F5 Solutions Help Top Chinese Companies Cost-Effectively Enhance Online Services During Prestigious Beijing 2008 Games
F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced its support for major web content providers during the recent Beijing 2008 Games, which saw the largest ever gathering of the world’s athletes. Demand for online services and content surged during the Games–it was estimated that 2.5 million spectators descended on China to watch the Games, while approximately 4 billion viewers followed on television or online. To provide optimized services for the best online viewer experience possible, top Chinese companies such as Sohu.com, CCTV, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) realized the need to ensure that their web applications were secure, fast, and always available during the 17-day period. As part of the effort to ensure high availability on both local and wide-area networks–as well as improve the performance of their web services despite a record surge in online traffic–these companies deployed F5 Application Delivery Networking solutions, including BIG-IP(R) Local Traffic Manager(TM), BIG-IP(R) Global Traffic Manager(TM), and BIG-IP(R) WebAccelerator(TM) devices.
In 2005, Sohu.com was chosen to build, operate, and host the official Games website, Beijing2008.cn. Sohu.com installed F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) to secure, optimize, and deliver applications on the Games website as well as their own Sohu.com. As a result, their websites were able to sustain a ten-fold increase in daily traffic during the Games, while still receiving positive user feedback on the quality of experience.
In a recent report released by the Data Centre of the China Internet (DCCI), Beijing 2008 was followed online by 244 million people in China, or 95.1 percent of Internet users in the country, through the nine websites authorized to broadcast video content of the games. Of these nine sites, Sohu’s website was the most frequently visited site during the period, at 8 percentage points higher than the second-ranking site. The research firm’s figures also showed that 92.6 percent of respondents expressed their approval of Sohu’s live broadcast coverage and reporting of the opening ceremony.
Zhou Lin, Senior Director of Networking Operations, Sohu, said, “F5 has provided us with the technologies to maintain the seamless operation of our websites. As our business continues to grow, we will definitely coordinate with F5 in the future.”
CCTV ensured global high availability and the best possible user experience by deploying BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager (GTM) devices within the networks of China Netcom and China Telecom, and BIG-IP LTM devices in 10 major Chinese cities to ensure that China’s Internet users had reliable and fast access to CCTV.com content. Throughout the 17-day Games, CCTV.com delivered more than 3,800 hours of live webcasts and more than 20,000 additional hours of news, replays, and video-on-demand programs to its online users. According to CSM Media Research, the number of unique visitors to CCTV.com reached 25.13 million during the live telecast on August 8. This number is eight times more than the website’s average daily traffic and the most in CCTV.com’s 12-year history. Despite the heavy traffic to the site, CCTV.com visitors were able to watch the proceedings online without any performance degradation or service interruptions.
ICBC has 170 million individual customers and 2.72 million corporate customers, with online banking services accounting for 42 percent of total banking transactions. The bank anticipated that there would be a spike in demand for online banking services from its customers during the Games, as well as from the estimated 500,000 overseas visitors. The ICBC team concluded that increasing bandwidth to maintain performance of web services was both expensive and unrealistic. Their solution was to load balance their application servers and optimize HTTP traffic. ICBC implemented BIG-IP LTM and BIG-IP WebAccelerator to accelerate user access speeds for its online banking system. As a result, ICBC managed to optimize HTTP traffic, reducing the strain on network resources by 40 percent.
“F5′s value proposition is aimed squarely at customers like Sohu, CCTV, and ICBC that have large volumes of dynamic content being accessed by all types of users–often in unpredictable waves–on their websites. F5′s Application Delivery Networking solutions helped these companies ensure that their websites had the maximum reliability and performance for their applications and infrastructure,” said Song Tang Yih, Vice President of F5 Networks, Asia Pacific. “We are very proud to have supported these companies during such a prestigious event.”
About F5 Networks
F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking. F5 provides solutions that make applications secure, fast, and available for everyone. By adding intelligence and manageability into the network to offload applications and optimize the data storage layer, F5 extends the power of intelligent networking to all levels of application delivery. F5′s extensible architecture optimizes applications, delivers application reliability, and protects the application and network. Enterprise organizations, service providers and Web 2.0 content providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their applications running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with offices worldwide. For more information, go to www.f5.com.
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