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 them scale their 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 Citrix networking solutions since they were foundational for many Xenit customers. When he discovered that Citrix 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.
Citrix and AWS for the win
Using Terraform to write declarative configuration files, the team converted the Citrix-provided AWS CloudFormation templates to Terraform and used it to automatically provision all the resources needed for deploying their application, including Citrix Application Delivery Controller (ADC) and Amazon Route 53, a scalable and highly available DNS service for routing internet traffic in accordance with security best practices.
“Citrix ADC 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.”
Gottschlag reports that his team can easily configure ADCs via the Citrix Application Delivery Management (ADM) auto-scaling dashboard. Citrix ADM is an intuitive, comprehensive platform for automated ADC management that includes orchestration across hybrid cloud environments among other capabilities. “With Citrix ADM, we have a streamlined way of handling auto-scaling in AWS that is supported by Citrix,” Gottschlag says. “So now we can focus on applications instead of infrastructure.”
A cost-effective formula for success
By using Citrix ADC on AWS, Xenit was able to significantly reduce its spend on both AWS instances and Citrix ADC licenses rather than overprovisioning instances or buying more licenses than might prove necessary.
“We didn’t really know we needed something like this before Citrix released it,” 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 Citrix ADC 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 Citrix ADC on AWS provides, Gottschlag cites the ability to iterate faster and the flexibility to deploy workloads in the many AWS regions worldwide among the most beneficial capabilities of using AWS.
To help Xenit customers and the open source community achieve the same efficiencies and cost savings that Gottschlag and his team have, Xenit published its Terraform configuration for Citrix ADC on AWS auto-scaling on GitHub.