NGINX.COM
Web Server Load Balancing with NGINX Plus

SISTIC Lowers Costs by 80% and Accelerates Go-to-Market Speed with NGINX Plus

NGINX Plus Is the Core of the Dynamic Architecture for SISTIC's New Container-Based Cloud Platform
Headquarters
Singapore
Founded
1991
Use Cases
, ,
Solutions
Overview

SISTIC, the leading and largest ticketing agency in Singapore, provides a seamless online ticketing experience for a broad portfolio of major arts, culture, and entertainment events.

Challenge

For its new private cloud that hosts containerized microservices-based apps, SISTIC needed an equally dynamic architecture with load balancing and associated services that its application teams could manage directly and integrate into their automated CI/CD pipelines.

Results

Cost Cutting icon

80% Cost Savings

Scale Up icon

Infinite Scalability

Faster Go-to-Market Capability

Overview

SISTIC is Singapore’s leading and largest ticketing agency, handling an extensive portfolio of major events each year with a seamless ticketing solution and a one‑stop marketplace dedicated to the arts, culture and entertainment. It recently added a second private cloud for greater scalability and faster deployment of app updates. SISTIC needed a new architecture that could match the dynamism of its container‑based cloud platform. The agency was looking for an easier way to manage application services, and hoped to lower costs as well. To achieve these objectives, SISTIC turned to NGINX Plus.

To maintain its leadership in the event ticketing industry, SISTIC needs not only to maintain an enhanced ticketing experience for its customers, but also to scale to keep up with demand. Utilizing F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) to deliver its application services to the customers in a reliable, secure, and optimized way, the agency also has the extensibility, flexibility, and programmability to manage its cloud, virtual, and physical infrastructure. F5 BIG-IP LTM sits at the frontend of SISTIC’s environment – doing the heavy lifting, providing advanced application services, and improving the security, performance, and resilience for hundreds or even thousands of applications that sit behind it.

Challenge

As SISTIC marketed more events and targeted more customers, the agency was looking to scale up its application services. The shift to microservices and the resulting changes to the people, processes, and technology of its application infrastructure require frequent changes to apps. In addition, the F5 BIG-IP LTM platform was managed solely by SISTIC’s infrastructure and security teams. The application team was more familiar with the customer public‑facing redirections requirement, but was not able to access the F5 BIG-IP LTM directly. It had to submit change requests to the infrastructure team, causing delays. SISTIC needed a platform that can integrate easily into workflows to accelerate application deployment, while retaining the power to simplify, automate, and customize its application services faster and more predictably.

More importantly, SISTIC wanted to build a second private cloud that featured containerization. While leveraging containers meant that SISTIC could develop cloud‑native apps faster with a ‘write once, run anywhere’ methodology, trying to fit the second cloud into a traditional IT‑managed static configuration meant deployment could not be maximally efficient. With a traditional system it can also be challenging to increase agility and flexibility without impacting current applications or the customer experience.

Instead of attempting to retrofit the current architecture to suit a new set of needs, parameters, and standards, SISTIC needed a cost‑effective solution that was just as dynamic as its container‑based cloud platform and applications.

With a second, containerized private cloud, we had to ensure minimal impact and downtime to our existing ticketing solution. We knew that if we stuck to a traditional configuration, we could face challenges with deployment efficiency and scalability. We needed a cost‑effective way to address these and enable our teams to enjoy smoother collaboration so that they can introduce new and better features for our customers.
– William Chew, Manager, IT Infrastructure & Service Delivery

Solution

To accelerate app deployment and simplify app lifecycle management, SISTIC needed a self‑service, API‑driven platform that integrates easily into DevOps workflows. The agency opted to deploy NGINX Plus as a lightweight software load balancer to streamline its architecture and reduce costs. SISTIC retained its F5 BIG-IP LTM infrastructure at the frontend to provide advanced application services to its mission‑critical apps, and placed NGINX Plus directly in front of its modern application environments.

NGINX Plus is decoupled from the hardware and operating system, fitting directly into SISTIC’s application stack. NGINX Plus empowers both the infrastructure and application teams to directly manage software load balancing and configure any associated application services, automating them as part of a CI/CD framework. Its user‑friendly and customizable features enable SISTIC to streamline and enjoy better manageability of its application services. No longer required to submit change requests to the infrastructure team, application teams can implement configuration changes and new features within a week instead of months.

NGINX Plus also supports the second, containerized private cloud. Its programmability and light weight mean it consumes very few compute resources and imposes little to no additional strain on SISTIC’s infrastructure, making it ideal for container environments used by the application teams. NGINX Plus enables optimal performance of SISTIC’s cloud‑based system, while providing the agility to keep up with the dynamic and transient nature of containerized application lifecycles, where containers often spin up and down on a minute-by-minute basis.

Used on all of SISTIC’s customer‑facing web servers, NGINX Plus has successfully extended existing load‑balancing capabilities, enabling the agency to scale out and handle more users than with a single server. Should one server fail, other servers are readily available, ensuring that SISTIC’s applications are constantly available.

In addition to its load balancing capabilities, NGINX Plus is an all-in-one API gateway, sidecar proxy, content cache, and web server. It delivers static assets with unparalleled speed and efficiency, handling hundreds of thousands of customers simultaneously. NGINX Plus also provides session persistence to direct user requests to the same backend server, active health checks to improve reliability by detecting unhealthy servers and directing requests away from them, and DNS service discovery to automatically detect devices and services on a network and shorten the set‑up process.

NGINX Plus caching improves application performance, even when users hit the same URLs repeatedly in a short period of time. With NGINX Plus, application teams can rewrite routing rules in an agile way, enabling SISTIC to configure permanent or temporary redirects for selected URLs.

Thanks to NGINX Plus, we were able to save 80% of costs and enjoy faster go-to-market for new application features. Its usability allows my team to collaborate better with the applications team, enabling us to successfully streamline our processes and manage our overheads. With this new deployment, we faced hardly any issues and thoroughly enjoy using it. Needless to say, we are impressed by how NGINX Plus solidifies its value proposition of speed, scalability, and ease of use across any platform.
– William Chew

Results

80% Cost Savings

NGINX Plus has enabled SISTIC to add a second, container‑based private cloud in an extremely cost‑effective way, as compared to a traditional IT‑managed static configuration.

Hyperscale Across Applications

NGINX Plus allows SISTIC to scale flexibly and seamlessly. The distribution across several application servers also means that users can be handled by more than one server without affecting the runtime of current applications or the user experience.

Faster Go-To-Market Capability

NGINX Plus enables SISTIC to run, produce, and deploy new products and services in a much shorter timeframe than before  – a week, rather than months – without compromising performance or functionality. The agency also saw a 95% improvement in feature velocity. This is aided by better manageability, as new configuration changes and requests are now implemented much faster.