SQL Database Administrator at Aurora Mental Health Center
Real User
Top 20
Continuous streaming keeps us up to date a lot faster
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features are the continuous streaming, that it takes very little CPU usage — it doesn't affect production — and the recovery time is very short."
  • "With the VPG (virtual protected group) it would be nice if you could pick individuals in the grouping instead of having to failover the whole group."

What is our primary use case?

It is controlling our mission-critical production system as a backup and a failover.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto has taken us from being able to do a failover in four to six hours down to one to two hours.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are

  • the continuous streaming
  • that it takes very little CPU usage — it doesn't affect production 
  • the recovery time is very short.

What needs improvement?

With the VPG (virtual protected group) it would be nice if you could pick individuals in the grouping instead of having to failover the whole group. 

Other than that, it's a pretty good product.

Buyer's Guide
Zerto
March 2024
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: March 2024.
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For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't see a problem with scaling it at all. They could improve setting up for SQL clustering or for SQL Always On. It really is set up for a one-to-one and not for a multiple solution. They could work on that.

We will probably increase our usage in the future. Right now we have a license for 15 VMs through Zerto and we are only using 10.

How are customer service and support?

We haven't worked with Zerto's technical support other than during deployment. Everything seems to be running really well now. During deployment, their support was very responsive. It's just that they did not have a good solution that worked with VMware and Nimble.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We were using Veeam. We switched to Zerto because it has continuous streaming that would keep us up to date a lot faster. Veeam kept promising they were going to have that, but they never came through on their promise, after waiting for a year. We were able to convince management to switch to Zerto.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of the product was very complex. We were using a SQL Server cluster with a Nimble array, so it was very complicated to get everything set up correctly so it would failover correctly.

Our deployment took about six months. We had an implementation strategy for the solution but it failed three times before they could get it to work. Our deployment plan was set up to failover for our SQL cluster and several web servers to a backup location. In setting up with the Nimble, Zerto recommended that we use an RDM. The RDM did not work. We were using VMware with Nimble and the Zerto team had not used that particular solution before. We jumped through hoops three times before we were able to get the right combination to get the cluster to failover correctly.

There are only three of us working with Zerto. I am the DBA, we have a system administrator, and we have our IT director. We learned very quickly how to use the product very thoroughly since we had to rebuild our solution three times.

What about the implementation team?

We were working with Zerto directly. They didn't have a good solution and we had to test out a lot of things with the hardware and software that we were using. They could have improved that. They kept giving us solutions that would not work, so we had to keep trying different solutions.

What was our ROI?

It's hard to say if we have seen ROI since it's only been running for about four months. I think that we will see cost savings over the next year.

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

As far as licensing goes, start out with what you need to get started and you can always scale up. Zerto worked very well with us. They have a tool called zPlanner which was able to document how much we needed to get started. That was a very handy tool.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at some other options, but nothing really compared to what Zerto offered.

The main differences were the ease of use, not having to have a dedicated person assigned to watching it, and the automation. A lot of this stuff is taken care of through Zerto without us having to script or put a lot of effort in on the back-end. Everything is automated.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure that they can demo what you want done before you move forward. We had a problem with the SQL clustering. Make sure that the equipment that you're using is certified by all the vendors that are involved, like VMware.

Now that we have the solution working, we're very happy. We've had it working for the last four to five months. We were able to test it with a test platform and it worked amazingly.

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
Technical Account Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Decreases the time it takes when we need to failback or move workloads
Pros and Cons
  • "The testing features are the most valuable features of this solution. We use the failover test feature not just for testing failovers and disaster recovery, we've also had clients use it for development purposes as well as patching purposes to test patches. We can failover the VM and then we can make any changes we want without affecting production. It's a nice sandbox for that usage."
  • "One improvement that could make it easier would be to have an easier way to track journal usage and a little bit more training around journal sizing. I've done all the training and the journal is still a gray area. There is confusion surrounding how it's billed and how we should bill clients. It would be easier if it had billing suggestions or billing best practices for our clients to make sure that we're not leaving money on the table."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for disaster recovery and migrations. We have two primary sites that we replicate to. If there are on-prem clients we replicate back and forth between those two and then we replicate our off-prems to them as well. We use on and off-prem as well as Azure. 

How has it helped my organization?

We actually have rescued a couple of clients that have had disasters on-prem due to weather or data center outages. One of our clients had left us for a cheaper provider and before our disks and retention points expired out, the cheaper provider had a flood in their data center. We were able to restore the client using the old restore points back into our data center, which was a huge win for us because it was a fairly large client. That client has worked with us ever since then. 

Zerto saves us time in data recovery situations due to ransomware. We've had a couple of ransomware incidents with clients in the last year and a half. I've worked on ransomware issues before when Zerto wasn't involved and it was much more complicated. Now, with Zerto, it's at least 50 to 75% faster. We're able to get a client up and running in a matter of an hour, as opposed to it taking an entire day to build or locate the ransomware and rebuild from shadow copies or some other archaic method.

It decreases the time it takes when we need to failback or move workloads because we use disaster recovery runbooks that we work with our clients to maintain. Anybody at our company, at any given time, can pick up this runbook and go with it so we can assign one or two techs to the incidents. They work with the client and get them back up and running quickly. We're 50 to 75% faster. It's now a matter of hours as opposed to days. In an old disaster recovery situation, it would be all hands on deck. With Zerto, we can assign out a technician or two, so it's one or two techs as opposed to five to 10.

There has been a reduction in the number of people involved in the overall backup. We have the management fairly minimized. There are only two primary subject matter experts in the company, one handles the back-end infrastructure and one handles the front-end, that's pretty much it. We're a fairly large company, with 500+ clients, so it's been stripped down, so to speak. 

From what I've seen, we do save money with Zerto, especially for long-term retention like the Azure Blob Storage. We had a recent incident where a client had to go back to a 2017 version of a server that was around three to four years old, just to find a specific file, and it only took us an hour to locate the proper retention point and mount it for him and get him back what he needed.

What is most valuable?

The testing features are the most valuable features of this solution. We use the failover test feature not just for testing failovers and disaster recovery, we've also had clients use it for development purposes as well as patching purposes to test patches. We can failover the VM and then we can make any changes we want without affecting production. It's a nice sandbox for that usage.

We also use it for migrations into our data center. We bring in new clients all the time by setting up Zerto in their on-prem and then replicating to wherever their destination will be in our environment.

We've also used Zerto to migrate to the cloud.

Zerto provides continuous data protection. I'd give it a 10 out of 10 as far as that goes. The recovery points are very recent, generally five to 15 seconds of actual production. It's very convenient.

It's also fairly simple to use. Zerto does have some quirks but they have worked those out with recent releases. They're really good about listening to feature requests. We're actually a Zerto partner at our company, so they take our feature requests pretty seriously. Zerto is one of the easiest disaster recovery products I've used. We use Veeam as well which is much more complicated to set up in the back-end.

What needs improvement?

Zerto seems to keep up with what I think needs to be improved pretty well.

One improvement that could make it easier would be to have an easier way to track journal usage and a little bit more training around journal sizing. I've done all the training and the journal is still a gray area. There is confusion surrounding how it's billed and how we should bill clients. It would be easier if it had billing suggestions or billing best practices for our clients to make sure that we're not leaving money on the table.

For how long have I used the solution?

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

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is pretty good. It's gotten better over the years. It's kind of 50/50 between features that have been added and our understanding and usage of the product over the last three years. But it's definitely gotten better.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's highly scalable. That's one of the things we like about it. We can empower clients. I have one client that's migrating from his on-premise into one of our private clouds, and we have enabled him to do so. We set up the environment and we're enabling him to build VPGs and migrate them as needed without our interaction at all. This is bringing in tons of revenue. It's super scalable and it seems to be not just easy for us to use, but easy for us to enable a client to use it as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is astounding. I've said that to Zerto technicians and I've said that to clients as well. Being in my role, I work with a lot of vendors, a lot of different support, and Zerto is off the charts as far as skill and ease to work with. It's been wonderful as far as that goes. Zerto was some of the best support I've had across vendors.

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

Before Zerto, there really wasn't anything that was as good as Zerto, so it was a game-changer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. 

For an off-prem client, I would send them a welcome letter that details what they need to do on their end with the server. I would send the download package, everything like that. If the client is immediately responsive, that could be done within an hour, but then some clients take a little longer. Once they have the infrastructure set up on their end and the VPN is set up, I can have a Zerto off-prem implementation replicating into one of our private clouds within an hour or two hours maximum, even for a large environment.

What was our ROI?

A client was migrating into one of our usage-based clouds, so it automatically bills by the resource pool. The more that they put in there, the more we gain. We've probably increased the input to that environment 10-fold. It's a 10-time multiple of what we invested into it, just particularly for that one use case because he's growing so rapidly. Every time he brings over a new client, it adds to the billing which is hands-free for us. We've enabled him to do it.

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

Pricing is fair. For the license that we have and the way that it's priced, it is pretty simple and it's not over-complicated like some other platforms. It would be very beneficial to have some sort of training or even just documentation around every component of Zerto and how it should be built or there should be suggestions about how it should be built. It would help newer companies that are adopting the platform to have a better opportunity to grab all the revenue upfront.

Journal history was one of the things that we didn't take into consideration when we implemented Zerto initially and we lost a lot of money there. We talked to one of the reps after that and found out that some clients do roll in the cost of this journal and some clients actually charged separately for it. Zerto has made it easier to plan for that lately with Zerto Analytics, but it's still a gray area.

There aren't any additional costs in addition to standard licensing that I'm aware of. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We still use Veeam in the environment but the recovery points aren't as robust. They're a lot thinner. You can get maybe an hour or the same, but you can't get five-second production. We used Veeam and the old active-passive standard of building a server in each environment and replicating to it.

What other advice do I have?

I've actually pushed us to use Zerto for our backups with the solutions team for quite a while, since version 6.5. I don't think they plan on doing it just because we already have two other backup offerings and they don't want to complicate our Zerto infrastructure. From my understanding, we're not planning on doing it. But with every release, it gets so much better and it's just a matter of time before we revisit it.

My advice would be to follow best practices when it comes to back-end infrastructure. We have made some changes specifically to track certain things like swap files and journal history. Previously, we had everything going to production data stores and now we have dedicated journal data and restore data stores for swap files, which helps us to thin out the noise when it comes to storage. Storage implementation is very important. 

Make sure to go through all the training. The training on MyZerto is free, very straightforward and it's very informative. That's one of the things we didn't do initially but it wasn't really as available as it is now.

I would rate Zerto ten out of ten. 

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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Zerto
March 2024
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: March 2024.
767,077 professionals have used our research since 2012.
reviewer1254672 - PeerSpot reviewer
Works at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
A solution that is intuitive and easy, has good support, and gives us peace of mind
Pros and Cons
  • "It is incredibly granular and I really appreciate that."
  • "It would also be nice if they could find a way to make it where one VM does not impact the entire journal history of the VPG."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto as a robust failover and replication solution.

Currently we replicate about 50-55 VMs to our DR site. We have run multiple test failovers, and have even done a full-scale, full company REAL failover.  Zerto worked flawlessly. 

We use Zerto to make sure that our primary Server farm is replicated and protected in case of a failover.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto gives us peace of mind. It is also extremely easy to use and very intuitive. We don't have to worry about what would happen if our server room were to be damaged or our building destroyed. We always have that big red button available to failover to our DR site which Zerto does flawlessly and easily. We also have peace of mind with their Technical Support, which has always been nothing but stellar for us!

What is most valuable?

I love all the features really.

The fact that the interface is so intuitive is wonderful. The setup and customization of VPGs are great too. They allow you to customize all of the IP information and even the MAC (if you wish) for any and all VMs, allowing you to change the IP or Gateway, or whatever for any VM you might failover.

It is incredibly granular and I really appreciate that. Zerto has also caused us to organize our datastores in a better fashion that makes sense so that they are by priority and not just random.

What needs improvement?

I have brought this up to support before, but it would be really nice to have the option to "roll back" a particular VM to a previous time in the past if it were to become damaged, compromised, or infected. Zerto does not allow this. It's all or nothing, so you must roll back the entire VPG. You cannot roll back a single VM unless that VM is ALONE in a VPG all by itself.

It would also be nice if they could find a way to make it where one VM does not impact the entire journal history of the VPG. I do not understand why a single VM with mass amounts of changes should impact the journal history of the entire VPG. Although this has never caused me problems, it is an annoyance for sure.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for a little over two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Zerto is literally one of the most stable solutions we have. If we have any kind of bounce, drop, or failure on our fiber line to our DR site, Zerto quickly recovers and catches everything up as soon as the failure is remedied. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is incredibly scalable and easy to use. I think that's what makes it so valuable and attractive, especially to those who do not have a DR solution. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is VERY important, and Zerto knocks it out of the park!

Every time I have called Zerto support, the person I have spoken with has been well informed and knew their stuff. Even if they couldn't readily solve my issue, they quickly escalated to someone that could. They are probably the best vendor we deal with in our IT Dept.

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

We had tried other solutions in the past including SRM and RecoverPoint for VMs. I can tell you they all pale in comparison, not only in functionality and user-friendliness but in support as well.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward.

They assigned us an engineer and we were set up and replicating within two hours.

What about the implementation team?

We used a Zerto engineer, who was assigned by our Zerto sales rep.

What was our ROI?

The ROI with Zerto can't even be measured. The peace of mind we have gotten from knowing that all of our protected VMs are safely replicated with almost live RPOs is something that you can't even quantify.

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

I would suggest getting a dedicated, well-informed rep. I'm sure they all have great training but always hold your rep accountable. Ask lots of questions because there are no stupid questions. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have evaluated SRM, RecoverPoint for VMs, and other "built-in" Hyperconverged replication solutions.

What other advice do I have?

Zerto is literally the best vendor that we deal with overall as an IT Department. They have always delivered, and have always been top-notch. I highly recommend them to ANYONE, regardless of whether or not they already have a DR solution. Zerto is better.

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.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Server\Storage Administrator at Charlotte Pipe and Foundry
Real User
The fact the you can group and configure various boot orders, with time delays is a valuable feature.

What is most valuable?

After working with the product for about 6 months, the fact that you cannot only replicate virtual machines to another location, but the fact the you can group and configure various boot orders, with time delays is a valuable feature. There is also the ability to change the networking properties such as the IP and MAC addresses, DNS entries, and other options.

How has it helped my organization?

At this point we are not fully using the product for disaster recovery due to the fact we are not 100% virtualized. The hope is that within the next two years, it will greatly simplify our DR testing since there is a "failover test" option. This allows the systems to be brought up in an isolated bubble for testing. It will also allow all of the restores to be synchronized to the same time.

What needs improvement?

The one area I see a need for improvement is supposedly on the roadmap, which is to be able to replicate to multiple locations.

For how long have I used the solution?

6 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The account representative have always been helpful, even offering to get a product engineer on the phone to assist with configuration items if needed.

Technical Support:

I have only had to contact technical support once and in that issue they responded very quickly and had the issued resolved with an hour.

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

There was a small RecoverPoint with SRM configuration, but it was difficult to manage and keep updated.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment was very straight forward. A small plugin called a VRA is installed on each host. This keeps track of the virtual machines. Then, there is a dedicated virtual machine that runs the Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM). This is provides the web management interface and monitors the VRA's. This is also where all configuration and updates are performed. The menus do a great job in guiding you through the configuration of the protection groups.

What about the implementation team?

The deployment was done in-house with the assistance of an implementation engineer over a web session.

What was our ROI?

An exact dollar ROI has not been calculated. The largest gain will be seen in man hours used for DR testing as well as the management of backups and recovery. This will turn what is now a very manual process into a fully automated recovery.

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

If you are planning on using this with a hyper-converged appliance running anything other than VMware, you may want to verify compatibility. On many of them, they are only compatible with VMware running, although they are adding other hypervisors. At the time of this writing, according to Zerto, they are not compatible with Simplivity at all.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
System Architect at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Is easy to install, upgrade, and manage
Pros and Cons
  • "The low RPO times of about four to eight seconds are very nice and very valuable to us."
  • "The alerting could be fine tuned and improved. It does a lot of alerts, but it's a little bit cumbersome to modify them."

What is our primary use case?

We use it primarily for DR.

What is most valuable?

What I appreciate the most about Zerto is that it is the easiest to install, upgrade, and manage. Most things in the product are fairly intuitive and easy, including upgrades. You don't have to dig through a bunch of manuals or go through a bunch of technical data to make it work.

The low RPO times of about four to eight seconds are very nice and very valuable to us.

What needs improvement?

The alerting could be fine-tuned and improved. It does a lot of alerts, but it's a little bit cumbersome to modify them.

It could be cheaper as well.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. We haven't had any real problems or downtime. The only thing is that it runs on Windows, so that has its own problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Zerto's scalability is very good. We haven't had any scaling problems. We tested out DR in Azure, DR to VMware on GCP, and DR on AWS. It performed on all of those. The AWS setup was the most complicated, but AWS with Windows is a little bit messy.

We currently have 400 licenses. We have two ML350s, and we use Zerto to keep them replicated. If one fails, we just move to the other. That has been expanding, and that's where we've been adding licenses.

How are customer service and support?

Zerto's technical support is very responsive. We had some posts that were not working properly and caused some issues with Zerto. The technical support staff were very helpful and worked through the night to help us resolve that. They always solved any problem I've had, so I'll give them a nine out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We used SRM. It had a lot of specialized plugins and specialized machines, but was very cumbersome. We weren't guaranteed that it would work all the time. It was very complicated to set up and manage as well.

SRM was storage-vendor-dependent because you had to have plugins through the storage vendors. It wasn't IP-based at the time and relied on storage-based replication. We had disparate storage arrays and disparate systems, and the IP-based replication treasury was much more resilient on our end.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was unbelievably easy. We had Zerto up and running in five minutes, whereas setting up the SRM replication took weeks and needed technical support staff.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed it ourselves.

What was our ROI?

In terms of ROI, it was quite expensive, but I think we got a lot of value out of it, such as being able to have a reliable DR method, particularly offsite. We have very poor latency locations, and sometimes, we replicate those. Zerto makes that very easy.

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

From a customer perspective, the price is okay. From an investor's perspective, however, it is a little bit high.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Veeam, but Zerto was a better match for our needs.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise you to give Zerto a try in your environment. Get a trial license and see how it works. I think you'll be very impressed.

Overall, I've been very happy with Zerto, and I'd give it a rating of nine on a scale from one to ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Sr. System Engineer at a non-tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Easy to use, zero RPO/RTO helps us with financial and IT audits, good technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "The ease of failover and test environments has proven invaluable."
  • "I would like to see better notifications when the sync is off for an extended length of time."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use Zerto for our critical applications and infrastructure to allow immediate failover at our DR site. We licensed our critical applications and database servers and standard backup the rest. In order to increase uptime, we replicate our entire Active Directory infrastructure as well.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to pass many financial and IT audits because we have a solid system in place with zero RPO/RTO. Furthermore, we can train almost any tech or engineer on the process of flipping to the offsite primary. The button and some minor DNS changes and we are up and running.

What is most valuable?

The ease of failover and test environments has proven invaluable. It is literally as easy as pushing a button to flip to a contained test environment for staging roll-outs or verifying backup integrity. The upgrade process initially was tedious, making sure every VM host got updated separately, but now it is streamlined and a breeze.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better notifications when the sync is off for an extended length of time.  There is nothing worst then going to do an upgrade or test a restore and realizing some of the VPGs need to be fixed because their journal is too small causing bitmap syncing to be off.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is tied to the latency of your offsite DR.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is directly correlated to your storage and compute. More licensing as you grow is all you need.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution is great. Every time I have had an issue, I get a real person, quickly, who remotely takes over and repairs the issue.

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

We were using RecoverPoint by Dell EMC prior to this solution. We switched because it was extremely cumbersome and far from streamlined during failover.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is straightforward. It's literally an install button and then next, next, next... 

What about the implementation team?

Zerto assisted us with the deployment.

What was our ROI?

Have not had to failover often but the ability to test product upgrades has been invaluable.

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

The cost is not dirt cheap but also is not terrible.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We thought about VMware Orchestration.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for an extremely easy solution to implement and is highly effective then this is your baby.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Director with 51-200 employees
Vendor
The two key features for AssureStor are hypervisor based replication and the automation for failover, testing and failback.

What is most valuable?

The two key features for AssureStor are hypervisor based replication and the automation for failover, testing and failback.

As a cloud service provider we are always looking at how we can reduce risk for our customers, the ability to provide a DR service that delivers RPO’s typically as low as 15 seconds, over relatively slow connections is fantastic. And as the replication is performed at the hypervisor level we can protect any virtual (VMware or Hyper-V) environment without worry about the storage layer. The automation element is also a crucial element as it ensures we do not have to spend lots of man hours in the event of a DR failover request, as well as streamlining the ability to test the DR environment without needing any down-time of the production environment. And finally add in the ability to automatically reverse replication once you have failed over allowing you to re-seed the production site and failback with minimal downtime and you have a great all-round DR solution.

How has it helped my organization?

Before we took on Zerto our DRaaS offering was based on snapshot based backup’s with an automated restore process to our cloud hypervisors. This was a good service but we could only offer RPO’s as low as 1 hour and even then this was subject to caveats specifically around the size of the VM and how quickly we could ship the new data to our cloud platform. In addition, testing was much more cumbersome and meant a much higher number of hours had to be invested in every DR test, ultimately raising our costs. With Zerto in place we are now offering commercially sound services to small and large businesses without the worry of needing to invest in large numbers of staff to manage and perform testing, etc.

What needs improvement?

Backup capability as it is limited and not as streamlined as it could be. At present Zerto delivers backup protection by making duplicate copies of VM disks to a defined storage location (but this is limited on the schedule and retention). In the latest version 4.5 this has now been extended with the capability to do object level recovery from the replicated VMs, the caveat here is that the retention period is limited to the journal retention (which is a maximum of 14 days). I would like to see a more integrated backup/retention capability in the solution allowing more flexible scheduling and unlimited retention with the capability to easily restore objects using the one Zerto web interface. The backup images should be able to be stored off-site, away from the main replication site, and easily be reintegrated in the main DR platform if needed for VM recovery of an old image.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for 18 months. v4.5 for the last four weeks, and prior to that we ran v4.0 since our initial deployment.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

When we first deployed Zerto we didn’t understand some of the limitations around the built-in database (it uses SQLite). Whilst this would normally be fine for most small to medium deployments (the database is supported for up to 100 protected VMs and 4 sites), as a cloud provider we needed to have greater scalability. This is provided by using a full deployment of Microsoft SQL, thankfully Zerto have a tool that will migrate the SQLite DB into your Microsoft SQL server so the transfer is pain free, but I would make sure that anyone who is deploying in an environment that may have more than 100 VMs to deploy initially on Microsoft SQL. Another area to be aware of in scalability is not with Zerto itself but the demands it can put on the DR storage environment, you will be replicating all your VM disk writes as well as journaling and potentially adding more demand when testing (as the Zerto continues to replicate even when testing, which is great, but does hammer the storage).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had no issues with the performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's been able to scale for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

In one word, fantastic. When we evaluate a product one of the key areas we look at is the level of technical support we will get from the vendor. Bottom line IT systems have a habit of going wrong (one of the reasons I have had a job for the past 20 years), so once you accept that no system will be error-free, you need to know that if you do need help its available. We have had issues, bugs and questions and in every case we have been supported by the Zerto tech support team.

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

Our DRaaS platform, prior to Zerto, was an extension of our Asigra Cloud Backup platform. Whilst this worked it could not deliver the low RPOs we now see with Zerto nor the efficiencies we see from Zerto in managing day-to-day tasks on the platform such as validation, failover tests (and on the odd occasions actual live failovers). Our choice with Zerto was based on our own piece of mind, we protect a variety of end-users so never failing them (i.e. never failing to replicate their VMs and know we can spin them up when needed) was crucial, Zerto has delivered this for us.

How was the initial setup?

Our deployment was fairly complex, but then we had to deploy a platform capable of multi-tenant support with complex networking and integration with vCloud Director so that customers could access their DR systems via a secure web interface. If you are deploying a site-to-site solution then deployment is very straightforward. Each site requires a Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) which is deployed upon Windows, this will then integrate with your vCenter servers at each site. From here it’s a few button clicks to deploy the Virtual Replication Appliance/s (VRAs) which are small Linux systems bound to each host that handle the ‘smart’ features of Zerto Replication, linking the site and your off.

What about the implementation team?

Deployment was performed using in-house resources. The most important bit of advice I can offer to anyone considering implementing Zerto is understand your storage requirements at the production site and then decide on what levels of performance are acceptable. If you want to have low RPOs (seconds) then remember that you will be replicating all of your production writes into the DR storage device. And as initially these writes are put into the journal datastore and then read out after the defined retention period and written to the actual storage datastore be careful not to overload your DR SAN. As an example we deploy using separate SANs for journals and customer storage, with larger customers getting dedicated storage designed to accommodate their traffic patterns.

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

As a Zerto Cloud Service Provider (CSP) our licence model is different to end-users who can purchase the licence on a perpetual basis. For us the ROI was under 6 months, but we already had a large portion of the hypervisor and storage environment needed so were able to keep our costs to a minimum.

What other advice do I have?

Zerto, in my opinion, is one of the best DR products on the market currently, its only flaw (if it can be called that) is that it is limited to virtual environments, specifically VMware & Hyper-V (it does also support replication to AWS if needed). If you are looking to streamline your DR capability and remove risk then speak to Zerto and get them to run you through a demo, what they say the product can do is not sales talk, it really can do it.

Zerto Dashboard

Failover Wizard

Recovery Checkpoints (Journal)


Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
PeerSpot user
Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Drastically reduced our replication time and we now do less DR testing
Pros and Cons
  • "For us, the most valuable features are the quick upload time and how the sync works... We have VMware SRM and Veeam, and they have been pretty slow and sluggish."
  • "An area for improvement is the support because it gets really expensive. They need to make it a little cheaper. Support also takes time."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for backup and replication.

How has it helped my organization?

The total time for replication has been reduced drastically for us and that really adds value in the long run because time equals money and resources.

It has also helped to reduce our DR testing. Previously, when we were doing it across our own locations, we had to make sure it was working by doing a lot of testing back and forth.

Also, the solution is already up to the mark on audits and certification.

What is most valuable?

For us, the most valuable features are the quick upload time and how the sync works. The sync is pretty good and that's really helpful. The quick upload is important to us because other solutions were lagging behind. We have VMware SRM and Veeam, and they have been pretty slow and sluggish. We have had some challenges with them.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zerto for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We're just replicating and I assume it runs on some kind of cloud as an overlay, so the stability is pretty good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is insane. Really good.

How are customer service and support?

An area for improvement is the support because it gets really expensive. They need to make it a little cheaper. Support also takes time.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

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

We still have some other solutions in-house. We are not fully dependent on Zerto. We are still trying to get rid of the others, but we have not entirely moved on.

How was the initial setup?

In 2014, when Zerto was launched, the initial setup was pretty simple.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator. Our experience with them, at our engineering level, was that it was pretty smooth and streamlined, the first time we used Zerto. We had a few issues in the initial deployment, but later on, when we moved to scripting, the process became streamlined.

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

I would like to see different service levels. They're good, but it still takes a lot of our budget in ops.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Veeam and SRM. Zerto is an HPE product, and we have been using a lot of HPE servers. That trust in HPE won our business.

When comparing Zerto with Veeam and SRM, the latter are newer in the market. They try to provide a multi-cloud strategy with tie-ups across six different clouds, which is different from Zerto. That's where I would use them if I had to.

All the solutions were almost equal but Zerto is still better because they have a lot of releases and new versions.

What other advice do I have?

We are just using it for backup and replication. We have not yet had an event where we have had to restore.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Customer
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: March 2024
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.