Hybrid cloud management tool uses vCenter as a door to AWS, Azure

A new hybrid cloud management tool offers a single vCenter access point to administer and manage workloads between AWS, Azure and other clouds.

A new hybrid cloud management tool allows VMware users to utilize clouds from AWS and Microsoft within their familiar vCenter environment.

HotLink Corp., an IT management provider in Santa Clara, Calif., has a new tool called Cloud Management Express that integrates with the vCenter Server to extend that same VMware interface to other public and private clouds for administration and management of hybrid workloads.

The tool supports Microsoft Azure, VMware vCloud Air, OpenStack, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, as well as on-premises OpenStack, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and Red Hat KVM.

Hybrid environments continue to grow, with Framingham, Mass.-based market research firm IDC Corp. predicting that more than 65% of enterprises will commit to hybrid cloud technologies before 2016. Vendors offer on-premises or cloud-based management or migration tools to provide a single point of access for monitoring and controlling resources across platforms. These include Dell, HP, RightScale, and Datapipe Inc. A big market of mid-sized enterprises that are VMware customers could utilize this technology for hybrid cloud management, analysts said.

OpsDataStore Inc., a stealth startup in Atlanta, does its development in a VMware environment and mirrors that to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for back up and live demos. It uses HotLink as the management software for both.

"Our time is probably the most valuable thing to us," said Bernd Harzog, OpsDataStore CEO. "We're a very fast moving company and we have a lot going on. Learning a new set of management tools is time consuming and it's also a hiring issue."

While it's easy to find a VMware or AWS administrator, it's not so easy to find someone who knows both, Harzog said. The company opted for a third-party provider that supports myriad platforms, rather  than use VMware, which is likely more focused on its own support, he added.

We're a very fast moving company and we have a lot going on. Learning a new set of management tools is time consuming and it's also a hiring issue.
Bernd HarzogCEO, OpsDataStore

The ability to bring in other hypervisors on the fly and manage other environments while vCenter thinks it's still managing VMware environments could be attractive to existing customers, said Paul Burns, principal analyst for Neovise LLC in Fort Collins, Colo.

"If you're the VMware vCenter administrator and now you need to manage other environments this is kind of gold for you because you don't have to purchase a separate set of tools to do the management," Burns said.

VMware's cloud has not grown like other providers, falling behind Amazon, Microsoft, Google and CenturyLink in Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant for cloud infrastructure as a service. So this can help it  stay relevant as users start to explore cloud platforms and realize they need a single set of tools to manage those environments, Burns said.

"It's not like this all of a sudden helps VMware do better in the public cloud," Burns said. "It's more that their on-premises VMware environment, which is still fairly dominant, is now ready to integrate with any other public cloud."

The newest Hotlink tool enables vCenter to natively manage different clouds and hypervisors, and the previously available Hotlink Hybrid Express tool can be used to move workloads between different environments. 

HotLink Cloud Management Express costs $175 per year for 150 workloads.

Trevor Jones is the news writer for SearchCloudComputing. You can reach him at [email protected].

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