A nice part of being vExpert is that different vendors reach out to you to try their products and you’re able to get an NFR licenses on cool technologies in return. Recently, I had the opportunity to try Kemp Technologies’ Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) 5000 application load balancer. I was originally skeptical as there are many generic load balancer vendors out there, but there is few things about KEMP’s VLM-5000 that caught and kept my attention:
– KEMP’s load balancers are delivered in many form factors (Virtual Appliance, Hardware Load Balancer, Bare metal install, & even in the Cloud). Further, they cover most hypervisors out there (VMware vSphere, MS Hyper-V, KVM, Xen, & even Oracle Virtual Box). For each of these hypervisors they actually have built a virtual appliance specific to and optimized for it. I almost cannot think of a scenario, where they cannot get you covered. It is fair to mention though, I have only been able to test them on VMware vSphere as it’s my hypervisor of choice and I rather use a ready to go Virtual Appliance whenever possible.
– I like Kemp Technologies applications approach to positioning their load balancers. I have found on their website a step by step documents that covers how to do load balance many of the most popular enterprise applications. Below is the few use cases that has gotten my attention, but you can look at the following page for the more complete list: http://kemptechnologies.com/loadmaster-documentation/
- VMware Horizon View
- VMware Horizon Workplace
- VMware vCenter Log Insight Manager
- MS Exchange
- MS Sharepoint.
- MS Lync
- MS ADFS
I went through the Horizon View load balancing document and was impressed by how detailed it was. An added bonus is that these guides provide general context and information on the concepts of how these applications work and how load balancing helps to improve their reliance and functionality. I think they are worth checking out. Of course the documentation makes assumptions and may not be suitable for every unique environment but creates a good starting point and with initial Support included free with their products, you should be able to get up and running without a problem.
– Very simple installation and configuration interface. I was able to setup the load balancer and get it to front two Windows terminal services machines in my home lab in less than 2 hours from start to finish (excluding the time I needed to setup the two Windows terminal services machines) without being a networking or load balancing expert. In no time at all I was able to load balance my terminal service sessions without a glitch.
Another fun and cool fact; I thought that their default username and password was pretty interesting and not the usual boring admin/password or root/password. Their defaults for username is ‘bal’ and password is ‘1fourall’. Definitely gave me a peek into the type of fun engineers they must have working on the product.