So I’ve been exposed to Zerto for some time now and I’ve been wanting to put a quick write up on it here as it’s a great product that can play a critical role in your DR and BCP planning.
Zerto is a hypervisor-based replication software product that can integrate with your VMWare VSphere virtual platform to provide replication and advanced features for your DR and BCP Plans. From the business perspective it enables I.T. to align their software and systems with the Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DR) strategies. The biggest thing for me is that when I’ve used Zerto as for hypervisor-based data replication, I have been able to reduce DR complexity and costs and still protect my client’s mission-critical virtualized applications. The downside is that it doesn’t really touch or allow for your legacy or dedicated hardware or SAN based CIFS shares to be replicated. Both of these have given me grief and in some cases can be a major issue.
Depending on who’s reading this, you may or may not know how insanely complex, quirky and annoying most legacy BCP and DR solutions can be, I’ve seen people quit their jobs over the frustrations and problems caused by systems that just don’t hold up to today’s world of high density and highly virtualised production environments, I’ve also seen numerous clients where there is a substantial difference between the understanding of what I.T. department can provide during a disaster and what the business thinks their I.T. department can do. This gap is a major stressor for I.T. staff and is not normally easy to resolve without major capex and opex costs.
Zerto provides a number of benefits and advantages over dedicated hardware solutions or hosted options
Reduced hardware costs, Zerto is a very powerful product and it is well positioned to take over and leverage existing hardware and slack storage for replication as well as not needing tier 1 high end storage at the replication site.
Reduced complexity and streamline IT operations, Normally I think that companies throw this one out there with anything they sell, however I’ve seen and experienced how much Zerto can reduce the day to day management of DR replication, I’ve also never had clients come back to me months after implementation just to say its great and just works. Zerto really puts a polished and simple interface over the top of what is a very complex process. One of the features that I think people need to have a play with as soon as they start testing this is the Virtual Protection Groups (VPG), I’m frequently working with systems that must be aligned throughout the stack, sometimes as many as 8 to 12 servers for a single instance and frequently with dozens of instances. VPG’s can make life amazingly simple. (Let’s not even talk about how well it plugs into VMware and VSphere, vmotion, DRS, HA and SVM)
Powerful BC/DR for Missions Critical Applications, Replication, Backups, RoboCopy, cloning, snapshotting, it’s all about making a copy of data, and nearly everyone and anything can do this, however I.T. and business is becoming a lot smarter and more intelligent about how they do business. Zerto is really good at not only getting you the right data in the right place, it’s also about getting it there in a useable and valuable state. The number of organisations that I’ve worked with that could not show that their Disaster Recovery system worked is staggering, when working with Zerto you quickly become used to having the ability the run up an isolated version of your SharePoint or CRM environment, applying patches and updates, testing then destroying and moving on to update your production environment with confidence that you’re in a good state.
In short, give Zerto a look if you need replication and recovery, or if you have requirements around testing patches and updates to your systems.