Kemp's LoadMaster upgrade targets SMBs using Microsoft WTS.
Small and midsize businesses looking for a simpler way to load balance
Microsoft Windows Terminal Servers may get their wish on Feb. 6 when Kemp
Technologies introduces a new upgrade to its appliances.
The commodity load balancing provider added new Layer 7 content switching
support for Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol, in addition to its existing
HTTP support. It also took steps to make it much simpler for SMBs to
configure load balancing for Windows Terminal Services.
"Microsoft's Session Directory Services are extraordinarily difficult to set
up. We've made it possible to do in a couple of screens. If the user selects
load balancing, all the functional elements are already preselected," said Peter
Melerud, director of business development at the
With the upgrade, Kemp's LoadMaster appliances can prepopulate common
configuration settings related to
including persistence, health checking and resource-based load balancing.
Kemp, which also provides Secure Sockets Layer acceleration in its
appliances, added hardware and application-level health checking for
The software upgrade for Kemp's LoadMaster appliances works with the
Microsoft Session Directory Services in the new
2008 terminal server. That support enables session persistence so that if a
session is dropped, it can be resumed with the same terminal server.
"The terminal server queries the [Microsoft] session broker to see if [a request]
was from a prior session that was established. If it was, it passes a
routing token to the client; the load balancer reads that token and sees which
server the session needs to go to," said Melerud.
If customers don't want to install the dedicated server required by
Microsoft's Session Directory, they can opt to use Kemp's own Layer 7
persistence model implemented in its LoadMaster appliances.
"We found that to be extremely valuable, especially where the environment
can't afford that extra hardware," said Melerud.
Kemp is unique among commodity server load balancing vendors in its support
of terminal services, according to Steve Steinke, research director for
networks at The 451 Group in
However, the lion's share of the terminal services belongs to Citrix
with its Presentation Server, which incorporates its own load sharing
technology, Steinke said. The upgrade is available Feb. 11.