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Virtual load balancer technology boosts Balmain’s business



Financial services specialist Balmain has boosted its IT systems speed, increased reliability to 99.9 percent, added new services and reduced costs – all after implementing virtual load balancer technology from Kemp.

After a fast and seamless implementation, the Kemp virtual LoadMaster application delivery controller has boosted performance of six servers by 200 percent.

Balmain is Australia's leading non-bank commercial property debt organisation. Founded in 1979, the company has originated over $35 billion in commercial property loans. Today it has more than 10 offices in Australia and New Zealand, 300-plus staff, and ranks among leaders in the non-bank property lending sector.

The company’s borrower client base includes small to medium enterprises, high net worth borrowers and large corporations, many of which are long term customers.

Balmain utilises Microsoft technology with Hyper-V virtualised infrastructure running across two data centres. The company utilises a mixture or private, hybrid and public cloud. As business expanded rapidly in recent years, the capability of their existing load balancer began to waver. 

Load balancer search

“We were not satisfied with the quality of the existing solution, and sought an enterprise grade solution that could handle the load and accommodate our business growth,” said Vik Sharma, Head of Information Technology. “We wanted a solution that could amalgamate multiple systems, including new businesses, into a new load balancer setup.”

His team sought a solution that would add capacity to the existing infrastructure, which includes Microsoft Exchange, IIS, SharePoint, Web Services, API’s and mobile apps, whilst scaling up seamlessly. This was not feasible with the existing load balancer.

A careful evaluation included assessing load balancers from Citrix before selecting a redundant pair of Kemp virtual LoadMaster application delivery controllers. 

“We chose Kemp technology for its price, quality and scalability, plus support and onboarding were excellent,” said Sharma.

Business boost

“It allowed us to move a key business infrastructure from public cloud, back into our in-house private cloud, with significant monthly savings. Instead of paying $2,000-plus  a month, we now pay $400 a month, said Sharma. “We were also able to triple our private cloud infrastructure capacity without incurring extra costs from a public cloud provider.”

Now Balmain can scale up and out easily with no downtime and without worrying about costs, infrastructure or security.

Post implementation, Sharma’s team have been impressed by Kemp’s enthusiasm in working with them during a trial period, as well as their support and account management. 

“Kemp is an extremely customer focused organisation,” says Sharma.

Next year, Balmain will move the company’s Equipment Finance division, which at present is sitting on a less reliable load balancer, on to Kemp.

“The additional heavy workload will incur no additional cost, as Kemp’s LoadMasters don’t care if they handle 10 or 100 servers,” says Vik Sharma.

The new load balancer reflects Kemp’s Application Experience (AX) which covers the life cycle of application delivery, management and support. The technology has already enabled Balmain to launch its new Balmain Private Mobile App, which puts on-line first mortgage investing more firmly in customers’ hands.

The app is built to provide further investment control and efficiency, allowing customers to select loans and invest with more convenience. It allows people to see at a glance their entire loan portfolio at any time or place that suits them. Balmain believes this is a first for the sector.

The company says customers will find value in this improved access to their investment portfolio. They can download the app from the Apple App Store and Google Play.