If you’re a scientist or engineer, you’re probably familiar with NI — the world’s premier vendor of automated testing and measurement tools. The company’s lineup of software and modular hardware is used for everything from circuit design to biomedical research. With so many customers that work in mission-critical environments, NI needs an online presence that instills trust and confidence.

“NI is a global company, with customers evenly distributed around the globe. We needed a good way to deliver software and content to these customers out of our datacenter in Austin in a performant, reliable manner.”

- Robert Cope
Infrastructure Architect, NI
The Challenge -------------

NI is no stranger to complexity, but one of its chief difficulties stemmed from a relatively straightforward task: file downloads.

As with many modern software distributors, NI gives customers a way to download applications directly from its website, with predictably large file sizes. But few cache operators can properly handle downloads this large, and the vendor NI had been using was regularly aging out these files from its cache.

结果,NI 的许多下载流量被路由到其位于德克萨斯州奥斯汀市、为全球客户提供服务的源站,结果并不理想。关于下载速度过慢的报告涌入 NI 的客服部门。即使是位于公司区域办事处的员工也留意到速度下降。

“There was a continuous amount of feedback that customers were having a poor download experience. And at the same time, the CDN vendor was handing us some pricey monthly invoices. That’s just a bad mix.”

- Eric McCraw
Senior IT Manager - Web Systems & Cloud Center of Excellence, NI
这些投诉尤其令人担忧,因为它对我们的业务产生了广泛影响。正如 NI 基础设施架构师 Robert Cope 所说:“鉴于我们业务的技术性质,如果我们连‘如此简单’的事情都做不好,他们为何要购买我们的高科技产品呢?


The Cloudflare Difference

As a global company with over a billion dollars in annual revenue, switching CDN providers isn’t something NI took lightly. NI’s infrastructure team deployed monitoring points around the globe to benchmark five competitive services, with special attention given to their ability to handle large file sizes. After a rigorous process — spanning everything from customer support to performance to price — Cloudflare came out on top.

“In our testing, Cloudflare delivered the fastest worldwide performance, and they worked with us to ensure our large files would be delivered as quickly as possible.

Cloudflare’s worldwide footprint, including in China, played a big part in our decision. And we’re seeing considerable savings compared to our previous provider.”
- Robert Cope
Infrastructure Architect, NI
In addition to Cloudflare’s CDN, NI also enabled performance-enhancing features like Argo Smart Routing — with compelling results. Since switching to Cloudflare, the number of customer complaints about download performance has dwindled to a trickle, and the NI team is exploring additional ways to leverage Cloudflare’s product portfolio.
“Another advantage with Cloudflare is its flexibility. Between its robust API and the extensibility enabled by Cloudflare Workers, we knew we’d be able to deploy tweaks as needed. Plus we get excellent DDoS and WAF security protection as part of Cloudflare’s core package, which would have been very expensive on our previous provider.”
- Eric McCraw
Senior IT Manager - Web Systems & Cloud Center of Excellence NI

• NI struggled to deliver large file downloads to its customers, despite having a CDN.

•通过迁移到 Cloudflare,NI 得以提高下载速度(包括在中国)。

•使用 Cloudflare Workers,NI 得以自定义设置并快速迭代新的改进。

•Argo Smart Routing 进一步提高了 NI 的性能。

在我们的测试中,Cloudflare 提供了最快的全球性能,并与我们共同努力,确保我们的大文件能够尽快传输。

Robert Cope
Infrastructure Architect, NI