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OneCloud connects data centers to AWS for DR

OneCloud Recovery sets up a virtual data center in AWS cloud for failover, failback and DR testing.

OneCloud Software is jumping into cloud disaster recovery with software that runs on VMware hypervisors, creates a virtual data center in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, and handles failover, failback and testing.

OneCloud Recovery (OCR) software consists of one or more virtual appliances that install on-premise, a management interface, and an Automated Cloud Engine that sets service-level agreement (SLA) policies. The AWS virtual data center serves as an alternative to a secondary off-site data center.

According to OneCloud CEO Marc Crespi, here is how OCR works: OCR installs on-premise as a virtual appliance on a VMware ESX host. It creates an instance of itself in AWS and automatically discovers and creates a blueprint of the on-premise data center by mapping VMs, files, networking and other components.

Customers set up SLAs for their applications and data through OneCloud's policy engine. OCR automatically provisions appropriate storage, compute and networking resources in Amazon to meet the SLAs.

After provisioning resources, OCR moves an initial copy of the applications and data to be protected into the cloud, using compression to reduce bandwidth requirements. OCR takes snapshots, keeps cloud instances current and monitors the on-premises environment. If there is a problem, it can fail over automatically or manually. During failover, OCR brings back changed data to the primary site.

What OneCloud is -- and what OneCloud is not

OneCloud is focused on providing DR for companies with recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPOs), ranging from minutes to hours. "We're not a backup application, and we're not a high availability replication technology," Crespi said.

Crespi said OCR eliminates the need to manage the secondary infrastructure. Customers won't even have to use AWS management tools.

"For a person who doesn't manage Amazon, it can be daunting to use the AWS management console," Crespi said. "We let you do everything without having to know much about AWS technology."

OCR has been available in an early access program, and Crespi said he expects to make the software generally available in early 2015. Pricing will be based on the number of protected VMs, but has not been set yet. OneCloud will demonstrate OCR next week at Amazon's Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

OneCloud enters crowded market of large service providers

The start-up faces heavy competition from large service providers such as SunGard, Rackspace and VMware's vCloud Air. Startup OneCloud's biggest challenge will be to win the trust of customers when more established alternatives exist.

One early OneCloud user says he is sold. Managed service provider Coretelligent, which is based in Needham, Mass., has been testing OneCloud for close to a year and will use it to provide DR to customers when it becomes GA, Coretelligent CEO Kevin Routhier said.

Routhier said OneCloud ties all the steps of setting up and carrying out cloud DR into one platform.

"DR has been an expensive proposition, buying redundant hardware or putting storage in the cloud" he said. "As it becomes cheaper, there is an opportunity to bring DR to masses. But there hasn't been a great platform to be that catalyst. What I like about OneCloud is it has an integrated platform that can be used by anybody."

Next Steps

SunGard offers cloud-based DR to AWS customers

A primer on DR in the cloud

Renewed cloud push from VMware vCloud Air

Dig Deeper on Disaster recovery storage

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