Enterprise financial services provider

Login VSI Reduces Cost of Services With Automated Launching of EC2 Instances

Login VSI needed to validate both capacity and high-availability capabilities for a client’s VDI. Login VSI turned to Allata to provide a virtual server infrastructure in AWS to support the load testing against a NetScaler MPX SSL VPN configuration. The client requested Login VSI provide the infrastructure components to assist with expediting the testing process for 20,000 simulated end users. The testing allowed the client to successfully identify and mitigate issues prior to the VDI going live.

Computing services in cloud, data server in technology clouds.

key deliverables

  • Automated the launch, configuration and stop of AWS Elastic Cloud Computer (EC2) spot instances.
  • Activated AWS state management to ensure configurations perform consistently.
  • Delivered ability to extend and reuse the automated virtual server infrastructure for other clients.
  • Enabled specification of the region from where the testing fleet are launched, the machine images, the number of instances, and the bid price for the instances.
  • Provided abstraction from AWS complexity for ease-of-use by resources without AWS expertise.

tools & technologies

  • Python
  • Terraform
  • CloudFormation
  • RDS
  • Route 53
  • CloudFront
  • S3
  • AWS Software Development Kit
  • AWS Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) Spot Fleet
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • AWS Simple Storage Service (S3)
  • AWS Elastic Block Storage (EBS)
  • KMS
  • WAF
  • API Gateway

The Challenge

Virtual Server Set-Up Costs Limit Testing Scope

The Login VSI load-testing solution generates a large number of synthetic users to test and protect the performance and scalability of your new and existing VDI, SBC and DaaS deployments. Login VSI offers software solutions to test and actively monitor the performance and availability of virtual desktop
environments running on premise and in the cloud. The company provides solutions that can generate large numbers of synthetic users to test and protect the performance and scalability of virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI).

As Login VSI began to design a VDI testing solution for a large enterprise client in the financial sector, the internal cost to the client to deploy the solution presented a potential roadblock. The client’s VDI required testing 20,000 synthetic end users. To simulate that many users all at once, the client would
need to deploy a significant number of virtual machines to run the Login VSI load testing solution.

Additionally, the test was part of the client’s Disaster Recovery (DR) planning, whereby they wanted to test the assumption that their office campus was destroyed, but their data center DR plan had successfully ensured their systems remained available. Specifically, they wanted to determine if their Netscaler environment could manage up to 20,000 desktop sessions connecting from remote locations. For both these reasons, it became clear that a public cloud-based approach to the project would be optimal. Given Allata’s expertise in building scale-out solutions on AWS, Login VSI partnered with Allata to deliver the total solution for the client.

The Solution

Automated AWS Spot Instances Provides Reliable and Cost-Effective Resources

The automated instances created by Allata enable businesses to leverage the benefits of cloud computing.

Allata enabled us to significantly reduce the cost of deploying virtual servers for the benefit of our client. They recommended using Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) spot instances from Amazon Web Services (AWS) which also significantly accelerated the timing of the project.

Richard Scannell, GM Login VSI Inc.

AWS spot instances are ideal for the testing services Login VSI offers, which typically run for 45 minutes at a time. The instances are bid on in an auction-style AWS marketplace. The instance can then be purchased to run one hour and shut down once the tests are run. Utilizing spot instance reduces the cost of using each virtual server down to pennies per hour.

With the automation framework Allata created for us on AWS, we can now offer this same type of large test capability to other clients. In particular, this DR test scenario is one many large organizations face but have limited ability to exercise. Leveraging AWS spot instances dramatically changes the feasibility, timing and economics of such a test.

Richard Scannell, GM Login VSI Inc.

Best in class Load Testing at an economical cost. A key benefit for Login VSI is that Allata automated the entire process to bid on AWS spot instances and then deploy the VM’s, use them for testing, and shut them down when no longer needed.

When we’re ready to run tests for a client, we simply plug in the number of servers we need and the maximum bid price we’re willing to pay. Within a few minutes the infrastructure we need is available, and we can run the tests for our clients. We can even set it up so that clients can run the test themselves if that is what they prefer.

Richard Scannell, GM Login VSI Inc.

With the automated virtual server infrastructure solution developed by Allata, Login VSI was able to provide the full 20,000 end-user testing licenses to its client. Future opportunities will no longer be limited by the number of virtual servers that clients can afford to deploy. Utilizing AWS also allows Login VSI to simulate remote end-user boot storms that might originate from a particular geographic region. The virtual servers running the tests can be set up at an AWS data center in the northeast, for example, if a client needs to see what happens when 10,000 users from that region try to log into a VDI at the same time.

Thanks to Allata, we have significantly reduced the cost of our deployed solution and expanded the size of the testing we can now offer our clients. Whether a client needs to test 20K, 50K or 100K simultaneous users hitting their VDI at the same time, we now have a cost-effective way to do so.

Richard Scannell, GM Login VSI Inc.

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