Kemp LoadMaster Review

Provides load-balancing and adds reverse proxy for further security

What is our primary use case?

I have worked with Kemp products for at least 10 years, as a consultant. In most cases, they are used for load balancing Exchange environments, but also as reverse proxies for other workloads such as Skype for Business, ADFS, etc.

The customer environments vary greatly. In most scenarios, it’s up to 2,000 users but in some cases more than 30,000. My last case involving Kemp was an Exchange 2016 site-resilient solution with 12 servers for 35,000 mailboxes.

How has it helped my organization?

Kemp Loadmaster gives our customers an easy and cheap way of load-balancing their workloads and adding reverse proxy for added security. With Kemp 360 Central, they get a nice overview of their Kemp products and an easy way to upgrade firmware on all devices from a single interface.

What is most valuable?

Kemp products are extremely stable and meet most of my customers' needs for an ADC solution. My customers appreciate the attractive pricing, stability. and user-friendly interface. The more advanced features such as WAF are rarely required by our customers.

Their virtual products are easy to install and easy to configure.

What needs improvement?

There are plenty of features that are lacking in my opinion:

  • The auth website of ESP is really lacking. It’s not responsive (mobile friendly) and the procedure of changing the website is difficult. We tend to avoid using pre-auth for that reason, and it's really a shame.
  • Several elements of the GUI need work. For example, if you have many content switches, it’s difficult to find the ones you need. And where is the search feature?
  • If you want logging for SMTP traffic, you have to enable ESP, which requires you to define allowed IP addresses. That’s irritating, to say the least.
  • Using the GUI to view log files is tedious. A nice log parser would help.
  • It lacks an officially supported, well-written SCOM Management Pack.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

How is customer service and technical support?

Kemp support is great. You always get qualified assistance and the support engineers are friendly and helpful. You can find loads of information on the support website, including deployment guides for almost any workload.

What other advice do I have?

I rate it at eight out of 10. There are many features that are missing or poorly implemented and things that you simply cannot do. The product is very much “as is”, and people need to be aware of that. If you don’t want these limitations, there are other products on the market, but they are typically a bit more expensive. Kemp products are very good load-balancers but are lacking in features compared to its competitors.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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