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Global manufacturing and services company achieves app scalability with subscription-based load balancing

4 co-located data centers

Requiring geographic load balancing

20,000 connections

Simultaneous connections between 3 servers for Exchange

Global Single Sign On

Load balancing SSO services running on ADFS

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The Problem

A multinational manufacturer needed load balancing services such as Single Sign On for their business-critical apps serving 9,000+ employees. Their data centers are co-located and needed geographic or global server load balancing. The company required a flexible pricing model to match their varying throughputs.
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Why Kemp

As this manufacturing organization expanded their IT infrastructure to meet the challenges of emerging markets, they found that previous load balancing solutions could not scale in a way that represented value for their business. Kemp was able to provide this service and much more.
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The Solution

Kemp LoadMaster load balancer provides a flexible solution that balances workloads for internal and external SSO, mail, and mobile applications. Expert support with specialist knowledge helped them maximize their applications’ experience.

Best-in-class load balancing without capital expenditure

Kemp’s customer is a global manufacturing and technical services provider with offices around the world. They support over 9,000 employees across approximately 50 sites with 4 co-located data centers dispersed across multiple countries and generate sales of over $2.5 billion per year. Their IT environment consists of servers running Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), SharePoint, Office 365, Citrix Storefront and a range of applications. The organization’s network provides virtualized desktops and other services for users at internal and external (remote) locations. Single Sign On (SSO) is a vital element within their IT operations. The customer’s SSO solution required Microsoft ADFS servers and this meant that geographic load balancing was essential.

The manufacturing company’s IT Systems Manager outlined why they chose LoadMaster load balancer and how it continues to deliver value for their business.

The Challenges

“Kemp provided global server load balancing at a much lower cost than what would have been available with F5.”
IT Systems Manager, Global Manufacturing & Services Company

Like many enterprise sized organizations, the company needed to upgrade their load balancing solution that supported their Microsoft services, single sign-on, and Microsoft Cloud-based products while being cost effective. At the time, they were using F5’s load balancer because of its support for Microsoft application templates. As user needs continued to grow and become more diverse, the customer required an SSO solution for its global network. Without the improved solution, business users would not be able to access vital IT services at remote locations.

To solve their SSO issues, the company settled on a solution that used Microsoft ADFS and this meant that they needed geographic or global server management, i.e. balance workloads across geographically dispersed locations. Initially, they explored the possibility of using F5 for this task. However, they soon realized that F5 solution for Microsoft was prohibitively expensive.

Based on Gartner research on best-in-class load balancing solutions and the company’s own review of available options in the marketplace, they chose Kemp LoadMaster. Kemp’s specialist knowledge, experience and dedicated expertise in balancing workloads were also important factors in their decision.

The Solution

After consulting with Kemp’s expert team, the company implemented two pairs of servers for load balancing their internal and external SSO services, another server for load balancing email workloads and one for mobile applications.“Kemp not only did it better than anybody else, they did it at a lower price than anybody else. They guaranteed that we'd be successful.” — IT Systems Manager, Global Manufacturing & Services Company.

Kemp’s experienced support professionals guided the company through a smooth implementation. The IT team was particularly impressed by how Kemp Support worked tirelessly to resolve issues and how they strive to include suggestions for improvements in future versions. “I've got nothing but good to say about Kemp Professional Services. It was well worth it, and money well spent. Kemp went the extra mile and provided a higher level of support than I could have gotten anywhere else.” — IT Systems Manager, Global Manufacturing & Services Company.

The End Result

LoadMaster began adding value for the company by providing scalable geographic load balancing features. This ensures that business critical services, such as SSO are delivering value to their users on a daily basis. Today, LoadMaster is load balancing all key workloads and as such, providing an optimal application experience. However, the technology is only half the story. The flexibility of how the solution is delivered is almost equally important. Kemp’s subscription- and traffic-based pricing models can grow with organizations’ load balancing needs.

Kemp helps companies move away from expensive capital expenditure to subscription and volume-based models. The need to carefully plan capital investments is eliminated. The 3 to 5-year fixed ownership cycle is eliminated with the flexibility to adjust resource needs on demand. As a result, the issue of substantial investments failing to meet unexpected business needs is eliminated. Kemp load balancing scales with business needs.

From a cost saving perspective, if you were to start fresh, I would highly recommend Kemp’s Metered Licensing versus buying a capital-based solution. This is absolutely the most cost effective and flexible route. I like the flexibility of using Kemp products on a subscription basis because if I need to open up another pair of LoadMasters in any one of our data centers, I can just simply spin them up.
IT Systems Manager
Global Manufacturing & Services Company

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