Introducing LoadMaster for Windows Azure – Load Balancing the Microsoft Cloud

load balancing azure

As an individual responsible for product research, it is part of my job to be on the lookout for developing trends and new opportunities where our products can deliver value.

When I started looking at Windows Azure IaaS offering, it became obvious that we had a great opportunity as Microsoft Partners to complement the platform with what customers are asking for and Windows Azure doesn’t offer out of the box.

What’s at stake with Load Balancing in Azure?

Windows Azure IaaS offering allows customers to migrate their existing applications from their datacenters to Microsoft’s cloud offering running in Virtual Machines within Windows Azure. The load balancing problem here is obvious. While new applications can be designed with session awareness and other functionality in mind so that reliance on external load balancing mechanisms is minimized, if an organization chooses to migrate their existing applications to Windows Azure, in most cases, it isn’t feasible or even possible to change how application behaves to accommodate what Windows Azure has to offer in terms of load balancing.

No Layer 7 Load Balancing in Azure

Today, the load balancing mechanism within Windows Azure offering does not offer any Layer 7 functionality such as: session affinity, content switching, compression and any other application logic that can be applied if you are using a Layer 7 load balancer for your applications.

This is precisely what the KEMP LoadMaster for Azure is designed to offer.

Getting down to the details

There are some pretty interesting scenarios that can be enabled with LoadMaster for Azure. Let’s take a quick look at some possibilities:

  • You have two web sites hosted on separate sets of Virtual machines. You would like to make them available securely to your clients without requiring individual servers to be configured for SSL.
    • Configuring LoadMaster for Azure with SSL offload and content switching, you can create single Cloud Service in Windows Azure which employs single IP address for both websites, decrypts the traffic, and uses content switching rules to send website requests to appropriate servers without encryption.
  • You have existing web service deployed in your datacenter and you are scaling your service deploying VMs in Windows Azure. You want to use Windows Azure as primary provider but also want to control cost by applying spending limits. You want client experience to be seamless even after spending limits have been reached by continuing to serve web services from your datacenter.
    • Combining functionality of LoadMaster for Azure and LoadMaster GEO, we can configure delegation in DNS zone for web service DNS records. This in turn will be serviced by LoadMaster for Azure and LoadMaster GEO located in your datacenter. Based on service availability information as reported by LoadMaster in each location, intelligent scheduling decisions can be made such as service availability, response time and datacenter preference.

There are certainly more scenarios and possibilities are endless. In coming weeks, I will be documenting some of these scenarios in upcoming blog posts.

Find out more and Request a Free LoadMaster for Azure

With that, I am very happy to announce that LoadMaster for Azure is available for download effective immediately.

You can find more details and request the Free LoadMaster for Azure:

Technical Guide detailing setup and basic configuration can be found here:

And for those of you who learn visually, you can watch the video here:

At KEMP Technologies, we are always interested in learning your unique requirements and enable you to achieve your goals with our products. We invite you to try out this quality release and provide your valuable feedback.


Bhargav Shukla

Bhargav Shukla

As Director of Technology for Strategic Alliances at KEMP Technologies, Bhargav anticipates technological changes and trends, creates technical architecture and drives strategic direction of KEMP products. Prior to KEMP Bhargav worked for Microsoft, helping enterprise customer on challenging and large (100K+ seats) deployments of Unified Messaging products - Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Lync. Bhargav is one of very few people in the world to hold the prestigious dual Microsoft Certified Master certification for Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Lync 2010. Bhargav's deep experience in enterprise technologies and Microsoft platforms has enabled him to serve on the board of Microsoft Certified Architects for Exchange 2010, one of the trainer for Exchange and Lync MCSM programs, the Judges Panel for PowerShell scripting games and to speak at TechEd 2011, TechEd 2012 and other public events. In 17 years of IT experience, Bhargav has worked on multitude of technologies including Messaging, Directory Services, Information Security, Virtualization among others.

More Posts