Startup HotLink Bridges Amazon EC2, Microsoft System Center


Virtualization vendor HotLink, which in some ways can be considered a Switzerland of data center infrastructure management, released a plug-in last week that connects Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager with Amazon EC2.

The Amazon EC2 plug-in works with Hybrid Express, HotLink's software for managing private and public cloud resources, and enables IT to administer EC2 resources from inside System Center Virtual Machine Manager. HotLink launched a similar product for VMware vCenter last August at VMworld.

HotLink has added functionality that is specific to EC2; for example, System Center and vCenter weren't designed to power up Amazon EC2 instances, so HotLink has built menus for entering that information, HotLink CEO Lynn LeBlanc said in an interview.

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Amazon EC2 doesn't support live migration, so HotLink's plug-in disables this function when it's used in System Center, LeBlanc said.

HotLink's most important "feature" is that customers can manage Amazon EC2 resources with the management console they already have in place. "All multi-host actions -- like migrating between platforms, cloning, snapshots -- works the same way as the things you do on-premise," LeBlanc said.

HotLink is also offering a free version of Hybrid Express that limits the maximum number of simultaneous powered-on Amazon EC2 instances to 10. The paid version of Hybrid Express starts at $26,700 and allows an infinite number of EC2 instances.

Last March, HotLink unveiled a channel program for its flagship SuperVisor product, which allows VMware vCenter to natively support hypervisors from Microsoft, Citrix and Red Hat (KVM).

HotLink, based in Santa Clara, Calif., was founded in 2010 by the founders of FastScale Technology, which VMware parent company EMC acquired in 2009.

PUBLISHED APRIL 8, 2013