Kent Council Looks To Kemp For A Balanced Infrastructure

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Desktop virtualisation at Kent County Council will use Kemp LoadMaster to accelerate applications

Kent County Council (KCC) has planned the virtualisation of its application infrastructure to move from a traditional desktop and application infrastructure to a virtual Windows application environment for its 6,500 users.

To help fulfil its plans, KCC will be working with its IT partner Phoenix Software and Kemp Technologies has been selected to provide load balancing for high availability, scalability and performance.

Balanced decision

The KCC IT team has chosen VMware Horizon View and Workspace is the core of its virtual, unified environment. This will be used to deliver Oracle E-Business Suite, MS Exchange 2010 and around 300 other applications, including customised highway management software and case management systems.

As the architecture developed, the team realised that load balancing would be required as an important element in its new application delivery infrastructure. After examining several options, Kemp’s LoadMaster technology appeared to be the best fit.

Glen Larkin, lead technical architect at KCC, explained, “Kemp offered an intuitive, cost-effective solution that provided all the functionality and scalability we needed and most importantly, delivered this natively on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), which was the platform we chose to host the virtualised infrastructure.”

The council has two active data centres, a dedicated site in Maidstone and a shared facility with the neighbouring Medway Council. Each data centre has two Cisco UCS chassis with dual high availability Kemp GEO Multi-Site load balancers. The Kemp LoadMaster Operating System (LMOS) software for UCS is fully Cisco IVT (Interoperability Validation Testing) certified and is the only application delivery control (ADC) operating system optimised for bare metal installation without the need for a hypervisor. This allows for the highest performance possible and reduces the amount of application traffic that has to traverse the higher latency network external to the UCS fabric.

Jason Dover, director of technical product marketing at Kemp Technologies, said, “Layer 7 workload optimisation with LoadMaster for Cisco UCS increases application performance and provides ultra-low-latency delivery through tight integration with the underlying platform. Further, it allows Kent County Council to leverage its investment in Cisco infrastructure by converting a UCS blade into a dedicated ADC with Kemp’s LoadMaster operating system, eliminating the need for external hardware load balancers.”

Load Master actually offers Layer 4-7 server load balancing, SSL offload and acceleration, data caching and compression, along with a layer 7 intrusion prevention and other security features, including pre-authentication, single sign-on, and persistent logging.

Larkin’s team has initially rolled out a new virtual environment to 150 users. The target for completion of the migration is April, 2015.

Author: Eric Doyle
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