(Gawkwire.com) Kemp Technologies, creators of the LoadMaster series of load balancer products, recently announced the launch of its latest product a virtualized load balancer. The new Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) will be sold under a Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) starting at only $99 per month. Web Hosts will also be happy to note that there are no startup or setup fees involved.

The idea for VLM was born from the needs of customers. Many were impressed by the technology of the hardware load balancers and the price was already far below the competition; however, even at the low costs, end users would have to have long-term contracts to recoup the initial costs of the product. Other added costs such as shipping, hardware maintenance costs, installation, removal, et cetera also hindered growth "Three years ago we toyed around with taking the highest end box and splitting it into individual load balancers," reminisces Peter Melerud, Kemp Technologies VP of Biz Development. Though the idea was shelved, it served as a basis for developing VLM. Instead of splitting a box, VLM takes the same technology used in the hardware load balancers and places it in a virtual environment in a server supplied by the client.

Although the solution is software based, it should not be confused with most forms of software based load balancing. “The VLM offers the same functionality as our hardware appliances, including advanced Layer 7 content switching, health checking, persistence, caching, compression and SSL offloading. As MHPs and MSPs consolidate and virtualize servers in order to reduce hardware and related management costs, the Virtual LoadMaster delivers high value at an incredible price point from which both the provider and its customer can benefit,” said Kevin Mahon, founder and president of KEMP Technologies. Essentially, the client receives a user-friendly version of the firmware and installs it to its own virtual machine using VMware.

The benefits for Web hosts are many. Due to a lack of setup fees or long-term contracts, the system can immediately pay for itself the day it is turned on, unlike hardware load balancers. The solution is scalable to the constraints of the hardware. For instance, if a Web host wanted to offer a higher end load balancer using VLM they could increase the amount of resources going to that virtual machine or use a higher quality box. The hardware and software necessary for running VLM are already a part of most Web hosts’ inventory reducing upfront costs. Maintenance costs such as power, cooling, and the like are also reduced because of the virtualized nature of the system.

Matthias Machowinski, Directing Analyst, Enterprise Voice and Data at Infonetics, put it simply, "As businesses increasingly demand sophisticated application delivery solutions to maintain their competitive edge, managed hosting and service providers are trying to figure out how to offer these while keeping service pricing affordable and maintaining margins. By decoupling the application from the hardware through a virtual machine, they can offer advanced application delivery functionality in a software-only application, which allows them to deliver cost-effective and profitable services."

End users also benefit from VLM. The low-cost makes it appealing for SMBs, e-commerce sites, application hosting, and media sites. On the other end of the hosting solution equation it also provides more flexibility for cloud and application delivery models.

Kemp Technologies’ Virtual LoadMaster offers Web hosts a unique means of providing end users with load balancer technology without the added costs of hardware solutions.

Writer’s Bio: David Dunlap is celebrating his 10th year as both a Web host industry analyst and commentator. Prior to his active writing career, David was a network and communications technician for four years for the U.S. government. He currently is the Editor-in-Chief for www.WebHostMagazine.com.

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