION 2400 devices, one in each of its two data centres. If one data centre should fail, the other VIPRION product will instantly take over, ensuring maximum uptime for customers.

“VIPRION helps us to create a very stable environment,” says Korsvall. “It helps us to sleep better at night!”

SiteVision also takes advantage of the F5 iRules scripting language to customise the way in which VIPRION manages sessions to deliver a positive user experience.

“We could see great demand for our new service, even before we launched it,” Korsvall says. “We therefore decided, early on, to select the F5 platform that offered us the greatest amount of scalability.” Anders Korsvall, CEO, SiteVision

Benefits

 

SiteVision installed the F5 solution several months prior to the official launch of its SiteVision Cloud service to allow plenty time to test and pilot the service. During this period, VIPRION and BIG-IP LTM proved their ability to deliver exceptional reliability.  Korsvall says, “VIPRION gives us the high availability that is so essential for our business.”

Exceptional service availability

One of the first customers to pilot the new SiteVision Cloud service was prestigious indeed. Sweden’s Royal Court asked SiteVision to host its official website at a time when interest in the country’s monarchy was at a particular high. “Website traffic for the Royal Court peaked several times during the summer of 2012, but SiteVision Cloud and VIPRION handled the peaks effortlessly,” says Korsvall.  

Plentiful bandwidth

SiteVision is optimistic about the future.  “We are about to launch SiteVision Cloud in the market, and we have complete confidence in our network,” Korsvall says.  “Our use of F5’s VIPRION product allows us to focus on growing our new service without having to worry about reliability, bandwidth, or security.”

Additional security

VIPRION has the advantage of integrated security features. The company uses these capabilities to strengthen its defences against denial of service (DDoS) attacks, in particular, and to offer a high level of protection for its customers.

Over time, as the company grows its SaaS offering, it will be able to easily increase its available bandwidth simply by adding further blades to its VIPRION chassis. “In the future it will be easy for us to expand our capacity without disrupting service,” says Korsvall. “VIPRION gives us a lot of headroom to expand and develop our service in the future.”

He adds: “VIPRION will enable our service to run in the way that it should.”