Yesterday I learned that Kemp has released a Virtual Load Balancers for FREE! So I couldn’t wait to give it a spin in the Lab and show how easy it is to deploy on VMware and create a load balanced web service.
In the past I’ve done some projects with the Kemp load balancers and I’m quite impressed with the ease of installation and stability of the product. The Free LoadMaster does not have all features available compared with the full commercial version. But it is perfect for SMBs, Dev & Test environments or other applications. The comparison between the free and the commercial version is shown in the table below.
Now lets get started, grab your copy from Free LoadMaster and get ready to deploy it in your environment.
Select the downloaded .ovf file and read the details before you proceed.
Give the VM a name and select the cluster or host where you want to deploy the VM.
Select the datastore where the VM can be deployed and select the network where the VM is going to be connected to.
Review the deployment settings and finish the deployment.
After the VM is deployed open the Virtual Machine Console and login with the user bal and password 1fourall.
Give the VM an IP address and gateway.
Fill in a reachable DNS server finish the quick configuration of the Kemp LoadMaster.
Now you can open a browser to connect to the configured IP address and proceed with the configuration and configure your first load balanced web service. Accept the LoadMaster EULA and select Free LoadMaster license type.
Then login with your Kemp ID to retrieve the license (you need internet access from the LoadMaster!). After the license is successfully retrieved you will receive a confirmation, click continue to continue.
The last step is changing the password of the user bal and then the LoadMaster is configured! At this time you can choose to go deeper in the configuration and change the hostname, add routes and for example change the IP address of second NIC through the GUI.
As a test that the Kemp LoadMaster is working correctly, we are going to create a load balanced web service. For this example I have an IIS webserver running on a Windows 2012 R2 server with 2 IP addresses and bound a IIS site per IP address. On each IIS site I changed the default image of IIS with the name of the service so later on we can see if the Kemp LoadMaster is working.
Switch back to the Kemp LoadMaster configuration GUI and go to “Virtual Services” and select “Add New”. Fill in a “Virtual Address” and click “Add this Virtual Serivce”.
SIDE NOTE: The “Virtual Address” must be in the same network range as the IP address configured for the Kemp LoadMaster.
On the next screen click on the “Add Real Servers” and click on “Add New”. In this screen fill in the IP addresses of the web services and click “Add This Real Server”.
Click back to see if the status has changed from “Down” to “Up”.
Now point your browser to the IP address of the Virtual Address to see if the Kemp LoadMaster does its job! (remember to hit that F5 button a couple of times 🙂 )