Xenit is a well-known IT services provider based in Goteborg, Sweden. As a trusted partner, Xenit advises companies on how to execute on their digital transformation initiatives. The primary focus is helping its customers get up to speed on DevOps best practices as they seek to modernize their application deployment and delivery infrastructure.
Adopting DevOps principles often requires a cultural shift for companies unaccustomed to accelerated and continuous application deployment. The Xenit DevOps team of four, led by CTO Simon Gottschlag, focuses on aligning its customers’ development and operations teams — as well as their line-of-business groups — to become more efficient at delivering their services to market. Additionally, the Xenit team provides critical technical expertise for building resilient systems to help its customers automate at scale.
Overcoming the challenges of application delivery at scale
In helping its customers modernize their applications, Xenit also helps them modernize their application delivery. Gottschlag’s team was configuring much of the application delivery infrastructure manually, which was time-consuming and error prone. They had to continually dance between scaling up — and possibly overprovisioning — to ensure enough capacity for estimated demand and scaling down when demand subsided.
Adding to the inefficiency, the team was using tools that didn’t always provide what they claimed to deliver. Xenit needed an automated and consistent way to both provide services to its customers and to help the company scale its own services deployment and delivery.
Defining the requirements
Because Xenit used Amazon Web Services (AWS), Gottschlag wanted a solution for application delivery that worked seamlessly with AWS and that was extensible to give Xenit customers an option for incorporating other public cloud solutions into their cloud portfolios. The solution also needed to make application delivery easier to manage and more cost effective.
Evaluating auto-scaling solutions
Gottschlag was already familiar with NetScaler because it was foundational for many Xenit customers. When he discovered that NetScaler also offered a solution for auto-scaling on AWS that went beyond simple load balancing to include L4-L7 security and advanced traffic management, his team was sold.
NetScaler and AWS for the win
Using Terraform to write declarative configuration files, the Xenit team converted the NetScaler-provided AWS CloudFormation templates to Terraform and used it to automatically provision all the resources needed for deploying their application, including NetScaler and Amazon Route 53, a scalable and highly available DNS service for routing internet traffic in accordance with security best practices.
“NetScaler on AWS is awesome,” Gottschlag says. “It has made our lives easier because we no longer need to manually configure everything, and it’s really cool seeing the ADCs automatically scale up and down with the load on the systems.”
Through its management plane, NetScaler provides an intuitive way to automate ADC configuration across hybrid cloud environments, among many other capabilities.
Gottschlag reports that his team can easily configure ADCs via the NetScaler auto-scaling dashboard: “With NetScaler, we have a streamlined way of handling auto-scaling in AWS. So now we can focus on applications instead of infrastructure.”
“With the NetScaler on AWS auto-scaling solution, we and our customers no longer need to manually handle the scaling of ADCs — we let NetScaler do it for us.”
A cost-effective formula for success
By using NetScaler on AWS, Xenit was able to significantly reduce its spend on both AWS instances and NetScaler licenses rather than overprovisioning instances or buying more licenses than necessary.
“We didn’t really know we needed something like this before NetScaler,” Gottschlag says. “We just went with the ‘old way’ of doing things before. But now we’re able to scale based on the load, which means we also save money since we don’t need to have all the capacity allocated all the time.”
Gottschlag also says that using the NetScaler on AWS solution for auto-scaling is an easy sell to Xenit customers for their own application infrastructure needs because the starting price point is much less than what they had previously been spending.
In addition to the auto-scaling capabilities that NetScaler on AWS provides, Gottschlag cites the ability to iterate faster and the flexibility to deliver workloads from the many AWS regions worldwide among the most beneficial capabilities of using NetScaler on AWS.