Manta Beats Bots with Automated Protection

June 29, 2015

As a destination site where about 30 million small and midsize companies market themselves to each other and consumers, Manta is attractive to another form of traffic: web scrapers that use automated bots to steal content and siphon valuable IT resources away from business-facing tasks.

The directory site and its technology team have evolved over its 10-year history. Manta fully embraced DevOps in 2013 after undergoing leadership changes and a business reorganization that focused on enhancing consumers’ ability to locate local service providers, said Russell Garrison, datacenter coordinator in the DevOps group at Manta, in an interview.

Manta next tried using an appliance to solve its bot problems, but the system did not integrate well with the site’s infrastructure, he said. Going back to the drawing board, Manta experimented with other software approaches, each time running into problems, until it heard about Distil Networks, said Garrison.

The investment has paid off multiple times in several ways, he said. “We enjoy much easier and more cost-effective protection of the site and there’s just recently been the case of a very, very determined adversary using massively distributed denial of service to attack the site. It presented some challenges, but Distil took almost the majority of the traffic and effectively detected it and blocked it,” he said. “Without Distil, even without the microservices, it would have been a nightmare.”

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