HotLink Launches VMware Disaster Recovery to Amazon with HotLink DR Express

HotLink® Corporation, the market leader in transformation solutions for hybrid virtualization management, today announced its latest product, HotLink DR Express™, the industry’s first disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) solution that leverages Amazon Web Services (AWS) to economically protect all types of VMware vSphere virtual machines, and not just mission-critical ones. HotLink DR Express provides a dramatically simple plug-in solution for VMware vCenter users to integrate robust data protection with day-to-day operational management of VMware Windows and Linux workloads. Within minutes of a failure, IT administrators can automatically recover to a DR/BC site within AWS for the cost of basic backup.

HotLink DR Express addresses the market need for a cost-effective business recovery solution for workloads that could never sustain the exorbitant cost of a replica DR site, a luxury only justified for a handful of critical applications. Until now, basic backup and/or replication have been the only affordable options, but those recovery processes require standby, available hardware and a time-intensive effort to restore the VMs.

Recognizing that AWS provides the most compelling economics of all public cloud providers, HotLink is introducing HotLink DR Express to extend VMware vCenter capabilities to include automated DR/BC site setup, maintenance, recovery and management for AWS, ensuring that downtime is kept to only minutes rather than hours or days, and management is seamless with VMware vCenter. Built on the patent-approved HotLink Transformation Engine™, HotLink DR Express enables VMware users to benefit from intuitive DR/BC in Amazon EC2 — at a total cost that is practical for everyday workloads.

“HotLink DR Express is incredibly easy to deploy. Within only 30 minutes the product was installed, and we had our first three virtual machines protected in Amazon. The two most impressive features are the simplicity and tight integration with VMware vCenter. Protecting virtual machines is as easy a checking a box,” said Michael Warchut, senior network engineer at Monsoon Commerce. “The fact that it’s fully integrated into VMware vCenter means we can manage our DR site in the same way we manage our production servers. We definitely see HotLink DR Express as an easy, economical and powerful solution for protecting all types of workloads in our environment.”

With HotLink DR Express, there is no need to purchase dedicated recovery hardware since resources are available on demand, at scale through AWS. VMware vCenter users simply select which VMs to protect and the frequency of the restore points — up to 500, configurable by VM. HotLink DR Express automatically uploads the initial VM to Amazon S3 along with the ongoing differentials, without any manual steps, other consoles, appliances or conversion tools. Upon a VM failure or during a testing cycle, HotLink transforms the virtual machine and restores operations in AWS in minutes. Instances only incur Amazon EC2 charges during the period of the restoration; dormant VMs and differentials benefit for the extremely cost-effective Amazon S3 pricing. Alternatively, restoration back on-premise or to a VMware vCloud provider can be selected, if preferred. With HotLink DR Express, Amazon restored VMs are fully manageable by VMware vCenter, alongside on-premise VMs, and they are easily migrated back from AWS, whenever appropriate.

“The majority of server failures are hardware problems, not natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, hardware failures happen every day. Although traditional DR/BC solutions have productivity benefits for any company, the cost of deploying for most workloads is just not financially feasible,” said George Crump, president of Storage Switzerland. “HotLink DR Express fills a big void in the data protection industry with an easy-to-deploy and intuitive-to-use DR and BC solution, integrated with existing operations, and affordable for every company.”

Key features of the new HotLink DR Express include the ability to:

  • Extend VMware vCenter management to DR/BC operations in Amazon — Administrators have a unified management platform that extends VM administration and management to the AWS DR/BC site and allows recovery plans to be built using vCenter-compatible tools such as PowerCLI and Orchestrator.
  • Automate cloud DR/BC site creation and maintenance — vCenter users can intuitively select the desired on-premise Windows or Linux VMs for protection, configure recovery point objectives (per VM), and automatically replicate the VMs in AWS with differentials synchronized as changes occur.
  • Perform integrated monitoring and continuous testing — With the ability to monitor the AWS DR/BC site from vCenter, the status of all protected workloads for any restore point is readily visible. Test environments can be provisioned and validated to ensure that DR/BC recovery plans are deployed as expected and fully functional, when needed.
  • Restore business operations within minutes — HotLink DR Express users can automatically restore protected VMs in any Amazon EC2 region within minutes of a failure at any VM restore point. Amazon EC2 instances are provisioned from vCenter as easily as existing on-premise virtual machines.
  • Migrate back on-premise — Administrators can restore on-premise operations, whether to the current state of AWS VMs or the original restore point, when the local infrastructure is available.

Lynn LeBlanc, CEO and founder of HotLink said, “HotLink DR Express makes disaster recovery and business continuity accessible by any organization and for every workload by opening up AWS for VMware recovery. Most importantly, HotLink fully integrates this capability into the existing management environment of VMware vCenter, so business continues as usual if a failure happens. By combining Amazon economics with HotLink’s unique transformation technology, HotLink DR Express is a win for any VMware shop, large or small.”

Availability and pricing

HotLink DR Express is available now in both 30-day trial and subscription editions. Subscription pricing is $25 per VM per month on an annual subscription. For a demo or more information, visit HotLink at booth 2048 at VMworld on August 25-29 in San Francisco