HotLink extends virtualization heterogeneous management to Amazon EC2, CloudStack

HotLink Hybrid Express simplifies management of hybrid clouds via VMware vCenter plug-in

HotLink, a server virtualization management startup that came out of stealth mode a year ago at VMworld 2011, is on a mission to transform real-world IT with the industry's first true heterogeneous data center system management platform for virtual, cloud, and physical computing infrastructures.

Building on its SuperVisor product, announced last year, HotLink is ready to show off its latest innovation called Hybrid Express for VMware vCenter. The new technology is said to simplify the management of hybrid clouds through a VMware vCenter plug-in that natively supports Amazon EC2 and CloudStack resources full function, without the need for other management console prerequisites. Hybrid Express expands the ecosystem of HotLink's heterogeneous data center system management capabilities to a new audience while providing their current customers with even more options.

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HotLink was founded in early 2010 by data center software veterans Lynn LeBlanc and Richard Offer, founders of FastScale Technology, which was acquired by EMC in 2009 and later transferred to VMware.

LeBlanc and Offer used VMworld 2011 to showcase HotLink's SuperVisor for VMware vCenter, which takes a different approach to centralized management of multiple virtualization platforms; instead of using more than one management tool or overlays that try to glue different consoles together, HotLink made one console do the work of the others. To make that happen, HotLink's transformation engine technology abstracts and decouples the virtual infrastructure metadata from the virtualization management layer to enable native interoperability of hypervisors. It can basically translate operational hypervisor system commands into a common form understood by other hypervisors, making it possible for administrators to manage Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Red Hat KVM from within VMware vCenter.

HotLink SuperVisor was designed with a plug-in architecture to extend the platform vendors' virtualization management solutions. The first plug-in was created for VMware vCenter -- the obvious choice since it is currently the de facto standard of management platforms for virtualized environments. The company has stated in the past that it would do the same for other virtualization management platforms, such as Microsoft System Center, Citrix XenCenter, and Red Hat's Enterprise Virtualization Manager. However, work on these other platforms has yet to materialize.

Instead, the company's next steps are focused on moving to the public cloud. HotLink will extend the platform even further, this time moving outside of the data center to manage Amazon EC2 and CloudStack cloud environments.

"HotLink Hybrid Express is the only solution to natively extend VMware vCenter to public clouds, so existing VMware users can consolidate deployment, administration and management of all on and off-premise resources with a single pane of glass, VMware vCenter," said Jerry McLeod, vice president of marketing at HotLink. "HotLink's unique transformation technology abstracts public cloud platforms and workloads so VMware vCenter treats them just like vSphere hosts and VMs, which fully integrates and manages as a unified pool of resources. And because HotLink natively integrates cloud resources, VMware vCenter compatible orchestration tools, service catalogs and self-service portals work seamlessly."

With Hybrid Express, public cloud workloads can benefit from the same VMware vCenter techniques as on-premise virtual machines. Users can clone, snapshot, and migrate cloud instances just as they do today. HotLink's integrated, bidirectional workload conversion enables seamless migration to and from Amazon EC2 and CloudStack.U sers can also deploy cloud instances from existing VMware vCenter templates and readily share those templates with other team members. With the combination of VMware vCenter and HotLink, VMware users have the familiar deployment and management interface of on-premise, with hybrid cloud flexibility and agility.

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