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Balancing The Cost Of Your Application Delivery Controllers with KEMP Metered Licensing

Pay as you go. It’s a simple idea. We only pay for the things we want and not for things we don’t need. I can remember the first time that I got a cellular phone. The agent was telling me that one of the selling points was “free nights and weekends”. I asked him how the accomplished that. They said that they just gave your account several thousand minutes to be used after 5 pm on weekdays and all day on the weekends. I asked if those unused thousands of minutes could be transferred to the weekdays when I needed to make important calls. He told me no. I was paying for a lot of something that I couldn’t use when I wanted.

Today, we’re much more in tune with billing for usage. We aren’t as concerned with buying more than we need as long as we only get charged for what we are actually using. Well, in the consumer market at least. In enterprise IT, there are still quite a few things that are licensed and billed by the unit instead of how the unit is used. This is especially apparent in the load balancer/application delivery controller (ADC) market.

You Must Find Balance

ADCs operate on a very simple idea. They distribute load from incoming requests equally to devices behind them. Like a person directing traffic to various lanes or someone that tries to send customers to empty cashier lanes at department stores. It’s an important job to keep the Internet running smoothly. But, these devices have to be configured and maintained more closely than the servers they service. An ADC needs to be big enough to handle the biggest spike in traffic that you could possibly send through it. If not, every connection request over the limit is dropped, which means angry users or lost customers.

It’s a delicate balancing act. Do you buy an ADC big enough to handle the traffic spike for Black Friday? Do you still do this knowing that 80% of the capacity will go unused during the rest of the year? Or do you only turn on the bigger ADC during the holiday rush and pay for an unused license the rest of the year? How can you find a happy medium?

KEMP Technologies may have a better answer for you. While KEMP does sell traditional ADCs and does a very good job of it, they also have a new licensing method that customers are starting to explore. It’s called Metered Licensing. Metered licensing looks at the usage of your ADC devices and only charges you based on their aggregate peak throughput over time. So, if you’re only using 1.5 Gbps of capacity on your ADC this month, you only pay for 1.5 Gbps. If you’re using that much across two devices you pay for 3 Gbps instead of the entire capacity of the ADC. This means that you don’t need to worry about paying for more system than you need to anticipate traffic spikes at busy times. It also means that if you’re running an active/passive failover scenario that you’re only paying for the active member of the group at any time.

Grow Without Paying More

The other advantage of the Metered License is that you can purchase a max throughput license with no limit on the number of hosts. Lets say that you know you’re going to need to push about 20 Gbps of traffic during the holiday season. But you don’t want any of your customers to experience slowdowns or outages so you want to configure more ADCs to serve them closer to where they live. With Metered Licensing, you can sign up for a 25 Gbps max throughput plan and place as many ADCs as you want to meet demand. Then, you can retire those units as the demand drops and change your licensing plan at the next opportunity to something more useful to your billing needs.

KEMP’s Metered Licensing is a great way to start getting your IT spending under control and looking more like operational expenditure (OpEx) outlays for the cloud instead of more expensive capital expenditure (CapEx) project spending. That also eases the transition to cloud development models and helps your organization understand the value of tying your expenditure more closely to your workloads.


Be sure to check out the video linked here to see more about Metered Licensing during the KEMP presentation from Networking Field Day 16 this past September. And be sure to head over to https://kemptechnologies.com to learn more about their ADC solution and their innovative licensing ideas.

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at https://networkingnerd.net/

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