Location: United States
Cliantha Research is a global contract research organization that provides a comprehensive range of clinical research and support services to biosimilar, biotech, cosmetic, generic, personal healthcare, and pharmaceutical companies. Founded in 2004, the company has successfully conducted more than 5,000 studies globally. Cliantha Research’s operations are geographically dispersed across four locations.
Manually diverting user traffic across data centers is time-consuming and cumbersome
Cliantha Research is highly dependent on its core business application for running its critical business operations. As the company’s lifeline, the application must be always available to end users across the company’s four office locations.
The core business application is hosted in the company’s two data centers — one in Ahmedabad head office and the other in Vadodara — and the users across all four locations connect to these two data centers to access the application.
According to Cliantha Research’s senior manager of IT Ravi Mistry, the biggest challenge the company faced was that should the two data centers hosting the application go down, all the end users connecting to that data center would need to be manually re-routed and connected to the other data center so that they could continue to use the application. This process required making manual changes to the network configuration, which was cumbersome and time-consuming as well as error prone and inefficient.
Automated failover and request routing across data centers
Cliantha Research’s IT team started looking for a solution to provide automatic failover and to automate routing requests across data centers without requiring any manual intervention.
“Our key requirement was that in case one of the data centers fails or there is some other failure, the entire load should be redirected automatically to the active site,” Mistry explains. “We needed to enable seamless failover of end users from one server to the other in case of non-availability of servers, without the end users realizing it and without disrupting their access to the core business application.”
After evaluating various solutions, Cliantha chose NetScaler for its advanced global server load balancing (GSLB) and SSL offloading features. When multiple resources are available, the NetScaler GSLB feature seamlessly diverts user traffic to the resource that’s best for each individual user.
NetScaler SSL offloading enables offloading of CPU-intensive SSL processing on the NetScaler ADCs as opposed to the server, which speeds up end-user response time for SSL transactions. Another factor that helped Cliantha Research decide in favor of NetScaler was the compression feature it offered. The feature compresses HTTP responses for browsers that are compression aware, improving the performance of websites with compressible content and reducing bandwidth consumption.
“Automatic failover in NetScaler has made it possible for us to seamlessly transfer users from one server to the other server in case of non-availability, without affecting their access to the core business application. There is also no change for application end users, and the whole process of failover from one server to the other is unnoticeable to them.”
Sr. Manager, IT
Seamless failover and improved application performance
Since its implementation of NetScaler, Cliantha Research can provide seamless access to its core business application for all its end users even when one of its data centers is not available, whether due to unplanned failure or planned downtime.
Automatic failover ensures that there are no changes required to be made in the URL when shifting the load from one server to the other, and no intervention is required from the ISP for failover-failback.
“Automatic failover in NetScaler made it possible for us to seamlessly transfer end users from one server to the other server in case of non-availability, without affecting their access to the core business application,” Mistry says. “There is also no change for application end users, and the whole process of failover from one server to the other is unnoticeable to them.”
The implementation of NetScaler has also resulted in an improvement in application performance and response time since the SSL decryption on NetScaler is done at the hardware layer instead of the software layer. This helps in improving application response time and performance while also ensuring strong security.
Additionally, NetScaler’s compression feature has helped Mistry significantly reduce content delivery time by 5x: Content delivery that previously took 5 minutes is now accomplished in 1 minute, further improving application response time.