Kemp Technologies offers a fully featured and best in class load balancing solution which supports both Layer 4 and Layer 7 load balancing technologies cost free. It is a great tool for small companies and developers who wants to manage production and lab environments for testing and development purposes. You can register and download the KEMP Free LoadMaster from http://freeloadbalancer.com/download/. It is a virtual load balancer which can be installed on any of the virtualization technology solutions like VMware, Hyper-V, KVM, Xen, and Virtual Box. It can even be installed on cloud based technologies like Microsoft Azure, VMware vCloud Air and Amazon Web services.
It offers some great load balancer features like:
Content switching: Used to load balance the web content traffic and maintain stickiness/affinity/persistence to provide smooth user experience. Also helps to connect users to servers which are close to them. A Web Application Firewall is also been integrated with this version of load balancer, which allows administrators to define custom rules to increase the security level and to protect the servers behind the load balancer from any kind of http/https attacks.
Caching: Stores frequently accessed content locally to increase the user’s response time, it also saves network bandwidth and reduces the load on the backend servers.
Compression: Compresses content to minimize the network requirement for the user’s access, and to maximize the network bandwidth availability for other applications.
Pre-configured virtual service templates: These templates make configuration easier by using the pre-configured template for the application and with necessary tweaks to suit the requirement we should be ready to publish the applications.
Geographic Server Load Balancing: It is one of the great features where load balancer is able to determine the servers/service availability in the particular region and route the traffic to different region when there is a site failure providing both High Availability and Site resiliency.
Edge Security with SSO and Authentication: Used to enhance the security by providing pre-authenticate through integration with Active Directory and customized forms. It can also provide RSA SecurID Dual factor authentication and RADIUS Authentication Integration. Persistent Logging and Reporting are integral part of the load balancer for auditing and report generation purpose. This is necessary when you want to comply with various security standards.
Let’s understand some of the applications of the Free LoadMaster
Wide Range of Application Support
It supports many application like Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and many other web based applications. It is an ideal replacement for Threat Management Gateway (TMG) which is at the end of life cycle. It offers almost all the features supported by TMG and acts as a perfect reverse proxy. Through reverse proxy features, it provides additional security for the applications hosted on-premises.
Windows Network Load balancer
It could also take the place of the Windows Network Load balancer (WNLB) to load balance traffic across multiple servers and provide service/application level redundancy. Since WNLB is not an application aware load balancer it still routes the traffic to the target server, even when system is up and running but an application or service failure has occured.
Active Directory Federation Server support with HA and Site Resiliency
Office 365 is been adopted by many organization and to provide single Sign on (SSO), we need to implement Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) and Web Application Proxy (WAP). To provide High Availability (HA) and Disaster Recovery (DR) with continuous availability of the service, it would be necessary to implement multiple servers and in different site, or as a cloud service (such as Azure, Amazon Web Services or vCloud Air). Kemp free load balancer can easily load balance ADFS and WAP traffic across multiple server and it also provides Geographic Server Load Balancing (GSLB) for cross site resilience.
Free version of the load balancer has some limitations on the throughput and the TLS (SSL) TPS License. It can offer the throughput of only up to 20Mbps and TLS (SSL) TPS licenses up to 50. Concurrent connections are limited by the throughput and the available memory and it also does not support in-place upgrade of the firmware. Since, it is designed only for the small companies and testing purpose, the above limitations should not be a road block. Since, it is a fully loaded version of the LoadMaster, it can be easily upgraded to the full version with just a license update. Great support is available in the community to address all the queries with respect to the product, implementation and configuration.