Bulletproof Networks delivers managed cloud hosting for mission-critical websites, applications, and campaigns across Australia and the United States. More than US$1.6 billion of e-commerce revenue traverses its infrastructure every year. To make possible the innovation and growth the company needed to stay competitive, Bulletproof deployed a solution based on F5 Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs).
Many of Australia's largest retailers and manufacturers rely on Bulletproof to deliver a highly available managed hosting infrastructure and applications. Bulletproof’s dedicated servers and hosting infrastructure are delivered using a fully monitored and managed Australian-owned network, hosted in Australia's largest IDC for optimum local and regional performance.
As a leading cloud service provider, Bulletproof strongly emphasizes innovation and world-class customer support. It hosts mission-critical applications, websites, and campaigns for many clients and needs to deliver 100 percent uptime with minimal disruptions.
Driven by its innovative spirit, Bulletproof is constantly looking for ways to improve customer service, offer new services, and generate more revenue. Unfortunately, these goals were hindered by the existing network infrastructure.
The lack of flexibility and scalability of its legacy network infrastructure threatened to limit growth of enterprise customers, and negatively affect customer service. The infrastructure was not robust, agile, or highly available, and it did not give Bulletproof the competitive edge it needed in a highly challenging market.
"The F5 investment has paid off handsomely, paving the way for greater operational simplicity as we push forward with aggressive growth."Mark Randall, Director of Sales and Marketing, Bulletproof
Bulletproof began searching for a solution based on the following criteria—good vendor reputation, feature-rich product, high performance, reliability and security, integrated application firewall, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.
Following an evaluation of the solutions available in the market, Bulletproof decided on an F5 advanced Application Delivery Networking (ADN) solution to ensure fast, secure, and always-available delivery of applications to its users. To provide high availability, Bulletproof deployed the BIG-IP 3900 hardware platform running BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM).
F5 iControl, an open, web services–based application programming interface (API) gives Bulletproof administrators the ability to create self-service tools for its customers.
In addition, Bulletproof deployed VIPRION hardware with Virtual Clustered Multiprocessing (vCMP) technology for a complete, end-to-end virtualization strategy for application delivery, enabling the company to create and deliver unique services to its customers.
With BIG-IP LTM, Bulletproof is able to deliver applications across and manage both an IPv4 and IPv6 infrastructure simultaneously. The solution also supports SSL encryption management and a web application firewall to ensure online security and PCI compliance.
“Beyond just finding the right solution, we also wanted a like-minded technology partner that can understand our needs and be committed to our success. We found in F5 the perfect combination of vendor and solution to meet our needs,” said Lorenzo Modesto, Chief Operating Officer of Bulletproof.
"Reliable services are what our customers expect. F5 provides solutions that ensure scalability, security, and manageability across environments."Mark Randall, Director of Sales and Marketing, Bulletproof
Implementation went smoothly and Bulletproof now has a highly agile infrastructure that can easily adjust to growth demands and delivery of new services. With the F5 solution, Bulletproof keeps its competitive edge and has been able to generate additional revenue by securing new contracts.
Agile, scalable, and secure infrastructure
Bulletproof uses the F5 BIG-IP platform running BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager and BIG-IP Application Security Manager to balance network traffic across multiple servers and protect against outages, unplanned changes, unpredicted high levels of traffic, bandwidth pressure, and web threats.
“Reliable services are what our customers expect,” said Mark Randall, Director of Sales and Marketing of Bulletproof. “F5 provides solutions that ensure scalability, security, and manageability across environments.”
This reliability was tested during a high-traffic campaign for the Movember Foundation, the charity that holds its moustache-growing activities during November each year to raise funds and awareness for men's health. Bulletproof’s managed services provides one of the critical elements of the Movember Foundation campaign infrastructure. In 2012, more than 1.1 million supporters around the world joined the movement, raising A$139.3 million.
Key to this success is the new solution’s PCI compliance, which calls for all providers in the Payment Card Industry (financial institutions, credit card companies, and merchants) to adhere to a set of standards. These standards require establishing a secure network, protecting cardholder data, maintaining a vulnerability management program, implementing strong access control measures, regularly monitoring and testing networks, and having an information security policy.
“The F5 investment has paid off handsomely, paving the way for greater operational simplicity as we push forward with aggressive growth,” said Randall. “F5’s ability to understand the network and application contextually in real time, as well as determining the best resource to deliver requests is pertinent when we bring VMware and Amazon Web Services cloud solutions together. This is simply amazing and provides us with an excellent avenue for revenue growth.”
Support for IPv4 and IPv6
IPv6 capability is crucial for multi-topology networks and devices both in the core network and at the edge. With the ability to support both an IPv4 and IPv6 infrastructure, Bulletproof can build a strong foundation that maximizes the use of resources and increases service management, while remaining agile enough to support both existing and future network architectures and new user devices.
Self-service, innovative tools for customers
F5 iControl is a key feature that has enabled the talented Bulletproof team to integrate customer management service. iControl is an open, web services–based API that allows complete, dynamic, and programmatic control of F5 configuration objects. This gives Bulletproof the ability to control its application traffic. By taking advantage of the iControl API, Bulletproof has innovatively created self-service tools for its customers, freeing Bulletproof engineers to focus on other important tasks.
The cloud service provider has also gained a competitive edge with the provisioning infrastructure and capabilities of VIPRION with vCMP. Bulletproof now delivers true resource agility through limitless growth and flexible allocation without sacrificing performance, reliability, or flexibility. Plus, the company is able to adapt and provide the required solution for its customers. This lets its customers drive differentiation and achieve competitive advantage.
“Since our founding in 2001, Bulletproof Networks has constantly raised the bar by giving customers even more reasons to work with us. The F5 solution dovetails well with what we’ve been doing and has given us a greater competitive edge to win more customers,” said Anthony Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of Bulletproof.
Going forward, Bulletproof plans to install BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager (GTM) to keep applications fast, secure, and available across multiple data centers in Australia and the United States. This is part of its move to take advantage of software-defined networking (SDN) services for better automation and control of applications.
With BIG-IP devices running in the data centers and on Amazon Web Services, Bulletproof can establish secure tunnels to use the cloud and have end-to-end control over applications. This security and ease of management will give its customers greater confidence in taking advantage of cloud resources while delivering a high level of service at a lower cost.