Load Balancing in Azure with LoadMaster

The Microsoft Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform enables applications to be easily provisioned in Microsoft’s cloud. Existing on premise applications can be seamlessly transitioned into Azure, allowing technology decision makers to benefit from the scalability, elasticity and shift of capital expenses to operational ones. When Microsoft Azure is incorporated into an organization’s hybrid cloud strategy, many exciting benefits are realized!

  • Azure makes higher agility possible for your business
  • Azure makes Development Operations easier to achieve
  • Azure makes integration with on premise applications and data simple

High availability and disaster recovery are of highest importance for application infrastructure since other important factors such as capacity and performance are negated if service either is not available or cannot quickly be recovered in the event of an instance failure or degradation. While the Azure platform provides native, basic application load balancing capabilities, KEMP’s Virtual LoadMaster (VLM™) for Azure greatly enhances and complements these capabilities by delivering true layer 7 Application Delivery. When VLM™ for Azure is combined with KEMP’s GSLB functionality known as GEO, high availability across on premise and cloud based application pools and intelligent global traffic distribution across multiple private cloud infrastructures and Azure becomes possible providing highly resilient, scalable and smart application deployments.

KEMP’s close relationship to Microsoft and commitment to enhanced integration with Microsoft platforms such as Azure and their suite of Enterprise productivity application results in optimal end-to-end user experience for mutual customers.

The Virtual LoadMaster Load Balancer/ADC for Azure is easy to provision, configure and manage right within Azure

  • Easily provision from the Azure management portal
  • Virtual LoadMaster assumes Public/Private endpoint functionality for services
  • Connect Application Server instances to Virtual LoadMaster for Azure
  • Connect Application Server instances to Virtual LoadMaster for Azure

Compare the Azure Load Balancer and KEMP Virtual LoadMaster for Azure

  Azure LoadMaster
Basic and Standard Tier VM support    
Network Level L4 load balancing    
Multiple application access with single IP Limited  
Pre-configured application templates    
Web User Interface for ease of management Limited  
High Availability & Clustering Limited  
Hybrid Traffic Distribution     (with advanced traffic distribution)
Scheduling methods Round Robin Only L4/L7
Server Persistence Limited   L4/L7(Advanced options)
SSL Termination/Offload Limited  
Content Caching/Compression    
Least Connection Scheduling    
Server Name Indicator (SNI) Limited  
VM Resource Availability Awareness    
Web Application Firewall Protection Limited  
Two Factor Authentication    
Health Check Aggregation    
Single Sign On    
SmartCard(CAC) / X.509 Certificate Authentication    
LDAP Authentication    
Radius Authentication    
Kerberos Constrained Delegation Support    
Active Directory group based traffic steering    
Header content switching Limited  
Header manipulation    
Adaptive scheduling    
OCSP Certificate Validation    
SAML Authentication Support    
TCP Multiplexing    
Reverse Proxy Limited  

Introducing Load Balancing in Microsoft Azure

Before we create a Virtual LoadMaster Virtual Machine (VM) in Azure, it is important to understand the traffic flow so that VMs in Microsoft Azure can be configured appropriately.

Microsoft Azure IaaS deployments accept traffic only on published endpoints. Any request to access Microsoft Azure workloads passes through the default load balancing layer of the Microsoft Azure platform. To utilize the additional features of Virtual LoadMaster, deploy the Virtual LoadMaster for Azure.

Complete the following steps:

  1. First deploy the Virtual LoadMaster for Azure.
  2. Create all virtual machines(VMs) that need to be load balanced.
  3. Publish these VMs through the Virtual LoadMaster using Virtual Services and add the necessary rule(s) to the Azure Network Security Group(s).

Figure 1-1: LoadMaster for Azure

By doing this, we receive all load balanced traffic on the LoadMaster VM and the logic of load balancing incoming connections will be applied as per the configured virtual service on KEMP’s Virtual LoadMaster for a given workload.