Unitrends Boomerang Brings Affordable Cloud-Based DR to a Burgeoning Portfolio
This week, Unitrends unveiled their Boomerang service, which was made possible via the company’s acquisition of Yuruware in early 2014. Boomerang is a service that enables organizations to “simply and affordably move virtual machines (VMs) from VMware to Amazon Web Services (AWS).” Boomerang is enabled through the deployment of a virtual machine in your vSphere environment, adeptly deployed via an OVA file. Once deployed, the administrator can choose virtual machines from within the vSphere environment and add them to what Unitrends has termed Protection Groups. Regardless of the reason that you need to move VMs to AWS – disaster recovery, cloud bursting, or migration to AWS – the target virtual machine must be added to these protection groups. I’m not able to go deep into how the product works quite yet, but will be back to fill in those blanks once I’ve had the opportunity to test it.
Boomerang is seeking to position itself as solving three key issues:
- Disaster recovery. If disaster strikes, virtual machines that have been replicated to AWS can be deployed (made active) in the AWS environment.
- Need capacity for a particularly large workload? Use Boomerang to either migrate less critical VMs to Amazon to free up capacity internally or move those big workloads to Amazon for the duration of the spike.
- Use Boomerang as a tool to fully migrate virtual machines running in a vSphere environment to an AWS instance while retaining the ability to pull those machines back to the on-premises environment if needed.
If this ability to move virtual machines from VMware to AWS sounds familiar, you’re not going crazy. Quite some time ago, HotLink made available a product that intertwines vSphere and AWS, but also includes Hyper-V in the mix. With the HotLink platform, administrators have the ability to migrate virtual machines between vSphere, Hyper-V, and AWS. Behind the scenes, HotLink handles all of the translation that needs to happen when, for example, a administrator decides to “vMotion” a VM from vSphere to Hyper-V. Today’s HotLink has a product called DR Express that vSphere to AWS disaster recovery services. HotLink adds itself to vCenter and becomes a part of that product, negating the need for a secondary administrative interface.
Specific Feature in a Broad Single Vendor Feature Spectrum
Although HotLink has been around a while, it’s still addressing just one part of the broader data protection and disaster recovery spectrum. The addition of Boomerang to the Unitrends product line further cements Unitrends as a full service player in the data protection and availability space. It’s another arrow in the Unitrends quiver and it’s priced to move. When signing up on an annual basis, Boomerang costs $19.95 per month per VM ($239.40 per year) or $29.95 when bill monthly ($359.40 per year). Further, Unitrends allows customers to try the product for free forever on one virtual machine. Of course, on top of that, you need to consider any costs from Amazon itself. Those virtual machines don’t run for free.
No muss, no fuss. That’s how thing should work. That extends to pricing. I really don’t like solutions that play games with pricing. Boomerang appears to make it really easy to procure, to deploy, and manage disaster recovery and other needs in a way that makes financial sense. You pick which VMs need protection and let Boomerang do the rest.