Sr Systems Engineer at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Great interface, easy to use, and simple to update
Pros and Cons
  • "The biggest benefit is the application-consistent disaster recovery functionality."
  • "Zerto could improve its reporting capabilities."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is disaster recovery. 

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest benefit is the application-consistent disaster recovery functionality. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features include the ease of use and the usability of the user interface. Long-term, the solution has proven to be very resilient and stable. It meets our DR needs for VM environments. 

The near-synchronous replication is a great feature. You have near real-time DR capabilities. In the years I've used it, we've had application-consistent profiles. To meet the recovery point and recovery time objectives, it helps to have that on hand. 

It's affected our RPOs positively. It totally meets them via near-synchronous replication. That means the VM stays in a consistent state and is always available. 

What needs improvement?

Zerto could improve its reporting capabilities. That's lacking. The alerting capabilities are lacking as well, partly due to the fact that there's no way to trim down the alert fatigue if there are failures within the application. It will send out alerts consistently instead of spreading the alert times every 30 minutes, hour, et cetera. 

Buyer's Guide
Zerto
February 2024
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: February 2024.
756,650 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Zerto at our organization over the past eight years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I cannot comment on scalability. We only have two Zerto instances installed, one in production and one in DR. We haven't had to scale out or to the cloud. 

We are protecting upwards of 100 virtual machines. 

How are customer service and support?

Zerto's support is good. They are responsive from an email perspective. I've never had to pick up the phone to call them for anything beyond our DR testing every year. In those cases, we do open a proactive ticket in the case that we run into issues with recovering virtual machines. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not use any other solution previously. We chose Zerto since it was an application we inherited. It wasn't something I specifically chose, however, understanding the industry, we know that it is the top player in terms of software recoverability for virtual machines. 

How was the initial setup?

I did not initially set up the solution; I inherited it. However, over the past eight years, we have gone through a number of upgrades, which for the most part have gone seamlessly. We did have a few issues in the past that support was able to fix in a timely fashion. 

What was our ROI?

I'm unsure if the company has witnessed any ROI. We have not gone through any TCO analysis. 

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

The licensing is outside of my purview. 

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten. If the reporting and alerting functionality were better, I'd rate it ten out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
PeerSpot user
Systems Engineer at a insurance company with 51-200 employees
Real User
It's a set-it-and-forget-it product, so you don't need to go in except to make sure everything runs smoothly
Pros and Cons
  • "It is the backbone of our DR solution for critical databases that hold the data we can't afford to lose. It provided new opportunities to change how we approach disaster recovery."
  • "I wish Zerto had better file restoration capabilities. We have not been able to use that because of the limitations of Zerto's de-duplication technology."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto as our primary disaster recovery tool for our most important servers.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto is tremendously valuable. It is the backbone of our DR solution for critical databases that hold the data we can't afford to lose. It provided new opportunities to change how we approach disaster recovery. 

We realized the benefits quickly, but I don't think it became a staple of our disaster recovery until about a year into our deployment. In the first couple of months, we had some hiccups with upgrades. Once they sorted everything out, it truly became a core solution for us.

It enabled us to transition from data recovery based in a physical data center to the cloud and protect VMs in our environment. Our RPOs also improved tremendously. When we first started, only one other product offered the same RPOs that Zerto provides. However, the other product was problematic, and Zerto has been solid. Compared to other DR solutions, it works quickly to stand up the failed server at another site and bring it nearly into full production. 

We used it to migrate a server, which provided a wonderful recovery time. It worked well. Our RTOs improved tremendously. It reduced downtime in most situations and the time spent on DR testing. A DR test used to run probably 48 hours and involved around four engineers. With Zerto, it runs for about six hours and only requires two engineers.

What is most valuable?

We couldn't find a product that provides the near-zero recovery point that Zerto offers. The closest we could get was another product that had zero data loss. Everything else had a minimum of 15 minutes of replication time, resulting in data loss.

Zerto can also perform test environment restorations that don't affect production. It's also easy to use. It's a set-it-and-forget-it product. Unless you need to make changes to the devices you protect, you don't need to go in except to make sure everything runs smoothly.

What needs improvement?

I wish Zerto had better file restoration capabilities. We have not been able to use that because of the limitations of Zerto's de-duplication technology. When we used the immutable data copies feature, we had some lag in replication times, so we don't use that anymore. When there is big data movement, it tends to cause some lag.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Zerto for about three or four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

With time, it became a highly reliable and stable solution. We were an early adopter, and it had some hiccups initially. I think they've done a great job streamlining it and making it reliable.

How are customer service and support?

The times that I've needed technical support, they've been very good.I would give it an eight.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Zerto still hasn't replaced all our other backup solutions, but it has replaced two of them. It is leagues above the other products we used in terms of simplicity and reliability. We have another solution to get around Zerto's file restoration and de-duplication issues. We use Veeam Backup and Replication for that. 

How was the initial setup?

Setting up Zerto is straightforward. The documentation was great, and it is intuitive. Integration with VMware is seamless. It's good at running the scripts needed to run in order to work with VMware. We have a 90 percent virtualized environment. 

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

I think everything can be cheaper. Pricing limited our ability to use Zerto as much as we'd like, but that's not why we haven't adopted it as our primary backup solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Double-Take, Veeam's replication solution, and Azure's Site Recovery. None could match Zerto's RTO and RPO. The only one that got close was Double-Take, but Double-Take was very problematic.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Zerto eight out of ten. There's always room for improvement. It's one of the best solutions for disaster recovery available right now.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Zerto
February 2024
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: February 2024.
756,650 professionals have used our research since 2012.
System Engineer at American Medical Response
Real User
Enables us to move an VM from our old environment to our new environment with minimal disruption
Pros and Cons
  • "The Move feature is the most valuable feature because it allows us to move the VM from our old environment to our new environment with minimal disruption."
  • "Some of the features need improvement. One would be, as you're creating a Move group or a VPG, as they call it, it should either autosave or have the ability so that you can save it for coming back to later because if the setup times out, you lose all your work. That would be a nice improvement to have."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto for data migrations. We use it to move our virtual machines from one location or data center to another and eventually, we then switch that over to DR from our facility in one state to another. It's for the migration of existing VMs.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto has improved my organization by allowing us to do several VM moves. It simply allows us to bring a server back up on the new side, which looks like a reboot of a server. It's a virtual move to the new stage, so it goes from existing VM host to new VM host on the other side.

It has reduced downtime for the servers that we migrate over. By how much is a hard number to put because we do a big group of them together, so we're able to group the move as opposed to doing more one-offs.

The amount the downtime would cost my company would strictly depend upon which servers we were moving because some don't really cost the business. There are others that would cost the business for having to be up as much as possible, 24/7.

What is most valuable?

The Move feature is the most valuable feature because it allows us to move the VM from our old environment to our new environment with minimal disruption.

It's extremely easy to use. It's pretty self-explanatory as you run through setting up your VPGs for your protection groups and then to do a migration or a test failover.

What needs improvement?

Some of the features need improvement. One would be, as you're creating a Move group or a VPG, as they call it, it should either autosave or have the ability so that you can save it for coming back to later because if the setup times out, you lose all your work. That would be a nice improvement to have.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zerto for three months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, the stability has been great. We have not had any issues with that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Only two of us work on it and we're both system engineers.

We do not need dedicated staff for deployment and maintenance of the solution.

It's being used to move a total of around a couple of thousand VMs, so I don't have any issues with scalability.

Currently, we aren't planning to expand capacity because we have a total of around 500 agents to protect, so until we get the true DR, we will have to evaluate if we need to expand that. We will primarily only be using it for DR and any server migrations we may need to do from one system to another.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support has been very good and prompt to get back to us with answers.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We would either use a Veeam or VMware solution, but we haven't had a real DR product outside of Veeam.

We find Zerto to be the most beneficial right now in helping us migrate from one data center to another data center for the testing environment. And for future capabilities, for a true DR scenario.

I would say it's a lot more simple to set up and maintain than VMware and Veeam.

Replacing these legacy solutions has saved us on the costs needed to manage them.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation was really straightforward and easy. We worked with one of their support engineers and we got it up and running really quickly. The deployment took around one hour. 

We didn't really have an implementation strategy. It was about getting the server manager and server up and then walk through the installation steps. We followed their guidelines.

What was our ROI?

I'm not sure if I can put a dollar amount on ROI but the biggest return is time to actually get things set up and then begin to migrate virtual machines over to the new environment.

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

I'm not 100% sure about the pricing because I wasn't as much part of the pricing part of it, but it fell within our budget. Its features and price are good compared to the options we were looking at.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Rubrik and a solution from Dell. The main advantage that we found was that Zerto fit our current need for migrating from one environment to another better than others, and its good standing in the community where there are a few products.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to plan out your Move groups and work with your business to get everything validated so you can back up on the other side.

I would rate Zerto a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Rodney Carlson - PeerSpot reviewer
Rodney CarlsonSystem Analyst at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User

An additional comment that Zerto has a Long Term Recovery option built in so you could eliminate Veeam. Basically we set up a storage array, assigned it a protected share, and created a Zerto repository on it. Now our back ups both short term  and long term are covered. Zerto also has the ability to restore individual files. A nice software solution for whatever hardware you want to use.

Lead Site Reliability Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Gives us a seamless, performant data center migration
Pros and Cons
  • "It gives us a seamless, performant data center migration. When we were migrating between physical data centers, we did what normally would have been a 72-hour job in about 18 hours. A large part of that was thanks to Zerto being able to rate limit and throttle how much data was being sent or transfers were happening. Being able to script around it and create governors was important. We didn't have that previously. That is one big use case that has saved an immense amount of time and effort."
  • "Analytics has a 90-day window, where it keeps data. It would be nice to have on-prem storage instead of cloud storage for that so we can keep the data for longer. Unless you discover the problem within three months, you don't know that you need the data. Then, it is gone by the time you realize there is an issue."

What is our primary use case?

Zerto is primarily used for site-to-site replication and recovery, low RTO and RPO, and migration from onsite to the cloud.

Currently, we have ZVMs installed on Windows Servers in our environment, vRAs and VRAHs installed on our vCenter environment, and ZCAs installed in our Azure environment.

I am not the primary user of Zerto. I am sort of the implementation or API specialist on it.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us a seamless, performant data center migration. When we were migrating between physical data centers, we did what normally would have been a 72-hour job in about 18 hours. A large part of that was thanks to Zerto being able to rate limit and throttle how much data was being sent or transfers were happening. Being able to script around it and create governors was important. We didn't have that previously. That is one big use case that has saved an immense amount of time and effort. 

Previous data migrations were really tough and hard. It was high stress with late nights, no sleep, and a lot of coffee and Red Bull. We didn't have that this time. Everyone felt that we got through this in a slightly longer working day instead of 72 hours. So, we have seen a return on investment.

Another use case is being able to do disaster recovery testing at will, whenever we want to. That has been really special.

What is most valuable?

Primarily, the most valuable feature is the simplified deployment methodology, but also use the REST API and script ability for modularity. 

Zerto API Wrapper is really good. We don't use the Zerto module specifically. Instead, we use API Wrapper, which is a lot better in my opinion. The fact that we can extend the functionality of Zerto to high-level policies or processes via the API, whether it is through API Wrapper or otherwise, sort of brings out a lot of interesting usability use cases for us. We can do self-service replication of servers via ServiceNow, scripting, etc., offering extensibility. It is really easy to use. It helps to save a ton of time as far as replication goes.

There are open API calls. Things are available via the UI and API that may not be documented really well. You can open developer tools, inspect those elements, and see what those payloads are, but it is an extra step. For someone who is kind of new to the game, they may not know how to do that. 

What needs improvement?

Zerto is not an API-first company, but an API-now company. A lot of the functionality that is in Zerto UI is not in the Zerto API. That is likely because it is baked in code or compiled down DLLs. Every business has to make a decision to work on something, and I don't think Zerto has committed resources to working on that part. It is a problem to do cleanup for Azure Blob Storage, recovery site storage, or whenever you remove a VM from a VPG without deleting the VPG. That needs to be improved. 

Doing scheduled disaster recovery connection tests, e.g., being able to migrate things up and get things working on a recovery site without needing a user to do it, would be helpful.

Analytics has a 90-day window, where it keeps data. It would be nice to have on-prem storage instead of cloud storage for that so we can keep the data for longer. Unless you discover the problem within three months, you don't know that you need the data. Then, it is gone by the time you realize there is an issue. 

I would like to be able to offsite some data. We export our analytical data so we can keep it longer without having to script around it. It is possible right now, with the API, to script around it. However, I don't want to have to write a monthly process to export the last three months of data to a spreadsheet so I can just have it if I need it. 

A lot of the PowerShell documentation in some of Zerto tutorials or how-tos is a PowerShell-to-legacy sort of paradigm. It needs to be updated to at least 3, likely 5, or probably 7. It looks like it was written by someone who didn't know PowerShell, but had to learn it really fast. It does the job. If you copy and paste it, then it will work, which is something. That is way better than what a lot of people do. However, I feel like a bit more effort should be pushed towards PowerShell.

I would like them to build an alerting system. I am trying to find a way to connect it to my business continuity people, so the Zerto people don't need to be pseudo-business continuity people all the time. They can just be IT people. 

I would like more creature comforts for the scripting engineer. It would be nice if they could expand the development community around building different APIs or API structures for Zerto.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for two and a half to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability of Zerto is significantly better now than it used to be. It was a little unstable, especially when you were doing massive amounts of migrations. I think there was a disconnect with Zerto's handling of jobs and the ticketing systems inside of vCenter. I am not saying that was a Zerto problem. It might have been a vCenter problem, where vCenter was unable to communicate how much availability it has to field those jobs, then its internal tickets were consumed in a way that Zerto couldn't deal with them well. There was probably some type of internal timeout that was reached when things failed. 

If you are not prepared to rapidly click retry a bunch of times, that will be a big problem for you. You can get around it by scripting. That is how we did it. You can get around it by updating Zerto to at least version 8, maybe even 7.53. 

The stability now seems solid. If there are some disruptions of service, I am not seeing it. We have taken off restrictions on our network throttling. So, we are not throttling that at all. We fullly let it go and it doesn't seem to be having a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have hundreds of terabytes up to petabytes of storage and replicated data. Triple-digits up to thousand-plus virtual machines are being replicated. There is RDM to VHD and VHDX-VMDK conversions. We have temporary disks or bypass disks involved for situations where VMs might be turned off or removed from environments without any lead time, thus pausing VPGs.

I don't think it has a problem with scalability. We haven't yet run into a problem scaling it. You could always deploy more ZVMs and ZCAs. The analytics engine has a calculator to figure out how many you should deploy. Follow that. It isn't perfect. If anything, it's a little conservative. Just don't test the waters unless you are prepared to sink a little bit. Be prepared to sink if you're going to try to min-max it. You can always tweak it. There are so many tweaks you can do on the ZVM and ZCA side. We have had to do probably a half dozen of those because our environment isn't the same as every other environment. 

You can push it to its limits. I don't think it is a problem with scalability. I think it is a nuance of your environment.

There were some hurt feelings with some of our engineers. They were told that it would just be plug and play. They didn't realize that it would actually take up a duplicate amount of storage. As a point of policy, that is how it works. I asked them, "How do you think it should work? If you don't think the storage should double, where are we putting the bits? Where is it going? How is replication happening?" It makes sense to me, but I think they were told something else. I don't know if that was a salesperson from Zerto's side or an advocate on the company's side, but they were misinformed. 

How are customer service and support?

Zerto support is usually very good. I feel like we always get those Sev 1 cases where something is wrong with the core product. For example, every time that they have released a new minor or major build, there are release notes of what has been fixed. We have had five of those line items since version 7.

We have been using it since version 5. However, since version 7, we have had five big line items for those changes since we have a big environment and script a lot more, and maybe we script more than a lot of Zerto customers. We found a lot of weirdness in our environment, and that matriculated up. I got a call from the East Coast technical representative for the dev team. Every day, I had a call on the update of those tickets. You don't see that a lot. 

Some platforms work flawlessly. Some platforms are more simple. Zerto is a complicated platform doing a lot. After that initial burn-in period with our support team, we got grade-A service, which was really great. I would probably rate them as eight or nine out of 10. There is room for improvement, but if they never improved, I would be happy with the level of service and support that we have now.

I am pretty patient. From a programming standpoint, technology is hard and environments differ greatly, and I am willing to forgive a little bit. I don't speak for all my company. There are people in my company who don't accept that. They want it fixed tomorrow (or yesterday). Personally, I understand that it is hard and takes time to understand as the logs only tell you so much. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I can't even remember what the previous product was. 

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the initial deployment. I have been involved with subsequent deployments, which were straightforward. Originally, I babysat it, then I owned it in tandem with another engineer who was actually the owner of it. I helped with the scripting part since I had more scripting knowledge. 

Subsequent deployments take 15 minutes, which is not long. With ZVM installers, they ask you a question, then you put it in. If you don't have the answers, then you go get them. You have no business deploying Zerto if you don't have those answers to begin with. ZCM is just as easy.

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

Don't buy Zerto expecting to save money and get 100% performance. That is not how it works. That is not what you are buying. You are buying a solution that you have to invest in. Don't invest in buying the license, but none of the technology to support it. Ask the hard questions and expect answers that aren't, "Yeah, it will do that. No questions asked." 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't have a lot of experience with other solutions, but I have used a lot of technology. I know what approachable and unapproachable platforms look like. Zerto is an approachable platform. If you know the concepts of data replication and data recovery and know what those data protections look like, then you should be able to pick up Zerto with relative ease. 

Generally speaking, things in Zerto are where I would expect them to be. That is hard to do sometimes on other platforms. Sometimes, you get designers, UI developers, or user-experience people who don't really understand how engineers will approach a product. The Zerto platform seems tailored for people who are full code, low-code, or no-code, which is really special. I don't feel like you see that a lot. You start to get more of it now. However, having someone who is not specifically geared towards data replication, data recovery, or data protection accessing Zerto, they can use it if they have some of the nomenclature. They need to know a very small vocabulary in order to be able to navigate Zerto since things are where you think they will be.

What other advice do I have?

Determine your questions in advance and ask them to the Zerto sales team. Get them to engage the engineering team as best they can. It does what it is supposed to do. It is not a magic silver bullet that just takes out everything. Everything is in layers. Zerto is only as good as your storage, back-end network, and replication infrastructure layer. It is only as good as the things allowing it to be good.

It has done a great job for what we needed it to do. I don't really have to worry about it doing the job. It is already doing it.

I would rate Zerto as eight or nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Systems Architect - Cloud at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
We are able to show, at a customer-level of granularity, what a customer's RPO was at any point, in real time
Pros and Cons
  • "Four years ago when we did a PoC between two other vendors and Zerto, there were two features of Zerto that sold it, hands-down. One was the ease of creating protection groups, the ease with which our engineers could create protection, add virtual machines into the Zerto product, and get them under DR protection."
  • "The second feature that sold us was the sub-second RPO. One of the things that made Zerto's product stand out from some of the more traditional solutions four years ago was its ability to maintain sub-second RPO over a group of machines, and that group of machines could be spread over multiple storage hardware."
  • "The number-one area in which they need to improve their product is what I would call "automatic self-healing." This is related to running them at scale... We have 1,000 VRAs and if any one of their VRAs has a problem, goes offline, all of the customer protection groups and all of the customers that are tied to that VRA are not replicating at all. That means the RPO is slipping until somebody makes a manual effort to fix the issue. It has become a full-time job at my company for somebody to keep Zerto running all the time, everywhere, and to keep all the customers up and going."

What is our primary use case?

Our use case is 100 percent disaster recovery between two different geographies. We have a very large private cloud offering. We've got about 1,200 customers and almost 10,000 VMs that are under Zerto protection. Every one of those virtual machines needs to be replicated from Waltham to Chicago, from the East Coast of the U.S. to the central U.S. Likewise, we have a European business with the exact same flow, although it's much smaller as far as number of VMs; it might be a couple of hundred. That implementation is going from Berlin to Amsterdam. We've got one-way protection in two different geographies and all of those machines are under Zerto protection.

How has it helped my organization?

The number-one benefit is that for the first time we could show, at a customer-level of granularity, how a customer was protected, and what their RPO was in, real time. Each one of our 1,200 or so customers has a portion of those 10,000 VMs. For the first time we were able to tell a product leader or product manager what the RPO was on Thursday at 2:00 PM for that customer. We could say, "Hey, it was 67 seconds." Our company is very customer-centric and customer-focused. There's less interest in what the overall health is, and a lot of times there's specific interest in, "Hey, how is that customer doing?" either for performance or for RPO time.

Zerto also allowed us to easily pick groups of virtual machines, group them as a whole, and have that be segregated from the storage layer. That is the storage-agnostic benefit from their product. That agnostic feature with respect to the storage layer allowed us to group VMs by customer and not only report on RPO by customer, but also to more easily sell different RPO plans. We were able to prioritize and say, "Okay, these 10 customers have platinum and these 500 have silver."

What is most valuable?

Four years ago when we did a PoC between two other vendors and Zerto, there were two features of Zerto that sold it, hands-down. One was the ease of creating protection groups, the ease with which our engineers could create protection, add virtual machines into the Zerto product, and get them under DR protection. The other products we were looking at required work from two different teams. The storage team had to get involved. With this product, the whole thing could be done by just our virtualization team, and that was a big sell for us.

The second feature that sold us was the sub-second RPO. One of the things that made Zerto's product stand out from some of the more traditional solutions four years ago was its ability to maintain sub-second RPO over a group of machines, and that group of machines could be spread over multiple storage hardware. It was the storage-agnostic features of the product.

What needs improvement?

The number-one area in which they need to improve their product is what I would call "automatic self-healing." This is related to running them at scale. If you're a small company with 50 VMs, this doesn't really become a problem for you. You don't have 1,000 blades and 1,000 of their VRAs running that you need to keep healthy. But once you get over a certain scale, it becomes a full-time job for someone to keep their products humming. We have 1,000 VRAs and if any one of their VRAs has a problem, goes offline, all of the customer protection groups and all of the customers that are tied to that VRA are not replicating at all. That means the RPO is slipping until somebody makes a manual effort to fix the issue. It has become a full-time job at my company for somebody to keep Zerto running all the time, everywhere, and to keep all the customers up and going. 

They desperately need to work self-healing into the core product. If a VRA has a problem, the product needs to be able to take some sort of measure to self-heal from that; to reassign protection. Right now it doesn't do anything in that self-healing area.

For how long have I used the solution?

My company implemented Zerto in 2016, so we've been live with their product for a little over four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability comes back to size and scale. It depends. If you are not replicating heavy workloads—meaning you don't have a SQL server that's doing thousands and thousands of IOPS, and you don't have multiple SQL Servers on the same very large hardware blade—Zerto is incredibly stable, based on my experience with the product. 

However, we are doing that. There's a one-to-one relationship between the Zerto VRA, which is essentially their chunk of code that does the replication, and a physical server. The physical server is running anywhere from one to as many virtual servers as someone can fit onto it. And that one VRA has to manage and push all the change blocks for all the workloads running on it. So if you've got five or six really heavy workloads running, that one VRA that has to handle all of that and push it to your destination can, and does, crash. VRAs in that situation crash or become unstable. We've worked a lot with Zerto over the last two years on tweaking the VRAs with advanced settings. We've directly been involved with identifying a couple of bugs with the VRAs. When the VRAs are pushed, they can only be pushed so far and then they crash.

It does perform. However, we have VRAs that crash all the time. When we go back and we look at why they crashed it's because we're pushing them too hard. We're doing things that they would say we shouldn't be doing. They would say, "Don't set six SQL Servers on the same blade. That's too much. Don't do that."

Zerto has worked with us very effectively on identifying advanced settings that we can make to the VRAs to make them perform better, and to be more stable in the "abusive" environment that we throw at their code base.

It could be more stable for really heavy use cases like that. But Zerto would come back and say, "Well, our best practices would have you put some sort of anti-affinity rule in place so that you don't end up with that many heavy I/O machines on a single blade." They would say that doing so is not best practice; don't do it. You could say that we abused their product, in that sense. 

But it works. If you align with best practices, it's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have no concerns about the scalability, although I should qualify that statement. Zerto can scale horizontally extremely well. They've got one VRA per blade and that one VRA is their data plane. You can scale out your environment horizontally with as many blades or servers as you want, which is how people do virtualization and Zerto will scale with you. We've never hit a limit as far as its ability to scale as horizontally.

The caveat would be, as I mentioned elsewhere, the size of the pipe in your infrastructure to handle all of that replication. But that doesn't tie to the Zerto product itself. 

In terms of the issue of VRAs crashing, you want to scale horizontally rather than scale vertically, because if you scale vertically you're packing more and more virtual machines into the same number of physical servers. You're stacking them up high rather than across. If you stack them up high you have concerns about the scalability of the single VRA. The VRAs do get overloaded. Don't pack them too high. Scale out, not up.

Zerto has spread out as a company. They've mushroomed out into other areas. They've started to develop a presence in backup and they've started to develop a larger presence in reporting. Their core product, however, is known as ZVR—Zerto Virtual Replication. We've implemented that core product 100 percent. There's no other way we could be consuming it differently or more effectively.

The newer stuff they've come out with—certainly the backup—we don't touch that at all. The backup product is not ready for prime time. It might be good for a small customer that may have 50 machines they want to back up. But for our use case, with SOC compliance, and having to report on the success of backups for recovery, and although we looked very closely at their backup and where they were going with it, it's not ready for us.

They're starting to go into Docker containers. None of our product right now is containerized.

A third area is analytics and reporting. The analytics and reporting would be the one new area that they've put focus on that we could be using more and getting more value out of. They've got a SaaS solution now for reporting called Zerto Analytics. We do use it. You turn on their core product and you tell it to send your reports to their SaaS offering. We've done that and we can consume the analytics product, but we just haven't really operationalized it yet. That, for us, has been a tool looking for a problem.

How was the initial setup?

It took us about two months to deploy the solution, but that was because we're a very conservative company. We purposely went extremely slowly. If we had wanted to go faster, it could have been done probably in a week or two, to get all 6,000 VMs under protection.

What about the implementation team?

When we deployed it, there were two dedicated people at our company who were involved, paired up with three people from a Professional Services team from Zerto. As a tertiary, we had a full-time person from our VAR, the reseller that sold us the licensing for Zerto. With that help from Zerto and the value added reseller, it only took two of us to install it to about 600 blades and probably 5,000 virtual machines.

Our experience was excellent. Both teams were great. It was a very painless rollout.

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

I'm less involved with the pricing and licensing area now. The last time I was involved was a couple of years ago. In my opinion, their model is somewhat inflexible, especially for their backup product.

One of the reasons why we didn't pursue looking further at their backup product was, simply, licensing. Today we have to buy a Zerto license for every virtual machine that we want protected by their product. We have a lot of virtual machines that aren't production and that don't need to be protected by their product. They don't need sub-second RPOs. They do, however, need to be backed up. But Zerto's licensing model two years ago was, "Well, we don't care that you just need to back up those VMs, and you don't really need to replicate them. It's the same price."

We would have had to double our licensing costs for Zerto to adopt it as a backup solution. It was just not even within the realm of possibility financially. It made no financial sense for us to move off our current backup vendor. Their inability to diverge in any way from that was rigid.

Their licensing could be less rigid and more open to specific companies' use cases.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The other two vendors we evaluated back were Site Recovery Manager by VMware, and whatever Veeam's product was at the time. We also looked at CommVault lightly, but they were never considered seriously.

What other advice do I have?

Zerto can do what it says it can do. It can absolutely provide sub-second recovery point objectives, but with a couple of caveats. The caveats tend to apply to large companies like mine, and by "large" I mean if you have over 2,000 to 3,000 virtual machines, versus a small to medium-sized company that maybe has 50 to 500. Once you cross that barrier, you're getting into a larger environment that you're trying to replicate with Zerto.

A couple things can break down. Zerto's product doesn't control the path between your source production data and the destination you're trying to send it to. There can be tons of bottlenecks on that path; you can be going around the world. If the bottleneck doesn't exist there, their product can absolutely do what it says it does. It's up to the customer. The people using Zerto have to understand that they own the bottlenecks in their environment. If there is a bottleneck between production and the targeted DR, the RPOs are going to slip. You're going to go from sub-seconds to minutes or hours. That's not necessarily a fault of Zerto's product. It's the fault of the design of the customer's environment and what they brought it into.

That doesn't just exist for the pipe between the two sites. On the destination side, the side that's receiving this data, the storage layer underneath needs to be more performant than the production side. That's somewhat of a strange concept for a lot of customers and people coming into the Zerto solution. They see the marketing side of, "10 seconds to RPO" and say, "Yeah, I want that." But what it means is that you've really got to look at your hardware and you've got to have class-A hardware the whole way through that Zerto pipeline, for their product to do what it says it does. Zerto makes that very clear. They don't recommend hardware; they're not in the business of supporting other vendors. But they have a published list of best practices. The best practices clearly say everything that I just said. They also have best practices around managing your workload I/O on the source side, so that you don't overwhelm their product.

But not everyone follows best practices. Certainly, when we implemented it we said, "Yeah, we get that. We understand what you're telling us. We understand that's a best practice, but we're not going to do it anyway, because it's too expensive," or we didn't have it in budget for that year. So we knew it  and we went in without following them. A couple of years later, when we got to a tipping point, we realized, "Okay, we need to go back and align with some of those best practices," things we didn't think that we had the time to align with back in 2016. We've made that journey painfully with their product, but they were very upfront with us on what the requirements for their product would be.

Overall, I would rate Zerto as a solid eight out of 10 for the core disaster recovery offering.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Disaster Recovery & Cybersecurity Consultant at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Consultant
Top 20
An effective tool for automation and orchestration of complex activities
Pros and Cons
  • "Its ease of use and scalability are valuable."
  • "There should be more comprehensive cyber recovery capabilities."

What is our primary use case?

For one client, the use case was to facilitate data center migration, and for another client, it was for failover and failback of the data center for DR. We wanted to have controlled failover and failback of related applications for DR.

We have not used it for disaster recovery in the cloud. Everything has been on-prem so far.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto helps in automating disaster recovery capabilities. It allows automation and orchestration of complex activities.

We have used Zerto to help protect VMs in our environment. Zerto’s overall effect on our RPOs has been pretty good.

It has also been effective for our RTOs.

Zerto has helped to reduce downtime, specifically for failover and failback, but it is hard to qualify the time saved.

Zerto has not saved us time in a data recovery situation due to ransomware or other causes because we have not been impacted by any such issue.

Zerto has helped to reduce the organization's DR testing. There is about 20% reduction.

It has also reduced the number of staff involved in a data recovery situation, but I have not seen any reduction in the number of staff involved in overall backup and DR management.

What is most valuable?

Its ease of use and scalability are valuable. 

I also find the near-synchronous replication to be valuable. It is extremely important for organizations.

What needs improvement?

There should be more comprehensive cyber recovery capabilities.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. It is deployed across multiple locations. There are roughly about 4,000 VMs.

We might use it to migrate to cloud solutions. It is to be decided.

How are customer service and support?

I have not reached out to them myself.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using SRM. We switched to Zerto for automation.

Zerto is highly effective in terms of ease of use as compared to other solutions. Zerto is also pretty effective in terms of its speed of recovery.

We can easily migrate data using the Zerto console.

Zerto has not yet replaced all of our legacy backup solutions but it will.

How was the initial setup?

Our setup is all on-premises. I was involved in its deployment to some degree. It was pretty straightforward to deploy.

It took about three months. It was an enterprise-wide solution.

What about the implementation team?

It was a combination of in-house staff and a third party. The third party was a VAR or value-added reseller.

It required just a handful of staff for deployment. It does not require any maintenance from our side.

What was our ROI?

We have seen an ROI, but I do not have the metrics.

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

It is not a bad pricing model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options on paper, not physically.

What other advice do I have?

Zerto is an effective tool for automation and orchestration of complex activities.

The biggest lesson that I have learned by using Zerto is the need for application involvement and defining protection groups.

Overall, I would rate Zerto a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
PeerSpot user
Dan Janousek - PeerSpot reviewer
System Engineer at National Indemnity Company
Real User
An intuitive, easy-to-use solution that protects us in the event of a disaster
Pros and Cons
  • "With Zerto, all you have to do is deploy the executable and start setting things up. So, it was very easy."
  • "I need to get up to the latest version so I can move my journals to a particular LUN, saving them with a particular storage altogether, rather than with the virtual machine. This is not available until I upgrade, and I need to upgrade all my hypervisors. This would be something that would be nice to have if it could be used on older versions."

What is our primary use case?

We are replicating all of our production VMs to a DR site. We also have another offsite vCenter that we are replicating to a DR site for protection and eventual testing.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes me feel more comfortable that we have something to fall back on in case of a disaster. We are a large insurance company, so we have a lot of different applications and SQL Servers. We never had a disaster recovery site before, so this will protect us in the event of a disaster.

What is most valuable?

A good, valuable feature is using the preseeded LUNs, when deleting a virtual machine. Then, I put the VPG back to keep track of where I was at, so I don't have to replicate everything. Instead, I just preseeded LUNs since it needs less replication time.

It is fairly intuitive and easy to use.

You can go back fairly quickly. You push the button and there you are.

What needs improvement?

I need to get up to the latest version so I can move my journals to a particular LUN, saving them with a particular storage altogether, rather than with the virtual machine. This is not available until I upgrade, and I need to upgrade all my hypervisors. This would be something that would be nice to have if it could be used on older versions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for almost three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been stable. We have had glitches between our site and DR site. When the MPLS comes back up, Zerto just kicks right back off, doing what it needs to do.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As we have been growing more VMs in production, I have still been adding to Zerto. So, I haven't had any problems with the amount of VMs and everything that Zerto can handle.

How are customer service and support?

I haven't really had any problems with support. Most of the time, when calling support, I find the answer before they call me back. Or, they will send me an email, and say, "Here, try this."

I would rate the technical support as nine or 10 (out of 10).

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't previously use another solution.

What was our ROI?

It provides us with a safety net.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated RecoverPoint, which was very difficult to set up. Even as a test, it was hard to set up. With Zerto, all you have to do is deploy the executable and start setting things up. So, it was very easy. Then, I insisted that the company buy Zerto for me.

RecoverPoint was difficult to set up and use. It wasn't as menu-driven as Zerto. 

What other advice do I have?

We really haven't done any recovery or rollbacks. We are getting there. Later this year, we will be doing those types of failover tests, rollback tests, etc.

We haven't done DR testing. That will probably be done in the next three months.

I would rate Zerto as 10 out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Senior System Administrator at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
More user-friendly than other solutions because of its GUI
Pros and Cons
  • "Since we are at a bank, there are certain protocols in place where we need to have RPO and RTO times of two hours or less. Zerto does a great job of setting those times and alerting us if those can't be met. We have our help desk actively monitoring that. It is extremely helpful that Zerto lists what is falling out of compliance in regards to RPO and RTO. It has been great in that regard."
  • "It has a file restore feature, which we have tried to use. We have had some issues with that, because the drives are compressed in our main file system. It is a Windows-based file server. So, it compresses the shares and can't restore those by default."

What is our primary use case?

We mostly use it just for disaster recovery. We also utilize it for our quarterly and annual DR test.

It is on-prem. We have a primary location and a DR location.

How has it helped my organization?

Since we are at a bank, there are certain protocols in place where we need to have RPO and RTO times of two hours or less. Zerto does a great job of setting those times and alerting us if those can't be met. We have our help desk actively monitoring that. It is extremely helpful that Zerto lists what is falling out of compliance in regards to RPO and RTO. It has been great in that regard.

If we need to fail back or move workloads, Zerto decreases the number of people involved by half versus companies of similar size who don't have Zerto.

We have had patches that have broken a server. We then needed to have it right back up and running. We have been able to do that, which has been a huge plus. 

What is most valuable?

The real-time data protection is the most valuable feature. We are able to quickly spin up VMs instantly. 

We have also utilized it, from time to time, if our backups didn't catch it at night. If something was deleted midday, this solution is nice because you can use Zerto for that. 

I would rate Zerto very high in terms of it providing continuous data protection. We have had multiple instances that took days with our old DR test (before I was at my current company) and DR tests from other companies where I worked that didn't have Zerto. Now, we can realistically do DR tests in less than 30 minutes.

Zerto is extremely easy to use. If 10 is absolutely dummy-proof, I would give the ease of use an eight.

What needs improvement?

It has a file restore feature, which we have tried to use. We have had some issues with that, because the drives are compressed in our main file system. It is a Windows-based file server. So, it compresses the shares and can't restore those by default. However, we have done it with other things. It is pretty handy.

I would like it if they would really ramp up more on their PowerShell scripting and API calls, then I can heavily utilize PowerShell. I am big into scripting stuff and automating things. So, if they could do even more with PowerShell, API calls, and automation, that would be fantastic.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it at my company for almost four years. My company has been using it for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate stability as eight and a half out of 10.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would rate scalability as eight out of 10.

We monitor and use it every day. Our current license count is 150 VMs. I could definitely see us increasing that license because we keep adding more VMs.

As big as our company is, we don't have a very large infrastructure sysadmin group. I wouldn't say that Zerto has reduced our staff in any kind of way, but it definitely has helped the small amount of people that we have.

We have around 20 people using it: 

  • Our core admin group is four people, including me. To put that in perspective, we have a $10 billion bank and our core infrastructure team consists of just those four people. The core admin group does administration, creates VPGs, and executes the main day-to-day operations. 
  • We have a few users who are just monitoring it only. This is a read-only role. 
  • We have our help desk, which is basically read-only, but they actively monitor RTO and RPO every day, all day long. They leave up the dashboard on a huge TV and just keep an eye on things.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support as nine and a half out of 10. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that they are located in Boston, and you feel like you are talking to someone just like you. They do an excellent job of following up and escalating anything that is needed. I rarely have to call Zerto support, but I am confident that anytime I need to, then it will be resolved.

We stay in close contact with our main local rep.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

My company never used anything quite like Zerto. We still use things for backup and recovery, such as Dell EMC Avamar, which used to be NetWorker. We also use RecoverPoint for applications, but it is not at all the same. There is actual real-time recovery. It is kind of a different animal.

How was the initial setup?

I have had to redeploy it a few times with data center changes and such. We went from your typical data center to Cisco UCS Blades to VxRack, a VMware Dell EMC product. With that, I had to deploy it from scratch.

It was pretty straightforward. There is plenty of very easy to follow documentation when it comes to implementing it. There is also a lot of training provided so you can understand it before you implement it. Those two things make it pretty easy.

Just to stand it up and get everything going, that took an hour or two. The overall implementation was over the course of three days, because our core is heavily utilized.

We had a ZVM Virtual Manager on our production side and another on our DR site. Most of our data is replicated from production to DR. We do have some that are in the DR replicating back, but not a lot. Our main concern was between both sites, because we don't have a very large pipe. Even though Zerto's compression is pretty good, we didn't want to send that data all back over. Our main priority, when we set it up again, was that we were able to retain a lot of the data at our DR location and remap it by using preseeded disks, which was huge.

What about the implementation team?

At least two staff members are required for deployment and maintenance. Whenever an update is released, we try to do that fairly quickly. For quarterly updates or major releases, we try to stay on top of them. Then, whenever we deploy new systems, applications, or servers, depending on the RTO and RPO, we add Zerto to those. That is daily, depending on how much workload we have and how many servers we are deploying. Those two people add those groups and such configuration into Zerto.

From an implementation standpoint, just follow the guide and check their support page for things. Worst case, reach out to support if you have already paid for it. It is pretty straightforward.

What was our ROI?

Zerto has helped reduce downtime. We have had servers go down and could easily spin them back up at our DR location almost instantly. Instead of taking an hour, it took a minute.

On average, it saves us three to five hours a day.

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

We pay for 150 VMs per year. It is not cheap.

Having backup and DR is somewhat moderately important to us. The problem with us, and a lot of companies, is the issue with on-prem Zerto. It utilizes whatever you have for a SAN. Or, if you are like us, we have a vSAN and that storage is not cheap. So, it is cheaper to have a self-contained backup system that is on its own storage rather than utilizing your data center storage, like your vSAN. While it is somewhat important to have both backup and DR, it is not incredibly important to have both. I know Zero is trying to heavily dip their toes in the water of backup and recovery. Once you see what Zerto can do, I don't think anyone will not take Zerto because they don't necessarily specialize in backup and recovery 100 percent. They do replication so well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Zerto did really well with presenting their solution to the management here, really getting people involved, and helping them understand what and how it could be used. At the time, their real-time recovery was pretty far above anybody else available, and even still somewhat.

Other solutions would take an entire workday to recover our core infrastructure. With Zerto, we are done within an hour for all our major systems.

As far as the GUI goes, Zerto is more user-friendly than a lot of other products, such as Avamar and Commvault. It is fairly easy to use, but I think the GUI interface of Zerto is pretty far above the rest.

We use Avamar, and I don't see Zerto replacing Avamar for the simple fact of retention and how expensive the storage is. Using an RPM storage is pretty pricey, especially to try to rely on that for a long retention of seven years, for instance. 

What other advice do I have?

When it comes to purchasing, I highly recommend Zerto all the time to friends that I have at other companies. 

It is just for DR. We keep an average of three days of retention, e.g., journal history of three days. However, it is not always the same for all products. We don't really keep it for backups. That is more of a convenience thing.

Currently, we don't utilize the cloud. It may be an option in the future. The cloud was a bad word for our bank for a long time, and that is starting to change.

Biggest lesson learnt: DR tests don't have to be so painful.

I would rate Zerto as 10 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: February 2024
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.