For the next step in its mission to dramatically simplify hybrid IT management complexity, HotLink has upgraded its Hybrid Express and DR Express solutions. The company says it provides hybrid IT platforms that combine the best of both public and private clouds to provide the scalability, flexibility and speed users need at an economical price.
“Since our very beginning (2010) we have exclusively focused on making the simplicity of hybrid IT management,” said Lynn LeBlanc, HotLink CEO and founder. According to Gartner, 74% of enterprises are now pursuing hybrid IT strategies. “Enterprises will neither leverage cloud for 100% of their IT assets nor rely on a single vendor,” according to Technology Business Research’s Hybrid Cloud Customer Report. “The use of hybrid clouds in enterprise computing workloads is a matter of when, not if,” said IDC Research Director Eric Burgener in a prepared statement.
Production and scale-out use cases are mandatory for broad enterprise adoption of hybrid IT, but management complexity can quickly erode the benefits, said LeBlanc. With HotLink, customers benefit from the robust administration and management capabilities of VMware vCenter across the spectrum of hybrid platforms without an expensive systems integration project, she stated.
LeBlanc said an increasing number of their customers are deploying to production environments, and scaling up, so the focus of the enhancements were all about production and scale-out use cases. The decision to merge the products was because 20% of their customers have purchased both and an increasing number are requesting the ability to mix and match.
“So for that reason, we have merged these two technologies together”. Mixing and matching will remain and easy alternative, she said, because of the common code base of the products. “Whichever you license, we just turn on the code.”
Talking about the product updates, which are now shipping, IDC’s Burgener said HotLink’s Transformation Engine enables a single administrative console to be used to natively manage multiple heterogeneous virtual environments. “This management model — the ability to manage infrastructure across traditional, private cloud, public cloud and virtual private cloud — is a game changer that nearly all IT environments will move to over time.”
Given VMware’s domination in all things virtualized, it made sense to focus there initially, said LeBlanc. While there are multiple pretenders to VMware’s virtualization, hypervisor and cloud crowns, key building blocks of hybrid IT, the company shows no signs of slowing down.
At the July 22 analysts’ briefing for its Q2 results, CEO Pat Gelsinger said the idea of hybrid really is resonating with our customers. “So, focusing on our enterprise customer base, delivering a hybrid alternative and having this vast partner ecosystem, we really believe this is a very, very unique strategy into this very rapidly growing but still very instant enterprise cloud market.”
By the end of year it expects the VMware-operated cloud will be available in over 75% of the world’s cloud market, delivered by 4,000-service provider partners. VMware’s cloud business, which consists of vCloud Hybrid Service and VSPP partner network, grew greater than 80% on a year-over-year basis.
At the recent OpenStack Enterprise forum, LeBlanc said Hotlink, in concert with VMware’s management infrastructure, frees administrators from worrying about “building out costly infrastructure for various projects or creating […]redundant architecture at off-site locations for disaster recovery and business continuity[…].” Instead, enterprises can use VMware’s vCenter to “leverage the public cloud to supplement their existing on-premise data centers.” Using vCenter as “single point of administration management,” ensures that administrators have simultaneous access to their “infrastructure, tools, [and] workflows,” so that interoperation between private and public cloud services is seamless.
VMware and Amazon are the primary hypervisor and cloud environments for HotLink’s customers, but providing choice, especially with Microsoft, just makes sense, according to LeBlanc. Microsoft’s HyperV is free and 80% of VMware workloads are Windows applications, she said.
Looking forward, HotLink will continue to build out capabilities for real production workloads, but in the mean time, the company will focus on growing its market. “For us, now that we have it built, it’s time to sell it.” With the proven ability to tackle production-scale workloads, it broadens the potential market significantly, she said.
The Fiddly Bits (& Bytes)
Enhancements to HotLink Hybrid Express, a VMware vCenter plug-in for deploying, administering and managing hybrid on and off-premise resources side-by-side with VMware vSphere, include:
-software defined hybrid networking – auto-discover and unify administration and management of multi-hypervisor and AWS networking with the addition of HotLink CIMple SDN.
HotLink DR Express, which enables VMware data protection in AWS, including backup, replication, disaster recovery and business continuity, has been enhanced with:
-protection dashboard and analytics – provides a consolidated view of all protected virtual machines (VMs) and their status, as well as detailed data for download and analysis;
-flexible storage reconfiguration – reconfigure and reduce on-premise storage needed for hybrid computing and data protection;
-restore point rollback – rollback the replication baseline of future restore points to any prior successful seed or delta;
-file server replication – automated, continuous bi-directional replication of large file servers between on-premise and Amazon S3; and,
-database server replication – automated, continuous bi-directional replication of large database servers (virtual or physical) between on-premise and Amazon EC2.
In addition both products now feature:
-multi-disk and large disk support – automatically import virtual machines to Amazon EC2 with complex multi-disk architectures and disk sizes up to 1 TB;
-EC2 disk creation and configuration – easily add disks on demand, eliminating manual steps to create and attach additional volumes to EC2 instances;
-AWS security group manager – extends VMware vCenter capabilities to include viewing, creation and modification of AWS security groups;
-hybrid performance dashboard and analytics – review or download detailed performance data on VMs, application stacks, hybrid tasks and bandwidth usage for monitoring, planning and troubleshooting;
-expanded monitoring and alerting options – receive real-time alerts on critical hybrid tasks via smart devices for convenient monitoring and change management; and,
-automated infrastructure diagnostics – verify hybrid infrastructure and configuration accuracy of networking, firewall rules, storage and connectivity through automated testing.