I was privileged to witness Zerto’s humble beginnings at Tech Field Day 6, when it came out of stealth with a product that quite frankly surprised us. Why? Not because Zerto was so different, not because it was a technical game changer, but because it seemed at the time to be a product too late to market. VMware was just about to release VDP, virtual machine replication that did not rely on there being similar storage arrays at primary and secondary sites.
It is safe to say that we were worried for Zerto’s future. However, fast-forward six years, and according to our research, it is one of the leaders in the data protection market. From those humble beginnings, Zerto has managed to sideline VMware’s core data recovery and protection product SRM. Now it is moving into the arena of multicloud.
Version 6.0 of its Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) brings bidirectional support between Azure, IBM Cloud, AWS, and all the hundreds of CSPs that are using Zerto to do site-to-cloud backup. That’s correct: you can ingest and retrieve virtual machines from one cloud vendor to another. Multicloud is starting to become a reality. True, it is not yet synchronous, but we are now talking RPOs in seconds and RTOs down to minutes. This is more than good enough for the vast majority of use cases, and things will only get better. With the use of continuous replication and automation using the native APIs of the cloud providers to get the data into and out of whichever cloud is being utilised, Zerto is obtaining the best possible integration and performance speeds per cloud provider.
This is not all that ZVR 6.0 brings to the party. Enhancements to its journalling capability provide faster file level restore support in both Linux EXT and Windows file systems. This, combined with Zerto’s continuous data protection and automated replication, means its customers will now have even more flexibility in designing their data protection strategies.
A new service to Zerto’s cloud portal enables CSPs that offer DRaaS to remotely update their customers’ virtual replication appliances to provide them with seamless access to the latest software releases and enhancements without the previously associated site visits—a little bit like continuous improvements for continuous availability.
Finally, the company announced improvements to Zerto Analytics, which give customers visibility into the health and compliance of protected multisite, multicloud environments. These enhancements include expanded dashboards with new live network analysis reports for troubleshooting and optimization, insights into network throughput and performance, the ability to monitor site-to-site and outbound traffic, and thirty days of network history metrics for any site. This sounds great, but does it mean YAMC (yet another management console)?
This is not all. For me, the biggest thing in ZVR 6.0 is something that Zerto didn’t even mention in its press release. Zerto has published full RESTful APIs for Zerto Analytics. This enables anybody to write plugins to their management product of choice, removing the need for a separate Zerto management console. Full documentation for the APIs can be found at http://docs.api.zerto.com. This API allows access to reporting information, including information you RPO, journal, and network performance for up to a month of data. Further, the monitoring API provides access to real-time monitoring information about your environment, including information about the VPGs, tasks, alerts, and events. This is accessible from multiple Zerto Virtual Managers to provide a single point of truth for your Zerto environment.
Another thing of interest is that Zerto not only provides data protection for IBM Cloud, but IBM Cloud is one of the very first public cloud vendors to go live with another new server, which allows a fully OEMd version of Zerto to be offered as a service to cloud providers.
This is a pretty powerful release and is definitely worthy of the major release number. From a humble acorn, the mighty oak grows. Zerto is well on its way to becoming a sturdy oak tree. To use a cricketing saying, it has really knocked this release for 6.