Deploy digital advertising platform on AWS with Citrix ADC

With the evolving nature of digital platforms, a wide range of advertising applications are available. For example, social media, direct mail, videos, banners, pops, interstitials, rich media and so on. Advertisers are embracing video advertising networks at a fast pace, constituting nearly 40% of the advertisement traffic. But with more usage of mobiles by the modern users, running video ads on the mobile platform has seen considerable surge.

The digital advertising platforms face several challenges. Some of the challenges are:

  • Security threats
  • High operational costs
  • Wide range of devices are available to send traffic over the internet. The different protocols for real-time communication pose the following challenges:
    • webRTC
    • Adaptive streaming
    • UDP for video, where WebRTC uses UDP over HTTP

To deal with the complex behavior of advertising platforms, Citrix ADC solution with its whole suite of capabilities and features well integrated with AWS, provides an instant, secure, and reliable access to digital advertisement inventory, anywhere and anytime. Citrix ADC plays a critical role in delivering the SaaS and web apps for digital platforms.

Digital advertising platform integration with Citrix ADC

Digital advertising platform overview

The digital advertising platform consists of the following key components:

  • Ad exchange
  • Ad network
  • Demand side platform (DSP)
  • Supply side platform (SSP)
  • Real time bidding (RTB) systems

An overview of the process followed in an advertising system is as follows.

  • The first transaction happens when the user visits the website.
  • This triggers a bid/advertisement request (including user’s demographic information) that is sent to the ad server or publisher contacting an ad exchange.
  • The Ad publishers send the advertisement request to an Ad exchange through SSPs.
  • The Ad exchange submits this request and the accompanying data to DSP telling there is an impression or advertisement request available. Therefore, multiple advertisers can automatically submit bids in real time to place their advertisements.
  • Meanwhile, the advertisers must set up their campaigns in DSP. Use the information about the user from Data Management Platform (DMP) to assess the amount they are willing to pay for delivering an advertisement to the user.
  • DSPs submit these real-time bids on each advertisement impression because it is served to the advertisement exchange.
  • Whichever bidder bids the most within a time period set by the Ad exchange or SSPs, gets an advertisement slot by the publishers to serve their advertisements. Otherwise, they lose the opportunity to get the right advertisement for their key demographic.

How digital advertising platform is integrated with Citrix ADC

The following diagram illustrates how the different components of advertising platform communicate with Citrix ADC and Citrix Application Delivery Management (ADM) to serve online advertisements.

digital advertising platform

How Citrix ADC contributes

In the advertisement publishing process, Citrix ADC solution helps in handling and processing the inconsistent influx of bid traffic. It acts as an entry point for all traffic to ensure scalability and availability across the availability zones. To cater to the elastic nature of advertising traffic, it is deployed in an autoscaling group in front of web applications and database servers.

The advertising platform on AWS with Citrix ADC solution allows you to get the real-time performance, high scalability, and high availability across the globe. You can buy and sell rich media, video, mobile, and native advertisements in real time. It reduces the overall operational cost and latency involved in running an Advertising platform. It is the best performing proxy with the rich capabilities of gracefully removing the back-end servers during Autoscale, connection multiplexing, and ensuring that the end-user traffic never gets impacted. Citrix ADC supports load balancing the HTTP, UDP, WebRTC, and RTSP protocols that are used in the advertising platforms.

Citrix ADC fits coherently into the AWS environment with the following key attributes:

  • Content switching – Switch to the right platform based on host name.
  • Security protection – Use web application firewall (WAF) functionality, rate limiting (through Client IP), and protection against DDoS attacks.
  • Autoscaling of both front-end and back-end traffic.
  • End-to-end visibility, and anomaly detection across ADC appliances by utilizing ADM.
  • Low latency.

How Citrix ADM contributes

Citrix ADC utilizes Citrix ADM to overcome the following challenges faced by the digital advertising platforms:

  • Identify the trend deviations from expected performance
  • Real-time application performance analysis
  • Capacity monitoring

Advantages of advertising platform integration with Citrix ADC and ADM

The Citrix ADC solution offers the following capabilities and benefits to a digital advertising platform vendor.

Low cost

  • Integrated with AWS Autoscaling service, the Citrix ADC VPX instance can scale up or down your front-end and back-end resources automatically. This provides a zero-touch configuration catering to the elasticity of advertising platforms.
  • Consolidation of delivering all types of traffic from a single point.

For more information on AWS autoscaling, see Add back-end AWS Autoscaling service.

High availability

  • If one Availability Zone becomes unavailable, Citrix ADC applies its fault tolerance ability to autodetect the servers in another availability zone, without any traffic interruption.
  • Also, It gracefully terminates servers avoiding the loss of client connections.

For more information, see How high availability on AWS works.

Application performance analytics

Citrix ADM intelligent analytics and application performance analytics ensures to:

  • Gain visibility into the issues (server response anomalies, 5XX errors, and so on) plaguing the end user experience.
  • Alert the administrator to take corrective actions immediately.

For more information, see Performance indicators for application analytics.

Rich firewall security

Most common security vulnerabilities occur in web applications rather in networks. It is vital to protect your web applications from unauthorized access such as bots, data thefts, and application layer attacks.

Citrix ADC provides comprehensive and integrated Layer 4 to Layer 7 security that includes:

  • Web App Firewall (WAF) to protect your web applications, identify, and mitigate malicious bots with regularly updated bot signatures and behaviour-based detection.
  • Rate limiting to prevent an advertising platform from being overwhelmed.

For more information, see Citrix Web App Firewall.

Select the right AWS instance type for advertising platform

Choose the right AWS instance type for ADC depending on the following two factors:

  • Number of users simultaneously accessing the advertising platform.
  • Average number of users on the platform.

The Citrix ADC can be deployed in various EC2 instances, which include c5, c5n, m5, and so on. For advertising platforms, use the following AWS instance types:

  • c5 or c5n is appropriate for handling SSL heavy traffic.
  • c5.large can handle up to 1000 SSL TPS.

For more information, see VPX-AWS support matrix.

Deploy digital advertising platform on AWS with Citrix ADC