When Cisco announced the end of sale of its ACE load balancers in 2012, it was a key turning point in our industry. According to the Dell’Oro Group, from 2008 to 2011, Cisco saw its load balancing market share sink to 11.8%, while F5 and Citrix grew to 48% and 20% respectively.
Cisco’s exit from the ADC market came as no surprise to industry analysts.
In regards to exiting the load balancing market, Cisco publicly declared, “Cisco is increasingly virtualizing those and other ancillary capabilities to its core routing and switching products through software.” In stating this, Cisco set the tone that Virtual Load Balancers and ADCs would be the norm for data centers and cloud environments in the future.
While Citrix and F5 were busy offering competitive upgrades to ACE, KEMP Technologies took another route, working quietly but efficiently with Cisco to port KEMP’s highly successful Virtual LoadMaster onto the Cisco B series and C series blades as a bare metal load balancer. The result was the most efficient load balancing architecture available, as it doesn’t require an operating system between the load balancer and the virtual appliance.
The arrival of KEMP as a load balancer leader
With its full range of hardware, virtual, bare metal and cloud load balancing solutions, KEMP Technologies has been rapidly gaining market share. In November, 2013, KEMP was added to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for ADCs and given a superior score to larger vendors, including Fortinet and Brocade.
Some of the key features that score well, as pointed out by CEO Ray Downes, are KEMP’s innovative approach of deploying application-centric platforms rather than the traditional hardware-oriented network-focused products typical of Citrix and F5.
Product highlights include:
- SNORT-compatible Intrusion Prevention
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection
- Active Directory pre-authentication for end-point safeguard for application access
- Full optimization for Microsoft collaboration apps including Exchange, SharePoint and Lync
Last, but not least, KEMP LoadMasters can address virtual or appliance load balancing with options ranging from $2,000 up to extremely powerful platforms that match and exceed the performance of their competitors top products.