Customer Stories

Summary

Customer

Global Computing Company

Industry

Technology

Organization Size

140,000 employees

Country

USA

Global Computing Company Powers Up a Secure DevOps Workflow With Enterprise Application Access (EAA)

The Challenge

The website for this company—one of the true pioneers in computing—ranks among the top 500 most-visited sites in the world. This global digital experience is immensely complex, with countless pages offered in many languages for an enormous global audience. Recently, the software development team leading the website found themselves facing two interrelated challenges within their DevOps workflow that seemed to defy solution.

First, the massive number of URL redirects was becoming a difficulty. “We were managing and processing all of the redirect rules—for more than 7,000 URLs—at the origin, using reverse proxy, and it started to affect performance and cause latencies,” said one of the company’s software architects.

Second, when the team changed individual redirect rules (an extremely common occurrence), there was no easy way to test the changes without pushing everything out to production and doing live testing.

“We really needed a solution that addressed these two pain points,” said the architect.

“EAA has worked so well for us, we’re looking at rolling this solution out to other parts of the company where employees and contractors need remote access to internal resources.”— Principal Software Engineer

The Solution

They were able to tackle the first challenge by implementing Akamai Edge Redirector, which is one of the Akamai Cloudlets and part of the overall Akamai for DevOps offering. According to the architect, “We said, okay, let’s see what it would take to migrate these rules over to Edge Redirector.” As the product name suggests, Edge Redirector helps developers easily manage and offload high volumes of URL redirects to the edge, which is exactly what was needed in this situation.

For the second challenge, the company turned to another Akamai product. “We started talking more about ‘how do we test [these redirects]? How do we ensure that things will work correctly before we actually promote it to production?” said the architect. “That’s when we talked to Akamai, and we were able to identify EAA as a potential solution.”

EAA is Akamai Enterprise Application Access, a cloud service built on the zero trust security model which provides simple and secure access to applications hosted behind the firewall. In this case, it enabled the company to test against their private development and QA environments. A principal software engineer at the company summarized the process: “First, we looked at creating a DMZ for our testing, but it was a pain to set up and there were too many security issues. Akamai then said, ‘EAA can be used like a DMZ-as-a-service, and you won’t have those problems.’” Namely, EAA doesn’t require anything in the DMZ or any inbound holes to be open in the firewall due to a unique inside-out architecture. The development team ultimately agreed that EAA was the right direction for their needs.

The Results

They rolled out Edge Redirector and completed the simple setup for EAA, and they’ve now found a substantial reduction in complexity of redirect management, along with a simple and secure method for quickly testing updates. “EAA allows us to automate testing of all our redirect requests so when we get some strange behavior we can immediately see which rule was actually tripped without having to move code into a pre-production environment,” says the engineer. “EAA has worked so well for us, we’re looking at rolling this solution out to other parts of the company where employees and contractors need remote access to internal resources.”

For additional information on EAA, check out the "A Simple and Secure Way to Test Against Your Private Dev and QA Environments" blog post.