Blinkbox Movie and TV Streaming Service Moves to Cloud

Saves Millions of Dollars with Barracuda Web Application Firewall and Microsoft Azure

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Summary

Profile

  • Movie streaming business
  • 1,000,000 movie and TV customers (users)
  • 20,000 movies and TV episodes available online

Challenges

  • Backing up 1 PB of data safely and securely is logistically challenging
  • Current solution meant waiting for weeks to receive additional web encoding servers
  • New solution required the additional security needed to keep customer data safe and maintain levels of customer experience

Solution

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Barracuda Web Application Firewall

Results

  • Automation of new threat blockers
  • Little additional training required
  • Engineer time saved, so can be spent on improving customer experience
  • Cost effective solution
  • Estimated to save millions of pounds because of Microsoft Azure and Barracuda Web Application Firewall

A Next-generation Dynamic Platform

Founded in 2006 and acquired by Tesco in 2011, today, blinkbox has been described as "the best UK movie streaming service around."1 Customers can use blinkbox to watch the latest blockbuster movies and TV shows without the need for a subscription. With a library of over 20,000 movies and TV episodes, blinkbox needed an enterprise-sized data center that offered high security, flexibility, and that ran as fast as possible.

Delivering an application that is scalable and secure, while providing a great customer experience can be challenging. As blinkbox grew and expanded, the reliability and security of its IT infrastructure became increasingly critical to the successful running of the business.

The challenge for blinkbox is that its application must always be available. There’s no room for error. It is constantly growing and evolving; both the number of users accessing the service, and the number of titles that are available for customers to choose from. Application downtime is simply not an option. An important requirement is that the application must be secure in order to maintain the high degree of customer confidence in the blinkbox service.

1. By The Gadget Show

Finding the Right Solution

Sarju Mashru, principal IT operations engineer lead at blinkbox, commented: “For blinkbox, the application is our business. It has to be available, secure, and provide a seamless user experience.”

blinkbox began its application overhaul in 2012, when it was introduced to Microsoft Azure’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings, which suited the company’s needs perfectly. With security being a top concern for blinkbox when considering moving its data to the cloud, the Barracuda Web Application Firewall integration played a significant role in the decision-making process. The exclusive strategic relationship between Barracuda and Microsoft Azure enables organizations to secure their cloud applications with the same high levels of protection used in the most security conscious onpremise data centers. With this in mind, it was an easy decision for blinkbox to migrate its data storage, encoding, web-servers and all of its applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud, protected by the Barracuda Web Application Firewall.

Maximum Security and a Next-Generation Platform

The Microsoft Azure cloud has the Barracuda Web Application Firewall integrated for total application security, with no need to learn, configure or manage complex technology. The combination of the Barracuda Web Application Firewall and Microsoft Azure provides blinkbox with a platform to both deliver a superior solution to its customers today, and to dynamically respond to customer needs in the future. This can now be delivered in a very cost effective way, saving blinkbox millions of dollars. Reflecting on the services that blinkbox is able to offer its customers as a result of utilising Microsoft Azure and Barracuda Web Application Firewall, Mashru said: “The physical data centre model no longer works for a company like ours. Microsoft Azure and the Barracuda Web Application Firewall provide everything that a dynamic company like ours requires”.

"The physical data center model no longer works for a company like ours. Microsoft Azure and the Barracuda Web Application Firewall provide everything that a dynamic company like ours requires."
- Sarju Mashru, Principal IT operations engineer, blinkbox

He continued, “Security is an important priority for us. With additional, essential layers of security such as the Barracuda Web Application Firewall, we are able to operate a secure environment. The Barracuda Web Application Firewall provides us with the full physical data center load balancer and web application firewall functionality in the cloud, which is essential for an enterprise like ours to maintain our online presence.”

The Barracuda Web Application Firewall provides an extra layer of fine-grained security, which allows the blinkbox engineers to closely monitor traffic profiles and automatically mitigate unusual behavior and attacks.

Commenting on its deployment and ease-of-use, Mashru adds: “The rollout went very well. As with Microsoft, the support from Barracuda has been excellent and the technical staff members are extremely knowledgeable. We haven’t had to spend hours configuring and tuning, freeing up our time to improve our customers’ experience.”

Mashru continued, “For us, a key element of moving to the cloud has been the dynamic nature in which we can scale up or down, synchronizing with customer demand. Our engineers have now been freed up to concentrate on optimization, performance, and automation”.

The move to the cloud is expected to save blinkbox millions of dollars over the coming years. The reliability and vigilance of the Barracuda Web Application Firewall is a key component of this success.

About Barracuda

Protecting users, applications, and data for more than 150,000 organizations worldwide, Barracuda Networks has developed a global reputation as the go-to leader for powerful, easy-to-use, affordable IT solutions. The company’s proven customercentric business model focuses on delivering high-value, subscriptionbased IT solutions for security and storage. For additional information, please visit barracuda.com. or follow us on Twitter@barracuda.

About Barracuda Web Application Firewall

The Barracuda Web Application Firewall blocks an ever-expanding list of sophisticated web-based intrusions and attacks that target the applications hosted on your web servers - as well as the sensitive or confidential data to which they have access

Fast Facts

  • The first Web Application Firewall (WAF) available for Microsoft Azure
  • Comprehensive inbound attack protection including the OWASP Top 10
  • Built-in caching, compression, and TCP pooling ensure security without performance impacts
  • Identity-based user access control for web applications
  • Built-in data loss prevention
  • Microsoft Azure Certified