Caliente.mx is Mexico’s number-one online gaming and live sports betting platform. It provides over 220 million monthly visitors with a secure, convenient online gaming and betting experience. In addition to hosting slot machines, blackjack, and other popular casino games, the site allows players to place live bets on in-progress sports events.
To keep its users engaged, Caliente.mx streams sports matches from around the world, featuring international leagues (NFL, NBA, Champions League, etc.), National Leagues (LMB, LNBP), major tournaments, and much more.
As one of the top ten most-visited websites in Mexico, Caliente.mx operates in a marketplace where annual revenue from regulated online gaming exceeds USD 500 million. That revenue continues to grow as Mexico’s population of 128 million passes 90% mobile and internet penetration.
To capitalize on that growth, Caliente.mx had clear priorities. First came data security — Caliente.mx sought to protect its customers against fraud and safeguard customer financial and personal identifiable information (PII) while securing its internal data and cloud infrastructure.
“Our largest issue was malicious third parties trying to access our users’ accounts or personal information, either manually or by using automated bots,” explains Lior Gross, Director of Software Development at Caliente.mx. “Stopping those attacks was the key to differentiating ourselves and earning customer trust. Everybody needed to know they could rely on us.”
Next on Caliente.mx’s list was improving the site’s performance and scalability. To provide its customers with the best possible live-action betting and sports viewing experience, the company needed to stream content in real time to ensure accurate betting. It needed to ensure lag-free service no matter the size of the event, the number of players, or where in Mexico, Central, or South America a customer logged in.
“Our services needed to be as fast as a televised broadcast, if not faster — we didn’t want our customers receiving old information,” says Gross. “We needed a streaming and content delivery solution that could give us the highest throughput and lowest possible latency across our entire customer base, not just those nearest the US.”
Finally, the company wanted a solution that was as easy to implement and maintain as it was effective.
“It has always been a struggle to keep our systems both secure and performant,” Gross explains. “We didn’t want to compromise — we wanted a single solution to provide our users with the safest, most responsive gaming experience possible.”
To refocus on improving the Caliente.mx experience and better attract and retain customers, Caliente wanted to eradicate the complexity of maintaining multiple vendor systems and relationships.
After investigating the products of several networking and security providers, Caliente.mx selected Cloudflare. The single-vendor Cloudflare platform stood out from the competition based on the flexibility and rich functionality of its comprehensive platform and the wide-ranging coverage of its global network.
“Cloudflare offered everything we needed. We didn’t have to make concessions,” says Gross. “It was a holistic solution with optimized tools that met all of our needs, right down to servers in cities around Mexico.”
Caliente.mx began its journey by implementing Cloudflare application security and performance services. Working with the Cloudflare team to unify its security and analytical tools under the Cloudflare interface, Caliente.mx upgraded its defensive stance against data scrapers, automated threats, and credential harvesters with the Cloudflare Web Application Firewall (WAF), DDoS Protection, and Bot Management. The single source of truth provided by a consolidated solution immediately improved the team’s visibility into the business.
“Knowledge is power — analyzing the data that passes through Cloudflare helps us better protect our customers' money and information by allowing us to rapidly identify and eliminate vulnerabilities we previously couldn’t see,” says Gross. “Cloudflare improved our security posture and significantly reduced the number of attacks on our networks and customers.”
Next, Caliente.mx turned to Cloudflare to optimize internal security and work towards the company’s goal of securing and simplifying employee access to cloud-based resources. Access, the Cloudflare Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) tool, has allowed the company to easily secure remote access to its cloud-based internal web applications and content management systems.
“Zero Trust allows us to protect our sensitive work environments without the complexity of specialized hardware or legacy tools,” says Gross. “Cloudflare is more secure, and even our less technical teams can do their jobs without the friction common to a traditional VPN. As proof of our success, with Access, we rarely receive support requests from employees trying to log in to do their jobs.”
With its website, applications, and employee access secure, Caliente.mx focused on improving the Caliente.mx user experience by increasing site performance. To achieve this, in keeping with its vendor consolidation initiative, the company harnessed the Cloudflare Developer Platform. The company’s deployment included Cloudflare Workers, Pages, Stream, and R2 — all highly-configurable, inter-compatible, and edge-based development tools and services.
Workers and Pages provided the development teams at Caliente.mx with a cost-effective method of modernizing old code and moving applications out onto the global network. Using the Developer Platform, Caliente.mx could rapidly scale services and deploy applications to the global network nearest the company’s users.
“The Cloudflare Developer Platform simplifies our jobs as developers, making complex tasks more manageable,” says Gross. “Using Cloudflare we have been able to clean up our code and streamline the way we configure, deploy and modify our applications”.
Used together, the Cloudflare CDN, Pages, and Workers ensure that static and dynamic content delivery for the Caliente.mx gaming and live betting applications is nearly instantaneous.
To further enhance the user experience, Caliente.mx also implemented Cloudflare Stream to ensure faultless delivery of the platform’s live event video broadcasts. Using Cloudflare Stream on the network edge to avoid poor performance across Mexico and Latin America is a critical part of the company’s strategy to scale its live video streams alongside the growing Caliente.mx user base.
“With Cloudflare Stream, our users see every live event with the lowest latency possible. There are no synchronization issues updating the odds, and they will never miss a bet or hear their neighbors cheering before they see the touchdown,” says Gross.
Further enhancing performance while keeping Caliente’s costs down is R2, the S3-compatible Cloudflare storage platform. Fully integrated with Workers, the Cloudflare global network, and the rest of the Cloudflare platform, R2 allows Caliente to store its data on the edge without vendor lock-in or the expense of accessing it.
“In addition to serious performance gains, R2 saves Caliente.mx thousands of dollars each month in egress fees,” says Gross “Cloudflare eliminated those costs entirely — we no longer have the overhead of connecting multiple services and cloud providers.”
Driven in part by unmatched Cloudflare performance and support throughout Mexico and Latin America, Caliente.mx intends to continue expanding its use of Zero Trust to secure its office and production environments.
“We want Cloudflare to secure all our internal systems,” says Gross. "Speaking Spanish with our local and US-based Cloudflare teams makes it much easier for us to pass information back and forth. That strong commitment to working in Mexico is one of the reasons we are always looking for new ways to improve using Cloudflare tools.”
Simplified administration, configuration, and implementation overheads by consolidating application security, Zero Trust, network performance, video streaming, and development tools onto a single cloud-native platform
Reduced S3-compatible storage costs by eliminating multiple-vendor egress fees to save thousands of dollars monthly with R2
Enabled development teams to modernize old code and rapidly deploy and configure highly performant serverless applications using Workers and Pages
Secured customer accounts and PII from automated credential harvesters
“Zero Trust allows us to protect our sensitive network environments without the complexity of specialized hardware or legacy tools. Cloudflare Access is more secure, and even our less technical teams can do their jobs without the friction common to traditional VPNs.”
Director of Software Development
“Cloudflare offered everything we needed. We didn't have to make concessions — it provided a holistic solution with optimized tools that met our needs, right down to servers in cities around Mexico.”
Director of Software Development