With the proliferation of multi-media usage on various devices, the need for higher capacity load balancers, popularly known as application delivery controllers (ADCs), has increased as well.
However, Microsoft (News - Alert) has been announcing more and more enterprise services for the Windows Azure cloud platform, which has inherent limitations in its standard load-balancing layer (Layer 4), including the fact that it does not have application layer visibility. So, the need for application-aware Layer 7 load balancing capabilities in Azure was great, as it offers application layer visibility as well as better traffic management control.
Rising to meet the need for an ADC (News - Alert) that could both meet the required application-layer traffic management capabilities as well as solve architectural challenges present in Azure, KEMP Technologies, an ADC provider, announced the release of its new load balancer/ADC, called Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) for Windows Azure.
A load balancer, in general, is either a hardware or a software solution that distributes workloads across multiple computing resources to optimize resource use, maximize throughput, minimize response time, and evade overload. Advanced load balancers generally combine traditional simple Layer 4 load balancing with the more advanced application sensitive Layer 7 content switching technology.
KEMP's latest release, the VLM for Windows Azure, now provides an application-aware Layer 7 load balancing capability to the Windows Azure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform. The VLM for Windows Azure runs natively on the Azure IaaS platform, unlike other solutions that direct external traffic to the Azure network. Moreover, it can be easily provisioned within the Azure IaaS platform via the Azure management portal.
With VLM’s Layer-7 load balancing capability on Windows Azure, the company said, production applications that run on the Windows Azure cloud platform can now gain high availability, persistence, health checking and scalability, exceeding Azure’s built-in Layer-4 load balancer capacity. For example, VLM utilizes Layer 4/Layer 7 balancing methods, unlike Azure’s native load balancer that utilizes Round Robin balancing methods that reduces performance.
Peter Melerud, executive vice president of product management, KEMP Technologies, said in a statement, "KEMP has a long history of working with Microsoft to optimize business-critical applications. As Microsoft continues to announce more enterprise services for Azure, application-aware load balancing within Azure will become increasingly vital for productivity in the cloud.”
Melerud added, “We are proud to partner with Microsoft to provide the first Layer 7 load balancer to deliver high performance application availability to Azure users."