With only about 50% of server workloads virtualized as of 2012, there is a lot of server consolidation using virtualization left to go. With most of today's servers virtualized using VMware vSphere, many companies are happy to keep it as their virtual infrastructure platform for critical company applications. However, when VMware end-user license agreements come up or when the need for more capacity arrives, enterprises are considering utilizing other hypervisors (like Hyper-V) or public cloud (like Amazon web services, or AWS) to save money.
In a multi-hypervisor scenario, there have been traditionally two management options:
- Managed separately as virtual silos, with no integration
- Overlay automation such as VMware's DynamicOps or Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SVCMM)
However, a relatively new company called HotLink has come up with a new and unique option that they say is the third (and best) choice. At VMworld 2012, I participated in product judging for the Virtualization Review, and we ended up selecting Hotlink as the Best Cloud Application for their new Hybrid Express solution. Later, I visited their booth with the TrainSignal video crew and we got to hear firsthand from their CEO, Lynn LeBlanc, about what they are up to as well as see a product demo of HotLink Hybrid Express. They showed us how easy it is to administer both internal vSphere infrastructure and Amazon public IaaS cloud. And how about that demo of using PowerCLI on Amazon EC2 at the end of the video? Innovative!
While the HotLink Hybrid Express solution is their latest offering, HotLink's best-selling offering is their multi-hypervisor management tool, HotLink SuperVisor, for your internal virtualization infrastructure, which is made up of multiple hypervisors like vSphere, Hyper-V, and Xen. What I like about this concept is that you could have hypervisor tiers of service where perhaps your highest priority VMs are on vSphere and lower-priority VMs are in Hyper-V. It’s all managed from vCenter, and VMs can easily be moved back and forth. By having these hypervisor tiers, HotLink says that you can buy Hotlink SuperVISOR and still save your company a lot of money (and they have the financial calculations to back it up).
I've recently downloaded the free trial of SuperVISOR and look forward to testing it in my lab, which has both vSphere and Hyper-V hypervisors already in place.
Here's CEO of HotLink Lynn LeBlanc discussing their products.