Global 2000 Bank Eliminates Certificate-related Outages

Client Information

A multinational bank with operations in 70+ countries across geographies, this customer is a seasoned player in the BFSI domain. Offering a diverse range of consumer, corporate, and institutional financial services to clients, the organization generates over $15 Billion of revenue annually.

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Business Challenges

The network security teams across the firm’s global offices faced several PKI-related issues in their day-to-day operations:

Challenge #1:

The issue of paramount importance was the outages caused by expiring certificates, which, in turn, were triggered by less-than-ideal methods of certificate monitoring and management.

Consequence: System downtime often results in unprecedented ramifications – the internal inconvenience notwithstanding, outages of customer-facing systems are responsible for loss of business, customer trust, and more often than not, legal fines.

Challenge #2:

Rogue certificates were responsible for obvious compliance and security issues, resulting in unnecessary effort expended on remediation.

Consequence: The direct outcome of these issues is twofold: the possibility of regulatory
fines aside, exposure to risk of data theft is a huge cause of concern.

Challenge #3:

The PKI team was scattered across geographies, complicating cross-functional certificate management.

Consequence: Manually managing certificate infrastructures is a tedious exercise as is, and the existence of a geographical component only served to complicated it further, increasing the probability of human error plaguing the system.

Solutions Delivered

AppViewX CERT+ automated the entire certificate management process within the customer’s network. Here are the highlights:

  • Our single-window capabilities for detection, renewal, and revocation helped centralize certificate lifecycle management, permitting seamless collaboration between teams split across geographies
  • Implementing full-cycle certificate management and automation eliminated the possibility of human error across the board.
  • AppViewX’s integration with EJBCA (a widely-used CA) was a major draw, greatly simplifying the renewal/provisioning routine.
  • Our automation workflows and policy definition capabilities ensured that the customer remained compliant
  • The solution resulted in significantly lower network outages, security risks, and other miscellaneous vulnerabilities.

Tags

  • Certificate expiry
  • Certificate Lifecycle Automation
  • certificate lifecycle management
  • Certificate Outage

US State Government Reduces Certificate Deployment Time by 90%

Client Information

The customer is a state government in the Midwestern US that operates more than 700 online applications to extend a variety of services to its citizens, from seeking job opportunities to filing business taxes.

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Business Challenges

  • The state government has deployed more than 700 applications on more than 3000 devices, including Citrix NetScaler ADCs, web servers, and other services. The 3000 certificates residing on these devices were being managed manually in a spreadsheet.
  • The state government had a dedicated, four-person certificate management team with access to multiple vendor portals and tracking certificates in its spreadsheets. The team had to handle certificate requests from more than 20 application teams, and the requests often got delayed.
  • The certificates protecting access to the applications were procured from two different vendors, Entrust and Symantec. The teams had to juggle between vendor portals for their certificate-related needs and did not have centralized visibility.
  • The poor visibility that resulted from teams working in silos made it difficult for the application teams to request and deploy a certificate within 8 hours. This, in turn, delayed application delivery.

Solutions Delivered

  • The AppViewX platform automated end-to-end management of the certificates, which helped the state government achieve much-needed application-level visibility into its certificate management.
  • Using a single application, the team can procure certificates from any vendor of its choice based on need, without introducing any additional complexity into the certificate management process.
  • The platform made it easier for the application teams to generate and manage their own certificates through a simple, easy-to-use user interface. This reduced delays in certificate procurement by eliminating unnecessary dependencies on intermediary teams without compromising necessary workflows.
  • Through granular, role-based access controls, certificates can now be created and deployed within an hour without skimping on necessary security measures. This reduced certificate deployment time by 90 percent.
  • Various reports on certificate expiration and certificate validation (based on enforced security policies) can be scheduled through SNMP traps or email alerts to prevent the potential for sudden downtime due to unforeseen certificate invalidities.

Tags

  • Certificate Lifecycle Automation
  • certificate lifecycle management

Largest US Telecommunication Company Builds Agile ADC Infrastructure

Client Information

One of the largest cable and internet providers in the world chose AppViewX help them meet their NetOps service delivery goals. This company’s portfolio of network and IT products and services is strategically designed to ensure availability of core business applications.

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Business Challenges

With hundreds of multi-vendor devices spread across distributed data centers, this client’s network team faces numerous challenges when it comes to building an agile infrastructure that guarantees application uptime. They needed a solution that provides visibility to their application delivery infrastructure and enables self-servicing for the NetOps team.

  • With ADC changes happening all the time, the network team must schedule regular backups. However, their manual approach is extremely error-prone, leaving room for costly outages and downtime. Performing backups is as challenging as processing a critical service request
  • During any application outage, the network team must scramble to identify the affected virtual server to trace a new route for the application. Without complete network visibility, companies like these are prone to costly application downtime they can’t afford
  • Without a centralized approach, the client’s application team was finding it difficult to track device usage and plan for new demands

They ultimately turned to AppViewX for its advanced ADC management and automation capabilities.

Solutions Delivered

Automation of frequent backup and restore requests

AppViewX’s Application Delivery Automation solution enables the automation of backups. This client’s network team leveraged the platform’s scheduling capabilities and automated what were previously manual backups, saving their network teams significant time and effort.

Application-centric visibility using Control Center topology view

The Control Center topology view gives teams, visibility into the heterogeneous application infrastructure which allows them to troubleshoot application-related issues and outages faster.

Advanced reporting for capacity planning

The network team grouped all the devices into multiple data center groups and analyzed the health of the device using AppViewX’s Application Delivery Automation solution advanced reporting capabilities. They leveraged CPU and bandwidth utilization data to enable efficient capacity planning on the ADCs.

Business Benefits

  • The comprehensive topology view offered by AppViewX resulted in faster troubleshooting times and, more critically, reduced application downtime
  • Using AppViewX, diagnosing outages was simple, and tracing outages took minutes, not hours
  • The ability to receive real-time application state and status reduced operational cost

Tags

  • ADC management
  • Network Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Management

Leading Automotive Company Automates ADC Deployments

Client Information

The customer is one of North America’s largest and most diversified providers of automotive products and services, including vehicle distribution, processing, finance and insurance, retail vehicle sales, and dealer technology services.

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Business Challenges

As one of the largest companies in the automotive industry, the company’s IT infrastructure is critical to its business. The company operates 11 F5 application delivery controllers (ADC) for load balancing 100+ applications, which include customer-facing as well as internal applications. The company has a team of 120 engineers working around the clock to ensure application availability.

  • Ensuring that application services are delivered with the highest standards required submitting a large number of tickets to the engineering teams
  • There was no standard workflow to create VIPs and wide IPs, and every time the application team submitted a request, the network engineering team had to perform the tasks manually, which was time-consuming and prone to errors. The absence of an agile infrastructure was slowing down the ADC deployment process, impacting delivery
  • The turnaround time for a change request was too long and delayed time to market

The company needed a single console that would allow it to manage its dynamic ADC infrastructure efficiently.

Solutions Delivered

Self-service templates

The application and network engineering teams sought solutions to address their business challenges. With the AppViewX platform, the network engineering team can build custom, self-service templates to handle most of the requests to create, modify, and delete VIPs and wide IPs. The configurations are hardcoded in the template and are tested and verified by the senior network engineering team. The biggest advantages are that they do not have to go through the process of typing the entire configuration from scratch and the code is reusable.

Standard workflow

The platform provides a standardized workflow system for faster and more efficient deployments. Once a request is created, a work order is initiated and goes through an automated approval process. The template is designed and verified by the senior network engineering team with necessary validation checks.

Automated ADC deployments

The company’s application owners are given privileges to provision their applications, while the network engineering teams have the administrative control over the devices. Using the Application Provisioning System (APS), a subsystem of AppViewX, application owners can provision their applications by filling out a simple form created by the network engineering team. With this automation, virtual servers can be spun up seamlessly in a matter of minutes.

Business Benefits

  • The automated workflows offered by AppViewX have resulted in a quicker implementation cycle and, more critically, reduced the number of manual configuration errors
  • The ability to provision applications using simple forms has enabled the application teams to deliver applications faster
  • The fulfillment of change requests has been optimized, and fulfillment time has been reduced from weeks to days and from days to minutes

Tags

  • ADC management
  • Network Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Management

Leading Biotechnology Company Migrates F5 BIG-IP Configurations in Minutes

Client Information

The client is a biotechnology product development company serving more than 350,000 clients at pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals and clinical diagnostic labs, universities, research institutions, and government agencies. It acquired a new biotech corporation to become a leading company in the genetic testing and precision laboratory equipment markets.

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Business Challenges

The company has been expanding on a large scale, and the new acquisition created a need for an automation solution to address below business challenges.

  • The consolidation required the migration of device configurations from the acquired entity’s data center (A) to the existing data center (B)
  • The company had to migrate 700+ applications that were load-balanced in data center A to data center B
  • The client anticipated that the configuration migration process would be manual, which would be slow and potentially error-prone
  • The cost estimates for manual migration were high and required additional highly skilled resources. Defining, planning, and implementing the migration of major applications is difficult with a manual process. The anticipated process would be arduous and complex and would have resulted in delays

Solutions Delivered

The company’s network engineer used the Application Provisioning System (APS) module of AppViewX’s Application Delivery Automation solution to create several self-service templates to automate the various steps involved in data center migration. The templates were created by architects using defined standards.

  • The Application Delivery Automation solution generated a configuration report for F5 devices with complete details of the associated IPs in data center A that had to be migrated to data center B
  • By integrating with SolarWinds, the APS module got free IPs to create new VIPs in the new data center B
  • APS paved the way to configuration agility, where users can automate modification of existing VIPs, clone an existing VIP with varying parameters, and perform post-validation checks and other configuration changes in data center B to meet business demands
  • The client gained the flexibility to migrate individual virtual servers or, in some instances, to perform a bulk migration

Business Benefits

  • The time it took to migrate 125 virtual servers associated with the company’s most critical business application was reduced from two days to 15 minutes, drastically reducing downtime
  • Per-application configuration migration time has been reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes
  • With no more manual migrations, the project was completed with existing team, resulting in significant cost savings

Tags

  • F5 BIG-IP
  • Network Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Management

Media Giant Reduces SSL Certificate Deployment Time by Up To 70%

Client Information

As the world’s largest mass media group, the customer owns and operates motion picture companies, television stations and networks, theme parks, and Internet-based businesses. This US-based company is one of the most acclaimed entertainment businesses and is the recipient of an International Business Leadership award.

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Business Challenges

  • Certificates associated with ADCs were managed by procurement and administrative services teams using a challenging, sub-optimal process
  • The procurement team tracked certificates manually using spreadsheets that maintained budget codes, expiration and renewal dates, etc. Certificate Signing Requests (CSR) for clients were submitted by manual intervention, which often led to documentation errors and reduced company standards
  • Private PKI system management and approval/denial of requests were managed by the administrative services team working independently of the procurement services team. Involvement of multiple teams and the lack of a centralized approach created inefficiencies
  • Manual management of certificates sometimes resulted in business outages due to missed deadlines or expiration dates

Solutions Delivered

  • AppViewX’s Certificate Lifecycle Automation solution optimized the certificate procurement and management process by automating the entire lifecycle management of certificates protecting the client’s various ADC devices
  • The built-in integration with internal and external certificate authorities (CA) minimized manual involvement and the usage of spreadsheets was replaced with a systematic inventory process for easier tracking of certificates
  • During procurement, CSR for the client could now be automatically generated and passed on to the required CA which eliminated much of the unnecessary documentation errors and compliance issues
  • Intelligent work-order processes and granular role-based access control brought in centralized visibility and enabled efficient cross-team collaboration between the client’s administrative services and procurement services team
  • Periodic monitoring of renewed or new internal and external certificates has greatly reduced business losses due to sudden downtime or outages. Schedule-based SNMP/email alerts have been set up for expiration alerting and reporting processes to ensure timely renewal of certificates

Business Benefits

  • By automating the entire lifecycle management of certificates, the client brought the down the resources needed for each certificate deployment by 83%
  • The time it takes for the client to get a certificate issued by the CA and installed on its devices has dropped by 60-70%
  • This automation also helped the client cut down the time spent on manual documentation and manual validation by 70%

Tags

  • Certificate Lifecycle Automation
  • certificate lifecycle management
  • SSL Certificate Lifecycle Management
  • SSL Certificate Management

Second Largest US Discount Retailer Improves Response Time with Automation

Client Information

The customer is the second largest discount retailer in the US and has subsidiaries around the globe. It has more than 350,000 employees worldwide and serves billions of customers. The company is listed on the S&P 500 index, ranked among the top 40 on the Fortune 500 list, and recognized as a leader in innovation across the retail industry.

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Business Challenges

With a large global footprint, the company handled vast amounts of data and required a strong network infrastructure running multiple applications on dedicated servers.

  • Managing, monitoring, and ensuring consistency in design became very difficult
  • The company needed to have better reporting capabilities to allow for better capacity planning and enhanced predictive analytics
  • A comprehensive traffic management solution was needed to monitor the ADC network. Due to the large number of application teams within the enterprise, a solution that would allow self­servicing was essential

Solutions Delivered

AppViewX’s Application Delivery Automation solution provided a single window for the customer to manage and monitor the network and execute network operations with one click.

  • Customized reports on high-priority applications ensure better capacity planning and understanding of the application services and devices. The solution also enables the customer to perform multiple functionalities, such as backup and restore iHealth reports, and software upgrades, from one single dashboard
  • Configuration management enables an automated design deployment process with a built-in, user-configurable workflow system that integrates directly into the customer’s internal workflow cycle
  • Template management allows users to create predefined configurations, and role-based access control makes it easy to delegate tasks to different teams to enable efficient self-servicing

Business Benefits

  • Reduction in change implementation time from an average of 20 days to 2 hours for ADC deployments
  • Automation adoption resulted in approximately $1.2 million in annual savings

Tags

  • Network Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Management

Automated Server Rotations Save Healthcare Consortium Millions of Dollars

Client Information

The customer is an integrated managed healthcare consortium that has been providing healthcare for more than 60 years. It is the largest managed healthcare organization in the United States and one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health plans, serving more than 10 million members.

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Business Challenges

The company had multiple application teams needed to perform tasks like server rotations that required procedures such as enabling and disabling the servers that were being load balanced. Since most traditional systems only have hard-coded roles defined in the application, the difficulty arose where,

  • There was no mechanism to control access in a granular way, so only certain tasks could be delegated to certain users.
  • All changes had to be performed by the network engineering team. Requests came via a ticketing system and tickets piled up in a queue.

The company recognized that mitigating these delays would save millions of dollars as well as network engineering team resources.

Solutions Delivered

AppViewX’s Application Delivery Automation solutions granular, role-based access control mechanism gave the customer the ability to provide self-service to their application teams. Tasks related to server rotation can be easily delegated to the application teams, who can now log in to the AppViewX platform and perform simple enable/disable functions.

  • All the actions performed are logged and the changes can easily be tracked.
  • Server rotations now take far less time and tickets for simple operational tasks no longer stack up in a queue.

Business Benefits

  • The reduction in server rotation delays is saving millions of dollars.
  • Application teams have the flexibility to perform upgrades and changes on their servers as they need to, without having to depend on submitting a ticket and waiting for it to be resolved.

Tags

  • Network Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Management

Brokerage Firm Eliminates 80% of Errors with Automation

Client Information

The customer is a leading American brokerage and banking company that operates across divisions that include investing, wealth management, banking, and trading. The company is one of the world’s largest discount brokers and serves more than 7 million client brokerage accounts.

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Business Challenges

The company performs a lot of configuration operations on the load balancers and the manual implementation process was prone to errors. Application teams, who are not aware of F5 configurations, make numerous requests through the change management system, BMC Remedy. These requests are then forwarded to the network engineering team, which understands the requirements and performs manual implementation.

  • A single new configuration (for example, a new VIP creation) required an IP address from the IPAM system, a new DNS entry for the new virtual server, and VIP configuration.
  • All of this had to go through the change management system with a ticket created for all the changes, approvals, and implementation. This was time-consuming.

Solutions Delivered

The company’s network engineering team used AppViewX’s Application Delivery Automation solution to address above challenges to eradicate manual errors and improve agility. It provided a centralized management and automation of the entire ADC configuration deployment that formerly been managed through a manual process.

  • The Application Provisioning System (APS), a sub-system of the AppViewX Platform helped to create several self-service templates to automate the various steps involved in ADC deployments.
  • By integrating with DDI system, Infoblox and external ticketing system, BMC Remedy, the APS module automated the whole change management process. The entire change window was standardized with a customizable workflow.

Business Benefits

  • The template-based approach to performing ADC configuration changes resulted in a reduction of 80 percent errors due to manual intervention
  • Bandwidth was freed up for the network engineering team, who no longer needs to perform manual configuration changes and can focus on more important tasks
  • Integration with external tools like Infoblox and BMC Remedy ensures that AppViewX is the only platform a user needs to log into with respect to all kinds of configurations and modifications for the load balancers
  • The time it takes to process different work orders (for IPAM, DNS, tickets, and configuration changes) has been drastically reduced from weeks to days

Tags

  • Network Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Management

Orchestration Engine for Complete Change Automation

Client Information

The client is an American multinational financial services corporation best known for credit cards, charge cards, and traveler’s cheque business. It is one of the Fortune 100 companies and is considered to be one of the world’s most valuable brands. The company has a large infrastructure team to manage its critical business applications.

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Business Challenges

The company has a huge infrastructure of Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) with 15 virtual hosts and multiple guest load balancers situated across multiple data centers. Over 1000+ global users, including 150 application teams, monitor and manage the company’s application services. ADC configuration changes required multiple workflows for change integration:

  • IP address allocation on Nokia VitalQIP
  • DNS management for record creation on VitalQIP
  • Change control and ticketing using ServiceNow

Managing and monitoring ADC devices involved a lot of manual interventions and processes. Configuration changes were performed manually on the devices, leading to configuration errors and delays in deploying changes. Standard RA requests took a long time to get implemented, resulting in negative impacts to the business. Time-to-market for deploying application services in the network was too slow to meet the needs of the application teams. The network was the bottleneck.

Solutions Delivered

AppViewX’s Application Delivery Automation solution provided granular, role-based access control to 150+ application teams to perform server rotations for application upgrades and server maintenance. AppViewX created 180 roles, and thousands of users around the globe now use AppViewX to perform various actions. Roles can be added or deleted dynamically based on organizational needs.

The automated workflows and integration into multiple network and application services provided complete change management automation.

  • Load balancing configurations are automated by integrating into IBM SmartCloud and VMWare vNetwork Standard Switch (vSS). DNS and IP address allocation (free IPs) are automated through integration with VitalQIP
  • Plug-in-play ITSM integrations allow tenants to request configurations through ServiceNow service requests

AppViewX has become the orchestration engine for all change automation and it has as consolidated multiple workflows into a single request stream for implementation.

Business Benefits

  • Reduction in application delivery change ticket resolution from an average of 8+ days to 10 minutes for load balancing configuration
  • Consistent delivery of server rotation requests, including 50,000+ requests in 6 months, as a result of 100 percent adoption of automation

Tags

  • Network Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Automation
  • Network Infrastructure Management