With the 2013 edition of vmworld just around the corner, I’m being innundated with VMware-related announcements, including a “completely disruptive” disaster recovery and business continuity solution from HotLink Corporation that leverages Amazon Web Services to protect all types of VMware vSphere virtual machines. Established in 2010, the company provides management tools for hybrid virtual machine environments.
“For most VMware VMs, companies could never justify the cost of a disaster recovery solution even though the costs of recovery can mount up, said HotLink CEO and founder Lynn LeBlanc. Last year an Aberdeen Group report estimated that the average cost per hour of data center downtime had increased from $98,000 per hour in 2010 to $138,000 per hour in 2012.
LeBlanc said data protection options are driven by cost, so basic backup is used for more than 90% of VMs, which typically results in downtime measured in days. HotLink DR Express is all about providing a solution that costs the same as backup ($25 per VM per month on an annual subscription) but allows you to continue operating in Amazon within minutes of a failure and manage all of that in vCenter, said LeBlanc. It makes DR and BC accessible by any organization and for every workload by opening up AWS for VMware recovery.
The majority of server failures are hardware problems that happen every day, but the cost of deploying for most workloads is just not financially feasible, said storage analyst George Crump, president of Storage Switzerland, in a prepared statement. “HotLink DR Express fills a big void in the data protection industry, an easy-to-deploy and intuitive-to-use DR and BC solution, integrated with existing operations, and affordable for every company.”
With HotLink DR Express VMware vCenter users select which VMs to protect and the frequency of the restore points, up to 500, configurable by VM. It automatically uploads the initial VM to Amazon S3 along with the ongoing differentials, and upon a VM failure or during a testing cycle, HotLink transforms the virtual machine and restores operations in AWS in minutes, said the company. Instances only incur Amazon EC2 charges during the period of the restoration; alternatively, restoration back on-premise or to a VMware vCloud provider can be selected, if preferred.
The result is a simple-to-use, inexpensive way to handle DR and BC for all workloads, not just the high-end ones, she said. “Our objective is to provide a solution that is dramatically better than backup… but with a total cost of ownership that is less than backup. This should be completely disruptive to the industry.”
Organisations shelled out $4.4 billion on backup/recovery software last year, with that number expected to climb to $6.8 billion by 2017. However, spending on public cloud services like Amazon is expected to grow 18.5% this year to $131 billion. According to Gartner, Amazon’s AWS offering ‘clearly dominates the cloud platform space holding as much as 70% of the market, with its enterprise clients spending anywhere from $12,000 to $2.5 million per year on its infrastructure services.’ Another report puts its 2013 revenue at almost $4 billion, four times the amount of Microsoft Azure. AWS is projected to host 11.6 million websites this year, up sharply from 6.8 million in 2012.
Just what is meant by disaster recovery may be open to debate, but there is no shortage of vendors who offer DR and business recovery solutions. A recent DR buyers guide analyzed offerings from eight vendors: Peak 10, SunGard Availability Services, Windstream Hosted Solutions, Acronis, HP, IBM, nScaled and NTT Cloud Recovery.
Available now in both 30-day trial and subscription editions, key features of HotLink DR Express include the ability to:
-extend VMware vCenter management to DR/BC operations in Amazon;
-automate cloud DR/BC site creation and maintenance; and,
-restore business operations within minutes.