With over 20,000 worldwide clients and offices in America, Europe, Asia and South America, KEMP Technologies is a leader in load balancers and application delivery controllers. Since 2000, KEMP has been helping businesses grow by providing 24/7 infrastructure availability, better web performance and secure operations while streamlining IT costs.
Below a Q&A with Jason Dover, Director of Technical Product Marketing at KEMP. On KEMP's VMware product line and how they are expanding there presence in SDN (Software Define Networking).
Who is Jason? Jason Dover is a subject matter expert on messaging technologies and application delivery with a background in the design and implementation of Enterprise Unified Communication and Directory solutions. Jason currently serves as part of the KEMP Technologies' Product Management team responsible for leading Product Marketing efforts across KEMP Technologies' product portfolio. Prior to joining KEMP Technologies, Jason worked in the Finance industry and provided consultative Messaging and Directory transition and migration services to NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Bank as well as served as Technical Lead for the global Directory and Messaging Operations team at AllianceBernstein.
Q: What does KEMP Technologies do?
A: KEMP develops application load balancers that provide support for the widest number of platforms in the industry (hardware, virtual, cloud and bare metal). Our load balancers help customers deploying packaged and custom applications in both traditional and hybrid infrastructure to provide high availability, security and scalability.
Q: How is KEMP expanding its presence in the white hot world of SDN?
A: We are now doing contributive work in the SDN space. Using a software-defined methodology for arranging network constructs has brought significant benefit and potential to networking, but until recently hasn’t had as much of an impact on L4-7 network services such as load balancing. We are working to help bridge the gap through our innovations and have been the first to market with SDN adaptive load balancing, which permits the aggregation of lower layer network metrics visible to an SDN controller with our own application-level intelligence, allowing us to make more informed traffic steering decisions.
Q: Tell me a little bit about KEMP/VMware relationship.
A: KEMP is a VMware TAP Elite partner, our virtual load balancers are VMware Ready, and we support solutions for end user computing in the Horizon suite, vCenter management tools, Log Insight and vCloud Air.
Q: What are you seeing as the key challenges for customers who are virtualizing and “hybridizing” their environments?
A: Keeping complexity down is a real challenge. While these new approaches to building data centers and clouds bring a lot of benefits in terms of cost savings, scalability and flexibility, they can also result in unexpected complexities, networks that can’t keep up, architecture issues with applications not built for these deployment models, and new performance bottlenecks. What’s important to customers is the ability to discover where these issues might arise before they actually happen and solve the problem proactively rather than reactively.
Q: KEMP has done quite a bit of development for VMware recently. How does your integration help your joint customers?
A: There’s a definite move from inflexible, static traditional data center models to more fluid, hybrid environments. This is a focus area for KEMP and is a key reason why we’ve extended the same application delivery and security services we provide in on premise environments to vCloud Air. Unique challenges arise with a hybrid model. On premise applications that you want to migrate may have requirements for front end services not fully offered in the cloud. For true hybrid, there’s going to be a requirement for an intelligent mechanism to direct clients across multiple parts of the cloud based on their request, availability or performance metrics.
Q: What other VMware technologies have you integrated with?
A: As customer environments become more complex, distributed and heterogeneous, the ability to get a holistic view of health, performance and utilization continues to be of prime importance. VMware has a number of enablers, such as vRealize Operations (formerly vC Ops) and Log Insight which both play a key part in helping customers to gain deep analytics into their infrastructures. We’ve created a management pack for vC Ops and will also be providing support for vR Ops as well. Our management pack provides visibility into the application delivery infrastructure through discovery and polling of deployed KEMP load balancers. For the VI admin, it’s important to get a variety of data points about his or her infrastructure to develop a holistic view on how the platform and especially customer applications are performing. An application load balancer is in the critical path between clients and application VMs and often is one of the closest network elements to the target. This provides an ideal position for a KEMP load balancer to gather analytics and performance metrics on how things are behaving and provide a litmus as to what an end user connecting to a resource should expect. Integration of application load balancing with tools that provide recommendations on how to solve potential performance issues and bottlenecks is essential and extremely beneficial to infrastructure and application managers.
In regards to Log Insight, version 2.0 introduced clustering capabilities. The challenge there is that when syslog messages are sent over transports other than UDP, clients typically will open a single connection and send all of their messages through that connection resulting in uneven distribution especially when log insight nodes are added and removed. KEMP developed a specialized add-in that examines traffic at the syslog message level, identifying the start and end of individual messages to overcome these challenges and optimize the traffic flow.
For more info on KEMP products you can visit www.kemptechnologies.com