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Kemp LoadMaster OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Kemp LoadMaster is #2 ranked solution in top Application Delivery Controllers. PeerSpot users give Kemp LoadMaster an average rating of 10 out of 10. Kemp LoadMaster is most commonly compared to HAProxy: Kemp LoadMaster vs HAProxy. Kemp LoadMaster is popular among the small business segment, accounting for 37% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 29% of all views.
What is Kemp LoadMaster?

Kemp LoadMaster provides High Availability, Scalability and Security for Application Delivery. Optimized load balancers for Hybrid Cloud and Public Cloud deployments. Available for Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS.

Kemp LoadMaster was previously known as LoadMaster Load Balancer.

Kemp LoadMaster Buyer's Guide

Download the Kemp LoadMaster Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2022

Kemp LoadMaster Customers

Kent County Council, KEMP, SMA Solar Technology AG, RT€ Player , Victrix (Quebec, Canada), Texas A&M, Macmillan Cancer Support, Cisco, Austin Bank

Kemp LoadMaster Video

Kemp LoadMaster Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Kemp LoadMaster pricing:
  • "They have multiple tiers of licensing and you can upgrade it easily."
  • "It is well-priced and licensing is very flexible."
  • "Pricing for the perpetual licensing was fair to us for the features and ease of use we received."
  • Kemp LoadMaster Reviews

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    IT Manager at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Intuitive interface and can be used practically with any application in the backend
    Pros and Cons
    • "I like that this is a Network Load Balancer that can be used practically with any application in the backend. They have how-to guides on how to set up Kemp NLB with Exchange, but you can use it as well for Sharepoint, RDS, or any other back end server."
    • "The product is really good as-is out of the box. If there is one thing I would change is to have the license file not be coupled with the MAC address of the device. This is actually not really useful in a virtual environment where if you have a single VM with KEMP LoadMaster and you have not set up static MAC Address, if you, for example, recreate the VM and just load the disk file on a new VM it will get new MAC address and the NLB will not work as it will not see a proper license."

    What is our primary use case?

    I used it as a front end to an RDS Farm. Its load-balancing port 80 and port 443 to multiple RDS Gateways. It's deployed as a virtual appliance on an on-prem virtual machine hosted on the Hyper-V server. Kemp LoadMaster is used by more than 1,000 internal users on a daily bases to access the application system at the back end. It's not exposed to the internet, it's used only from internal users inside the corporate LAN. We have daily VM backups setup as well as application backups from inside KEMP.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We used to have DNS round-robin based load balancing from some small applications but it was not highly available and if one instance were to do down half of the traffic would go down. We have tested the build it Microsoft Load balancer, but it was free and it was not reliable. Currently, we are using ZEN NLB for a few small applications that do not require many features but when it came to having a proper NLB for 1000 users the ZEN NLB could not handle the load. We have tested F5 and Kemp and Kemp were much cheaper and easier to setup.

    What is most valuable?

    I like that this is a Network Load Balancer that can be used practically with any application in the backend. They have how-to guides on how to set up Kemp NLB with Exchange, but you can use it as well for Sharepoint, RDS, or any other back end server. I like that the interface is intuitive, you have the option to load an SSL certificate on it so then the traffic can be inspected there, this is especially important when you have an Exchange server or RD Gateway at the back that heavily uses SSL Certificates. It has an option to be HA so if you need you can set up two of them to be up and running at the same time in Active-Active fashion. 

    What needs improvement?

    The product is really good as-is out of the box. If there is one thing I would change is to have the license file not be coupled with the MAC address of the device. This is actually not really useful in a virtual environment where if you have a single VM with KEMP LoadMaster and you have not set up static MAC Address, if you, for example, recreate the VM and just load the disk file on a new VM it will get new MAC address and the NLB will not work as it will not see a proper license. You need to call their support, explain what the issue is, and then they will generate a new license that you can apply. If this is a production environment and you just had an outage and quickly required the VM then you are extending the outage by the time it will take to get their support to help with the new license.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Kemp LoadMaster for more than two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's rock-solid and very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It can scale easily, I believe you only need to load a new license.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is nice, they will help you over the phone/email but I had few questions about the design and even professional services were not purchased their support engineer did a screen sharing session to take a look on the configuration to make sure it's following their best practices for the use case we were using it for.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have used ZEN NLB and Microsoft NLB.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was easy to get in touch with their sales and get it ordered.

    What about the implementation team?

    I have implemented it myself.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    KEMP NLB is on the cheaper side of the spectrum but works great. If your license expires it will still run just you won't be able to do any changes.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Yes, F5.

    What other advice do I have?

    Its a nice and easy NLB to set up and operate on a day to day basis. I highly recommend it. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Microsoft Azure
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    reviewer1442190
    Information Technology Manager at Larson Engineering, Inc.
    Real User
    Top 20
    Straightforward configuration, easy to manage, and the technical support is good
    Pros and Cons
    • "The configuration is really easy and the web portal is self-explanatory."
    • "The only thing that I miss is that the TMG server was giving me live information about who is connected and what is the request about."

    What is our primary use case?

    Previously, we were using the Microsoft TMG server as a proxy to protect our Exchange server. We recently decided to upgrade the Exchange server, but the MS TMG server support had expired. I was looking for a solution that could provide a similar function.

    While I was talking to a consultant, they recommended the Kemp load balancer. On top of the proxy server, I also configured Exchange with DAG, so we needed load balancing as well. After reviewing the product, we installed it and it's doing a great job.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our primary requirement is to load balance and protect the Exchange active sync and OWA requests. My requirement was only for a proxy, but it provided us load balancing as well. This means that my overall solution is more robust and reliable.

    In addition, the software is tiny and can be managed using the web portal, which we didn't have before. This means that managing the software is very easy. It also shows live usage and load on the server, which is really helpful. Their tech support is also really helpful if you need help or add any new rules. I am still exploring the product and planning on using it for more. 

    What is most valuable?

    1. Installation: The software looks simple but can provide very complex solutions. The installation is really easy if you have a virtual environment (e.g. VMware).
    2. Configuration: The configuration is really easy and the web portal is self-explanatory.
    3. Features: Proxy and load balancing are valuable features. We are only using it for Exchange load balancing, and it works great.
    4. Tech support: Their technical support is excellent. We have 24-hour tech support. They are very knowledgeable and ready to help.

    I have not seen a product that is as simple to use as this.

    What needs improvement?

    The only thing that I miss is that the TMG server was giving me live information about who is connected and what is the request about. Details include the username, etc. I know Kemp gives you some live load info, but not the authentication data unless I am not aware of it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Kemp LoadMaster for about ten months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    They have multiple tiers of licensing and you can upgrade it easily. I updated my license without any hiccups.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their customer service and tech support are excellent.

    Their technical support team leads you in the right direction. If we have a question about the features then they help configure them as well.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I did use the Microsoft TMG server, but its tech support expired and is no longer available.

    How was the initial setup?

    Since I was not familiar with the product, it seemed complex. With the help of their tech support, I now understood it and find that it's really simple. 

    What about the implementation team?

    I took some assistance from the vendor and they helped with installing it. This is something that I could have done if I had referred the documentation. They also did the basic configuration. The next configuration was done with the help of tech support.

    What was our ROI?

    The cost of the solution is very low compared to the ROI. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The installation and setup are really easy if you refer to the documentation. Or, you can pay a maximum of two hours for a consultant and they can help. The vendor's tech support is really helpful, as well.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I did not evaluate other options. This product was suggested by my consultant and I trust him.

    What other advice do I have?

    I love this product ad definitely recommend it to others. I know that it can do much more than I use it for. So far, I have not looked into other features but I am planning on expanding the usage in near future.

    I am getting some updates from them about added features to the product.

    I will be working on a few more projects and planning on using it for these.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Learn what your peers think about Kemp LoadMaster. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,322 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    reviewer1444170
    Systems Engineer at Rochester Regional Health
    Real User
    Reliable with good support, and offers options to block specific ciphers and protocols
    Pros and Cons
    • "One of the most valuable features I like is the ability to block specific cipher suites like RC4, and older protocols like SSL 3.0."
    • "The only thing I have struggled with is setting up automatic backups."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use LoadMaster for load balancing our Exchange, Skype for Business, LDAP, Citrix, and SharePoint solutions. We have virtual services setup for traffic originating from inside and outside our network and can manage them separately.

    These sites each have certificates and we can update and manage them in one place, which is really helpful with our wildcard certificate that applies to multiple services. We also use the load balancers to manage some security protocols we want to allow or deny per application.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are able to take balanced servers offline for maintenance without interruption or late nights. This is very helpful to role out things like Windows Updates to our Exchange servers and put them back into the mix, monitoring for logs or user helpdesk tickets for issues before rolling them out to the other servers.

    We can even make protocol changes per real servers and watch for their influence on traffic to that server specifically. We have done this many times for older security protocols we want to block such as old RC4, SSL, and TLS.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the most valuable features I like is the ability to block specific cipher suites like RC4, and older protocols like SSL 3.0. We were also able to block TLS1.3 as it was causing issues with Android phones connecting to Skype and we could do that with one checkbox in one place.

    Another nice feature is the ability to introduce new servers into an application without the need to do interruptive forklift changes to our most critical applications.

    It is also easy to apply our wildcard certificate in one place and it is instantly used by all of the sites that point to it at once.  

    What needs improvement?

    The only thing I have struggled with is setting up automatic backups. When the job runs, it doesn't seem to do anything and the backup file never shows up in the destination folder.  When I run a manual backup it works fine, but it just dumps the file to my local downloads folder. Otherwise, all of the features that it offers work well for us and it hasn't yet let us down.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using LoadMaster for the past four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The product is very stable! We never had an outage in the four years that I've been with the company.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have been able to manage about 20 virtual services at our highest with two LoadMasters and performance-wise they were easily able to handle the load, even though most of our sites use certificates at the LoadMaster and real-server level.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is always great for me. They respond quickly when a case is opened online and I have always had a very knowledgeable agent when I cold call them. It does not take them 30 minutes to figure out what we have set up, they always diagnose and resolve quickly for me.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Kemp was our first product to use.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward once we understood the setup, and the support was a great help.  

    What about the implementation team?

    Our in-house team was responsible for deployment.

    What was our ROI?

    We are a hospital and none of our patient applications run through our load balancers, so ROI isn't calculated.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    This product was in place before I started with the company.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would advise that you use the virtual appliances if you can. We did have a hardware failure twice on our original physical appliances and it is a bit of a vulnerability to go down to one LoadMaster while the other one is in the shop.

    I can't think of any services I would like to add, as I haven't come across a situation where I wanted it to do something that it couldn't do.

    It's been a great reliable product for us, and I would recommend it to anyone!

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Other
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    reviewer1446381
    Network Administrator 2 at Public School and Education Employee Retirement System
    Real User
    Top 20
    Allows for the growth of other virtual services with no issues at all
    Pros and Cons
    • "The feature that allows us to easily disconnect a server when we need and bring back online is the most valuable. It's a click of a button. This allows us to keep all systems up. We can then run updates, perform reboots whatever we need to one of the servers without taking production down."
    • "If I had to change something it would maybe be to have a little better reporting graphics that show more details in the reporting. It seems to be a little small in the graphic, and I'm not sure if possible but maybe a GUI page that one can use to monitor if any server goes down."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to load balance our ADFS serves. We also have it set up at our DR location when we need to switch over to DR. We have it set up and just flip the server over and since we have it set up at DR, once the IPs are swapped to the new DR IP range it picks up and starts working in our DR location.

    We also use it for our main application. We have multiple app servers that people log on to which allows us to keep the logins spread out among the servers. And if we need to take one down we can force the user to one server. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    It was a total mess using the Windows Load balancer, it was not easy to work with. Switching to Kemp has made our lives so much easier. We can now swap machines and users around based on the needs if something goes up and or down. We are allowed to take machines up and down as we please. We can also take machines to DR and use the same thing at our DR location. It has improved our DR and emergency issues and almost eliminated it. It's hard to believe we can cut it down to almost no time. Kemp has made it so much easier. I would recommend it. 

    What is most valuable?

    The feature that allows us to easily disconnect a server when we need and bring back online is the most valuable. It's a click of a button. This allows us to keep all systems up. We can then run updates, perform reboots whatever we need to one of the servers without taking production down.

    In the old days, we had to kill both servers and reboot only at a certain time. Now, we can do it as we please, and when the server comes back up, we check to see if the green button shows and we move onto the next. This feature allows us to do work and keep things running.

    What needs improvement?

    It works well, we really can't think of anything to make it easier They have templates that you can import that do most of the work for you anyways.

    If I had to change something it would maybe be to have a little better reporting graphics that show more details in the reporting. It seems to be a little small in the graphic, and I'm not sure if possible but maybe a GUI page that one can use to monitor if any server goes down. And not sure a full login, so we can login to another page if something happens. Besides better GUI things i'm not sure. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have had it for about 3+ years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    They run with no issues, the only time we had issues was when the user rebooted by accident. The product runs with little overhead to servers. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Allows for the growth of other virtual services with no issues at all.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Anytime we have issues they are quick to respond and we are giving a tech that knows the answer. We are not handed off to level 1 and then level 2 two days later. They know their stuff from the get-go. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Microsoft LB and was recommended by a Vendor we used for a project. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was straightforward, support was a dream to work with.

    What about the implementation team?

    Kemp PS helped and they were amazing, 

    What was our ROI?

    Not sure about exact numbers but the time and effort we don't spend dealing with it, makes up for it. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    You won't need anything they offer great support and licensing was super easy. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    The only thing we evaluated was what level we needed for our needs. 


    What other advice do I have?

    I recommend Kemp to all, product works great and makes jobs easier. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    reviewer1446387
    System Administrator at Routeware, Inc.
    Real User
    Top 20
    Enabled us to become more reliable and have less downtime
    Pros and Cons
    • "Persistence is very valuable. This holds the connection information of the source and that connection is important to RDP and our APO calls. The connection has to be persisted to the original source to operate properly. We also use the subsections for sub-services to create services inside our services for our API resources, this is most awesome. We would not be able to do this without Kemp and offer this type of sub-service to route based on an API instance. It routes the traffic properly based on the sub-service type."
    • "I would like to see more automation and control of overactive and inactive resources. If I could schedule these around our updates then it would be all automated. I would like to set up an automated script to coincide with the scripts I use to update resources and servers."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Kemp to balance the load of connections to various places. We have IIS, RDP, API, gateway servers, and objects that get over 5000 connections that are balanced with Kemp. 

    We have had very good success at getting this working properly and doing exactly what we need. We need to balance resources and utilize the Kemp Loadmaster to organize the servers and resources to keep them operating at an optimal level. RDP and Gateway servers are 99.99% uptime so having Kemp in the middle makes that an easy transition if there is an outage or server error.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We used to manually balance the load and we overallocated resources to account for this situation. Since we started using Kemp, we have become more reliable and have less downtime. We also have the added resources back now that we can allocate the precise need. There is another added bonus, we can have rolling updates because we can balance the load and update inactive servers or resources.

    We have had our uptime guarantee enhanced because of the Kemp tools and resources. The load that our servers can handle has been minimized and resources have been restored.  

    What is most valuable?

    Persistence is very valuable. This holds the connection information of the source and that connection is important to RDP and our APO calls. The connection has to be persisted to the original source to operate properly. We also use the subsections for sub-services to create services inside our services for our API resources, this is most awesome. We would not be able to do this without Kemp and offer this type of sub-service to route based on an API instance. It routes the traffic properly based on the sub-service type. 

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see more automation and control of overactive and inactive resources. If I could schedule these around our updates then it would be all automated. I would like to set up an automated script to coincide with the scripts I use to update resources and servers. If I update a server on Wednesday then I would use Kemp to automate the server being taken out of service before and then put back into service after. That could streamline the whole update process and it should do some simple checks and tests to make sure the server or resource is reliable and able to be reached. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Kemp for about five years now. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have only had one issue in five years, so I would say the stability is impeccable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It scales for everything we have grown to need and more so far! 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Kemp has the best customer service of all the vendors we use. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used DNS Round-robin and some manual intervention but it was unreliable and very time-consuming. 

    How was the initial setup?

    I had support walk me through the setup. They happily helped me before I was even a client. They set up the first service with me and I had it in production that same day! 

    What about the implementation team?

    I implemented this myself. It is turn key ready with various templates that are plug and play. 

    What was our ROI?

    We have saved on man-hours from the manual intervention we used to do as well as the resources we saved from right-sizing our resources that we could then use in other areas. 

    The return is triple what we invest. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I would advise them to take advantage of the trials and support. Use the support to set it up exactly the way you want and see how much actually need to pay for. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I looked at Barracuda but the support was terrible and so I went with Kemp and am so glad I did. The support has been stellar. 

    What other advice do I have?

    Go with Kemp, you will thank me later. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Manager of Technology Architecture and Information Security at J.F. Shea Co., Inc.
    Real User
    Top 20
    Easy to deploy, configure, and manage, with responsive technical support
    Pros and Cons
    • "When the templates are used, there is not much left to configure and they just work!"
    • "It would be nice if the historical metrics were easily exportable from the interface."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use the Kemp Loadmaster to load-balance enterprise-wide applications that require high-availability. We also wanted to make sure the performance and throughput meet the needs of the usage of our applications.

    These applications include Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), Microsoft SharePoint (2010, 2013), file sharing servers, multiple public-facing websites, multiple internal websites, on-premise IT Service Management applications, and others.

    The LoadMaster handles both production and development environments for these applications.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The Kemp LoadMaster was very easy to deploy and we initially deployed without needing much tech support help. The management is very intuitive and can easily be used by techs without needing extensive training to use.

    The LoadMaster met all of the features and performance we were looking for at a very affordable price. We were also looking to lessen the real estate rack space in our data centers and really wanted a virtual solution that will work with our Hyper-V environment.

    Having a Hyper-V image that we easily deployed to multiple Hyper-V clusters allowed us to achieve high availability with the LoadMaster.

    What is most valuable?

    The templates provided by Kemp for well-known applications like Exchange and SharePoint make these applications very easy to deploy. When the templates are used, there is not much left to configure and they just work!

    I have used and evaluated templates from other load balancing vendors, but still required extra help from a technician just to make the application work correctly. This is a little frustrating sometimes since you would think that the template should just work.

    I have not had any issues with any of the LoadMaster templates at all.

    What needs improvement?

    Out of the box, the LoadMaster provides real-time statistics regarding connections to the real servers, as well as to the virtual services. We see the number of connections in the last 5/30/60 minutes, and current active connections as well. However, it would be nice if we were able to drill in further to see the actual IP addresses that made up these connections, whether they were coming from the internet or internal, and possibly the option to disconnect certain active connections.

    The historical graphs showing CPU metrics and the network is useful, as well. It would be nice if the historical metrics were easily exportable from the interface.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Kemp LoadMaster for the past nine years. This was eight years using the hardware-based LoadMaster, and less than a year on the virtual LoadMaster platform.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We like the stability of the LoadMaster setup on high-availability, running two separate Hyper-V clusters. We have tested HA failover of the virtual devices a few times now and failover worked perfectly each time.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Since we are using virtual LoadMasters, we are certain that we can easily scale when needed without needing extra hardware.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Kemp customer service is excellent. When I had submitted a ticket for questions I had, the response was almost immediate and they made sure to always follow up with me just to check that everything was to our satisfaction.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We switched from a prior solution since the LoadMaster provided the features, performance and throughput that we required for a more affordable price point.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is very easy since we were provided an image for our hypervisor. Technical documentation was provided and it was very easy to follow and initially configure without needing extra technical help.

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented in-house.

    What was our ROI?

    Our ROI on the Kemp LoadMaster is very positive.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    It is well-priced and licensing is very flexible.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Radware and F5.

    What other advice do I have?

    The LoadMaster is very easy to set up, configure, and manage. We have been using it for almost 10 years and are still very happy with this solution.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    reviewer1441854
    Senior Systems Analyst at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Good high availability options, stability, licensing, and technical support
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature so far has been the high-availability options that allowed us to add an additional Kemp LoadMaster VLM virtual appliance into our VMware vSphere environment, to provide failover for our existing LoadMaster."
    • "So far, the only hitch we have run into is that would have been nice to have an easier method to add allow/whitelist entries into the Access Control lists for virtual services."

    What is our primary use case?

    We currently utilize the Kemp LoadMaster VLM-500 series virtual appliances in our VMware environment. Initially, we were running with only a single appliance, but recently added a second to allow for High Availability pairing between them.

    Our primary use for the LoadMaster appliances is to provide load balancing between our two Microsoft Exchange servers in our Office 365 hybrid environment. This has allowed us to obtain redundancy between them, rather than having a single point of failure for our email environment.                   

    How has it helped my organization?

    Before we implemented the Kemp LoadMasters into our Microsoft Exchange environment, we were operating our SMTP relay and OWA traffic directly to the Exchange server itself. This put us in a bad spot when it came to patching and maintenance, as well as when we had service-impacting Exchange issues occur on the server. 

    By implementing load balancing via our Kemp LoadMaster, we were able to add an additional Exchange server into our environment, which allowed us to failover manually for maintenance, as well as have a backup for unexpected issues

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature so far has been the high-availability options that allowed us to add an additional Kemp LoadMaster VLM virtual appliance into our VMware vSphere environment, to provide failover for our existing LoadMaster. We have never run into any service-impacting issues with the appliance itself, but having a second one allows us to reduce the downtime associated with maintenance upgrades to zero. 

    I also appreciate the online licensing feature, which lets us update and install licenses on the appliances by simply logging into our KempID account. It was nice not to have to fuss with licensing and key file download/uploads.

    What needs improvement?

    So far, the only hitch we have run into is that would have been nice to have an easier method to add allow/whitelist entries into the Access Control lists for virtual services. 

    Following an upgrade, we inadvertently lost all of our Access Control whitelist entries on one of our virtual services. Thankfully we had a backup of them, but to plug them back in, we had to enter them all manually. This ended up being a bit of a pain.

    It would be great if there was a way to upload a .CSV file of ACL entries into the access control list, rather than having to add them one at a time.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using Kemp LoadMaster for approximately five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We ran a single (non-redundant) LoadMaster appliance in our VMware environment for close to five years with zero outages caused by it, so I am very impressed with the stability of KEMP's devices. The only reason we explored adding a second appliance for High Availability was to make maintenance easier.

    We've had other virtual appliances in the past that had to be rebooted occasionally, but that is not the case with the Kemp LoadMaster. They are rock solid in terms of stability.
     

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We so far have not come anywhere near utilizing the total throughput of the appliances we have. They have no problems keeping up.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The customer service was great! They helped me to quickly resolve two licensing-related issues with our additional appliance purchase.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We did not previously use load balancing, Kemp was our first choice.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is a breeze and is well documented.

    What about the implementation team?

    It was implemented in-house using only Kemp documentation and no outside support.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Pricing for the perpetual licensing was fair to us for the features and ease of use we received.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also evaluated Citrix NetScaler.

    What other advice do I have?

    The VLM appliances boot insanely quickly, which is really impressive. During power cycles, we only drop between two and three pings to the devices.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    reviewer1444176
    Principal Systems Engineer at World Travel Holdings
    Real User
    Greatly fortified the performance and uptime of our front-door email ingress
    Pros and Cons
    • "It has greatly fortified the performance and uptime of our front-door email ingress, simplified and segmented mail routing, and reduced admin overhead for mail issue resolution and troubleshooting."
    • "Certificate installations could be simplified and modernized, and allowed to be monitored for expirations/issues."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use LoadMaster for HA Clustered Pair Load Balancer for primarily Exchange on-premises deployment and all supporting services (SMTP, ActiveSync, Autodiscovery, OWA/EWS, etc.)  Secondarily, for non-Exchange, application-server-based mail routing.

    We implemented in 2014 as a dedicated load handling solution for inbound on-prem internal Exchange SMTP. We soon adapted the appliances to handle more tasks such as VIP-based routing to our middleware MTAs, mobile devices via ActiveSync, Outlook Autodiscover services Exchange Web Services & Outlook Web Access.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has greatly fortified the performance and uptime of our front-door email ingress, simplified and segmented mail routing, and reduced admin overhead for mail issue resolution and troubleshooting.

    The ease of the UI has allowed several relatively untrained admins to take over administrative duties, firmware upgrades, service monitoring, issue troubleshooting, and basic maintenance tasks like failover/failbacks.

    It has also given us previously lacking visibility into mail flow metrics, service-based volume, connection issue granularity, and high availability.

    What is most valuable?

    The Virtual Service setup, maintenance & monitoring, the straightforward setup, ease of configuration changes, and simple investigation of issues are the most valuable features. 

    The ability to rapidly and without interruption, redirect traffic from place to place, set up testing environments, and use as a tool to eliminate variables in downstream application/real Servers when they are having issues are also valuable.

    The true real-time monitoring of service interruptions downstream have been a very valuable tool for us when troubleshooting end to end transmission issues.

    What needs improvement?

    Certificate installations could be simplified and modernized, and allowed to be monitored for expirations/issues.

    We had a particular issue where we believed the Kemp LoadMaster was to blame for service disruption of a particular VIP (virtual-IP) based service, based on the supporting evidence. In the end, it was actually expired certificates downstream, which was not the Kemp's fault per se but it would have helped greatly and reduced our time with support if the Kemp had an alert for this type of problem, without needing to search logs/packet capture.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Kemp LoadMaster for more than seven years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In 20 years in IT with over a dozen similar products used, it ranks easily in my top 3 for overall uptime and stability of application/IP-based load balancers.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We only use a 2 node cluster but the scalability at the hardware level seems to be mostly effortless. Partners can be added relatively easily.

    Scaling up the number of VIPs/services is likewise as effortless. Performance seems very good for the roughly 20 VIP/services we use it for.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Kemp's Support is the best in the business, having opened several tickets with them over the years they have always excelled and never disappointed.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Yes, because we were upgrading the entire organization's Exchange version and we wanted a better, HA Clustered solution to match the Exchange redundancy we had built.

    How was the initial setup?

    From what I have gleaned it was straightforward but we had a 3rd party set it up for us.

    What about the implementation team?

    Vendor Team, very high level of expertise. The purchase of this product was suggested solely by him due to his past successes with deploying it.

    What was our ROI?

    I have not quantified actual ROI numbers but given the longevity and high-usage of this appliance I would imagine very high, easily our top 15% of IT Infrastructure ROI.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We did hire a 3rd party professional service contractor for the setup, however, he was already used to implement the Exchange build-out. This added some cost to it but may have not been needed since the Kemp design and initial config seems very straightforward.

    Purchasers may want to consider this setup expense depending on their own staff confidence level.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.