Kemp Upgrades Load Balancer for SMBs

Kemp Technologies' load balancing appliance emphasizes low cost, higher performance.

Load balancing provider Kemp Technologies will attempt to move up the food chain on Aug. 14 with the latest version of its appliance line aimed at medium-sized businesses.

The Bethpage, N.Y., company, which has focused its lower cost load balancers on small and mid-size businesses (SMBs), will ship on Sept. 1 its new LoadMaster 3500. The LM 3500 adds a new high-end unit to Kemps appliance line, doubling the performance of its existing high-end appliance.

Kemp officials claim it is unique in supporting multiple routing ports on the same appliance, which provides eight Gigabit Ethernet ports.

"We havent seen other manufacturers try to distribute load balancing functionality across multiple, independent ports on the same appliance," said Peter Melerud, Kemps director of business development.

"F5 [with its BigIP] and [Citrix with its] NetScaler offer richer functionality on the application side by supporting a lot of different protocols, but that is not our target market. We target Web-enabled applications—HTTP—and we provide cost-effective solutions for them," he added.

The LM 3500, Kemp Technologies most expensive product to date, lists for $8,990. It competes with lower-cost offerings from Coyote Point and Barracuda.


Read more here about competing products aimed at SMBs.

The list price includes the first years support and a license for supporting up to 2000 Secure Socket Layer Virtual Private Networks, which are offloaded onto a separate ASIC for processing.

Melerud said that overall the LM 3500 scales to support two Gigabits per second, although that will vary depending on configuration. It also scales to support up to 100,000 Layer 7 concurrent sessions and 2 million Layer 4 concurrent sessions.

Whether support for multiple routing ports is key to SMBs is unclear, according to Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst at Infonetics Research in Boston.

Despite double-digit growth rates for the overall load balancing market, the opportunity for SMBs will always remain a "small part of the market," said Machowinski. "The units will be sold for a couple thousand dollars a piece. When F5 or Cisco make a sale, its $20,000 a unit," he said.


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