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Unitrends Boomerang for VMware
Fast VMware Replication in the Cloud

Unitrends Boomerang for VMware

Overview:

The fastest, most cost-effective solution for disaster recovery or migration of VMware VMs to Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Easily replicate your VMs to low cost AWS S3 or Azure Blob storage, until needed. Deploy as VMs into AWS and Azure compute clouds for failover, DR testing, or permanent migration. Need to come back to VMware? Return as ready-to-run VMs to your data center in just a few clicks.

Industry’s fastest time from download to VM replication

  • Download, installation, first cloud replications in less than one hour
  • Auto discovers your VMs and displays list in your Boomerang dashboard
  • Agent-free; takes a snapshot of VMs without shutting down servers.
  • Totally intuitive; no professional services required

Easy replication, disaster recovery setup and optimization

  • Intuitive GUI enables fast grouping of VMs into Protection Groups for replication into AWS S3
  • Optimize frequency, timing of backups by Protection Group to balance degree of protection vs network bandwidth usage, to minimize cost
  • Automatically runs incremental, block-level backups on your schedule, with military-grade encryption for complete, secure replication
  • On command, executes fast rehydration of backups to complete, up to date VMs for recovery, including network parameters, making recovery a snap.

Fast, low-cost Disaster Recovery – back to data center or in the cloud

  • Boomerang’s unique “Pilot Light” capability keeps your backups in low cost AWS S3 or AWS IA until needed for disaster recovery, minimizing the use of costly EC2 compute resources.
  • Easily executes immediate copyback of VMs to a data center, OR…
  • …on command, convert VMware VMs to native Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and spins up in AWS EC2
  • Runs independently from data center in the event of a total local outage, ensuring business continuity
  • As needed, reverse-converts AMIs back to VMware VMs and returns to the data center of choice.

Fast, easy, cost-effective VM Migration to the Cloud

  • Rapidly replicates VMs into AWS and auto-converts to native Amazon Machine Images- eliminating the need for tedious, time-consuming, and risky manual remodeling.
  • Remove VMware VMs from your data center (and save a bundle)
  • Change of plans? Can automatically reverse migration back to VMware.

Features:


Fastest Path to Optimized VM Replication

Fastest Path to Optimized VM Replication

In as fast as 15 minutes, Boomerang installs, auto-discovers, and takes a snapshot of your VMs. You can quickly align your VMs by Protection Groups for block-level incremental backups, and then optimize their replication frequency and timing, as well as throttle bandwidth, to balance the degree of protection vs cost of network bandwidth.  All with military-grade encryption, in-flight and at rest.

Multiple Recovery Points Strengthen Your DR Strategy

Multiple Recovery Points Strengthen Your DR Strategy

Ensure your data is resilient to issues with the latest replicated data. You can customize your cloud retention and select from any recovery point you wish to spin up in cloud for failover, DR testing, or migration.

Unique

Unique “Pilot-light” Feature Minimizes Cloud Disaster Recovery Costs

Boomerang stores your backups in low-cost AWS S3, or Microsoft Azure blob storage, until needed for disaster recovery, keeping cloud costs as low as possible. Boomerang’s one-click failover quickly spins them up as native AWS AMIs or Azure VMs. One more click re-converts to VMware VMs and sends them ready to run back to your datacenter.

Easy, Inexpensive VM Migration to the Cloud

Easy, Inexpensive VM Migration to the Cloud

Boomerang automates VMware replication and conversion to native Amazon Machine Images or Microsoft Azure VMs, removing the risk of human error and saving you a bundle in license fees. Change your mind? Boomerang reverse converts, too.

Flexibility

Flexibility

Boomerang provides choice of the two leading hyperscale clouds – Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, plus copyback to your VMware environment.

VM Recovery via Unique Copyback Capability

VM Recovery via Unique Copyback Capability

Need to recover VMs? With one click, Boomerang takes a snapshot of your deployed VM in the cloud and reverse replicates and imports it directly into your VMware environment, fully ready to run.

Benefits:

Boomerang delivers tangible benefits through its incredibly intuitive user interface, breakthrough speed / efficiency for VM replication, reduction in the risk of human error through proven automation techniques, and more.

Compelling cost savings – OPEX
Boomerang uses low-cost AWS S3 or AWS S3 IA and avoids consuming costly EC2 compute resources until needed for disaster recovery, keeping cloud usage fees incredibly low. Further, Boomerang saves user time, minimizes bandwidth costs, can significantly reduce software license fees. Boomerang, at $19.95/VM/month, is the lowest cost solution in the market, with no maintenance, support, or professional services fees.

Compelling cost savings – CAPEX
Boomerang can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for redundant hardware or data centers to protect VMs.

Reliable VM Remodeling
Boomerang’s proven, automated VM remodeling to native cloud virtual machines (and back) makes VM migration a safe and rapid procedure. Boomerang even handles the transformation of networking differences between VMware and AWS.

Security
Boomerang provides military-grade encryption for your VMs and data, both in-flight and in the cloud.

Risk mitigation
Boomerang’s proven automation of tasks and seamless integration with VMware and AWS minimizes risk due to human error, and speeds recovery time.

Flexibility
Boomerang provides choice of the two leading hyperscale clouds – AWS and Microsoft Azure for offsite backup and disaster recovery.

Boomerang Dashboard
Boomerang Dashboard

Use Cases:

Boomerang solves three typical challenges faced by VMware users.

Fast VM replication into the cloud.

Installs in less than one hour, auto-discovers and replicates your VMs in low-cost AWS S3 or AWS S3 IA to keep cloud fees at an absolute minimum. Automatically drives scheduled incremental, block-level backups. Boomerang rehydrates backups as ready-to-run VMs to copyback to your datacenter on command.

Uniquely low-cost disaster recovery – on premise or in the cloud.

Unlike alternative solutions, Boomerang doesn’t use costly live Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) in AWS EC2 running in compute mode 24x7. In the event of a system failure, Boomerang’s “Pilot Light” feature quickly auto-converts VMs replicated in inexpensive AWS S3 to native AMIs, and spins them up in EC2. When the issue is resolved, a few clicks reverse the conversion and brings everything back to your data center. The cost savings can be huge.

Full VM migration to the cloud.

Easily migrates your VMware VMs to the cloud, eliminating the need for VMware licenses. Change your mind? Boomerang can bring it all back to your data center.

Video:

Boomerang Demo

Watch a demonstration of Boomerang for VMware to see how easy it is to migrate and recover your VMs.



Frequently Asked Questions:

Unitrends Boomerang is available as a virtual appliance that lets you easily replicate your VMware VMs to low cost AWS S3 or Azure Blob storage, without costing you a cent for cloud compute. When needed, Boomerang will automate the conversion and spin-up of your VMware VMs into native AWS and Azure formats for failover, DR testing, or permanent migration. What’s most comforting, is that if you need to come back to VMware, Boomerang will return the VMs running in the cloud back into your VMware environment in a singlestep

Free Trial and Not For Resale (NFR) Editions

What are the trial options?
You can opt for a standard 30-Day Free Trial using your own VMware environment and cloud account. You are responsible for the cloud infrastructure costs. Additionally, you can choose to leverage the 7-Day Test Drive. This also requires that you install Boomerang into your own VMware environment, but you can use a Unitrends-owned cloud account so you do not incur cloud costs for the trial period. Test Drive is only available for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Are software upgrades available to the Trial Edition?
Yes. Virtual appliances with a trial key qualify for software upgrades that may be released during your evaluation.

Can I upgrade to a paid license directly from the Trial Edition?
Yes. During or after your trial, you can apply a paid license and will experience no interruption.

Are not for resale (NFR) editions available?
Yes. NFR licenses can be requested through Unitrends sales and channel representatives.

Are the trial and NFR options limited in functionality?
No. You get full functionality while they are active.

What happens after my trial or NFR expire?
Replication ceases to function until a valid license is applied.

Licensing and Purchase Options

What licensing options are available for purchase?
Boomerang has two licensing options:

  • Disaster Recovery
  • Migration

How is Disaster Recovery licensed?
Disaster Recovery (DR) is licensed per VMware virtual machine. The license is a recurring annual subscription (multi-year options are available). Subscriptions must be renewed for the product to continue to function.

How are VM licenses counted for DR?
Active DR licenses are counted against the total number of virtual machines included across all Protection Groups. Licenses are not tied to individual virtual machines. They can be switched based on how your Protection Group policies change over time.

How is Migration licensed?
Migration licenses are a one-time charge per virtual machine. There is no renewal or subscription. They remain active for 30-days. For longer-term migrations, contact your channel or Unitrends representative to discuss options, or simply purchase a DR subscription license instead.

How are VM licenses counted for Migration?
Migration licenses are tied to a specific virtual machine. Once the VM is included in the Protection Group for Migration, the license is tied to that virtual machine.

Can I purchase Migration and Disaster Recovery licenses for the same environment?
Yes. Some virtual machines can be licensed for Migration. Some can be licensed for DR. A VM cannot be licensed for both at the same time.

Are there minimum quantity restrictions for purchase?
No. You are free to purchase from 1 to as many VM licenses as you need.

Functionality and Hidden Gems

What is a Protection Group?
A Protection Group is a set of VMs that you choose to logically group together in the Boomerang user interface. Replication policies are applied to the Protection Group – such as scheduling and retention. Additionally, failover and failback procedures can be automated for an entire Protection Group or only certain VMs within the Protection Group.

What is Deployment?
Deployment is the process of spinning up virtual machines in the cloud. It is called Deployment because the process deploys VMs from the cloud object storage into the compute platform.

What is Copyback?
Copyback is performed against VMs that are already deployed into the cloud. This is a failback process that automates the capture of the latest data running in the cloud, the reverse replication back to the VMware environment, and the import process into the VMware environment. At the end of a Copyback, you have running VMs in your local VMware environment.

What is Restore?
Restores occur from your cloud object storage. You use the restore feature if you have an on-premises issue and need to recover a VM from cloud storage back to your local VMware environment. The process is similar to Copyback, except the restored VM is recovered from cloud object storage instead of the compute platform after Deployment.

How long does it take to Deploy/Failover into AWS or Azure?
Your mileage will vary, especially since resources in the cloud are dynamically shared. Small VMs can take minutes. Large VMs can take many hours. This Boomerang Community article shows one benchmark run by Unitrends with AWS. We recommend you test a few times to see for yourself.

Do I need to pay for Boomerang to run in the cloud?
Any VMs that run in the cloud will incur costs from the cloud provider. The good thing with Boomerang is that you do not need Boomerang in the cloud for the replication process at all. In a failover scenario, when your on-premises virtual appliance is no longer accessible, you will need to run Boomerang in the cloud to execute the failover.

If my VMware environment is not accessible, how do I use Boomerang to failover to the cloud?
In essence, you use Boomerang to replicate and pre-deploy a copy of the software in the cloud, but keep it powered down to avoid any compute costs. Spin it up, only in a disaster scenario. For more details, see this step-by-step guide.

Does Boomerang support physical servers or VMs running on hypervisors other than VMware vSphere?
Boomerang only supports VMware virtual machines at this time.

Can I use Boomerang with other VMware backup products, including UEB and Recovery Series?
Yes. Please note that it is best practice to attempt to offset their schedules so as not to attempt to snapshot the same VM at the same time.

What if I replace my Boomerang appliance?
No worries. The appliance is completely stateless. All Protection Group, configuration, and licensing information is stored within your cloud storage account. A new Boomerang appliance can connect to it with your account credentials and pick up where the previous appliance left off.

Maximums and Restrictions

How many VMs can a single Boomerang instance protect?
It is best practice to limit a single instance of Boomerang to 40-50 VMs. Your mileage will vary. You can add more appliances to scale out without any licensing impact.

Are there limitations on VM size?
Yes. The limitations are imposed by AWS and Azure, not Boomerang. You cannot deploy VMs with virtual disks (VMDKs) larger than 1TB. You can replicate them to cloud storage, but you cannot spin them up in the compute platforms. For AWS, the limitation is in their import API from S3 to EC2. For Azure, virtual disks greater than 1TB are simply not supported to run at all. To work around this issue, reduce the size of your virtual disks to below 1TB and log a feature request with the provider if you have a support agreement. More requests will hopefully inspire them to lift these limitations.

What CPU and memory configurations can be used in the cloud?
Amazon EC2 instances and Azure VMs have predefined CPU and memory configurations and consumption costs. Boomerang will select the one that most closely resembles the configuration of the VMware VM. However, you can customize which instances you want Boomerang to configure when you Deploy.

Support and Services

How is Boomerang supported?
Boomerang uses an online support model that allows partners, customers and those evaluating the product to self-serve for most technical inquiries using the interactive Online Boomerang Community and state-of-the-art context sensitive help are built into the user interface.

How do I open a support ticket?
You can open a ticket very simply using the Boomerang user interface. Simply use the Support menu at the top. Provide your appliance ID in your ticket, which can be found under the Settings menu of the UI. Unitrends can then access all relevant logs needed to diagnose your issue.

Why can’t I just call support on the phone?
The aggressive pricing, simplicity of the user experience, and online community make self-service fast and easy for customers to solve support issues. The online support case creation functionality and state-of-the-art logging also allow for fast, effective support without having to add cost to the product for phone support infrastructure.

How does the pre-sales support process work?
During an evaluation, you will receive helpful emails with tips and tricks to make the most out of your evaluation and educate you on the product. A dedicated sales engineer can also be available to answer any questions. It is highly recommended to view the Online Step-By-Step Demo to get acquainted with the product on your own time.

Documentation:

Download the Unitrends Boomerang for VMware Datasheet (PDF).