Kemp LoadMaster Review

Reliable with good support, and offers options to block specific ciphers and protocols

What is our primary use case?

We use LoadMaster for load balancing our Exchange, Skype for Business, LDAP, Citrix, and SharePoint solutions. We have virtual services setup for traffic originating from inside and outside our network and can manage them separately.

These sites each have certificates and we can update and manage them in one place, which is really helpful with our wildcard certificate that applies to multiple services. We also use the load balancers to manage some security protocols we want to allow or deny per application.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to take balanced servers offline for maintenance without interruption or late nights. This is very helpful to role out things like Windows Updates to our Exchange servers and put them back into the mix, monitoring for logs or user helpdesk tickets for issues before rolling them out to the other servers.

We can even make protocol changes per real servers and watch for their influence on traffic to that server specifically. We have done this many times for older security protocols we want to block such as old RC4, SSL, and TLS.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features I like is the ability to block specific cipher suites like RC4, and older protocols like SSL 3.0. We were also able to block TLS1.3 as it was causing issues with Android phones connecting to Skype and we could do that with one checkbox in one place.

Another nice feature is the ability to introduce new servers into an application without the need to do interruptive forklift changes to our most critical applications.

It is also easy to apply our wildcard certificate in one place and it is instantly used by all of the sites that point to it at once.  

What needs improvement?

The only thing I have struggled with is setting up automatic backups. When the job runs, it doesn't seem to do anything and the backup file never shows up in the destination folder.  When I run a manual backup it works fine, but it just dumps the file to my local downloads folder. Otherwise, all of the features that it offers work well for us and it hasn't yet let us down.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using LoadMaster for the past four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable! We never had an outage in the four years that I've been with the company.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have been able to manage about 20 virtual services at our highest with two LoadMasters and performance-wise they were easily able to handle the load, even though most of our sites use certificates at the LoadMaster and real-server level.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is always great for me. They respond quickly when a case is opened online and I have always had a very knowledgeable agent when I cold call them. It does not take them 30 minutes to figure out what we have set up, they always diagnose and resolve quickly for me.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Kemp was our first product to use.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward once we understood the setup, and the support was a great help.  

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team was responsible for deployment.

What was our ROI?

We are a hospital and none of our patient applications run through our load balancers, so ROI isn't calculated.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

This product was in place before I started with the company.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise that you use the virtual appliances if you can. We did have a hardware failure twice on our original physical appliances and it is a bit of a vulnerability to go down to one LoadMaster while the other one is in the shop.

I can't think of any services I would like to add, as I haven't come across a situation where I wanted it to do something that it couldn't do.

It's been a great reliable product for us, and I would recommend it to anyone!

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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