Opera Australia Bets Performance Quality on 2X Reliability

As one of Australia's pre-eminent landmarks, the Sydney Opera House is well-known to frequent travelers and the general public alike. What is not so well known is the day-to-day operations of the company with exclusive use of the Opera House facility, Opera Australia. As an all-in-one production firm, the company has to ensure that production targets are met for each show date, requiring the flawless efficiency of the company's server-based computing environment.

Grant Cresswell is IT Manager at Opera Australia, and explains that the company used Microsoft Terminal Server for remote server access, due to its attractive product pricing. Without an idea of the demands already placed upon their server of choice, Grant had no way of efficiently balancing application demands with available resources among his server base, resulting in highly inefficient application delivery and slow network speeds, testing the ability of the Opera Australia staff to meet their opera production targets.

As a solution to Opera Australia's network problems, Grant investigated load balancing solutions and eventually settled upon the 2X LoadBalancer, initially choosing it because of its low cost compared to other load balancing solutions. Grant installed the 2X LoadBalancer to six of his seven 32-bit terminal servers, leaving one server as a backup. All servers use Windows 2003 R2, without active virtualization platforms. Microsoft Terminal Services is still used as a partial solution, but is heavily supported by the 2X LoadBalancer, which Grant explains has helped convert very long wait times to "virtually nothing."

Grant described the benefits of the 2X LoadBalancer as falling in two main areas, providing both effective resource management to improve the company's network speeds, but also allowing the system to be managed through an incredibly simple user interface. In describing the effectiveness of the 2X LoadBalancer addition, Grant mentions that the product performed remarkably well, even given the fact that it was installed right as the company's IT crew was transitioning its outsourced IT help desk functionality to another source. While complaints about network speeds and application delivery performance used to be a "constant issue", especially when using the Lotus Notes client for remote application use, Grant reiterates that since the integration of the 2X LoadBalancer, the number of complaints has been reducted "to nothing", making his job as IT Manager "a much simpler one." The reliability of the solution has thus given Opera Australia peace of mind in knowing that, with a schedule where "the show must go on", they have the computing resources they need to meet production targets with ease.

The 2X LoadBalancer's performance additions are coupled with the fact that Grant describes the solution as "extremely simple to use." He notes that "within five minutes of being shown what the product is and how it performs load balancing functions, I was fully comfortable with using the product, being able to monitor each terminal server without a hitch. He explains that "I know 2X products are built in a simple way that allows them to perform exactly as expected", which makes them a great option for future expansion plans.

The 2X LoadBalancer for Terminal Services/Citrix allows you to provide fault tolerance and easily load balance RDP/ICA sessions among terminal servers. In addition, back-end terminal services can be hidden when providing Internet logins, exposing a single gateway machine and significantly increasing terminal server security.

Resource-based load balancing
Ensures terminal server redundancy
Reconnects users to disconnected and active sessions
Integration with 2X ApplicationServer
Firewall friendly, end-to-end SSL encryption
Supports Microsoft Terminal Services and Citrix.

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