For my first Best of TechEd interview, I met today with Peter Melerud, Co-founder and VP of product management for KEMP. Melerud talked to me about LoadMaster VLM Exchange for Hyper-V—the VLM stands for Virtual Load Manager.
VLM uses a virtual appliance that sits between clients and Exchange. Melerud said that basically, it takes the place of a load balancer (which from most vendors would take the form of an appliance.) With VLM in place, you can have multiple virtual Client Access Servers (CAS). Because most Exchange transactions involve a CAS, spreading CAS traffic out improves Exchange performance.
The biggest advantage of the VLM over other load balancing technologies is that it's specific to the case of Exchange running on Hyper-V, so everything comes preconfigured. Melerud said the process of setting up a load balancer for Exchange can take days, but with VLM you can be up and running in less than an hour.
"You just spin up another virtual machine in your Hyper-V and you're done," Melerud said.
The product is primarily aimed at small-to-midsize businesses, because big enterprises are likely to already have load balancing hardware in place. Melerud said the product can scale up however, and the company has customers with from 10 to 50,000 users.
VLM has a list price of $2,990 per virtual load manager, with no limits on traffic or connections—Melerud said you could, theoretically, somehow get the VLM running on a mainframe and use all the traffic it can handle. A free 30-day license for the product is available. Visit the LoadMaster VLM Exchange page on the KEMP website for more information.