Web Server Load Balancing with NGINX Plus


Reduced Complexity and Cut Costs by Consolidating Multiple Disparate API Gateway Products into One
McLean, Virginia
Use Cases

Capital One is a major bank with over $360 billion in assets.


Replacing three commercial API gateways.


Replaced Three Commercial Products

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Saved Money and Reduced Complexity

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New Pattern for Internal Application Development Based on NGINX


Capital One offers online and other remote banking services to millions of customers, 24/7. The company also has a substantial commercial business, which requires both internal and external developers to utilize its services and systems. This must be done securely and within the boundaries of strict federal financial compliance laws. Years of banking consolidation also mean that Capital One has a diverse internal environment including new and legacy systems.


Vinayak Hulawale, master software engineer at Capital One, works in the department which is responsible for the company’s middleware services. He said that the internal infrastructure at Capital One was complex to manage and expensive to run.

Hulawale said that Capital One was using three different commercial API gateway products to manage different types of traffic. The company had one gateway for REST APIs, one for SOAP APIs, and one for externally accessed services. This meant that teams were constantly configuring specific gateways to keep up with an ever-changing environment. Instead of making a change once, it had to be made three times every time.

Replacing these gateways was not a simple proposition, either, as the team would require a solution that could handle both SOAP and REST, and do so in a secure fashion at scale.


NGINX is capable of routing SOAP, REST, and secure external traffic in a reliable, scalable fashion. Hulawale and his teams found that a single group of NGINX servers could handle all of their API traffic routing needs, and do so without introducing latency into the equation.

Using NGINX we were able to minimize that infrastructure. With less numbers of instances we are delivering more performance compared to all the other three, and those were commercial products. We are now using open source. We are saving a lot of money on that as well.
– Vinayak Hulawale, Master Software Engineer at Capital One

Not only did NGINX handle the job of three other commercial products, it was also far more performant, requiring fewer servers to handle the same amount of traffic. The transition was completed in December of 2017, and since that time, has been entirely hosted through NGINX.


The transition to NGINX was so successful at Capital One that the internal teams have now packaged their own internal platform for application development based on NGINX. This platform is designed to allow developers to base their designs on NGINX’s scalable load balancing and API routing capabilities, ensuring developers are building for Web scale right from the start.

About Capital One

With over 49,300 employees, Capital One is one of the country’s largest banking institutions and credit companies. Its customers utilize credit vehicles ranging from credit cards, to auto loans, to home mortgages. The company also has a sizeable commercial credit business with over $66 billion in outstanding loans there as of 2017. In all, Capital One earns $27 billion in revenues per year. The company also sponsors the arena where the Washington Capitals play hockey, and the NCAA college football bowl formerly known as the Florida Citrus