Customer Response Rates
Increase in Speed
Financial Information Company, Sageworks, had been utilizing F5-Big IPs for their load balancing requirements but due to issues experienced with support, responsiveness and a complex UI, they required an alternative solution. They began the search for a load balancer that would be easy to use, could be deployed quickly and provide increased responsiveness.
The Sageworks IT team had some prior experience with KEMP, deploying LoadMasters in Exchange and SharePoint environments with great success. The ease of use, intelligent performance capabilities and the excellent support offering provided by KEMP ticked all the boxes.
Sageworks deployed a pair of Virtual LoadMasters in their test/dev environment and a pair of Hardware LoadMasters in their on-premise data center in an active/passive cluster, providing continuous uptime and an increased rate of responsiveness for the nearly 4 million requests being handled daily.
Sageworks is a financial information company that provides loan portfolio and risk management solutions to financial institutions and financial analysis and valuation applications to accounting firms and private companies. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Raleigh, NC. Sageworks data and applications are used by thousands of banks, credit unions and accounting firms across North America and internationally. Through these applications, Sageworks has created the largest real-time database of private-company financial statement information in the United States.
Heavily relied on by major financial industry organizations, including one-fifth of the nation’s banks, the Sageworks data center serves up results for nearly four million requests a day. To meet the needs of its customers, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company needs its systems to remain responsive and available, without fail. As such, load balancing technology for their very active on-premises data center is critical.
To serve this need, Sageworks was using F5 BIG IP ADC devices. However, the company was experiencing support challenges with F5, and the product’s user interface was complex and difficult to navigate. This drove Sageworks to look for a new solution.
“I had experience load balancing Exchange and SharePoint environments using KEMP solutions with great success. In fact, the KEMP support experience was the best I've had. The product knowledge of the team is phenomenal, and their user interface is significantly easier to follow than F5.”
For the complex Sageworks environment, an easy-to-use API is very important as the company is consistently developing new functionally and services. Making a switch to KEMP would save them development time, and Hearn was convinced it would also improve speed and responsiveness for customers.
Once the decision to move to KEMP for load balancing was made, the implementation was very fast. The original Virtual LoadMaster implementation for the test/dev environment was completed in just 45 minutes. Two additional physical LoadMaster units for the data center’s active/passive clusters were deployed in just three hours.
“Before deployment, we performed a full test internally so that we could replicate how the LoadMasters would perform,” said Hearn. “The ease of implementation was truly impressive. With KEMP we met all of our core criteria including ease-of-use, great product, value pricing and exceptional support.
Since deploying the KEMP solutions, Sageworks has seen outstanding performance levels. Customer response rates are less than 5 microseconds and they’ve seen a 24% enhancement in speed and responsiveness. The new solutions have also enabled much greater security and quality of service with features including SNIB certificates and SSL offloading. Another benefit is the system UI which is significantly easier to use and the overall maintenance time, which has proven to be very minimal. In fact, patching time for the new devices can be completed in about 20 minutes for both devices which is six times faster than before.
“With KEMP we’re able to do a lot more from a security perspective than we ever could with F5,” added Hearn. “From user experience improvements to application delivery, quality of services and cost savings, the KEMP solutions have delivered outstanding results. KEMP has made us phenomenally happy.”