The Customer

UNITE provides a home to 42,000 students in over 130 properties across 23 of the UK’s strongest university cities. UNITE, the UK’s leading manager and developer of student accommodation, made the strategic decision to insource the hosting of their corporate and student facing websites and required a load balancing solution to ensure sufficient capacity and resilience for their online services.

The Challenge

“We needed a hardware load balancer that could flexibly and reliably manage our Oracle-based websites for always available services. We wanted the ability to intelligently control website traffic so were specifically looking for a solution that could manipulate and redirect traffic requests. We also needed a solution that could handle SSL offload.” Ben Tyson, IT Operations Manager, UNITE Group.

UNITE embarked upon a rigorous research and selection process, evaluating a number of competitive products. “Having technically reviewed many of the solutions available in the market place, we felt that edgeNEXUS hit all the functionality of the big players, at a very reasonable price point for the feature set available.” Ben Tyson, IT Operations Manager, UNITE Group.

“Having technically reviewed the solutions available in the market place, we felt that edgeNEXUS hit all the functionality of the big players, at a very reasonable price point for the feature set available.”

Ben Tyson, IT Operations Manager, UNITE Group

One of the main influencing factors in UNITE’s purchasing decision was the traffic management capabilities of the edgeNEXUS Accelerating Load Balancer Extreme (ALB-X). “The flightPATH rule engine was a big win for us. We haven’t explored its full functionality as yet but we’ve been impressed with the power and control it offers.

Currently we have redirect rules in place to ensure that all our domains return to our main site and that all site traffic is delivered securely over SSL.” Ben Tyson, IT Operations Manager, UNITE Group.

edgeNEXUS ALB-X: Advanced Features, Cost Effective, Easy to Use

UNITE selected the ALB-X for its ease of use, advanced feature set and competitive cost. They deployed a failover pair of physical ALB-X appliances in their London datacentre.

“Our new website represents a major investment in improving our customer experience and has delivered several key business benefits. We’re able to provide a more usable service for students, we have a future proof platform with the ability to produce mobile friendly content and we can drive greater traffic and therefore business through the site. The edgeNEXUS appliances give our online services the resilience and performance needed to continue to deliver a superb end-user experience.” Ben Tyson, IT Operations Manager, UNITE Group.

“The flightPATH rule engine was a big win for us. We haven’t explored its full functionality as yet but we’ve been impressed with the power and control it offers .”

Ben Tyson, IT Operations Manager, UNITE Group

The edgeNEXUS ALB-X solution provides UNITE with a future proof platform that can scale to meet growing demand. “We are yet to hit our busiest period which will be late August when students receive their results and visit our website to provision their accommodation. It will be interesting to see the sites performing during periods of peak traffic with the edgeNEXUS appliances behind them and we have every confidence in them.” Ben Tyson, IT Operations Manager, UNITE Group.

edgeNEXUS ALB-X: Cost Effective, Easy to Use, Great Support

“Our overall experience with edgeNEXUS has been incredible. The support that we’ve received from the technical team in particular has been exceptional and their willingness to help us succeed in whatever we are doing is fantastic! I wouldn’t hesitate to use edgeNEXUS in the future and strongly recommend their load balancing products.” Ben Tyson, IT Operations Manager, UNITE Group.

Looking to the future UNITE has plans to deploy a DR solution which will involve an additional internet line that can be used on an active / active basis. This will ensure capacity and resilience for future growth in terms of traffic to the website and on a wider business basis.

“Our overall experience with edgeNEXUS has been incredible. The support that we’ve received from the technical team in particular has been exceptional and their willingness to help us succeed in whatever we are doing is fantastic!”

Ben Tyson, IT Operations Manager, UNITE Group

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