Published: 29 August 2013
Since I have starterd to work for Kemp Technologies (http://www.kemptechnologies.com) i started to get lots of questions abot the Microsoft Load Balancer versus Kemp Load Balancer.
Microsoft NLB based on TechNet:
Network Load Balancing (NLB) is an optional feature in Windows Server® 2008 that load balances network traffic (sent to a cluster virtual IP address) among multiple servers in an NLB cluster. NLB is particularly useful for ensuring that stateless applications, such as a Web server running Internet Information Services (IIS), are scalable by adding additional servers as the load increases. The NLB functionality in Windows Server 2012 is generally the same as in Windows Server 2008 R2. However, some task details are changed in Windows Server 2012
Kemp Load Balancer based on Kemp Web site
KEMP Technologies has been a leader in driving the price/performance value proposition for load balancers and application delivery controllers to levels that our customers can afford. KEMP Technologies LoadMaster line of Load Balancers integrates powerful, stable, full-featured load balancers with layer-7 content switching, SSL acceleration and security. KEMP has created an ideal family of products for customers looking for the best price/performance value proposition in high availability application delivery.
Windows NLB has lots of limitations and problems and these can be especially important with Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync cases. Examples are: Below are some highlights from Kemp Technologies Technical Services Director Ben Hodge
1. Uneven spread of workloads across server pool resulting in slow user response times and high latency for the application
2. Manual configuration of all nodes required making it difficult to scale and troubleshoot
3. No application aware health checks resulting in user downtime due to application errors and freezes
4. No SSL acceleration, caching or compression resulting in poor performance and high resource usage (especially CPU) on server nodes, important for all HTTP/S based applications like Exchange OWA and Sharepoint
5. No L7 persistence or scheduling methods, especially important for mobile clients, SharePoint, RDS and Exchange OWA services
6. Can't co-exist with Windows Failover Clustering (used for Exchange DAG) so cannot support multi-role Exchange server topology which is Microsoft's recommended topology as of Exchange 2013
7. Limited control of source IP NATing so cannot support complex network topologies and security zoning
8. Cannot provide reverse proxy services (essential for Lync 2010 & 2013)
9. Cannot provide pre-authentication and SSO functionality , especially important for Exchange OWA and Sharepoint external access
These are only few main points, for more info you can always call Kemp at : +612 9191 9778 or visit Kemp web site.
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