Senior Manager, Technical Services at a logistics company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Simple to set up and use, and offers continuous data protection with a five-second interval
Pros and Cons
  • "This product is impressively easy to use. It's dummy-proof, once it's set up."
  • "The long-term recovery is a little bit weak in its granularity."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto for real-time replication of our systems, company-wide. The main reason is disaster recovery failover.

How has it helped my organization?

We use the long-term retention functionality, although it is not deployed system-wide. We have a lot of critical systems backed up, such as our file servers. We utilize it to hold things for up to a year and we send our long-term retention to ExaGrid appliances.

When we need to failback or move workloads, this solution has decreased the time it takes and the number of people involved. The entire process is, realistically, a one-person job. We usually have an application specialist involved just to validate the health of the server. Whether it's an SQL server or application server, we have somebody that runs integrity checks on it. That said, the entire process is very painless and easily handled by one person.

I estimate that this product saves us hours in comparison to products like Veeam. Veeam would take several hours of time to fail something over. 

Our company fell victim to a ransomware attack that affected between 50 and 60 servers. Until we knew for sure that the entire situation was remediated and that we weren't going to spread the infection, we restored the servers in an offline manner, which only took a matter of minutes to complete. Then, we pushed all of that data into Teams and OneDrive directly for people to start accessing it.

From the SQL server perspective, we failed those servers over, running health checks such as anti-virus scans, just to make sure that the failed over instance didn't contain the same situations. Thankfully, they did not. We probably saved ourselves several days worth of work in the grand scheme of things. In total, it potentially would have taken weeks to resolve using a different solution.

I wouldn't necessarily say that using Zerto has meant that we can reduce the number of staff in a recovery operation. However, I think it's probably mitigated the need to hire more people. Essentially, as we've continued to grow, we've avoided adding headcount to our team. Using Veeam as my problem child to compare against, if we were using it, it would have required a lot more management from us. It would have cost us more time to recover and manage those jobs, including the management of the ExaGrid appliances, as well as the VRAs, which are basically proxies.

Definitely, there is a huge saving in time using Zerto and although we didn't reduce any headcount or repurpose anything, we've definitely mitigated at least two people from the hiring perspective.

Zerto saved us considerable downtime when we experienced the ransomware attack. It may be hard to substantiate that just on the one situation but we saved at least a couple of million dollars.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the continuous recovery with the five-second checkpoint interval. Just having those checkpoints prior to when a situation arises, we're able to get the transactional data that occurred right before the server failed. That has been a blessing for us, as we are able to provide a snapshot with no more than five seconds of data loss. This means that we don't have to recreate minutes or hours worth of data for an industry that includes fulfillment, shipping, warehousing, et cetera.

Zerto is very good at providing continuous data protection. It does a very good job keeping up with the system and it creates five-second interval checkpoints. This has been helpful when it comes to needing to fail something over, getting that last moment in time that was in a usable state.

This product is impressively easy to use. It's dummy-proof, once it's set up.

What needs improvement?

The long-term recovery is a little bit weak in its granularity. Veeam is definitely superior in that aspect, as it's able to provide a granular view of files and databases, et cetera. However, it just kind of depends on what a business' recovery strategy is.

From our business perspective, it's really not impactful to us because our recovery strategy is not based on individual files. But, I could definitely see it being a challenge if there is a very large instance of individual files, as a subset, that need to be recovered. I think that if somebody has terabytes of data then Zerto will recover it faster but navigating through the file explorer to get to files is not as easy with Zerto.

One thing I don't like about the product, and I know this is where their claim to fame is, but whenever I have a VPG that has multiple virtual machines in it, and one virtual machine falls behind, it'll pause replication on everything else in that job until the one server catches up. The goal is to keep symmetric replication processing going, so the strategy makes sense, but for our business model, that doesn't really work and it has created a challenge where I have to manage each VM individually. It means that instead of having one job that would cover multiple servers, I just have one job to one server, which allows me to manage them individually.

Buyer's Guide
Zerto
June 2024
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2024.
793,052 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zerto for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a company perspective, a few years ago, I would have said that it is very stable. It is a solution that is thriving and growing. At this time, however, HP is in the process of acquiring them. While I had assumed that was their long-term plan, I didn't quite anticipate HP being the one to pick them up. As such, I am a little bit worried about what will change in the long term.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it's a very painless product. As we continue to grow out our virtual environment, Zerto is able to, in a very nimble fashion, scale with us with very little effort or overhead involved.

I'm covering approximately 400 VMs currently, which is approximately 360 terabytes worth of data. That is between two separate data centers.

How are customer service and support?

Rating the Zerto technical support is a little bit tough because I've had some experiences that were truly 10 of 10, but then I've had one or two experiences where it was definitely a two or a three out of 10. It really depends on who I've gotten on the phone and their level of, A, comfort with their own system, and B, comfort helping the customer.

Some people have said this isn't within their scope of work, where others have said, "No, let's absolutely do this." In that regard, it's been a little hit and miss, but it's usually been a decent quality in the end.

Overall, I would rate the technical support a seven out of ten.

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

I have worked with Veeam in the past and although I prefer Zerto, there are some advantages to using Veeam. For example, long-term recovery offers more features.

In-house, we had also used the Unitrends product, as well as a SAN-to-SAN replication using an old HPE LeftHand array.

The main reasons that we switched to Zerto were the management ability, as well as its ability to provide continuous replication. Veeam was a very cumbersome product to manage. There were a lot of instances to monitor and manage from a proxy perspective, whereas Zerto's VRAs are relatively transparent in their configuration and deployment. These are painless and I don't have to continually monitor them. I don't have to update them since they're not like standalone Windows instances. It's very low management for us.

Of course, continuous replication is critical because Veeam, even though when we had owned the product, it claimed 15-minute intervals were doable, it never seemed to actually keep up with those 15-minute snapshot intervals.

One final reason that we migrated from Veeam is that they were utilizing VM snapshots at the time. I know that they've moved away from that approach now, but it was very painful for our environment at the time. The VMware snapshots were causing some of our legacy and proprietary applications to fail.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple.

Our implementation strategy involved setting it up for our two data centers. We have a primary and secondary data center, and Zerto keeps track of all of the VMs at the primary site and replicates them to the other site.

In the future, we plan on looking into the on-premises to cloud replication. On-premises to Azure direct is on our roadmap.

What about the implementation team?

I completed the setup myself without support or anybody else involved in the deployment.

It took approximately an hour to deploy.

I handle all of the administration and maintenance. As the senior manager of infrastructure, I oversee our work and server group. I have also retained private ownership over the disaster recovery plan and failover plan.

What was our ROI?

We have probably not seen a return on investment from using Zerto. We don't really have lots of situations where we have to use it and can substantiate any kind of financial claim to it.

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

I do not like the current pricing model because the product has been divided into different components and they are charging for them individually. I understand why they did it, but don't like the model. 

Our situation is somewhat peculiar because when we bought into it, we owned everything. Later on down the road, they split the licensing model, so you had to pay extra for the LTR and extra for the multi-site replication. However, since we were using LTR prior to that license model change, they have allowed us to retain the LTR functionality at our existing licensing level, but not have the multi-site replication.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have not evaluated other options in quite a long time. We very briefly evaluated Rubrik. 

What other advice do I have?

When we first decided to implement Zerto, it wasn't very important that it provides both backup and DR in one platform. In fact, realistically, even now, while we have it and we used it on a limited scope, I'm not sure that it's needed.

With respect to our legacy solutions, I'd say that the cost of replacing them with Zerto is net neutral in the end.

My advice to anybody who is considering Zerto is that it's an awesome product and it won't steer them wrong. That said, there are some issues such as the licensing model and the situations where VPGs falling behind suspends the replication. Overall, it is a good product.

I would rate this solution an eight 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
Network Administrator at a educational organization with 201-500 employees
Real User
Restores files much quicker and offers continuous data protection
Pros and Cons
  • "In terms of the most valuable features, having the failover tests where you can see where your actual RTO and RPO would be is really nice, especially for the management level. I really liked the ease of when I need to do a file or folder restore off the cuff. Usually, it takes me less than five minutes to do it, including the mounting of the actual image. That was one thing with Unitrends, it was a similar process but if that backup had aged off of the system, then you had to go to the archive and you find the right disks, load them in, and then actually mount the image."
  • "In terms of improvement, it would be helpful if the implementation team had a better best practices guide and made sure things like the journaling are very clearly understood."

What is our primary use case?

Right now, everything is on-prem including LTR. We are looking at adding the Azure features but we're not quite there yet.

We purchased Zerto to replace our Legacy backup system that still had disks, Archiver Appliance, and everything like that. We had wanted to do something that was diskless but still gave us multiple copies. So we were utilizing both the instantaneous backup and recovery, as well as the LTR, Long Term Retention, function. We do our short-term backup with normal journaling and then our longer-term retention with the LTR appliance, which is going to dedicated hardware in one of our data centers.

We use Zerto for both backup and disaster recovery. It was fairly important that Zerto offers both of these features because Unitrends did provide the traditional backup piece. They also had another product called ReliableDR, which they later rolled into a different product. Unitrends actually bought the company. That piece provided the same functionality as what Zerto is doing now, but with Unitrends that was separate licensing and a different management interface. It wasn't nice to have to bounce between the two systems. The ability to do it all from a single pane of glass that is web-based is nice.

It's definitely not going to save us money. It'll be a peace of mind thing, that we have another copy of our data somewhere. Our DR site is approximately 22 miles away. The likelihood of a tornado or something devastating two communities where our facilities are based is pretty slim. It's peace of mind and it does not require additional storage space on-prem. We know that the charges for data at rest are not free in Azure. We get good pricing discounts being in education but it definitely won't save money.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto was fairly comparable to what Unitrends was offering with multiple products. We didn't gain a ton of extra features. If anything, in the very near future, it will give us the ability for Cloud backup and retention to have some of that sitting out in the Cloud as an offsite backup. We have a primary site, a backup site, and a recovery site. We have multiple copies already, but we want to have one that's not on any of our physical facilities so we will be setting that up shortly. We just need to get our subscriptions and everything coordinated and up to par. That would be the main improvement that it's going to provide us. But we're not quite there yet.

Zerto has reduced downtime. Speaking specifically to the file restores, it's definitely restored things much quicker. Instead of waiting for half-hour to get a file restore done, it's a matter of five minutes or less to do it where they can keep rolling much quicker versus with Unitrends. Other than that, I can't say there are any huge differences.

The difference in downtime would cost my organization very little. We're a small technical college, so we're not loopy on making or losing thousands or millions of dollars if something takes five minutes versus an hour and a half. Higher ed is a different breed of its own. 

What is most valuable?

In terms of the most valuable features, having the failover tests where you can see where your actual RTO and RPO would be is really nice, especially for the management level. I really liked the ease of when I need to do a file or folder restore off the cuff. Usually, it takes me less than five minutes to do it, including the mounting of the actual image. That was one thing with Unitrends, it was a similar process but if that backup had aged off of the system, then you had to go to the archive and you find the right disks, load them in, and then actually mount the image. Our main data stores are close to two terabytes. It would take 15 to 20 minutes just to mount the image. Whereas with Zerto, I don't think it's taken longer than a minute or a minute and a half to mount any image that we've needed to go back to a restore point on.

With Unitrends, some could have taken a half-hour. I'm the only network administrator here, so it usually was a multitasking event where we would wait for it to load. I would take care of a few other things and then come back to it.

Switching to Zerto decreased the time it took but did not decrease the number of people involved. It still requires myself and our network engineer to do any failover, back and forth, because of our networking configuration and everything. I know that Zerto allows us to RE-IP machines as we failover. However, because of the way our public DNS works and some of our firewall rules, we have purposely chosen not to do that in an automated fashion. That would still be a manual operation. It would still involve a couple of people from IT.

Zerto does a pretty decent job at providing continuous data protection. The most important thing that I didn't clearly understand upfront, was the concept of journaling and how that differs from traditional backup. For example, if you set journal retention for seven days or whatever, in your traditional backup, it kept that for seven days, regardless of what was happening. You had it versus the journaling, where coupled with some of the size limits and stuff of the journal size, if you don't configure it correctly, you could actually have less data backed up than what you think you do. I also found out that if you have an event such as ransomware, that all of a sudden throws a lot of IOPS at it, and a lot of change rate, that can age out a journal very quickly and then leave you with the inability to restore if that's not set up properly.

We have requirements to keep student data and information for seven years. We need long-term retention for those purposes. We don't typically need to go back further than 30 days for file restores and everything. There has been the occasion where six months later, we need to restore a file because we had somebody leaving the organization or something like that and that folder or whatever wasn't copied over at the time they left.

Zerto has not saved us time in a data recovery situation due to ransomware because we did not have it correctly configured. When we had an event like that, we weren't able to successfully restore from a backup. That has been corrected now. Now that it is configured correctly, I anticipate that it will save us weeks of time. It took almost two weeks to get to a somewhat normal state after our event. We're still recovering somewhat from rebuilding some servers and stuff like that. To get our primary data and programs back up and running to a mostly normal function, took around two weeks.

We also expect that it will reduce the number of staff involved in that type of data recovery situation. We ended up having to hire one of our trusted partners to come in and help us rebuild and remediate. There was at least a dozen staff including our own IT staff, which was another 10 people on top of that. Provided that we do now have this set correctly, it would really drop it down to maybe two or three people.

What needs improvement?

In terms of improvement, it would be helpful if the implementation team had a better best practices guide and made sure things like the journaling are very clearly understood. 

Speaking directly to our incident, we did have professional services guide us with the installation, setup, and configuration. At that time, there was no suggestion to have these appliances not joined to the domain or in a separate VLAN from our normal servers and everything. They are in a completely isolated network. The big thing was being domain-joined. They didn't necessarily give that guidance. In our particular situation, with our incident, had those not been domain-joined, we would have been in a much better place than what we ended up being.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for about two years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is quite stable. I haven't had system issues with it. The VRAs run, they do their thing. The VPGs run, so as long as we're not experiencing network interruptions between our two campuses, the tasks run as they should. In the event we do have an interruption, they seem to recover fairly quickly catching up on the journaling and stuff like that. It's fairly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is pretty good. We have 50 seats, so we will just be starting to bump up against that very shortly. My impression is that all we need to do is purchase more licenses as needed, and we're good to expand as long as our infrastructure internal can absorb it.

I just recently learned from Zerto Con that they are coming out or have just come out with a Zerto for SaaS applications, which gives the ability to back up Office 365 tenants or Salesforce tenants. I am very interested in learning about that. We have been researching and budgeting for standalone products for Office 365 and Salesforce backups. From my understanding, those products would be backed up from the cloud to the cloud so that it wouldn't have impacts on our internal, long-term appliance, or any of our storage internal infrastructure. That's very appealing. 

It will depend on costs. If it's something that I can't absorb with the funding I have already secured for Office 365, then it would have to be added to our next year's budget because we run from July 1st to June 30th. Our capital timeline budgeting has surpassed us already.

How are customer service and technical support?

For the most part, the technical support is pretty decent. I've only had to open one or two tickets and the response time has been pretty good. Our questions were answered.

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

We previously used Unitrends. We switched solutions because we were at the end of our lifecycle with the appliances we had. At that time, Unitrends was not quite as mature with the diskless and cloud-type technologies as Zerto was. We were pursuing diskless where we had to rotate out hard drives for archiving. We wanted to get rid of that. That brought us to Zerto and it was recommended by one of our vendors to take a look at it.

Unitrends had replaced Commvault. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward, deploying the VRAs to the VMware infrastructure and stuff like that was point, click, and let it run it. It was fairly quick. The VRAs took a couple of minutes each, so that wasn't bad at all. Setting up the VPGs is quite simple. There is a little bit of confusion where you can set your default for the journaling and stuff like that and then modify individual VMs after the fact. If you want different journal sizes for different VMs in the same VPG, there are a couple of different spots you can tweak. The setup and requirements of the LTR were a little bit confusing.

We purchased six or eight hours of implementation time but that was over multiple calls. We stood up some of the infrastructures, got some VPGs together, and then they left it to me to set up some other VPGs. Then we did a touch base to see what questions I had and things like that. We had six or eight hours purchased but it was spread over multiple engagements.

For the most part, only I worked on the deployment. Our network engineer was involved briefly just to verify connectivity via the VLANs and firewalls. Once we had established a connection, he was pretty much out of it.

I'm the only one who uses it strictly for our district backups. We're a small college. Our IT programs, HR, or business services, don't have their own separate entities. It's all covered under the primary IT department.

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

I don't know that we've saved a ton by replacing our legacy solution with Zerto. I think there's a little less overhead with it. Setting up the VPGs, the protection groups, and everything is a little bit easier and the file restores go much quicker. Fortunately, we haven't had to perform full system restores, but I did not need to do that with Unitrends either. It's usually a folder or a file here and there. We're not really intense on restoring. It has saved a little on management, but not a ton. 

Pricing wasn't horrible. I can't say that it was super competitive. We definitely could have gone with a cheaper price solution but the ease of use and management was really what won me over. Being the only network administrator, I don't have a ton of time to read through 500-page user manuals to get these things set up on a daily basis. I needed something that was very easy to implement and use on a daily basis. In the event I'm out of the office, it would be nice to have simple documentation so that if somebody needs a file restore while I'm gone, it can be handed off to somebody who is not a network admin as their primary job.

I have not run into any additional costs. Obviously, if you're going to utilize Azure for long-term retention it is an additional cost, but that's coming from Microsoft, not Zerto. To my knowledge, there is no additional licensing needed for that, that's all included in the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Commvault was another solution we looked at even though it was against my better judgment. We looked at Veeam and Rubrik as well.

In terms of ease of use, Veeam was pretty similar but at the time we still had some physical servers that we no longer have now. We are all virtual now. Veeam couldn't accommodate that, as I understood. I liked the features of Zerto and the ability to get the RTO and RPO reports and see where we're at. The ease of file restores was really nice.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to make sure that you clearly understand what you require. You must have retention and recoverability. Make sure that your journal configurations correspond to accommodate that in an event like ransomware or something like that, that a high change rate can happen. Also, utilize long-term retention for instances like that. 

I appreciate the continuing education that they provide. There is Zerto Con and they have different customer support webinars. They do the new product release webinars and stuff like that, where they're very open on what features they're adding, what they've released, and what improvements they're doing. Whereas it seems like most companies, say, "Okay, we have an update available. Here are the release notes." And, it's up to you to go through that.

I like that Zerto takes the time to sometimes do live demos. We're migrating from 8.0 to 8.5. We're going to do it in a live environment and show approximately how long it takes and all the steps to go through it. Make sure you check this box if you're upgrading from this. I find that very helpful. I'm a visual learner, versus learning from reading. Seeing some of those step-by-step upgrades, releases, and feature demonstrations is very helpful.

I would rate Zerto an eight 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
Buyer's Guide
Zerto
June 2024
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2024.
793,052 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Windows Administrator 3 at a insurance company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Near zero RPO and very little data loss as far as recovery time
Pros and Cons
  • "Another big attraction is the near zero RPO. A lot of other products have minutes, half-hour, or an hour RPO. We have proof indicating that Zerto is near zero, or a matter of minutes, as far as the RTO is concerned. So again, that's another attractive offering where you can actually fail something over and bring that back up in a target location in a matter of minutes. Meaning very little data loss as far as recovery time. It's fantastic."
  • "I wish they would...develop their PowerShell module to be more robust. So instead of having to rely on the API to actually include a PowerShell command, it would let you create VPGs, delete VPGs, modify VPGs, etc. This would ease the automation effort of deployment and decommissioning and I'd really appreciate that."

What is our primary use case?

We are protecting 91 terabytes worth of data that consist of 200 virtual machines over the span of 96 tracking groups. We currently have 300 licenses and Zerto provides protection for our critical production systems with a 24-hour journal. We do utilize another platform to backup our entire enterprise as well as handling retention for a longer period of time.

We limit Zerto access to our platform engineers so either our Linux administrators or our Windows administrators use the solution. When a virtual machine is tagged as the article, in other words something that should be replicated to a target data center, they have the authority to create a VM and make sure it is protected via Zerto.

We have an annual DR test requirement. Initially, we used Zerto for testing a subset of our production systems and generated reports that would validate that the tests were successful. We leveraged Zerto to test failover for over 200 VMs by running it in the test scenario. We ran it for a couple of days and tested connectivity to verify that all the virtual machines were up and running and that disk integrity was fine.

Over the years, we have moved from an offline test scenario to an actual real-life failover for subsets of applications. For a couple of years now, we have failed over applications into another data center and have run production from there on a small subset. Our vision going forward is to avoid these offline once a year tests and to periodically move applications from one data center to another in a real-time testing scenario.

We currently have a production data center and then we have a co-location, which we are leasing. So we actually have two locations where we can failover. We do have a small cloud presence in Azure, and we have started a small cloud presence in AWS as well, but we are not running any IaaS virtual machines in those clouds. There's really been no cost-savings at all in the cloud so we've brought those work machines back on-premises.

How has it helped my organization?

Prior to Zerto, we used a third-party offsite facility and a team of 25 individuals, where we would restore over 300 VMs in our network, to prove annually that we can recover our data. Since adopting Zerto, we've pretty much reduced all of that VR testing to about four team members. We've significantly reduced our costs by staying on-premises and time from only four individuals instead of a whole team of 25.

What is most valuable?

The first benefit, right out of the gate, was to duplicate a subset of our production environment and test it in an offline network scenario. That initial test was fantastic as was all of the reporting to prove that we have done those tests. Another big attraction is the near zero RPO. A lot of other products have minutes, half-hour, or an hour RPO. We have proof indicating that Zerto is near zero, or a matter of minutes, as far as the RTO is concerned. So again, that's another attractive offering where you can actually fail something over and bring it back up in a target location in a matter of minutes. Meaning very little data loss as far as recovery time. It's fantastic.

The main reason why we love Zerto is because we have a VMware environment. What we're doing now with VMware is we leverage NSX-T which gives us the ability to have a shared address space across two physical data centers. By using Zerto with an NSX-T, we can failover applications without re-IPing or anything like that. So it's a matter of literally shutting down the forced side and powering up the other side in minutes. It works fantastic and that is definitely our future DR strategy as well as our future failover testing.

What needs improvement?

I haven't seen any significant features or improvements in the past few major version releases. The only challenge I have with Zerto today, and over the past few years, is that it seems like a lot of development and effort is going toward the cloud. Since we're utilizing the solution with an on-premises hypervisor, it seems like development for our needs is kind of stuck.

The other thing I wish they would do is to develop their PowerShell module to be more robust. So instead of having to rely on the API to actually include a PowerShell command, it would let you create VPGs, delete VPGs, modify VPGs, etc. This would ease the automation effort of deployment and decommissioning and I'd really appreciate that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I implemented the solution back in the fall of 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Zerto is very stable and requires little maintenance. We probably update Zerto twice a year. There's been no real outage issues that we've encountered. There have been a few times where we've had issues with VMware which in turn provided a hiccup towards Zerto. Though Zerto was a symptom and not the root cause.

Zerto provides continuous data protection and we've had very little disruption. We've gone through mobile versions starting with version six something and we have gone through the various upgrade cycles without any major issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Zerto seems very scalable. I can't really comment further on that because we've only had two license upgrades from 200 to 300 virtual machines. I haven't really tested this on a very large scale like for over a thousand VMs or anything close to that. From what we've utilized it has scaled, but I'm really not a good example because we manage a smaller subset of virtual machines.

As far as our key-protected systems, we're at the 280 marker so we don't see ourselves growing any more. License increments are 25 or 100 and if we did grow, obviously, we would increase our license count. Although we've had 300 licenses for a few years now so we've kind of found our sweet spot.

How are customer service and technical support?

There's been a couple of support calls along the way, but support has been very helpful and very responsive in correcting our issues.

How was the initial setup?

Back in 2016, we conducted a 30-day POC with Zerto and that was enough time to fully implement the solution and even utilize it. We were really impressed that we could actually use Zerto from start to test within a 30-day timeframe.

We found the setup and deployment process to be very simple and not complex at all. We installed Zerto on-premises with just regular employees. It was a team of two engineers and a database administrator and that was it. After a little bit of research on the prerequisites we literally ran the installation setup. It was a breeze and there were really no custom tweaks or anything that had to be done post-setup.

The solution is very user intuitive, from the initial setup of the application and installation all the way to actually getting data in there by creating virtual protection groups and populating VMs.

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

As far as our IT budget is concerned, Zerto is a little bit expensive. But as far as the value that it provides, it is completely justified by all of the savings. Reducing the labor of DR failover exercises or its reporting functionality for our audit teams has saved a lot of soft dollars. Also, failing over our workloads to another data center and proving that it does work is priceless. On the other hand, the price consideration is why we're only protecting a subset of our virtual machines, those that are deemed DR critical, versus protecting everything.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate a few different products before selecting Zerto. We looked into Commvault and Veeam. We also looked into VMware's Site Recovery Manager. Having a near zero RPO and a very short RTO was the main difference between Zerto and the products we evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest advice would be to compare Zerto to another product side-by-side and actually do a demo of both products. And then at that point, post-demo, the decision will be very easy.

On a scale of one to 10, where 10 is best, I would rate Zerto a nine plus. Unfortunately, no product walks on water, so they're never going to get a 10. There's room for improvement everywhere for sure, but I'm extremely happy with the product.

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
Enterprise Architect at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Our effort for DR is a fraction of what it was; we just click the VMs that we want to protect and they are protected
Pros and Cons
  • "Zerto's support for different hypervisors is a valuable feature because we have a mixed bag. We have VMware and we have Hyper-V. For us, that was extremely critical when we made the decision. We wanted a single tool that is able to replicate all our virtual servers. At this point, I think the only tool on the market that can do that on-premise is Zerto."
  • "We own another solution called VMware Site Recovery Manager, SRM. We have licenses for our entire environment and we still decided not to use it. That's how big the difference was in the experience that Zerto provides."
  • "They definitely have room for improvement in a couple of areas. One is role-based access control. Right now, they don't have an identity source so they use the identity of the vCenter or the VMM. If they connected to an identity source like Active Directory and allowed for granular roles and permissions, that would be an improvement."

What is our primary use case?

It's on-prem only, and we're replicating part of production data centers to the DR location. We use it 100 percent for DR. Zerto, as a product, has a lot of capabilities, but we're only using it to replicate servers for disaster recovery, on-prem.

How has it helped my organization?

Providing DR for the entire organization is a big improvement, compared to the previous way we did DR. With the old DR tool we identified the systems that we wanted to protect and we installed agents and installed a server in the remote location and pretty much treated every physical and virtual server the same way. That tool was agent-based and required installation and maintenance of a server on the remote site. Now, the effort involved is a fraction of what it was before. We just click the VMs that we want to protect and they are protected.

Zerto has reduced the number of staff involved in DR.

It has also helped to reduce downtime. With our old solution, something that took 10 to 15 minutes of outage, required one reboot, which took less than a minute, with Zerto. That amount of downtime would have cost our company a couple of thousand dollars.

What is most valuable?

Zerto's support for different hypervisors is a valuable feature because we have a mixed bag. We have VMware and we have Hyper-V. For us, that was extremely critical when we made the decision. We wanted a single tool that is able to replicate all our virtual servers. At this point, I think the only tool on the market that can do that on-premise is Zerto.

It does a great job of continuous data protection. That's why we're using it for DR. It has the journal, the recovery points. It's doing its job. It's a good tool.

It's extremely easy to use with a very intuitive interface. You can set up a VPG (virtual protected group) and add VMs to it in a couple of clicks. Everything is in a single dashboard and you can do everything from there. If you need some granular information, you click the Analytics and get your RPO or RTO and how much data you would lose if you do a DR at this point in time. 

What needs improvement?

They definitely have room for improvement in a couple of areas. One is role-based access control. Right now, they don't have an identity source so they use the identity of the vCenter or the VMM. If they connected to an identity source like Active Directory and allowed for granular roles and permissions, that would be an improvement.

Another area of improvement is support for clusters. They have very limited support for Microsoft clustering.

Also, integration with VMware could be improved. For example, when a VM is created in vCenter, it would be helpful to be able to identify the VM, by tags or any other means, as needing DR protection. And then Zerto should be able to automatically add the VM to a VPG. 

There is definitely room for improvement. But what they have implemented so far, works pretty well.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. 

We're always one version behind. The current version is 8.5 and we're running 8. We always wait until at least Update 1 before we upgrade. So when v9 is out, we'll probably upgrade to 8.5, Update 1, or whatever the current update is. Because we are a little bit behind and we're running on a very stable, mature version, we rarely experience issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We're running thousands of hosts. Scalability is not a problem.

We plan to keep the product. It's doing a good job.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our experience with their technical support has been good. But keep in mind that we have a pretty high-level, Premium Support agreement with Zerto. We have a dedicated technical account manager from Zerto, and he has direct access to the developers.

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

We used Double-Take DR which treated all the physical and virtual servers exactly the same way with agents. Zerto replaced it.

We switched because it is a little bit inefficient to treat all the virtual machines as separate physical servers, because on the DR site you need to install them, you need to configure them. You need to put the agents on both sites and configure the replication relationship. It's very complex. And whenever you need to patch or do some maintenance on the target site, it's double the work because you patch the source and you patch the target—you have a live server at the remote site. With Zerto, as soon as I patch the VM at the source, the updates are replicated to the target immediately.

Zerto's ease of use is very good compared with other similar solutions for replication.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Zerto is quite simple. You build a SQL instance. You build a Windows VM and install the ZVM on it. You integrate it with vCenter and then, from the ZVM, you make sure your firewall ports are open and you push the VRAs down.

Deployment takes a couple of hours, for a relatively big environment. It would typically require 30 minutes of DBA time, an hour or two of Windows engineering time, and another person from VMware for another hour.

It doesn't require any staff for day-to-day maintenance. It's used by our operations team, which is close to 100 people; those are people who have access to it.

What about the implementation team?

It's quite easy and straightforward. We do it with internal labor.

What was our ROI?

The way we use it there is no return on investment. You can think of Zerto as an insurance policy. We use it to protect our business, but we actually hope that we'll never put it into action.

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

It's not the cheapest tool, it's expensive. But it's doing a good job.

We pay the standard license, maintenance every year, and we pay for our technical account manager, which is pretty much Professional Services, with our Premium Support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other solutions. We own another solution called VMware Site Recovery Manager, SRM. We have licenses for our entire environment and we still decided not to use it. That's how big the difference was in the experience that Zerto provides. 

We also compared Zerto with our previous disaster recovery solution, which was called Double-Take DR.

Zerto is much better. It is not a cheap solution. The fact that we decided to buy it when we already had all the licenses for VMware, bundled in our ELA with VMware, should tell you how big of a difference there was.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be that when you need a tool to bet your business on, as a last resort, make sure you evaluate all the options, test them, and don't be cheap.

The biggest lesson I've learned from using Zerto is that a third-party company can do a better job of protecting the workloads than the vendor. It does a better job than VMware and Microsoft together.

In terms of using the solution for long-term retention, we're evaluating Zerto's offering. It's a new feature. We already have an established backup system, using Symantec. In a couple of years, when we need to refresh Symantec, we might consider it. But at this point we don't use it and we aren't considering it.

We use the Veritas NetBackup solution. They split from Symantec so Veritas is separate, but it was a Symantec solution for backup. We don't use Veeam, we don't use Cohesity, we don't use Rubrik. The only potential is to replace our Veritas/Symantec backup product, in the future, with Zerto Long Term Retention.

If we have a DR situation, we are not planning to fail back. It's not part of our DR strategy. If we need to fail-over a production data center, it means that this data center has been destroyed, it's a smoking hole in the grass. We will be running continuously from the DR data center, which is a full-scale data center.

I would rate Zerto at nine out of 10. There are new features that they're working on, which will be nice to have. That's why I won't rate it a 10, but overall it's a really good, stable, easy-to-use product.

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
Sytems anylist associate at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The near-synchronous replication is its shining feature
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the rollback feature that captures every couple of minutes. Whenever we have a server that goes down, we can use that to pull it back a couple of minutes before and it's good to go."
  • "When setting up Zerto, you have to set up VRAs. I would like to see those not be needed as much. They're a little cumbersome and take up a lot of VM counts."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for DR failover. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the rollback feature that captures every couple of minutes. Whenever we have a server that goes down, we can use that to pull it back a couple of minutes before and it's good to go. 

The disaster recovery has been a benefit to us. The ability to capture or move something to another data center is also a really handy feature.

The near-synchronous replication is Zerto's shining feature. We leverage the most out of it. 

On the technical side, we usually need more of the deeper, not near-synchronous replication. We need it more for the back backups but there's always a fire drill. There's always an emergency that needs something that happened five minutes ago to be restored.

We use Zerto to help protect VMs in your environment. 

What needs improvement?

When setting up Zerto, you have to set up VRAs. I would like to see those not be needed as much. They're a little cumbersome and take up a lot of VM counts.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for around four to five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is perfect. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It feels like scalability is what it's built for. It's seamless. 

How are customer service and support?

I don't usually have to call support. Some of my coworkers are a little more familiar with it, and they have always said that Zerto support is very good.

They're fast, responsive, and willing to look at issues that they're not familiar with.

An interactive chat with knowledgeable staff could be a helpful feature.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We also looked at VMware. Zerto outperformed it and was more affordable. 

What's nice about Zerto that I don't think we saw with VMware is the ability to use one console for multiple beta centers. It's really nice not having to go into a specific site to come to or from that site. If a site or a whole data center goes down, you can still access it from the other and pull over it if needed. 

How was the initial setup?

We had VRAs that we had to set up. The initial setup was good. The hard part was getting all of the servers into certain groups and then getting the disaster recovery plan for all of those. That was the hard part. Once you have that all setup, initiating those plans is very easy.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. I'm more on the technical side so I can't give exact metrics. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Zerto a nine out of ten. It gives me everything I want and everything I would need. Failing over is easy. Disaster recovery is easy. If there was ever an event where I had to roll over a whole data center, I don't really worry about it because Zerto has been there. The setup was probably the hardest part but once you get the hard part done, the rest is easy. 

Sometimes the console is a little hard to understand. Simplifying some of the commands inside of it would help. It's a very minor aspect. Sometimes the endpoint and destinations can get a little confusing and exactly how you want some of the functions to roll over can be a little bit hard to pick up.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

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

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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carlosdalia - PeerSpot reviewer
HPE Presales Consultant and Certified Instructor at Pleiades Tecnologia
Real User
Top 10
Has really good near-synchronous replication and protection, which is an advantage for customers
Pros and Cons
  • "We used Zerto to protect VMs in our environment. It depends on the network and environment, but the RTO takes around 7-8 seconds. When you compare Zerto to other solutions in the market, it's very powerful."
  • "You have to start with 25 VMs which is too much for SMB clients. It would be better if they had the option to start with 10."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for running demos for HPE partners and customers, regarding disaster recovery and backup.

How has it helped my organization?

Although our primary use case is to show demos to partners and customers, we think it's really valuable.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are disaster recovery and that the RTO takes less than ten seconds. It's a reallypotent tool.

The near-synchronous replication is really good and an advantage for customers. This feature is really important because we can show it to customers and partners, helping recovering from ransomware, and does provide huge value.

You can protect your VMs in the environment. It depends on the network and environment, but the RTO takes around 7-8 seconds. When you compare Zerto to other solutions in the market, it's very powerful. 

Also, the ease of use and speed of recovery are wonderful. 

What needs improvement?

I'm happy with the solution, but I would like Zerto to support other hypervisors too

And the price could be cheaper, but it is reasonable.

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's very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is really good. 

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

We have used SRM from VMware and RapidDR from Simplivity. In comparison to those products, Zerto is really simple to use and helpful. 

We are constantly trying new products. Zerto has the lowest RTO, you can recover a lot more quickly than using other solutions. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation ourselves. 

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

Our clients think it's quite expensive but I advise them to consider all of Zerto's features.

You need to start with 25 VMs, which sometimes is too much for SMB clients in some countries. It would be better if they had the option to start with a license for less VMs, like 5 or 10.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, I rate the solution a nine out of ten because of the low RTOs, the ease of use, and how helpful it is for clients.

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.
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Chief Technology Officer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Faster and more cost-effective than other solutions
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution's most valuable features are its user interface, ease of implementation, and ease of execution."
  • "In the future, the tool's user interface needs to be refreshed since it seems to be becoming somewhat antiquated."

What is our primary use case?

I use the Zerto in my company for all of our applications built on it. There are around 1,600 applications.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto has enabled us to move and replicate systems much faster than we ever had before. We could move entire data centers in six months versus what would have taken three years.

What is most valuable?

The solution's most valuable features are its user interface, ease of implementation, and ease of execution.

Zerto's near-synchronous replication works. I work in the healthcare industry, where systems have to be up and working and are mission-critical, and Zerto is a part of that journey.

I have used Zerto to help protect VMs in your environment.

Zerto is an effective tool for bringing systems back at a pace. The limiting factor in Zerto is sometimes the application, but it has certainly allowed us to deliver more streamlined SLAs to our business.

In terms of comparing the speed of recovery of Zerto versus the speed of recovery with other disaster recovery solutions that I have used, I can say that my company moved from an old Commvault-based solution to a Zerto-based solution since the latter was far superior to the former.

Based on my usage or evaluations of other solutions, I would compare the ease of use Zerto provides with a product named Commvault. Compared to Commvault, Zerto is faster and more cost-effective.

What needs improvement?

Zerto can reduce its price.

In the future, the tool's user interface needs to be refreshed since it seems to be becoming somewhat antiquated.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto since 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The tool has been 100 percent stable for our company. In reality, the tool has been up since 2017.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not seen any problems with the product's scalability, especially since we run 1,600 applications with it. There don't seem to be any problems with scaling up.

How are customer service and support?

The solution's technical support is excellent. The tool's technical support team is responsive, easy to get a hold of, and kind, and the team also listens. I rate the technical support a nine out of ten. For me, to rate the support team ten out of ten, in a perfect world, there are more SLAs at fixed times.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I have used Commvault. My company chose Zerto because it was modern and easy to implement, and the demonstrations we saw indicated that it should be part of our organization's future.

How was the initial setup?

The product's ease of setup made things straightforward, especially with good customer support, and backup when trying to get it all implemented.

My company uses the hybrid cloud services offered by GCP but hasn't added Zerto to it. My company also uses AWS and Microsoft Azure, but we haven't added Zerto to it.

What about the implementation team?

For the setup phase, my company bought some professional services because, obviously, my team hadn't had training, but now they are trained. My company bought some professional services, and my team got some hands-on training, so we now run the system in-house. I believe that Zerto's team should receive more training about the tool. I rate my experience with the tool's system integrator, WWT, as seven out of ten.

What was our ROI?

It offers more cost-avoidance than the return on investment, although the return on investment is possible to a certain extent.

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

At the time I had purchased the product, the pricing was fair and reasonable. Over the years, costs have certainly gone up, which makes it hard for healthcare companies to use the solution.

What other advice do I have?

I believe that Zerto's team should have more training.

I rate the tool a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

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

Google
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Fernando Hortal - PeerSpot reviewer
CTO & Presales Manager at Pleiades Tecnologia
Real User
Top 5
Reduces our operational costs, time commitment, and downtime
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features of Zerto are the ease of use and recovery speed."
  • "While Zerto's current version supports VMware environments, I'd like the added flexibility of using Hypervisors as well."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto to protect our centralized environment on our data center.

We implemented Zerto to ensure our environment keeps running in the event of power failure or hardware issues.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto is extremely easy to use.

The near synchronous replication is powerful and eliminates the need to use other storage solutions. The near synchronous replication is important for the services that we are providing.

It has drastically reduced our downtime. Previously, recovering from an issue took three days, but now with Zerto, we're back up and running in about an hour, minimizing disruption and keeping our business operational.

The continuous data protection has transformed our IT operations. By enabling us to restore our entire environment and resume functionality within hours, it eliminates the multi-day downtime we previously experienced in recovery situations.

Zerto has significantly reduced our operational costs and time commitment by 90 percent. Compared to our previous solution, Zerto requires fewer resources and allows us to complete tasks much faster.

Zerto safeguards our virtual machines, ensuring critical applications recover in minutes while less essential ones are restored within hours. This significant improvement replaces our previous recovery time of two to three days for the entire environment.

It has reduced our downtime by 85 percent.

While we hadn't previously tested our disaster recovery plan, our current backups and improved recovery time give us greater confidence in our ability to respond to an incident.

Zerto strengthens our IT team's disaster recovery plan by boosting their confidence in the system's reliability. With Zerto, the system can now recover quickly from the biannual power outages that used to cause instability, thanks to its improved stability within the failover environment.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of Zerto are the ease of use and recovery speed.

The most valuable feature for enhancing our data protection strategy is the ability to test and validate that the protection is up and running when we need it.

What needs improvement?

While Zerto's current version supports VMware environments, I'd like the added flexibility of using Hypervisors as well. Although previous Zerto versions offered this functionality, it seems to be missing in the latest iteration.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate the stability of Zerto nine out of ten.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would rate the scalability of Zerto nine out of ten.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support team was responsive and effective in resolving the small number of problems we encountered.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We used to rely solely on Veeam for backups, but now we have a layered approach. We still perform Veeam backups for long-term data protection. However, we've added Zerto for disaster recovery, enabling much faster recoveries of our critical systems in case of a major outage. This way, we have both comprehensive backups and the ability to get our key functions back up and running quickly.

Zerto boasts faster recovery speeds than Veeam and offers a significantly easier testing process.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment was straightforward. It was completed by one person in one day.

What was our ROI?

The time Zerto saves us restoring our services provides a significant return on investment.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Zerto nine out of ten.

Our Zerto deployment spans multiple locations and is managed by a team of eight administrators who are responsible for protecting 30 virtual machines.

While Zerto itself doesn't require regular maintenance, it's important to conduct periodic tests to verify our disaster recovery functionality and generate reports to monitor its health.

I would recommend Zerto because it provides better and more simplified protection.

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.
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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: June 2024
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.