Zerto Announces ZVR 6.0

Zerto recently announced version 6.0 of their Zero Virtual Replication (ZVR) product and I had the opportunity to speak with Rob Strechay (Senior VP, Product) about the announcement.

 

Announcement

Multi-cloud Mobility

Multi-cloud workload mobility is probably the biggest bit of news from the 6.0 release. It provides “inter-cloud and intra-cloud workload mobility and protection between Azure, IBM Cloud, AWS and more than 350 cloud service providers (CSPs)”. This is the culmination of a lot of work by Zerto over the past few years, with support for AWS delivered in 2014, Azure in 2016, and now you have the ability to move workloads between clouds as well. The cool thing about this is that you can do some interesting stuff with workload migration, moving to and from Azure, and also in-between Azure (i.e. region to region).

GCP is on their roadmap, however demand for that functionality has not been as great according to Strechay.

 

Enhanced Analytics Visibility

Zerto’s analytics capability (first announced in ZVR 5.5) has been enhanced as well. Customers now have access to expanded dashboards with:

  • Live network analysis reports for troubleshooting and optimisation;
  • Insights into network throughput and performance;
  • The ability to monitor site-to-site and outbound traffic; and
  • 30 days of network history metrics for any site.

 

Cloud Portal for CSPs

CSPs are still a huge piece of what makes Zerto successful. The new CSP Management Portal will give CSPs the ability to “remotely upgrade customer sites to provide them with continuous availability and latest software releases”. This is a SaaS-delivered service, and will eventually be supported for Enterprise customers as well.

 

Thoughts and Further Reading

If you’ve ever been to VMworld (or similar events), you’ll see that Zerto make a big effort to get in front of current (and potential) customers and spread the good word about disaster recovery and disaster avoidance. Not only do they make pretty good t-shirts, they also have a nifty product (and excellent CSP ecosystem) that keeps improving as the years go by. They now support over 6000 customers in over 70 countries and have done quite a bit of work to make disaster recovery for virtual environments a relatively simple undertaking. This simplicity, coupled with some great improvements in cloud workload mobility make it worth a second look.

Disaster recovery (and disaster avoidance), like most data protection activities, isn’t sexy. It’s boring. And you hope you’ll never have to use it. But if you’ve ever had to, you’ll know how kludgy some solutions can be. Zerto has worked hard to not be one of those solutions, instead offering a simple mechanism for workload protection and mobility. If you’re into that kind of thing (and you probably should be), they’re worth checking out.

Zerto Analytics – Seeing Is Understanding

I attended VMworld US in August and had hoped to catch up with Zerto regarding their latest product update (the snappily titled Zerto Virtual Replication 5.5). Unfortunately there were some scheduling issues and we were unable to meet up. I was, however, briefed by them a few weeks later on some of the new features, particularly around the Zerto Analytics capability. This is a short post that focuses primarily on that part of the announcement.

 

Incremental But Important Announcement

If you’re unfamiliar with Zerto, they provide cloud and hypervisor-based workload replication for disaster recovery. They’ve been around since 2010, and the product certainly has its share of fans. The idea behind Zerto Analytics, according to Zerto, is that it “provides real-time and historical analytics on the status and health of multi-site, multi-cloud environments”.

It is deployed on Zerto’s new SaaS platform, is accessible to all Zerto VR customers, and, according to Zerto, “you will be able to quickly visualize your entire infrastructure from a single pane of glass”.

 

The Value

DR is a vital function that a whole bunch of companies don’t understand terribly well. Zerto provide a reasonably comprehensive solution for companies looking to protect their hypervisor-based workloads in multiple locations while leveraging a simple to use interface for recovery. because when it all goes wrong you want it to be easy to come back. The cool thing about Zerto Analytics is that it gives you more than the standard issue status reporting you’ve previously enjoyed. Instead, you can go through historical data to get a better understanding of the replication requirements of your workloads, and the hot and cold times for workloads. I think this is super useful when it comes to (potentially) understanding when planned maintenance needs to occur, and when a good time is to schedule in your test recoveries or data migration activities.

There’s never a good time for a disaster. That’s why they call them disasters. But the more information you have available at the time of a disaster, the better the chances are of you coming out the other end in good shape. The motto at my daughters’ school is “Scientia est Potestas”. This doesn’t actually mean “Science is Potatoes” but is Latin for “Knowledge is Power”. As with most things in IT (and life), a little bit of extra knowledge (in the form of insight and data) can go a long way. Zerto are keen, with this release, to improve the amount of visibility you have into your environment from a DR perspective. This can only be a good thing, particularly when you can consume it across a decent range of platforms.

DR isn’t just about the technology by any stretch. You need an extensive understanding of what’s happening in your environment, and you need to understand what happens to people when things go bang. But one of the building blocks for success, in my opinion, is providing a solid platform for recovery in the event that something goes pear-shaped. Zerto isn’t for everyone, but I get the impression anecdotally that they’re doing some pretty good stuff around making what can be a bad thing into a more positive experience.

 

Read More

Technical documentation on Zerto Virtual Replication 5.5 can be found here. There’s also a great demo on YouTube that you can see here.