Buienradar is a Dutch website that provides real-time, radar-based weather information for the Netherlands and another site for the rest of Europe. The website, www.buienradar.nl, allows weather watchers to monitor rainfall conditions by entering a location, ranging from the Netherlands to Germany to Scotland, and the website generates a rainfall map of the desired region, as shown at left.
The website is among the most popular in the Netherlands and is the number one site for weather-related information, with users seeking streaming information from their home PCs, smartphones, gas stations, and even hotel kiosks. The website receives approximately 5 million unique visitors per month, with this number spiking to 15 million visitors during times of severe weather. The site receives between 4–5 Gbps of sustained traffic, even during times of relatively mild weather.
The Netherlands are famous for an elaborate system of levees and dams that keep the sea at bay. With the region's low-lying geography, more than 20 percent of the Dutch populace resides on land that is below sea level, so the local fascination with weather reports that Buienradar has been witnessing makes sense.
Buienradar, which translates to "rain radar", is one of the most-visited websites in the Netherlands and is the number one destination for rainfall information.
The company's load balancers were out of date and the company needed a replacement to meet its unique network demands:
Our legacy load balancers had reached end of life and we needed a new solution capable of intelligently load balancing traffic across our two data centers. In evaluating solutions on the market, we were impressed with the AX Series' sophisticated GSLB capabilities. We were pleased to learn that the AXs could provide an additional layer of protection for our DNS infrastructure. The AXs have helped us improve network response times, and this translates to a better experience for our end users.
Stefan Rijkaart, Co-founder of Buienradar.nl
Buienradar's network is split across a primary and secondary data center. Each data center has a cluster of web servers connected using carrier-grade routers and switches. Network traffic consisting mainly of HTTP is spread across the servers using load balancers. The relatively low performance numbers (i.e. only 5 million concurrent sessions) of the company's legacy load balancers meant that they had to be deployed in Direct Server Return (DSR) mode, as opposed to Routed mode. The DSR mode deployment caused server responses to bypass the load balancer, which, in turn, caused many of the load balancer's advanced features to be disabled. When the legacy load balancers reached end of life, Buienradar sought a more robust replacement.
In considering their distributed network with geographically separate data centers, Buienradar needed a new generation server load balancer capable of providing Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB). The new appliance would also need to offer higher throughput than the legacy load balancers in order to allow Buienradar to install the AX Series in Routed mode, as opposed to DSR mode, as was necessary with the predecessors.
Another criterion that would affect the company's purchasing decision was the impending depletion of IPv4 addresses. As more and more end users migrate to the IPv6 protocol, Buienradar's goal was to be ready to meet the needs of this small but growing number of IPv6 clients.
Inadequate legacy infrastructure, security vulnerabilities
AX Selection Due To:
IPv6 support, GSLB support
IPv6, GSLB, application level DNS inspection, and high performance surge protection (with DNS caching)
On target to have IPv6 sites ready for "World IPv6 Day", enhanced network security, improved network performance
Buienradar chose to install the AX Series Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) for the following reasons:
After considering a range of options, Buienradar selected A10 Networks' AX Series 64-bit ADCs. The AX 2500 Series offer 10 Gbps throughput capacity, and 64-bit scalability enables support for tens of millions of concurrent sessions. These higher performance numbers enabled Buienradar to deploy the AXs in Routed mode instead of DSR mode, giving them greater control of the traffic returning to the clients and enabling them to leverage the AX's advanced features on outbound traffic, such as aFleX inspection and content adjustment.
In addition, the AX Series offers enhanced security for web and DNS servers. By leveraging the AX Series' built-in security features, Buienradar was spared the cost and complexity of having to install and manage a separate, dedicated firewall solution.
The AX ADCs offer an affordable solution with maximum throughput for periods of heavy traffic. Since Buienradar deployed its AX appliances, the company's website effortlessly handles the peak traffic loads that occur during periods of severe weather. Sophisticated GSLB support helps direct traffic between the company's two data centers, and the GSLB functionality is included at no additional cost. Lastly, the company has benefited from the AX's IPv6 support and the sites are on track to be ready for "World IPv6 Day" in June, 2011.
A10 Networks' AX Series is the industry's best price/performance advanced traffic manager – helping enterprises and ISPs maximize application availability through a high-performance and scalable web Application Delivery platform. The AX's Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS) architecture has garnered the company numerous awards and is revolutionary by market standards due to its scalable symmetrical multiprocessing (SSMP), shared memory architecture. AX includes an optimized multi-CPU architecture built from the ground up that leaps ahead of the competition in terms of performance, scalability, and reliability. For more information, visit: www.a10networks.com/products/axseries
A10 Networks was founded in 2004 with a mission to provide innovative networking and security solutions. A10 Networks makes high-performance products that help organizations accelerate, optimize and secure their applications. A10 Networks is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. For more information, visit: www.a10networks.com
Buienradar, which translates to "rain radar", is one of the most-visited websites in the Netherlands and is the number one destination for rainfall information in Holland. The website receives up to 15 million unique visitors per month. For more information, please visit: www.buienradar.nl