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Tech-Ed: Kemp Bets Big on Exchange 2010 and Hyper-V

There are broad-based products and there are niche products, but Kemp Technologies' latest product, unveiled this week at Tech-Ed, is a product that's aiming for a niche within a niche.

The company, which makes load-balancing appliances, released this week Virtual LoadMaster Exchange for Hyper-V, a load-balancer designed to work exclusively with Exchange 2010 and Microsoft's hypervisor.

Kemp released in April a load-balancer optimized solely for Exchange 2010. The new product is the same appliance set up as a virtual machine turned only to run with Hyper-V. Peter Melerud, vice president of product management at Kemp, said at Tech-Ed this week that while the new product might serve only a "niche within a niche," he is confident that the ease of deploying the appliance for both Exchange 2010 and Hyper-V will appeal to customers.

"We saw a lot of our customers buying our products to load-balance Microsoft Exchange servers," Melerud said. "The architecture of Exchange in 2010 requires that you go to an external load balancer. We think the Exchange 2010 market is big enough to justify this very app-specific technology. We see that most customers who are virtualizing their Exchange deployments are doing it in Hyper-V."

The ultra-specific nature of the product is a major differentiator, Melerud said. VLM-Exchange is "optimized and preconfigured for Exchange services," he said. "When you buy a generic load-balancer, you have to do all [of the optimization]."

Melerud continued, "We are basically banking on the fact that there would be a pretty large number of Microsoft Exchange customers doing the migrations. We see how Microsoft is seeing this market, and we're trying to piggyback on that effort. We're seeing the writing on the wall that this is a big deal."

About the Author

Lee Pender is Redmond Channel Partner magazine's senior editor. You can reach him at lpender@rcpmag.com.

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