Zerto Review

Continuous log file transmission means the granularity of restores is amazing

How has it helped my organization?

The setup is easier than most products, and for us as a cloud partner, once a customer is trained to create VPGs, they are good to go.

What is most valuable?

  • The replication being log-based is awesome. 
  • The VMDK can be preloaded to the remote site or allowed to come across the WAN, then the logs just keep flowing.
  • You can set the number of days a VM can be rolled back in case of corruption or virus infection.
  • Since the log files are continuously transmitted, the granularity of restores is amazing.
  • You can practice failovers (start the replicated virtual machine at the remote site) while the logs keep stacking up. The replicated machine can be open for a few hours, but short times are best depending on how much data is changing.
  • Files can also be extracted from the VMDK at the remote site even when the VM is off.
  • In case of a disaster, a single mouse click sets the restore to the real failover; click the Failover button, the VM on the replication site is started, while the VM at the source site is shut down. Once up, reverse replication begins and stays in log replication until the systems are reverted back to normal via the same process.

What needs improvement?

An integrated encryption would allow for faster initial install and connection to the remote cloud site. 

Their offsite backup is a bit clunky, but it will probably improve.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability. The delivered upgrades and major updates are stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability, it pretty much takes care of itself. One does have to watch where all the recovery site systems are located, to avoid running out of space on the datastores. We can control/move recovery VMs as necessary.

How is customer service and technical support?

Awesome. Their helpdesk people are among the best.

How was the initial setup?

The product needs a VPN tunnel from the customer site to ours. VPNs can be tricky depending on the compatibility of the hardware. The programs themselves are a snap, and surprisingly small.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Cloud providers get good pricing to encourage quick adoption. A new feature is the One-To-Many VPG allowing a VM to be replicated at up to three different locations, including local.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As a cloud service provider, we have many tools to satisfy the needs of the customer. We have used Asigra, Veeam, StorageCraft, as well as Zerto. Each has its strengths. The market is heating up because of CryptoLocker and other viruses.

What other advice do I have?

There are many products on the market that perform Virtual Machine replication. The other products use Snapshot technology which can have issues with Hypervisors or large disk volumes. The datastore or shared disk (depending on Hypervisor) must have enough free space to allow the Snapshot to be open for as long as the backup runs. This can lead to crashes and consolidation issues, which are usually painful. Zerto is a log-based replication product, for that I give it a 10 out of 10.

I've been using it over a year now, and the product has kept improving. It is easy to upgrade to the next minor or major release.

In terms of advice, I would say become VPN, as well as VMware or Hyper-V, savvy.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Cloud Partner.
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