Zerto Continues to Impress, in Move Towards IT Resilience - #ZertoCON2018
I had the recent pleasure of attending the third ZertoCON and continue to be impressed by both Zerto as a company, as well as their partner ecosystem, which Navisite is an integral part of. In the years since we started working with them, Zerto has become the first name in VM replication, thanks to their continuous replication model, as well as their support for public and private clouds as the source and destination of that replication.
Unlike the replication solutions that come natively from virtualization or cloud vendors, Zerto is designed to work with many different platforms, and in doing so, has become a very powerful tool for Navisite and others, when it comes to promoting a multi-cloud story. However, Zerto is not content with just providing replication, they are looking to do more.
When it comes to data protection, there have traditionally been two major solutions – backups and replication. Backups are typically completed once a day and are kept for a long period of time in order to recover files that may have been lost. They are intended to provide access to all data over the lifetime of an application, even after it has been deleted or purged. Replication on the other hand is all about having a recovery site with data as close to the production data as possible, so that business can continue quickly with minimal loss of data.
In this manner, backup and replication have long been complimentary technologies, but in recent years backup vendors have been edging closer to replication and replication vendors have been edging closer to backups. Last week's announcement of Zerto 7 as an "IT resilience" platform is Zerto staking their claim in the backup space.
The heart of the Zerto product has long been the "journal", a database of sorts containing all of the changes to an application so that the VM can be recreated. While the journal was originally designed to be just an up-to-date copy of production, the Zerto engineers started including an element of time so that the journal would include an aspect of time as well.
This allows the recovery of a system not only exactly as it was five minutes ago, but also as it was five hours or five days ago, depending on how much space you give the journal. The journal is particularly effective against ransomware attacks, so that you can quickly recover to a time just before the infection occurred and minimize any data loss.
Up until this point, the length of that journal was measured in days, but with Zerto 7, the journal appears to be able to create copies for longer term retention and start fulfilling more of a backup type of use case. It should be noted that Zerto 7 is not slated for release for quite a few months, and as the Commvaults of the world will tell you, creating a backup platform that meets the regulatory and business requirements of an enterprise is not an easy thing to do.
That being said, I think Zerto has a great vision for the future, and they have a very capable product and development team who should be able to deliver on that vision, in due time. I look forward to seeing the results.