Content Switching in the Public Cloud

I want to move my web application to the public cloud but it is comprised of multiple tiers that are challenging to integrate from an application delivery perspective within my cloud provider’s platform.

This is a statement made more often than not when companies are looking to move their solutions to the public cloud in order to reduce TCO but are concerned that their chosen cloud platform does not provide all the required capabilities. To a certain extent this statement is true, as most public clouds do not provide all the functionality necessary to support more complex application delivery integration. While public cloud platforms have advanced to the point where they can host the different application tiers (through either IaaS, PaaS or SaaS), we often still need something to “connect” the pieces together so they are perceived as a single solution by end-users.

When it comes to application delivery from public clouds, KEMP Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) is exactly that something. With features such as advanced content switching (also known as URL Rewriting), you can deploy multiple web applications and services in your provider’s cloud and use KEMP’s VLM as the glue to connect these technologies together. Using content matching and header modification rules, users can hit one URL and be directed to any number of services on the backend. This way the user will always see the same URL in their browser but can access IaaS, PaaS or SaaS applications and services in any combination.

For example, let’s say you have a website that consists of .NET and Java applications along with WordPress, Umbraco or some other CMS and you need to provide an experience for mobile devices. Since there is no single service in Azure that can provide all of these functions, we need to spin up four distinct ones:

content switching in he cloud table

Each service is created with a unique URL ending in .azurewebsites.net and although you have the option to configure a custom domain name, you can’t use the same one across four different services. This is where KEMP LoadMaster for Azure steps in. Your external domain will point to the KEMP LoadMaster Virtual Service (www.kempdemo.com, for instance) and it will direct traffic to the appropriate service based on Regular Expressions (REGEX).

Content Switiching in the cloud Table 2

First we need to identify the traffic by leveraging LoadMaster’s Content Matching Rules. In this example, we are using navigational paths to determine which service should be used. So anything with /java will be directed to the Java Web App, /mobile to the Mobile App and so on. We also have the ability to set Flags within Content Matching Rules. This allows us to trigger other rules based on the matched content.

Content Switching in the Cloud Table 3

Next, we have created four Header Modification Rules to change the URL used when hitting the Azure applications. As noted earlier, the Azure application was created with a unique URL ending in .azurewebsites.net. Since Azure is inherently a multi-tenant architecture, this URL is required to access the appropriate application tier. Within our Header Modification Rules, we are using the set flags (as seen under options) to change the URL which is passed back to the Azure services. Based on the Content Matching Rules created earlier, anything with the path /java will be flagged as 1 and therefore the header will be modified to http://KEMP-java.azurewebsites.net. This is just a simple example but there are countless ways to leverage the REGEX content switching rules in the KEMP LoadMaster to adapt to any solution.

With advanced content switching, KEMP Virtual LoadMaster can provide that missing link in your move to the public cloud.
Are you Super Human? Successfully complete our content switching lab challenge at https://tryazuremarketplace.com/kemp and receive an Azure Pass or a mini drone.

Kurt Jung
Kurt Jung

Kurt Jung is a Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Kemp Technologies. He works hands on with many technologies around application delivery and how to position these in today’s market. Kurt also works closely with key alliance partners to further strengthen the synergy. Prior to Kemp, Kurt has spent most of his career working as a consultant helping customers deploy on-premises, cloud and hybrid cloud solutions to support their business.