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HotLink offers virtualization VARs multi-hypervisor management tool

The new HotLink channel program helps virtualization VARs stand out with a virtualization manager tool that could lead to additional business.

VARs that specialize in virtualization services may be interested in the new channel program announced this week by integrated virtualization management platform vendor HotLink.

Using HotLink Corp.’s SuperVISOR platform, admins can manage any type of hypervisor through the VMware vCenter management console. The channel’s sales proposition is for VARs with existing virtualization practices that want to differentiate their business using the platform and help customers reduce virtual infrastructure costs, increase agility and eliminate hypervisor vendor lock-in.

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“We’ve focused on virtualization deployments for years and have built a significant install base of growing VMware customers,” said Don James, CEO of Bear Data Solutions Inc., a San Francisco-based IT solutions provider that has signed on with HotLink’s partner program. “By partnering with HotLink, we can expand our software, support and service offerings to VMware customers, while significantly improving our top and bottom line.”

HotLink’s new channel program certifies VARs that offer the company’s integrated virtualization platform.

All major virtual infrastructures, including Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, Red Hat Enterprise Linux KVM and VMware vSphere, are unified and managed through the platform. SuperVISOR also provides open architecture for policy-based automation across virtual infrastructures and automated workload conversions. 

James explained that his company’s virtualization specialization and cross-platform expertise makes the partnership with HotLink a good fit. “[HotLink] allows us to participate in a bigger set of customers and IT environments and offer solutions those people truly need in their virtualization environment,” he said.

Having HotLink’s platform in its services tool bag will get Bear Data Solutions into more customer environments, said James. It may also help the VAR sell additional services to customers.

“Having it leads to more virtualization assessments and more data center assessments,” he said. “Sometimes this can lead to bigger infrastructure or changed infrastructure projects because we identify various performance problems in a virtualized environment using the HotLink tool set.”

While James doesn’t think the margins on the HotLink platform will be a boon to his business, the added capabilities will help set Bear Data Solutions apart. “It’s a nice enhancement tool and add-on,” he said. “But we think that gives our sales people and engineers a lot more stickiness in the market with our customers, and that’s why we’re very bullish on it.”

The HotLink product has impressed individuals who had initially doubted its value.

“I was going into it fairly skeptical -- I’ve seen ideas around glomming together hypervisors,” said Shannon Snowden, a professional consulting services engineer at New Age Technologies, a Louisville, Ky. solution provider. After spending some time looking at the demo that manages Hyper-V and Xen from a vCenter manager, Snowden said it could be a useful tool.

Not all VARs were convinced, however, of the market demand for a unified hypervisor management platform.

“We’re starting to see some heterogeneous environments,” said Jack Kaiser, vice president of strategic technologies at GreenPages Technology Solutions, a Kittery, Maine, solution provider. “But the vast majority of production and mission-critical environments are using VMware. So, I don’t know if it’s a huge market. If it managed physical servers too, then there would be a bigger market.”

The HotLink VAR Program requires that solution providers have existing skills and experience in server virtualization as well as the completion of HotLink sales and technical certifications. The company is pitching the program especially to VARs with experience in multiple server virtualization technologies.

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