Lindex adopts containerized architecture with NetScaler

Swedish fashion retailer relies on NetScaler to support its move to microservices

Lindex logo

Industry: Retail
Location: Sweden

Competition in fashion retail is fierce, with customers demanding a seamless experience across both physical and digital channels. Lindex, one of Europe’s largest fashion retailers, is familiar with that challenge. It has nearly 500 stores in 18 countries, an e-commerce website, and distribution agreements with third-party fashion brands like ASOS.

Lindex had enjoyed considerable success with its omni-channel approach but was increasingly aware that its legacy website architecture was constraining its ability to respond to the market.

“Success in online retail is all about speed,” says CTO Florian Westerdahl. “We need to deliver fast performance and service for customers, and we need to be fast to market with new features. That means testing hypotheses, keeping what works, and quickly changing what doesn’t.”

To transform the business faster, Westerdahl adopted an agile approach and a DevOps methodology, placing his infrastructure and operations experts inside the development teams. “That’s quite different from the culture of a traditional business,” Westerdahl says, “so we knew we faced a big challenge trying to change everything.”

Working with NetScaler solution advisor Xenit AB, Lindex designed its next-generation website using a microservices architecture in a containerized environment with Kubernetes. Lindex leveraged its existing investment in NetScaler, using pooled-capacity licensing to share NetScaler bandwidth across hardware and software application delivery controllers (ADCs).

Lindex relied on NetScaler containerized ADCs to move from physical hardware to containers using existing developer workflows for seamless deployment in Kubernetes environments. And the comprehensive layer 4-7 security features that come built in with NetScaler ensured a consistent security posture across Lindex’s microservices and APIs.

NetScaler for load balancing in a cloud native environment

“We explored other cloud native load balancing solutions, but they were very basic in comparison to NetScaler,” Westerdahl says. “We are very knowledgeable about the NetScaler platform and comfortable with it. So it’s of huge value not needing to learn an inferior load balancing technology — we could just immediately apply our investment in knowledge and hardware.”

Lindex operates a hybrid environment with much of its infrastructure (including Kubernetes) on-premises, but has increasingly moved its workloads to public cloud. With NetScaler’s pooled-capacity licensing, Lindex can continue to use its NetScaler hardware ADCs while also deploying NetScaler containerized ADCs.

“With pooled-capacity licenses, we’ve unlocked flexibility to the cloud," Westerdahl says. “Where Kubernetes goes, NetScaler ADCs will follow.”

NetScaler and containers for cloud migration and faster scaling

The use of containers makes it easy for the Lindex team to migrate containerized applications from on-premises to cloud and between clouds, and to scale them automatically. NetScaler provides the capabilities to simplify migration, automate services, and secure all applications and APIs.

The ability to use NetScaler directly within its containerized environment allows Lindex to easily deploy new services and rely on auto-scaling to meet fluctuating demand. With load balancing and security services functioning closer to deployed microservices, website response times are faster for customers. 

“With NetScaler and Kubernetes, we’re not just developing a website,” Westerdahl says. “We’re building a platform for digitalizing all channels.”

“We might be a fashion company first, but we’re also a fashion tech company. We need to stay innovative, and NetScaler evolves to meet completely new needs.”

Florian Westerdahl

NetScaler future-proofs the business

Westerdahl knows that Lindex’s business model will continue to evolve, and says that one of the biggest benefits of the move to microservices and containers is the ability to quickly adapt to future business needs. 

“We might be a fashion company first, but we’re also a fashion tech company,” he says. “We need to stay innovative, and NetScaler evolves to meet completely new needs.”

Westdahl notes that his team’s Kubernetes and NetScaler initiative has attracted a lot of attention within the company, and that they feel like they’ve moved from being a legacy company to being at the bleeding edge.

“Everything is changing here,” Westerdahl says. “And NetScaler is our most trusted platform and central to Lindex’s evolving future.”