Empire Education Group (EEG) optimizes application performance and security with Citrix NetScaler

As the leading group of cosmetology schools in the U.S., with over 100 schools in 21 states and nearly 15,000 students currently enrolled, EEG has maintained this strong heritage and tradition of training future beauty professionals for rewarding careers in the beauty industry. Regis Corporation, a Fortune 1000 company, is an industry partner of EEG.

The Challenge: Centralizing and securing applications

Since merging with Regis Corp (with 51 branch campuses) in 2007, EEG has had a need to centralize their files and applications at their datacenter in Pottsville, PA. Previously, EEG had Citrix Access Gateway (CAG) for clientless VPN access and NetScaler MPX 7000s and Barracuda for basic load balancing for over 200 applications that includes Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Exchange 2010, XenApps, web applications and custom API servers. The MPX 7000s had reached end of life and Barracuda lacked the intelligent layer 7 load balancing feature.  Other requirements included an application firewall, SSL offload, and cache compression for EEG’s public facing web sites and student portal.  “We needed a consolidated and advanced application delivery controller (ADC).” says Trevor T. Prokop, manager, system administration for EEG.   

The Solution: NetScaler MPX

Citrix NetScaler 11500 MPX with High Availability (HA) is an ADC that optimizes the security, availability, scalability and performance of web-based and custom applications. It is available as a physical or virtual appliance.

NetScaler MPX appliances are high-performance; hardware-based solutions that provide industry-leading web application delivery and load balancing. They also enable a full-service delivery fabric that spans enterprise datacenters and cloud infrastructures to make applications and cloud services run five times faster. All NetScaler MPX appliances support Citrix nCore technology, which enables customers to tap the power of multi-core CPU systems to realize multi-gigabit performance and massive scalability for all application delivery workloads.

Flexible pay-as-you-grow licensing helps customers protect their investments, avoid costly hardware upgrades and reduce the overall cost of ownership. NetScaler MPX appliances support small enterprises, massive global websites and everything in between.

“In 2008, we replaced the CAG 2000 and Barracuda with a HA pair of MPX 7000 series, and then replaced the 7000s series with a HA pair of  NetScaler MPX 11500 in June 2011.  We are leveraging the AppExpert templates in NetScaler to optimize the configuration of all our MS applications, .The NetScaler platinum license enables us to use the NetScaler App Firewall and AppCache feature to protect and accelerate our web applications content delivery including public facing websites and  upcoming student portal. We are also using SSL offloading with end-to-end encryption, where we re-encrypt the traffic to communicate with back end servers.” Prokop emphasizes. 

Key Benefits

Increases application performance

By standardizing on NetScaler MPX 11500 appliances and moving away from the legacy load balancers, EEG was able to increase the performance of their applications including MS, web and XenApps.

Enhances security and reduces costs

NetScaler MPX 11500 platform enabled EEG to improve data security by consolidating the various files and applications from the 51 Regis branches to one datacenter.  This also eliminated the need to upgrade bandwidth between the branches.

Scales on demand

By migrating the limited legacy load balancers to the highly scalable MPX 11500 platform, EEG is able to support more employees and applications from the Regis merger as well as accommodate any future growth.

Looking Ahead

“NetScaler MPX 11500 meets all our requirements and we are currently testing HDX Insight to provide application and network visibility for XenApp users and hope to have it implemented in production soon. In addition, we are in the process of testing Microsoft SQL 2012 database load balancing and plan to utilize NetScaler DataStream technology in the near future.” Prokop concluded.

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is the cloud company that enables mobile workstyles—empowering people to work and collaborate from anywhere, easily and securely. With market-leading solutions for mobility, desktop virtualization, cloud networking, cloud platforms, collaboration and data sharing, Citrix helps organizations achieve the speed and agility necessary to succeed in a mobile and dynamic world. Citrix products are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Annual revenue in 2012 was $2.59 billion. Learn more at www.citrix.com.

©2013 Citrix Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Citrix®, NetScaler®, Citrix Access Gateway™, MPX™, AppCache™, Citrix XenApp®, NetScaler App Firewall™, nCore™ and  HDX™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

NetScaler MPX 11500 platform enabled EEG to improve data security by consolidating the various files and applications from the 51 Regis branches to one datacenter. This also eliminated the need to upgrade bandwidth between the branches.
- Trevor T. Prokop

Manager, system administration

Empire Education Group


Key Benefits

  • Increases application performance
  • Enhances security and reduces costs
  • Scales on demand 

Citrix Product