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Kemp Balances Great Functionality, Affordability

Kemp Technologies is unveiling the successor to its flagship LoadMaster 5500, the newest addition to its family of load balancers and application delivery controllers (ADCs). The LoadMaster 5300 appliance delivers faster processing, more throughput and double the concurrent connections while continuing the Yaphank, N.Y.-based company’s focus on balancing performance and price for small and midsize enterprises.

Jonathan Braunhut, Kemp’s chief scientist, says the LoadMaster 5300 was designed based on feedback from users. "Our customers have really shaped this product," he says. Notable, he adds, are the two 10-Gbit ports that come standard. The 5300 is also smaller than its predecessor, with its more compact 1U rack-space footprint.

The new appliance features several performance improvements over the 5500, including a 10% increase in requests per second, a 45% improvement of max balancer throughput at 8.8 Gbps, and double the number of Layer 4/Layer 7 concurrent connections. The LoadMaster 5300 also uses significantly less power, and comes with standard dual power supplies--redundant and hot-swap.

Braunhut says keeping support costs down and reducing the complexity of deployment has been a key focus since Kemp’s inception in 2000. The LoadMaster 5300 comes with a year of support. He says the SME market has been traditionally underserved, and there’s also been some demand from departments within Fortune 500 companies. Some large enterprises are deploying Kemp’s LoadMaster appliances for application-specific scenarios. For example, the 5300 increases optimization for Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Exchange.

He says Kemp is often approached by enterprises that have already made significant investments in more complex products such as those from F5 Networks, but that there are many organizations that don’t have the staff required to deploy bigger solutions.

Tracy Corbo, principal research analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, says Kemp serves enterprises that are looking to strike a balance between great functionality and affordability: "The price point is ideal for SMEs," she says. "Something like F5 is really feature-rich. We’re all so tech-savvy; we tend to over-purchase."

And while it’s important not to compromise feature set for price, the IT departments of most organizations are resource-constrained, she says. "They really need something that can be deployed quickly and do the job without breaking the IT budget."

Corbo says Kemp’s LoadMaster 5300 scales well and enables the company to push up-market as IP traffic continues to grow. "It’s nice to find a product that’s feature-rich at this price point."

In January Brocade introduced an application delivery controller, the ADX 12.4, that enables service providers to build customized versions of network applications using the open-source Perl programming language to deliver networking capabilities unique to their needs. A couple of months earlier, application delivery and security specialist Radware broke "new ground" in virtualized application deliveryby leveraging the concept of a virtual ADC (vADC) resource pool across both single and multiple data centers, transforming physical ADCs from "units" or devices into services, regardless of the underlying computing resources.

The new LoadMaster 5300 will be shipping at the end of April and is priced at $15,990.

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