Hybrid Express, which links public to private clouds, now works through System Center and plugs into Amazon EC2. There’s also a free version

HotLink cloud app now works with Microsoft

A maker of software that lets organizations administer virtual workloads in different cloud environments through their usual management console has expanded its capability and is offering a free version.

HotLink Corp. said Wednesday that the latest version of Hybrid Express now works with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Until now it only worked with VMware’s vCenter console.

Lynn LeBlanc, the company’s CEO and founder, said the release will let administrators using either console manage virtual on premise resources to public cloud services like Amazon’s EC2. That means virtual loads can be shifted to and from these public cloud offerings.

In addition, HotLink is now offering a free version of Hybrid Express for both System Center and vCenter. It offers the same capabilities as the paid version, but can only be used for 10 simultaneous instances of EC2.

The paid version starts at US$26,700.

Hybrid Express is a server-based solution that links to but doesn’t replace the Microsoft or VMware virtualization consoles. Instead, it allows public cloud resources to be seen as folders within their system trees. As a result, HotLink says, administrators don’t have to learn to work with a new console.

Administrators can manage EC2 workloads from within vCentre or System Centre, migrate workloads, create snapshots, use existing provisioning templates and automate resources.

HotLink also makes SuperVISOR, which lets companies with private clouds use Microsoft, VMware or KVM hypervisors together under vCenter.

“This is our first non-vCentre plug in,” LeBlanc said of the ability for Hybrid Express to work with System Center, “so we’re excited about being able to bring our transformation technology to a whole new set of users.”

As for the free version, LeBlanc said the company is trying to get the product into as many hands as possible.

“Most people assume building hybrid environments is very complex because that’s been their experience integrating multiple platforms … But we think once they see how easy it is to install and immediately start using their infrastructure with Amazon that will really help to further the message of how streamlined and transformational the approach we’ve taken.”

“Many vendors talk about supporting multiple clouds,” LeBlanc said, “but if you have to have an underlying administration console for each one and then stitch them together with scripts and professional services, it winds up being a very complex endeavor.”

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