TFD11 - Long awaited features in the next version of Zerto

By | July 18, 2016

Zerto was one of presenters during Tech Field Day 11 (TFD11) in Boston. Its product is a Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) solution for virtual environments - VMs replication between data centers. Joshua Stenhouse (Technology Evangelist) presented 3 different use cases of customers, showed demos and feature plans for Q4 2016. All of the video recordings are available at Tech Field Day.

Just for a quick reminder on Zerto main features:

  • Cross Hypervisor Support - VMware <--> Hyper-V
  • DRaaS to Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Snapshots are not used
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – seconds. (async replication available)
  • Storage-agnostic - any storage supported by VMware/Hyper-V (including FC, FCoE, iSCSI, NAS, and DAS) is supported by Zerto
  • Orchestration of DR workflows, including test, failover and failback of a single VM or VMs group
  • Zerto can replicate source RDMs (Raw Device Mappings) to target VMDKs and source VMDKs to target RDMs
  • Checkpoints every 5 seconds and on demand. VSS checkpoints available as well
  • File-level restore

If you are not familiar with Zerto Architecture please follow my post here.

What’s planned for Q4 2016?
  • DRaaS to Microsoft Azure - at first VMware/Hyper-V --> Azure
  • Journal 1 month
  • One to many replication: protect a vm to multi sites
  • Mobile App - SaaS delivered app to view multi Zerto Virtual Managers (ZVMs) - monitoring only

Journal extended to 1 monthZerto - journal 1 month

Current version of Zerto 4.5 supports Journal (compression available) max 14 days. It's not so bad, however 1 month will let us to use a local replica (to different datastore built on another storage array) as a good backup solution. We will able to restore quickly whole VMs or specific files from checkpoint done every 5 seconds (granular recovery was introduced in Zerto 4.5 and available only for Windows files and SQL, Exchange and Oracle). Journal can be useful e.g. in the fight against malicious software 🙂 as Joshua showed (use case 2).

One to many replication and one to many platforms

This is my (and customers) long awaited feature - to be able to configure one to many replication. The next version of Zerto will support three types of replica - local, remote or multi-remote. A VM can be added to max three VPGs. Unfortunately, still we will not able to configure the cascading replication e.g. Site A --> Site B --> Site C.

  • Local and remoteZerto - local and remote replica
  • Local, DRC and CloudZerto - multi replicaWe will able to configure one to many platforms replication:  VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V or Azure, Amazon AWS and Zerto Cloud Service Provider Network. e.g. we can configure replication from VMware environment to:
    • local - VMware, different datastore
    • remote - Microsoft Hyper-V
    • cloud - Amazon AWS

Currently, there is a limitation during recover of VMs. If we add some VMs into a VPG, we have to failover all VMs in the VPG. Fortunately, the limitation will be solved in the next version of Zerto and we will able to recover individual VMs.

Zerto does a great job - simple, powerful tool to provide DR for virtual environments. I'm looking forward to testing the next version of product in my lab!

Author: Mariusz

Architect (~ 15 years experience based on passion...) with strong background as a System Administrator and Engineer. Focused on Data Center Solutions: Virtualization/Cloud Computing and Storage/Backup Systems. Currently living in Poland.