HotLink offers disaster recovery through Amazon

Disaster recovery is one of those phrases that IT departments dread – in part because they fear the event that causes the need for it, and it part because then they have to perform it.

A maker of software that lets organizations administer virtual workloads in cloud environments has a new solution: disaster recovery to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

HotLink Corp. said this month its DR Express plug in for VMware vCenter makes disaster recovery as easy as point and click.

Unlike backups, which have to be rebuilt individually, the service means can be restored simultaneously, he said. AWS workloads are managed side-by-side with on premise vSphere workloads. Amazon becomes a mirror site.

“It’s going to radically change the way people think of doing disaster recovery and backup. You get full disaster recover at the same cost as backup,” said Jerry McLeod, vice-president of sales and business development.

DR Express would be monitored by the vCenter administrator. Once installed all the person has to do is point at the VMs wanted to replicated, and decide how often you they should be synchronized. The rest, McLeod said, is automatic.

Pricing for the plus-in is US$25/month/VM or $300 a year, plus the cost of using Amazon AWS. However, McLeod points out the AWS charges only when the service is used – for a restoration, for example — and is not a monthly fee.

DR Express leverages HotLink’s Hybrid Express technology that lets administrators manage virtual resources in the cloud.

“Backing up to the cloud is not the real novel part,” said McLeod. “You can do that with other services. We allow you to instantiate those things into the Amazon as a DR site because we know how from our previous technologies to build any kind of VM in any kind of environment. And because of the technology from Hybrid Express, when these VMs pop up they come back into vCentre.”

Administrators can also test the disaster recovery service at any time, he added.

An organization could even have a second instance of vCenter in the cloud or on desktop, which would allow remote recovery of VMs, McLeod said.

One wrinkle Canadian organizations may be cautious about is that Amazon doesn’t have data centers in Canada. That may make many organizations leery of using DR Express for workloads that include personal data unless it is fully encrypted.

McLeod pointed out that organizations could use DR Express only for backing up applications, while data is backed up within Canada.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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