While VMware clearly dominates traditional enterprise IT environments that deploy their own servers, the public cloud is dominated primarily by instances of a custom Xen hypervisor. Obviously, IT organizations running VMware would like to be able to use inexpensive public clouds for disaster recovery, but that can be problematic given the different hypervisors involved.

To address that issue OneCloud Software this week unveiled OneCloud Recovery, software that can be installed in 30 minutes that enables IT organizations to make instances of virtual appliances based on VMware available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. In the event of an outage, applications running on VMware can be redirected to the AWS cloud until the on premise systems can be restored.

Based on an Automated Cloud Engine (ACE), OneCloud Software CEO Marc Crespi said OneCloud Recovery installs inside VMware VSphere. OneCloud Recovery than discovers all the local instances of VMware and then administrators can invoke a policy engine to assign recovery time objectives of anywhere between one to 24 hours.

Prior to OneCloud Recovery sites running VMware had to either invest in a second data center to create a disaster recovery site or make use of cloud services that run VMware. In the latter case, Crespi said those services don’t have the same scale as AWS, which therefore makes them more expensive to use for disaster recovery. In addition, Crespi said OneCloud Software has optimized the process of executing reads and writes between VMware and AWS in a way that minimizes network bandwidth consumption. Once installed, ACE then takes a snapshot of the VMware environment every four hours; with only delta changes to the local VMware environment being copied into AWS.

Naturally, ACE could probably be applied to other cloud platforms than AWS, but Crespi declined to make any further public cloud commitments. From a market share perspective Crespi said AWS is clearly the public cloud that most IT organizations want to use. In addition, Crespi noted that AWS has also been certified to run some of the most sensitive government applications, which gives IT organizations confidence in AWS as a disaster recovery platform.

In general, disaster recovery is clearly the first and most dominant form of hybrid cloud computing that most IT organizations embrace. Eliminating the need to invest in secondary data centers to ensure application availability is an expensive proposition. Of course, many IT organizations have historically relied on providers of hosting services to minimize those costs. But given the low cost of storage in the AWS cloud Crespi noted that it’s now difficult for hosting providers to compete against AWS pricing.

For many solution providers and their customers AWS has become the path of least resistance to the cloud, which more often than not usually begins with some form of disaster recovery software.