Sr Storage Adminstrator at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Reduced downtime and time to deploy new servers in an easy-to-use solution
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution's most valuable aspect is allowing a failover from our remote sites to our data center. Our remote sites have failed several times, and on each occasion, we were able to bring a plant back online within 30 minutes, even though the hardware repair took many days."
  • "I want to have an OVF or some local deployment where I can deploy the ZVRA rather than having to push it from the console. Some of our smaller remote sites have relatively poor bandwidth, and they can't keep up with the constant deployment stream from our center console, meaning we have to find some creative hours to get around the bandwidth bottlenecks. If I could push out a small install file, install it locally, and then reach back to the console, that would be excellent."

What is our primary use case?

We have critical servers at remote sites that failover or are replicated to our main data center in case of an emergency. If a remote site has a failure, we can spin up that virtual machine from our data center.

We operate a hub and spoke design with a centralized data center hosting our main instance, reaching out to roughly 78 remote locations. We handle the VPGs through the centralized management console at our data center.

We also use the Zerto to replicate from a primary host to a secondary host in case the primary goes down; we have a kind of cold box to which the solution replicates.

Our final use case is if we are updating a plant's entire server rack, and we use Zerto to replicate the old servers onto the new ones, which results in less downtime.  

How has it helped my organization?

The product significantly decreased the time it takes to deploy new servers; we can work on them, build them, and then failover the old VMs to the new server with minimal business impact. What previously took hours to migrate the VMs with vMotion typically takes 30 minutes with Zerto, which is a phenomenal time saving for us. Our plants also have the reassurance that when we replicate their main servers back to a data center, we can keep their business running even if they have a total loss of a server rack or power.

The solution has helped to reduce downtime; we had a situation where a plant had its server fail, and we could failover their server to our data center and had them back up and running within 30 minutes. The required parts for a fix took three days to arrive, but thanks to Zerto, they did not have three days of downtime. Additionally, we just updated our hardware at our plants from HP servers to Dell, and we had to move 10 to 15 VMs per location from the old servers to the new ones. We completed this relatively significant move- roughly eight TB worth of data- in 30 to 45 minutes versus multiple hours, a remarkable reduction of potential downtime. Depending on the plant, downtime can cost $100/minute and potentially much higher if they are into online sales.   

The product helped to reduce our organization's DR testing; we previously used a Hitachi failover or manual VM move, but now we have Zerto VPGs at all sites. We can click the failover button, and it's done about 30 minutes later. It's good not to have to failover manually. Regarding time saved, we can get testing for a plant done in 30-45 minutes, resulting in between two and six hours' worth of savings.

What is most valuable?

The solution's most valuable aspect is allowing a failover from our remote sites to our data center. Our remote sites have failed several times, and on each occasion, we were able to bring a plant back online within 30 minutes, even though the hardware repair took many days.

The solution is very straightforward, especially after using it a few times. We had users who were daunted by it, but once we walked them through how easy it is to failover, they felt pretty comfortable. Zerto is easy to use and doesn't take long to learn, which is nice.  

We like the near-synchronous replication feature, and it's essential as we want to reduce the amount of data lost during a failover. The RPO and RTO are excellent, thanks to Zerto, and we have some sites with poor bandwidth, so we understand the limitations we're working with. Near-synchronous replication allows us to roll back to a specific hour or minute in case of a failure, which is a great feature.  

One of our primary uses for the solution is to protect VMs in our environment, which has an excellent effect on our RPOs. We had a data breach several years ago, and Zerto helped us quickly get back up. We like it a lot because we can failover within minutes once we detect an issue.  

What needs improvement?

I want to have an OVF or some local deployment where I can deploy the ZVRA rather than having to push it from the console. Some of our smaller remote sites have relatively poor bandwidth, and they can't keep up with the constant deployment stream from our center console, meaning we have to find some creative hours to get around the bandwidth bottlenecks. If I could push out a small install file, install it locally, and then reach back to the console, that would be excellent.

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For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for over five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Zerto is very stable; we only have problems with sites with poor bandwidth, and there's little we can do to get around that. Sometimes VPGs get outdated because those sites can't copy the data fast enough, but the application is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales exceptionally well; we add more licenses when required and keep running. We currently have over 400 licenses.

How are customer service and support?

I recently contacted technical support, and I rate them seven out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

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

We previously used Veeam, Commvault, and a Hitachi solution. We switched because Zerto has a better RTO and RP, and it's much easier to use than Veeam. The Hitachi solution was very cumbersome as it was CLI only, and we had to unmount and remount storage.

Comparing the ease of use with other solutions, Zerto is excellent; once we have the VPG, there's a large failover button which allows our entire team to carry out the function. It's elementary. After showing a team member once or twice, they can operate the tool independently. The graphics and GUI show us the failover progression, so we don't have to wonder if it has taken place or how long is left. The tool keeps good stats and informs us of the step it's on. 

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the initial deployment, but we operate the solution with one team, our server team. Regarding maintenance, a minimal amount is required to keep up to date with patches etc. We occasionally run into an issue that necessitates upgrading to a newer version; for example, we were trying to move some vast data stores, and Zerto support said we needed to increase the timeout count. We keep fully up to date with security patches, and two staff members are responsible for maintenance. 

What was our ROI?

We have seen an ROI with Zerto, though it's hard to quantify precisely how much. It saved us a significant amount of downtime, and plants lose money when they're down, so it's a hidden ROI in that respect.

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

As far as I know, the pricing is around $1,000 per VM, but Zerto is changing the pricing model to more of an enterprise-class license. I don't know if there are any additional costs or fees.

What other advice do I have?

I rate the solution nine out of ten. 

Zerto did not reduce the number of staff involved in data recovery, overall backup, and DR management because we already run a very lean staff; there are eight of us on the server team, and we manage over 3000 servers across the company. On the other hand, Zerto enables multiple staff to do the failovers rather than one of two specialized employees. 

None of the time saved in DR testing has been allocated to value-add tasks because the time saved occurs outside our regular business hours.

Comparing the solution's speed of recovery with other disaster recovery tools, Zerto is excellent and rapid; we can restore everything in the VPG simultaneously. A tool like Commvault is single-threaded, so we would have to restore VM by VM, which is very limiting. VPGs are excellent because we can restore everything within them and get on with life.  

We have not used the tool for immutable data copies; we use our pure storage.

When we had a ransomware attack, the solution didn't initially save us time as they attacked our Zerto environment and took it down. Once we had it back online, we could speed up the recovery, and we've since hardened the product with additional security.

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
Senior Data Center Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Saves millions and we can roll back by seconds or minutes
Pros and Cons
  • "Its ability to roll back if the VM or the server that you are recovering does not come up right is also valuable. You have the ability to roll back a few seconds or a few minutes. The rollback feature is great."
  • "While going in, we were looking at the backup tool so that we had a DR tool and a backup tool, but they stopped developing their backup solution built into it. That was a bummer for us, so now, we have a DR solution, and we have a backup solution."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto for the disaster recovery capabilities that it provides us. It is for our Tier 1 applications. 

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto allows us to protect individual VMs. With the other solutions, we are protecting the storage that the VMs live on, which is costly, so Zerto does save us money.

Zerto has near-synchronous replication. It works very well. Our RPO or recovery point objective time was 20 minutes, and we were doing thousands of VMs. We not only met the RPO; we exceeded it. There were many times when it was just seconds behind.

We have used Zerto to help protect thousands of VMs in our environment. Zerto has had a good effect on our RPO. It has helped to exceed our RPO. Our RPO on some of our critical systems is 20 minutes, and we exceed that. Most of the time, we are under 2 to 3 minutes.

It is very easy to migrate data. We ended up migrating from one data center to another data center, and we moved 20,000 virtual machines with Zerto. It was great.

Zerto lowered our RTOs as well. As a part of the solution analysis that we did for the RPO and RTO, Zerto's interface to do a DR test or a DR recovery was the fastest. We had a 24-hour window to recover 5,000 virtual machines, and we were doing them in three to four hours.

Zerto has helped us to reduce downtime multiple times. We had one incident where we used it to do a recovery. The downtime was roughly about 20 minutes. We do not have a value on that because it is customers' health information. I do not know how it affected the end users or customers outside of our company, but it does affect them.

Zerto has saved us time. When files were deleted, we were able to recover the files quickly. While doing OS patching on the servers, when the servers failed on the reboot, we were able to recover all good things when it came to quick recovery on it. As opposed to pulling it from our backup, it has cut our time probably in three quarters.

Zerto has helped to reduce our organization's DR testing. A DR test or a recovery used to take us days, whereas now, it takes us hours. The system that we were using before took multiple engineers to do the DR test, whereas today, a single engineer can do the DR test, and then we need just a couple of engineers to do checks on it, so it saves us a lot.

Zerto has reduced the number of staff involved in a data recovery situation. Instead of a group of people, we now just need one.

We used Zerto for immutable data copies. It was good, and they were on a course, but they shifted their focus. They were doing DR specifically, and then Zerto started shifting over towards doing backups. We were very excited about their long-term backups, but when HPE bought them, HPE stopped that part of it because they were directly competing against their solution. At the time they were doing it, we were very excited about it.

What is most valuable?

The DR testing capabilities that it has are valuable. 

Its ability to roll back if the VM or the server that you are recovering does not come up right is also valuable. You have the ability to roll back a few seconds or a few minutes. The rollback feature is great.

What needs improvement?

While going in, we were looking at the backup tool so that we had a DR tool and a backup tool, but they stopped developing their backup solution built into it. That was a bummer for us, so now, we have a DR solution, and we have a backup solution.

For the actual application itself, we have put in our request for certain features, and so far, they seem to be adding those features. In their latest one going to version 10, they did an appliance, which we had asked about 6 years ago. It is great to see that they are doing an appliance. There would be even more savings for us now because we do not have to pay licensing for a Windows VM.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for about 7 years. I have used Zerto a few times at different companies.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have seen very few issues. It is one of the few solutions that actually runs. If you do your leg work and implement it right and go through all the design and other things, you do not have to babysit the solution. Care and feeding is what it amounts to. That is all you have to do, whereas with a lot of the other solutions, you have to babysit them.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is very good. It scales very easily.

How are customer service and support?

They could do better in regards to escalating an issue. I would rate them an 8 out of 10. In defense of support, I know it is hard because they are talking to somebody who has got 28 years of IT support. When I get on the call, I am probably dealing with someone who is just starting out. He has to go through his standard process. However, somebody like me is looking for faster support and would like to get to a real smart guy quicker.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

For disaster recovery, we were using VMware Site Recovery Manager, and it was not able to provide the recovery, the RTO, or the RPO that the company required. I went out and did a discovery for different DR solutions, and that is where I came across Zerto. Zerto replaced VMware Site Recovery Manager, and it saved us millions.

How was the initial setup?

Our deployment model is hybrid. I was involved in the initial deployment. It was straightforward. It was a lot easier than VMware Site Recovery Manager. It took us a week to deploy it.

In terms of maintenance, other than typical patching and upgrades, it does not require any maintenance. VMware Site Recovery Manager required a lot of ongoing maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house. There were just three of us involved in its implementation.

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

The pricing is based on virtual machines. They need to do better in regards to their tiering pricing rather than one price per VM. A lot of times we have VMs that are lower tier, such as Tier 2 or Tier 3, but we pay the same price as for Tier 1. I know they are developing this out, but it would be nice if they could provide a little better pricing in regards to their tiering protection.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tested four different solutions, and Zerto was the only one that was able to meet our requirements. We did PoC on Zerto and two other solutions. Zerto was by far the leader when it came to disaster recovery.

What other advice do I have?

To those evaluating this solution, I would recommend doing a PoC on it. Deploy it in your environment and test it. Most of the problems you are going to see are due to the replication, and that is the site-to-site connection. One of the problems that I have experienced with Zerto has been related to replication, not the solution itself.

We have not used Zerto for blocking unknown threats and attacks. Thankfully, we have not had that. We do not have experience of that, thankfully.

We have used Zerto to do DR to both AWS and Azure, but the ability to do disaster recovery (DR) in the cloud is not something critical for us because the health insurance requirements for certification do not allow us to put our Tier 1 data in the cloud. Also, because our applications are multi-tiered where they reach out to the mainframe, Solaris, and other equipment outside of the virtual environment, it did not make sense to go to the cloud with it, but we do have it. We have a development environment there. A lot of times, we will use it to refresh the development environment. So, it is important, but in our case, it is not critical for us. 

We have not had any issues utilizing Zerto to support DR on AWS, but AWS is on the slower side. The reason is that for the connection to AWS, even though it is a direct connection, the speed does vary for us.

I would rate Zerto a 10 out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Zerto
June 2024
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2024.
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Paul Mickenbecker - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Analyst, IS Infrastructure at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
We have centralized and simplified our DR processes, and DR in Azure has enabled us to consolidate DCs
Pros and Cons
  • "We can failover to an isolated environment and validate the application without impacting the production environment. We can do more testing in a non-impactful way..."
  • "We do have some sites that are very low-bandwidth sites. Zerto is able to set throttling in the solution, but the throttling is set at a site-wide level. In those instances that have very low bandwidth, I can't reduce the throttling on that site. It would be nice if there were a way to control the throttling by the protection group for a specific workload."

What is our primary use case?

In my previous company, I used it for disaster recovery. We protected our critical workloads in another data center where we would replicate our primary workloads.

In my current company, we're in the middle of a data center consolidation project and we're using Zerto in two ways. First, we're migrating the workloads we had in one data center to another, about 250 servers. It took us about three months to complete the migration. We had to schedule all of our moves and work with the business to validate that the services were fine and accessible, once they were moved to the other data center. We've completed the migration and a data center has been shut down, and we're working on building disaster recovery for our primary workloads in Azure.

How has it helped my organization?

The main benefit is that we are centralizing our disaster recovery solution. Before, we were doing replication for some services and RecoverPoint for other services. We had a mix of tools for disaster recovery and we're trying to simplify that process with a product we can use for both. We're even contemplating using Zerto for backups as well, because we use other tools for that. But the main focus is having a specific tool, Zerto, that we can use to achieve our disaster recovery goals for on-prem services.

We also have a big push to move our DR solutions into Azure as a result of a decision from our upper levels to use Azure as our primary solution for building applications. That has allowed us to reduce costs and consolidate from three data centers to one, with our disaster recovery solution in Azure. Our focus on one tool has made it simple. We're still working through that process. Whereas the failover solutions in Azure are somewhat the same as any other data center, building out the rules and requirements for firewalls is a little more complex. We have some third-party vendors that are helping us design and build out our security into Azure.

Near-synchronous replication is one of the benefits of Zerto that drove us to choose it over some others. With typical backup and recovery, your recovery point can be 24 hours. With the near-synchronous replication, our recovery point objectives are in the seconds. That's one of the major benefits of Zerto. We don't have to run incremental backups every half hour or 15 minutes. And the recovery time is fairly quick as well. It's essentially just a shutdown and reboot of a VM.

Near-synchronous replication is incredibly important for us because we have transactional applications that work on financial and transactional databases. The fewer the number of transactions that are potentially lost, the better it is for our organization. It means we don't have to go through rebuilding those transactions. It limits the amount of data that we could possibly lose in a disaster recovery situation, amounting to just a few seconds' worth.

The near-synchronous replication with Zerto has enabled us to reduce our RPOs to two seconds instead of hours and, sometimes, days.

And Zerto really improves RTOs for moving applications. You're not waiting for restores to happen. In some cases, if you have large amounts of data on the order of hundreds of terabytes, it could literally take you a week to recover certain applications, especially if you're pulling the data down from Azure or offsite storage. Zerto greatly improves the amount of time that it takes to recover. And you don't have to do one at a time. You can move over a large chunk of servers at once and get those recoveries running and mounting in your disaster recovery environment. It's a lot quicker than running a restore from a restore product.

In addition, the solution reduces the amount of downtime we have in applications during migration. We had a large number of servers, including some critical production applications. But we didn't have to find windows where we could have those systems interrupted for a short period of time. A few minutes of downtime, compared to having the application down for hours, helped move our migration project along. We moved about 250 servers in a three-month period, and we didn't have any issues with any of the applications related to data or the like. We had two instances where there was an issue related to licensing but they were our only issues when moving these applications.

What is most valuable?

The auto-connect feature is valuable because we can set the amount of time that we delay before committing a move from one location to another, giving application teams time to validate that the move went well and everything is working before we commit those changes. That gives us the ability to roll back to the same point we were at before we shut things down, if needed. 

Another nice aspect of the product is the non-intrusive failover of the application, similar to an actual disaster recovery test without impacting the services that are currently online. We can failover to an isolated environment and validate the application without impacting the production environment. We can do more testing in a non-impactful way using isolated testing. And once or twice a year, we'll do a live test that is more like what would happen if we lost a data center.

Zerto is also a very easy product to use. Although I've used it before in other environments, we introduced it to some engineers on our team and, after a couple of hours of training to go through the product, it's fairly intuitive. It's not something that takes a five-day training course to understand. You just drive through the checkboxes to build a protection group and that's pretty easy to do. You don't really have to understand coding or the like. It's GUI-driven, so it's fairly easy for an engineer to create protection groups.

What needs improvement?

You can use Zerto as a backup product, but in the discussions that I have had with them about the product, they don't really sell or talk about that feature as much. So I would be interested in improvements related to using it as a backup. If I could consolidate and use Zerto for disaster recovery as well as everyday backup and restore for situations where I need to recover something, that would be helpful. It has some of that functionality, but it's not something they promote a lot. They should point out the benefits of using Zerto as a backup and recovery product instead of just a DR product.

With Cohesity, we keep a limited amount of backups, about 14 days. That way, we can recover an individual server within the same site or we can restore data or databases that we need, in a non-DR way. We use it for typical day-to-day backup and restore. If we could use Zerto in a similar fashion for everyday backup and recovery scenarios, that would be another area where we could consolidate into a single application.

For how long have I used the solution?

At my old company, I used it for several years, and at the company I'm now at we've been using it for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been rock-solid. I haven't had any issues with any of the builds or the virtual managers. It just runs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's really scalable. You can create as many protection groups as you need, and a lot more than we have in our environment. 

We do have some sites that are very low-bandwidth sites. Zerto is able to set throttling in the solution, but the throttling is set at a site-wide level. In those instances that have very low bandwidth, I can't reduce the throttling on that site. It would be nice if there were a way to control the throttling by the protection group for a specific workload.

How are customer service and support?

Our experience with their tech support has been good. I have never called them with an issue that they couldn't resolve fairly quickly. 

I did call them a few times on some migrations that we were doing off-hours where certain aspects of the migration didn't work, particularly on the reverse protection. I always got a callback within 30 minutes and most of the time it was quicker. The support has always been great.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

One of the main issues was handling large data migrations. It wasn't feasible to do a big-bang move where we could move everything at one time, so we needed to schedule moves. We were able to at least replicate the information and work through a schedule for the migrations quickly. One of the major things we were trying to adjust was having to schedule the migrations and working with the team to validate that everything was functional. We were also looking to minimize the amount of time that that service would be offline during migration.

In addition, we use a combination of tools. We were doing replication with RecoverPoint, and straight backup and restore with Cohesity. While we still use Cohesity, we did get rid of RecoverPoint and we don't use VMware Site Recovery Manager because we're not recovering from VMware to VMware anymore. Cohesity does certain things and Zerto does certain things very well.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation of the migration was very straightforward. The implementation of disaster recovery into Azure was a little more complex. In part, that was because of the way our company built our Azure subscription and the rules we have in place for installation and dividing things and networks within Azure. 

But from the standpoint of installing and deploying the product, it's very simple.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house, but we did have a Zerto engineer run through the installation into Azure with us because we did run into some issues related to permissions in Azure and some of the custom roles that are defined. We also worked with an engineer from Azure to help us, mainly around the identity portion in Azure.

On our side, it was just me and one of our other engineers involved.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI on the migration project which didn't require a whole bunch of people involved. We rotated two people who were able to facilitate the migrations when we scheduled them in the evenings. Sometimes, we would do up to six or seven migrations in an evening. 

The main thing that held us up a little in that project was the validation process required by the business. If we had been able to just run through it, we probably would have completed it a lot more quickly.

Still, we didn't require a lot of resources to do it. It was just one engineer to handle a migration and the applications teams to validate. We didn't have to go outside the company to hire services to help us with the migration. That was helpful from a cost perspective.

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

Pricing is one area where there could be some improvement. We would like to see a consumption model that would charge in a DR scenario, where you're failing over and consuming those resources, instead of a per-protected-node model. Or it could be a model based on the amount of storage space you're protecting.

Others in our organization have raised the issue of how it's licensed, where you need one for every VM you're protecting.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at RecoverPoint and Site Recovery Manager in VMware, but they just didn't fit the type of scenario that we were looking to set up with replication and recovery into Azure. We couldn't really find too many tools that were doing it in a way that was not too intrusive. There are ways you can migrate things into Azure and run them, but there's a technical process that you have to go through to make it happen. 

We were looking for a solution where we wouldn't have to flip all the switches for Azure. We wanted something straightforward that was much simpler to use. Zerto was really the only tool that we could find to do it. Others that we looked at briefly just didn't do what we wanted to do, so we didn't spend too much time on them.

Recovery with Zerto is a little more straightforward compared to other solutions, and the amount of time it takes is fairly short. You can recover with Cohesity fairly quickly, but there are a bunch of other things that you need to do, depending on how the recovery is done. If you're mounting a new virtual machine from a snapshot, which would give you a fairly quick recovery, you would still have to re-synchronize that data to keep it as a replication, and that takes some time. 

Zerto is just a more straightforward solution. You're getting pretty much the same server restored in under a minute, which is the time it takes to reboot, sync, and bring it back online. Other tasks you have to do, when bringing something up in another data center, like re-IP the machine, can be automated in the Zerto replication. It makes things easier.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to look at what you're trying to accomplish. If you're looking for a migration tool, this is a great migration tool that will help you move workloads between data centers. It's agnostic as to whether you're using VMware, Microsoft, or Azure.

And you have to look at whether you're moving a large amount of data or a large number of servers. Think about how much downtime your business can afford for moving those applications. If you're looking for something that can move an application with minimal downtime, this may be a solution for you. Or if you're moving large amounts of data, but you don't want to be down for the whole time you're restoring or moving, a synchronous product like this may be a solution for you.

We have built a disaster recovery landing zone in our Azure environment and we built an isolated environment so we could do non-intrusive failover tests into Azure, and still keep our production environment up and running. We've tested certain workloads failing over into Azure, including a standard Windows or Linux box, and specific things like SQL Server, Oracle, et cetera. It has been going well so far and we're at the point where we're defining our protection groups and security in Azure for all of our critical workloads.

We have not yet used the immutable data copies feature, but I was just at a conference and had some meetings with Zerto, some of the product professionals and engineers, and that is something that we are strongly looking into. That's because of the issue of cyberattacks and because even backup systems could become corrupted and then you're still in a bad situation. Putting the data into an immutable repository is something that we are definitely looking into. Especially in the industry that we are in, cybersecurity is a big issue.

We have also not used it for blocking threats and attacks. But the ability, in conjunction with immutable data and putting that into a vault, to look at the data that is being replicated in real time and scan it, would be a great benefit. We do use some of the best-in-class tools for that kind of protection, but this would just be another layer to help with that. It's an interesting feature and another tool that would add a layer to our cyber protection.

Zerto hasn't reduced the number of staff involved in backup and DR management. We have a pretty lean team. We try to cross-train our employees on the different products that we use. But Zerto did help to simplify the process because we can get people trained on it. They can assist in covering for other people in the group when they're out. The training only takes a couple of hours to go through the tutorials.

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
Wendy B - PeerSpot reviewer
Wintel Administrator at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Cuts down the recovery time tremendously and improved the disaster recovery process
Pros and Cons
  • "We had a disaster recovery four or five years ago. I can't remember what happened, but I believe something crashed in our data center, like a power outage. We did a failover of our network using Zerto from production to disaster recovery. We successfully completed the failover process in three or four hours without issue. The data was current, and the application owners could access their data and continue working while the issue was resolved."
  • "I would like to see some graphical improvements in Zerto's interface. There's an option to export a list of all of our servers, but the information isn't presented the way we want. We want it in a specified sequence broken down by region, etc. We can't manipulate the data when we export it. Maybe they could change it to look more like an Excel sheet, and we can customize the graphics and data. We suggested these improvements to Zerto through their portal."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto for our disaster recovery procedure and testing to ensure our servers and virtual machines can failover from a production environment if there's a catastrophe. We have a disaster recovery test twice a year and use Zerto to recover the environment.

We have two environments for Zerto. One is for the US, and the other is for Europe. We updated one last week to version 9.0, and the other still uses version 8.5 but I will update that today or tomorrow.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto cut down the recovery time tremendously and improved our disaster recovery process. It made it easier for us to recover if needed during a disaster. Zerto definitely reduced downtime. The other software we used had a lot of manual steps. It was efficient, but our recovery time was longer. I estimate that Zerto cut our recovery time by at least 70 percent.

We had a disaster recovery four or five years ago. I can't remember what happened, but I believe something crashed in our data center, like a power outage. We did a failover of our network using Zerto from production to disaster recovery. We successfully completed the failover process in three or four hours without issue. The data was current, and the application owners could access their data and continue working while the issue was resolved. 

Zerto also brings down our costs. If we don't meet our SLAs, the clients are not happy and we get billed or fined. Every minute an application is down is costly for us. However, I don't think it has reduced our staff. We have a dedicated team for disaster recovery. While it doesn't cut down on the number of team members, It makes our jobs a lot easier.

What is most valuable?

Near-synchronous replication is an extremely powerful feature because it's like a mirror environment with almost real-time replication. Everything in my production environment is mirrored in the Zerto environment. I want the two to be as close as possible. 

If you have a disaster, we don't want your data to lag too far behind. You don't want to be an hour or two days behind. When you recover an environment in Zerto, the data is current.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see some graphical improvements in Zerto's interface. There's an option to export a list of all of our servers, but the information isn't presented the way we want. We want it in a specified sequence broken down by region, etc. We can't manipulate the data when we export it. Maybe they could change it to look more like an Excel sheet, and we can customize the graphics and data. We suggested these improvements to Zerto through their portal.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Zerto for six or seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's highly stable. We've had no issues. We haven't had an incident or any problems with Zerto being unavailable or maintenance that would cause an outage on our side. If anything is happening on Zerto's side, we're not affected and that is great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't seen any limitations so far. Zerto is constantly upgrading its products. There are upgrades every five months or so. They're constantly tweaking and making the product better.

How are customer service and support?

I rate Zerto support nine out of ten. It's excellent overall. We've only had one issue in the past six or seven years. I think the person was maybe new to the team.

They prioritize calls based on severity. If the issue is affecting our environment and we can't get anything done, they'll escalate the ticket and help us immediately. If we just have general questions or a concern that isn't severe, they still respond quickly.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We previously used a site recovery manager from vCenter. It's effective, but it requires a lot of manual steps, especially when we deal with databases and so forth. Zerto is quicker, more efficient, and easier on the eyes. I'm a huge fan. 

We started using Zerto because vCenter required more steps to failover our environment. Zerto does all the steps that we would normally need to do manually, reducing our recovery time and procedure steps. Something that previously took 45 minutes takes Zerto 10 minutes.

The other solutions are still in place. We use vCenter and NetBackup for our legacy systems.

How was the initial setup?

Zerto is user-friendly. When I set this up six or seven years ago, I knew nothing about Zerto. It was relatively straightforward to go from the vCenter SRM to the Zerto environment. It's intuitive, so I can log onto Zerto and figure it out without having to take a class or official training. I can log on and navigate through the screens. If I get stuck, Zerto support is always available.

There were two of us who set it up. I'm in the US, and the other guy is in the Philippines. He initiated it, and I finished it. We completed it in one day, but I don't remember how many hours it took. We did a quick check the following day to ensure everything was in line.

What about the implementation team?

I contacted Zerto recently when I upgraded one of my environments to version 9. I had some general questions because a few of our VMs were not syncing. I was getting an error message because the recovery didn't progress, so I had to reach out to Zerto support. We actually figured that out on our own, but they pointed us in the right direction.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tested one product for two or three months, but I can't think of the name of it. Zerto was easier for us to dive into and pick it up quickly. The leadership of the disaster recovery team made the final decision along with management. I don't know if cost played a factor, but Zerto was more efficient and easier to use. It was exactly what we needed.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Zerto ten 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.
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PeerSpot user
Cloud Engineering Manager at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Can replicate data rapidly and cost-effectively and has good role-based access controls
Pros and Cons
  • "We can recover both systems on-premises and in the public cloud."
  • "I would like Zerto to enhance the continuous backup aspect."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto to replicate our gold systems. Gold systems refer to those that require recovery in a disaster recovery environment within 24 hours, with a maximum allowable data loss of one hour. Therefore, the Recovery Time Objective is 24 hours, and the Recovery Point Objective is one hour.

How has it helped my organization?

I would rate Zerto's ease of use a nine out of ten. The setup of virtual appliances required for data replication is straightforward and effortless. Some of the automation and tooling, such as changing IP addresses or running scripts after a disaster recovery process, is also very user-friendly and simple to configure. 

Zerto's near-synchronous replication is commendable. Usually, the data is only a couple of minutes behind. Hence, we are not employing synchronous replication, but asynchronous replication proves to be sufficient for our needs. It does not appear to deviate too far out of sync or fall too far behind, thereby effectively maintaining up-to-date data. Near synchronous replication holds significant importance as these systems are our critical business assets.

Zerto has helped us improve our organization by enabling disaster recovery both on-premises and in the cloud. We are transitioning towards cloud-based recovery. Our previous solution, before Zerto, only allowed us to replicate data in our on-premises data center, preventing us from migrating to the cloud. Zerto has unblocked us, allowing us to leverage cloud-based recovery now. We were able to realize the benefits within three to four months. The implementation was relatively quick and completed within a couple of months. Everything tested well.

Zerto enables us to perform disaster recovery in the cloud instead of a physical data center, and this is the reason we made the switch to Zerto.

Having the capability to perform disaster recovery in the cloud is of utmost importance to our organization. We are implementing disaster recovery in the cloud to facilitate the shutdown of one of our data centers.

We use Zerto to protect VMs in our environment.

The speed of recovery using Zerto is good. The automation really helps make the recovery quick and easy.

Zerto's overall impact on our recovery time objectives is positive. It is fulfilling exactly what we needed it to do, making it a valuable tool. Additionally, it proves to be fairly cost-effective and easy to set up and use.

Although we have not experienced an actual disaster, Zerto has been instrumental in aiding our disaster recovery testing. Every year, we conduct a DR test to recover systems, conduct assessments, and validate our processes, and for this purpose, we have utilized Zerto. The results have been outstanding, as Zerto has saved us approximately 500 hours of time annually.

Zerto has automated the recovery process by utilizing those playbooks and re-IPing. This has significantly contributed to the reduction of DR testing efforts.

50 percent of the time that Zerto has saved has been allocated to value-added tasks.

What is most valuable?

Zerto can replicate data rapidly and cost-effectively. We can recover both systems on-premises and in the public cloud. We use Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services for cloud infrastructure, and Zerto can recover data from both of these platforms. Therefore, it is not limited to a specific cloud provider like the Azure Site Recovery Manager. 

Zerto has good role-based access controls. For cloud recovery, it allows replication over the Internet instead of private networking, which is really nice.

What needs improvement?

I would like Zerto to enhance the continuous backup aspect. If Zerto could replace Veeam from a backup perspective, that would be highly beneficial. Currently, we use Veeam for backup and Zerto for disaster recovery. It would be ideal if we could consolidate both functions into a single product rather than using two separate ones.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate Zerto's stability an eight out of ten. We encountered a problem once, but it was resolved.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would rate Zerto's scalability a nine out of ten.

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

We previously used EMC's Site Recovery Manager and Recover Point. The reason we replaced them is that they utilized sand-based replication, which couldn't be used to replicate data to public clouds. As there are no sands in the public cloud.

Zerto's ease of use, when compared to EMC's Site Recovery Manager and Recover Point, is slightly better. For instance, during the setup process, we didn't require expertise in storage area networks, unlike our previous products. Therefore, it takes fewer skilled resources to set up, configure, and start using Zerto.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. The deployment took two months. We identified the core machines that we were previously replicating and gradually migrated applications one set at a time. An application could consist of two servers or even five servers. We can perform these migrations in waves.

For the deployment, we had two engineers, one support person, and one architect.

What about the implementation team?

The Zerto team assisted with the implementation.

What was our ROI?

We have seen a return on investment.

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

Zerto is slightly expensive, but we do see the value in it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Veeam, Commvault, and Rubrik. Among them, Zerto had the best feature set for near real-time asynchronous replication.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Zerto a nine out of ten.

The speed of the RPO using Zerto is the same as our previous solution. We haven't lost anything, but we haven't gained much from an RPO perspective either. We had good technology; it was just limited by the cloud because there hasn't been any significant change.

We use Veeam as our backup product to perform some of the point-in-time recoveries.

We have only around six end users who log in to the console in total. Zerto is deployed in our primary data center and is also replicating to a secondary data center where it is deployed.

We have people who monitor whether the synchronization is proceeding well, but there is very little day-to-day overhead in terms of maintenance.

Zerto is a solid industry-recognized quality product.

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?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Raymond Rosario - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Network Administrator at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
The level of disaster recovery RPO that we can now offer has been a game-changer
Pros and Cons
  • "The near-synchronous replication is key. That has allowed us to provide the low RPOs that we promise. For key systems, that has been the deciding factor."
  • "I would like to see improvement on the Zerto Virtual Replication appliances, so that they are a little bit more streamlined as opposed to now where they just span multiple ZVR appliances like there were gremlins... as this thing grows it just spawns unlimited numbers of additional ZVR appliances and you end up with a bunch so that you can't really tell which is which."

What is our primary use case?

Zerto is used as our go-to disaster recovery failover software for the replication of key systems from our main office to our main data center. We primarily use it to protect VMs.

How has it helped my organization?

Being able to offer the level of disaster recovery RPO that we do has been a game-changer. Offering that level of RPO would have taken other methods to accomplish, but this has been straightforward.

It has been compatible with our VMware environments as time has progressed. We started using this in 2013. To make it easy and even more seamless, they spanned a Layer 2 subnet from one site to another using networking strategies. That way, when we fail over a VM or an asset, it does not change IPs at all. It has definitely given us a level of recovery that we would not have been able to accomplish as easily otherwise.

Recovery with Zerto is faster because, in the past, I believe our organization implemented asynchronous replication and used replication methods that were specific for storage. Having synchronous replication and an RPO that is essentially nothing, between sites, has definitely increased our response time. It allows us to immediately fail over seamlessly. It has also reduced RTOs throughout, since the recovery point objective in general is just a second. The smaller our RPO gap, the faster the RTOs we get.

In terms of downtime, there was a particular situation where we had an unexpected double outage of our WAN link. Unbeknownst to us, both of the fiber runs, although they were from the same company, ran through the same place, along the same train tracks where there was maintenance going. We were able immediately to fail over to our secondary site and keep downtime to zero.

That was an outage that I now know, in hindsight, lasted a couple of hours and it was during the peak closing of the US market for trading. It would have cost us millions. It would've been bad if something had gone wrong, since we needed to trade "now, now, now," but would not have been available. Thankfully we were able to trade.

Another benefit is that it allows for automated testing and non-impactful testing with the ability to spawn VMs in a test. We can perform any type of DR and integrity testing at will without impacting our production. I can't really quantify it but I know that DR tests definitely move a lot quicker now. Normally, DR testing would happen over a weekend. And it used to be the case that we would fail over everything immediately. We still have tests where we do live failovers with Zerto, because they really want to say we have done them. But we have averted investing time in monthly and quarterly tests over a weekend because we can present the automated testing that happens by Zerto with that test network. Without that, we would have to do monthly live testing, so it saves us time.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its ability to do failovers from one site to another.

It's also very intuitive, simple, and very straightforward. Its layout doesn't seem very complicated. It shows its features upfront. When I first started using it in 2016, I had not heard about the product, but coming to this company and having to take over managing it was not challenging at all. I was able to intuitively start using it. I have not had any issues with the interface. It's a clean interface and that has allowed me to intuitively use and configure it.

The near-synchronous replication is key. That has allowed us to provide the low RPOs that we promise. For key systems, that has been the deciding factor. The other option would have been establishing VMware's native HA approach, where you have to spawn new VMs. It's not as transparent as Zerto, it's more under the woodwork. Zerto's ability to offer that level of synchronicity and immediateness has enabled us to offer that level of SLA for our processes in case of a disaster.

What needs improvement?

Recently, I started to try to deploy vVols instead of VMFS volumes in my VMware environment and I did encounter an incompatibility. It seems that for Zerto volumes to be protected, there's some sort of limitation with drives having to be either thick-provisioned or thin-provisioned, I forget which. But there's some sort of inherent limitation that causes an incompatibility with vVols and VMware. That has to be overcome somehow. It has to be flexible enough to be able to do its thing.

And for an additional feature, and I'm not sure if this is already in the works, I would like to see improvement on the Zerto Virtual Replication appliances, so that they are a little bit more streamlined as opposed to now where they just span multiple ZVR appliances like there were gremlins. We have our three main ZVR appliances, each one of them associated with one of the hosts, but as this thing grows it just spawns unlimited numbers of additional ZVR appliances and you end up with a bunch so that you can't really tell which is which. Better management of those ZVR appliances would help, if you have to vMotion them off of something.

If you want to migrate a ZVR appliance from one storage to another, you can't really tell what's what and there are multiple pieces related to this ZVR appliance. I would like to see that cleaned up a little bit with better management features for ZVR appliance maintenance overall.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been with the company since May of 2016, so I've been using Zerto for that long—going on seven years. Through the years, I have become a Zerto-Certified administrator because Zerto offers a free course on it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable and very hands-off. I have so many other things to do and the last thing I need to be doing is babysitting Zerto, and that's not the case. Thankfully, it's one of those solutions that you set and forget. You pop in every once in a while and make sure the VPGs are still green and thinking. 

The only thing that has happened over the years is that the data store that this thing was on might have run out of space, but that was for other reasons. As long as you keep an eye on it, it will probably always be green and you'll never have to do anything.

How are customer service and support?

I've been able to engage with their support many times over the years and I have not had bad experiences with them. They've always been very efficient and prompt in taking me out of very sticky situations.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We already have solutions in place for backup, such as Rubric. We used to be a Veeam shop.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the initial setup.

We have two environments, one in our main office and the other in a data center. We have virtual protection groups that protect VMs in the main office and we are able to move them from failover to the data center as a DR strategy. That will change in the future when we move all assets that currently exist in our practice office into the data center as its native location. For now, it's office and data center, but in the future it will be data center and data center.

Our Zerto environment is VMware vSphere 7, and ESXi 7. It's mostly Windows VMs but there are some Linux VMs in there. It's a mixture of thick and thin-provisioned drives, all on VMFS data stores. Those are VMs that it protects and that it is able to move from one place to another.

As for maintenance, Zerto is really hands-off. It's just the usual software updates and that's about it. 

I believe the next step is that the recovery ZVMs (Zerto Virtual Managers) will turn into appliances, so they will be full Linux appliances. That will be great because we won't have to patch the Windows box underneath. Once that migration happens, it'll be even easier to manage. The only other thing that I have to do every once in a while is when we have another VM to protect. I edit the VPG and keep moving.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI due to the lack of losses from downtime that has been avoided.

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

The pricing seems reasonable. It's still within what we consider to be value-add. Currently, we're running 50 licenses. We're probably going to downsize because there have been organizational changes in our environment and we don't protect as many VMs as we used to.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have not looked to change over since I got here because Zerto has been that good.

What other advice do I have?

We don't really leverage the restore point backup capabilities of Zerto, although we do, in our virtual protection groups, configure it to have at least two hours' worth of restore points since the last RPO. We also haven't ventured toward DR in the cloud, although there will be initiatives in the future, but it's just something we have not done yet. At least for the assets we're covering with Zerto right now, we've limited ourselves to being able to pivot between data centers.

Currently, we are using it to provide DR coverage for key assets, but I am also going to use it to move all these assets from the practice office in downtown Chicago to the data center, which will be its permanent location. I am going to leverage Zerto's move capabilities to relocate those VMs, Windows Servers, and Linux boxes to the data center permanently. And then I'll establish a recovery relationship between data centers.

For the cost of the product, its value-add, and the return on investment, which is twofold, you should definitely consider Zerto. The hands-off approach and stability of the product alone will give additional dividends. Invest in the solution. It's pretty great.

Zerto is a 10 out of 10 for me. It's one of the easiest pieces of software that I have to manage and one of the most reliable over the years.

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
Angelo Winfield - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at Lone Star Park
Real User
Works in the background and does not interfere with the production usage of the server
Pros and Cons
  • "I've used backup solutions like Veeam in the past, but Zerto seemed like a better, faster solution. We adopted Zerto because of the speed, and because we wanted to do everything in-house."
  • "When I have a technical question, it sometimes takes a while for tech support to respond."

What is our primary use case?

Zerto is deployed on a VM, and we use it to replicate the database for our POS system in our data center.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto helps us when our server has an emergency. When we needed to get something from a server that had a corrupt file, it saved us from needing to go back to a tape or a backup to use that server. The recovery works better than our backup. I would rate that nine out of a 10.

It works great because we only use it in VMware for our virtual machines. We use Zerto Instead of snapshots. Zerto is a lot quicker than other solutions. It cuts our downtime in half when we need to recover data.

What is most valuable?

Data replication is the most valuable feature. The near-synchronous replication works in the background, so it does not interfere with the production usage of the server. Zerto is challenging to set up but easy to use. It's not difficult to configure once you see how it works. I'd give it at least eight out of 10 for ease of use.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Zerto for about a year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Zerto is highly scalable. Even though we only have it on a couple of servers, we could do all of them if we want to.

How are customer service and support?

Customer support is great. I'd say it is at least a nine. When I have a technical question, it sometimes takes a while for tech support to respond. That's a problem everywhere.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I've used backup solutions like Veeam in the past, but Zerto seemed like a better, faster solution. We adopted Zerto because of the speed, and because we wanted to do everything in-house. I would rate Zerto eight out of ten for ease of use, but Veeam seven out of 10. 

How was the initial setup?

Setting up Zerto is straightforward, but I needed to call tech support a few times with some basic questions. I handled the setup by myself because I'm in charge of servers and VMware. It doesn't require much maintenance aside from updates. 

What was our ROI?

It reduces the time and effort needed to get our data. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Zerto a nine out of ten. When I first installed it, I learned a lot about how it worked and how to integrate it with my storage. I needed to configure our storage to work with this because we do everything in-house. It's crucial to understand how everything works together.

You need to read the installation instructions thoroughly and prepare your VMware environment. I jumped right into it and didn't go through everything. Read everything and watch some videos first to prepare. If I do it again, I will watch the videos a few times to make sure I understand what's required and go from there.

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
Head of IT at TWM Solicitors LLP
Real User
Top 20
The integration with the mobile app is seamless, and helps to monitor the system from wherever
Pros and Cons
  • "Continuous replication is the primary feature we use now because we originally purchased Zerto. I'm starting to utilize the long-term retention and instantaneous file restoration features, which have been introduced since the original purchase in 2015. Initially, we deployed Zerto as a second data storage point, but ultimately it will probably facilitate some of the migration of my workloads up to the cloud. It's evolving with the network and how we deliver computation."
  • "It would be nice if Zerto offered OVFs, which are custom-built VMs that you can install on your virtualized environment. At the moment, I have the Zerto sitting on two custom-built Windows servers, which creates a lot of overhead. I'm waiting for them to create an OVF file, which is a built and hardened version of their Zerto server that I can just install wherever with a couple of mouse clicks."

What is our primary use case?

Our use case has evolved over the years. Initially, we strictly used Zerto for its original purpose: continuous replication of our virtual machines. We had a ransomware attack and needed to instantly restore virtual machines on or off-site without too much aggravation. That has been successful. The product expanded since then, and we're using many other features now.

We haven't replaced our other backup solutions yet, but we're considering it. I need to do some more testing of my databases and mail servers. It depends on how we utilize the cloud in the business. We're currently using an on-prem data center with a reserve disaster recovery site, but we're contemplating a transition to Azure. For example, if we are using Exchange Online, I'll need to find an appropriate backup solution. It may be something in the Azure stack, but I don't know yet.

We plan to use Zerto for cloud disaster recovery eventually. I'm in an upgrade cycle because I need to upgrade various backend elements to put me on 9.5, which I think is the latest release. That will give me immutable storage and benefits like single sign-on and multifactor authentication, which insurance companies increasingly request for all our applications. I plan to start shifting workloads into the cloud, and Zerto is one of the tools that will help me with that.

Zerto is deployed across my organization's entire computing infrastructure. We've got several different departments in the firm, so it handles many workloads. That sits on a Windows environment, and it replicates a data center where we just buy some shelving space. Including equity partners, consultants, and other visiting members of staff, we have around 250 users over seven sites.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto is the ideal solution from a technical perspective. I have confidence that I can quickly and effortlessly restore data and train my IT colleagues to do the same. Ultimately, the benefit to the firm is knowing that everything's protected. My colleagues don't need to dive deeply into what I do because it's my specialty. It has been a massive game-changer to have that confidence in data recoverability. The rest of the firm considers it part of the suite of tools I've implemented. 

I've been working in IT for nearly 30 years. In the old days, you would need to know precisely the configuration, whereas now you only have to press a few buttons, and you're in the same situation that you would've been after maybe hours or days in the past. That's happened in a short period of my career. 

We've seen a massive improvement in our RPOs. It used to take hours, if not days. When I started working here 17 years ago, recovery took weeks because of the lack of preparation. Now, it's done in a matter of minutes. You've got to practice it, and the Zerto tool has a timer where it asks you to check your DR every six months. I do that religiously. The RPO is theoretically in minutes, but I've never had to do it. 

Zerto has also had an overall positive impact on RTOs. You don't need to maintain a massive set of documents to recover your systems. You can spin them all back up in your reserve site. Obviously, you must do them in the correct order. Then, you can then test your functionality, and you should be good to go. It massively reduced our RTOs.

Our RPO went down by about four hours, and the recovery time may have gone down from five or six hours to less than an hour. Some firms that invest in this can get it a lot lower than that, but I would say we're well below an hour now to restore the entire system.

Downtime comes in so many varieties, and you need a Swiss Army knife with the tools you need to deal with them all. Zerto is only one piece of a toolset I use, but it's one of the major elements. It offers the basic flexibility to have different destinations for your data and the ability to spin it up quickly. When recovering from a disaster, you typically deal with an issue you've never seen before.

Sometimes, you might have a failure that only affects a third of your network, or it's a ransomware attack that only affects specific VMs. You have no idea what will hit, so flexibility is essential. You need to be able to do it and get on with trying to recover your data rather than having to remind yourself how to do it. I've had to do that a few times with software. You practice it because you can't remember it, whereas you don't need to do that with Zerto.

The cost of downtime is hard to quantify with a law firm. There's an evident revenue impact when the system is not running. It means people are not earning fees because we're a professional services firm. However, the effect's size depends on the disaster type and how long you are down. If you're down for weeks, that will damage your reputation, which is everything in the legal field. It's a massive advantage if we can get our services online quickly. 

The solution has also reduced our DR testing time considerably. You're prompted to test every six months, and I can run through the test in a couple of clicks. I go into the reserve site and ensure the servers are spun up. I verified that all the services are running as expected, and they can see each other. Completing the test cycle takes me maybe 30 minutes.

Previously, it might have taken a few days to do a disaster recovery trial because I had no way to restore data accurately without affecting the live data. Zerto creates a sandbox environment where you can test without affecting operations. In the past, I might have needed to disrupt business for a couple of days to run a full test. 

I can allocate that saved time to more valuable tasks. When I'm not maintaining the system, my role is to be a Solutions Architect, deliver new projects, and provide third-line support to help users with their day-to-day tasks. Zerto frees me up to concentrate on developing my team and working on value-added business projects. I estimate that it reduced my system management overhead by 15 percent. 

I can't say with certainty that it would reduce the staff need in a real-life disaster recovery situation because we never know what we'll get. We take disaster recovery seriously because we don't see the form disaster will take. People from marketing will be involved in communicating with our client base. Elements of management need to intervene to ensure the staff members are safe. "Disaster" is such a broad term. You could have a fire in one of your buildings or a ransomware attack. However, it would be easy for me to perform the disaster recovery by myself from the Zerto control panel.

What is most valuable?

Continuous replication is the primary feature we use now because we originally purchased Zerto. I'm starting to utilize the long-term retention and instantaneous file restoration features, which have been introduced since the original purchase in 2015. Initially, we deployed Zerto as a second data storage point, but ultimately it will probably facilitate some of the migration of my workloads up to the cloud. It's evolving with the network and how we deliver computation.

Near-synchronous replication is handy for instantaneous file restores. Over the next few years, I think I will have to be more flexible about how I run my network. We're transitioning from an on-premises to a hybrid setup and, finally, a cloud environment. It's crucial to have the ability to move around data recovery points, some of which are local, and it's becoming increasingly important as we move away from traditional backups. 

Currently, I'm still maintaining another backup regime due to the complexity of recovering some of my applications. Near-synchronous replication isn't one of the most vital factors yet. Continuous replication to remote sites is the primary concern and reason for the purchase. We are waiting to upgrade to version 9.5 before we start using immutable data copies, but I'm excited about that feature. Immutable backups will be a real game-changer because we'll have an incorruptible backup sitting in the background.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if Zerto offered OVFs, which are custom-built VMs that you can install on your virtualized environment. At the moment, I have the Zerto sitting on two custom-built Windows servers, which creates a lot of overhead. I'm waiting for them to create an OVF file, which is a built and hardened version of their Zerto server that I can just install wherever with a couple of mouse clicks. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for around seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is excellent. I've never had a problem with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability's been fine. I increased my licenses from 20 to 35 or 40. It scales horizontally too. I used to replicate to one destination: my data center. Now I replicate to two destinations, and I'm starting to replicate into Azure Blob storage, as well.

How are customer service and support?

I rate Zerto's support 10 out of 10. They always answer my questions, but I have very few issues because it's so simple and flexible to use. It's well thought out. Software often isn't designed with the user in mind, but this one has been. It's aimed at the right professional level. It's obvious if you've got enough technical knowledge. It's so robust and easy to use that I rarely contact technical support.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I did use a different solution that was part of the EMC stack for my storage area networks. Zerto is probably 10 times easier to use. When you work for a small or medium-sized organization, you aren't generally exposed to a variety of solutions because there are higher opportunity costs for time spent learning and setting it up. 

When I was doing the assessment, I got some experience with SAN-based recovery tools integrated with VMware, but those didn't seem to work well. Zerto is simple and actually works. 

How was the initial setup?

I purchased Zerto to simplify installation and configuration. I set aside a couple of weeks to install it, and I managed to do it in one afternoon. Managing the solution is pretty straightforward for someone with technical skills and experience. I find it simple to use, which is one of the reasons I like it. A lot of the products in the legal sector where I work are incredibly complicated and hard to use. This isn't one of them.

I couldn't believe how easy it was to install. Based on my previous experience with the EMC solution, I expected to be deploying it full-time for two weeks. I set up the prerequisites in advance, which included creating a couple of Windows VMs. We installed, set it up, and started replication within a couple of hours. I have a team of people, but I completed the installation myself.

Zerto is relatively low maintenance, which is another bonus. It just churns away. You need occasional upgrades and bug fixes. I spend an hour or two on maintenance every six months or so. Apart from that, the only other maintenance I do is testing every six months. 

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

Obviously, it would be nice to have it for free. Nevertheless, a lot of effort has gone into making it a top-notch product. An excellent product with expert support is never going to be cheap. I think it's fairly priced for what it does and the benefit it brings to our business.

I've gone from a standard license to an enterprise license with an increasing number of VMs. Enterprise covers on-prem and the cloud, whereas the standard license is strictly on-premise. I'm not an expert on Zerto's licensing, but I know that I've increased my VMs and the range of destinations as part of an upgrade.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn't evaluate any other solutions because I instantly liked Zerto. I'd been given permission to look for new products to protect us in the future, but when I saw a demo of Zerto, it was pretty much over.

Virtually everything is fairly straightforward. The upgrade cycle is painful in other products, but easy to do in Zerto. The integration with the mobile app is seamless, so I can monitor the system from wherever. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Zerto 10 out of 10. It's given me tremendous peace of mind and confidence that the network can be recovered quickly and accurately. I would suggest future users take some time to do an in-depth trial. 

If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will. In my job, a decision is sometimes obvious, but it's tricky in other instances. You might need to draw up a weighted scoring model and check a couple of suppliers. This time, it was so clear. It's hard to quantify the pleasure of getting a nice piece of software that just works.

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