Senior Operations Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
DR-site VM activation allows for immediate crash recovery
Pros and Cons
  • "The ability to have a RPO of seconds has enabled us to restore data to just before an incident has occurred, which certainly saves a lot of time and money."
  • "We have had issues with licensing, where the license we've been given by Zerto support doesn't include VSS replication, which was a pain at the time."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for this solution is DR Replication to a separate data centre. We use VMware at both sites. We're currently replicating around eighty VMs from our primary data centre in London to our secondary data centre in Beccles. Most of these are SQL servers with the VSS agent installed.

How has it helped my organization?

We now have the ability to activate replicated VMs at our DR site within minutes of something happening to our primary data centre. The ability to have a RPO of seconds has enabled us to restore data to just before an incident has occurred, which certainly saves a lot of time and money.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are its ease of use and simple setup.

The ability to do a test failover to an isolated environment has been very useful, as this allows us to test servers without any implications to our live environment.

The dashboard is very clear and concise, showing any problems in different colours.

What needs improvement?

The VSS agent setup and configuration does seem to be a bit clunky compared to the rest of the software. We have had issues with licensing, where the license we've been given by Zerto support doesn't include VSS replication, which was a pain at the time.

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

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer1245939 - PeerSpot reviewer
Works at a insurance company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Easy to set up and the ability to recover in minutes gives us peace of mind
Pros and Cons
  • "We are in the process of switching over our production data center and Zerto has been a true time-saver that has cost us zero downtime."
  • "The setup process is time-consuming."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto to keep a replica copy of the core servers we have running at our backup site. In the case of an outage, we are able to flip over to our backup location. Zerto keeps these servers up to date within seconds and in the case of an outage at our core data center, we can flip over services with little to no data loss.

How has it helped my organization?

Mostly what Zerto gives us is peace of mind. 

We do the normal backups and that data gets stored offsite, but unlike backups, Zerto gives us the ability to be back up and running within minutes on a copy of our servers that is an identical copy of what is no longer accessible.

What is most valuable?

The features we found most valuable is site-to-site replication. This is what we purchased the product for and what we use it primarily for. We are in the process of switching over our production data center and Zerto has been a true time-saver that has cost us zero downtime.

What needs improvement?


Some features are not up to what we need, although we have found alternatives and aren't really looking for Zerto to handle those items today.

The setup process is time-consuming.


For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zerto for around four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

With its built-in notifications and reporting, Zerto will alert you if there is anything wrong before it can become a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Zerto works for one or one thousand machines and scaling out is an easy process. Zerto also seems to better support the major cloud vendors, with updates as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Zerto technical support has been very responsive and has always been able to help. They are available 24x7 and always have someone to contact you right away.

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

Prior to using Zerto, we were using VMware's SRS. It was not keeping a close enough copy of our servers.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward, but also a lot of information was needed. A fair bit of time was spent setting things up, but it was really just time-consuming. There was nothing that needed to be done by the vendor.

As far as setup and maintenance are concerned, you need to be sure to set it up properly, test it, and occasionally perform updates. For the most part, once it is in place it is pretty hands-off.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented with the help of Zerto, who was very helpful in explaining the process and how everything works.

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

Zerto is not cheap but is an invaluable asset.

If you have the need for what Zerto can do for you then the cost really isn't a factor.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We only had experience with VMware's product and didn't know of anything other than Zerto. Once we tried the product we were hooked and never had a reason to look at anything else.

What other advice do I have?

When we implemented Zerto, we only utilized some of the features. This was mostly because of our needs at the time and partially because the other parts were not up to what we needed. They have since greatly improved on these parts, like the backups features, but we aren't really looking for Zerto to handle those items today.

We have never regretted implementing Zerto and I would not trade it for any other product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

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

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Rodney Carlson - PeerSpot reviewer
Rodney CarlsonSystem Analyst at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User

Good/accurate review of the product. As a fellow Zerto user, I concur with the findings.

Buyer's Guide
Zerto
February 2024
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: February 2024.
756,650 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PeerSpot user
Network Manager at a wholesaler/distributor with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Zero to DR in 60 minutes

Valuable Features:

The simplicity of replication and test failover make this a very easy-to-use solution.

Improvements to My Organization:

We did not have disaster-recovery plans for some of our critical systems because application-based solutions were too expensive and complicated. Moving these applications to VMs and creating DR plans using Zerto makes a complicated failover much easier. 

Room for Improvement:

Remediating VMware clusters gets more complicated because the VRAs are pinned to each host and will prevent the host from entering maintenance mode. The cluster must now be remediated manually because once all VMs are migrated from the host you must power down the VRA manually and perform the remediation. Once remediated you can exit maintenance mode and restart the VRA and allow VMs to migrate back to the host.

Use of Solution:

6 months

Deployment Issues:

When we were deploying our POC we had some errors in network configuration that had to be worked out in order for Zerto to function properly. I can't understate the importance of getting your networking configuration done in advance.

Initial Setup:

Once you have your network configured the Zerto configuration is simple. We implemented a proof-of-concept deployment in about 2 hours.

Implementation Team:

We implemented in-house as part of a proof-of-concept with a Zerto engineer.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user240054 - PeerSpot reviewer
Technical Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
This product is very easy to use and administer. One thing to be aware of is that the vSphere side and the AWS side will have two separate installers.

Zerto has been a great product for companies looking to deploy an easy to use disaster recovery solution. One of the limitations of the product was that it only worked with VMware vSphere, but not any more. Version 4 just dropped and it’s got a myriad of new goodies.

  • New User Interface
  • Cross-Replication from vSphere to Microsoft SCVMM and Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Sizing improvements
  • More Secure Virtual Replication Appliances
  • vSphere 6 support

The most appealing new capability was the ability to fail over a vSphere environment to Amazon Web Services (AWS). This could save small businesses A LOT of money. Small businesses that have a disaster recovery requirement no longer need to have a dedicated co-lo and spend money on equipment when they may never use it. AWS provides compute, storage and network on an as-needed basis and most of the time, the disaster recovery site is not needed which correlates to savings.

Zerto – Amazon Web Services Installation

Lets take a look at the Zerto architecture for vSphere to AWS. It requires a Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) at each site which manages the environment. The vSphere side also requires a Virtual Replication Appliance (VRA) for each ESXi host that will have virtual machines to replicate. The AWS side does not require a VRA.

One thing to be aware of is that the vSphere side and the AWS side will have two separate installers.

AWS Site

The AWS site requires the Zerto Cloud Appliance installer. This can be installed on a Windows-based host inside an EC2 instance. Most of the installation screens here are a basic information and the opportunity to change ports etc so I’ve left them out. The screen below however is some of the meat and potatoes of the installation. You’re asked for an IP/Hostname of the Cloud Appliance which it will populate for you. If you have multiple NICs on your EC2 instance, you could change it. The second part of the screenshot below is the Access Key ID which is a unique ID for an AWS owner. You can find these in the Identity and Access Management Section (IAM) in the AWS portal.

Once you click next, the installer will check to ensure windows firewall rules are open and the AWS Access Keys are valid.

vSphere Site

The vSphere site hasn’t changed much from the previous versions. The Zerto Virtual Manager needs to be installed on a Windows server.

Once the ZVMs have been installed, we need to pair the local vSphere site with the Amazon site.. To do this we can login to the ZVM by using a web browser and navigating to https://ZVMFQDN:9669 . Here we see that we still need to install VRAs and pair to another site. Click on the “Sites” tab at the top of the screen to pair the vSphere site, with the AWS Site.

Enter the IP Address of the Cloud ZVM and the port and click “PAIR”. Note: for this to work properly, network connectivity must already exist to the Amazon Networks. In my case a Site-Site VPN tunnel was created.

Now you can see that a site is listed in the “Sites” section and that we still need to install VRAs. Click the “Setup” tab at the top to install the VRAs.

Select all of the ESXi hosts that will need virtual machines replicated and enter information to install the VRAs. Each of the VRAs is a small virtual machine that will reside on the ESXi host. Enter the root password for the ESXi host, a datastore to house the virtual machine, a network that has access to the AWS Site and the amount of VRA RAM needed. You will also need to enter the network information for the VRA so that it can communicate with the ZVM and the remote site.

When done, your “Setup” tab should look similar to the one below.

Create a VPG

Now we need to setup our Virtual Protection Groups (VPG) this is the group of virtual machines that you are protecting. Click the “VPGs” tab at the top of the menu and add a VPG. A wizard will walk you through this as seen below.

I created a simple VPG called AmazonVPG.

Select one or more virtual machines to protect. You can define which order they should boot in if necessary.

Decide where the protected VMs should be replicated. I’ve only setup one other site, so it was automatically selected. Journal history determines how far back in time you can go to restore a virtual machine and “Test Reminder” just sends you an email if you haven’t tested the recovery in a while. The target RPO alert is only for alerting purposes. Zerto tries to replicate as fast as possible, so this is not a desired RPO setting, but rather an alarm to let you know that your RPO is not being met, probably due to too much replication traffic, or possibly a down WAN link.

The recovery menu allows you to define a failover network and a test network. The test network will allow you to have a completely separate environment for testing the failovers of virtual machines without affecting the production machine. These two networks can be the same or different depending on your preference.

When you’re finished with the wizard, you’ll notice that the VPG shows initializing and the Initial sync is taking place. Go grab a cup of coffee, the sync could take a while.

Notice that when the sync takes place, Zerto is utilizing an Amazon S3 bucket to house the virtual machine files. This should be cheap storage that can be used to dump the files until you need them.

Failover

You’ve done all the hard work. Our VPG is set up and its meeting it’s SLA. Now lets fail that server over to AWS. Click the “FAILOVER” button at the bottom right hand corner of the ZVM screen. NOTE: there is a toggle to change from a real failover which is disruptive to the protected virtual machine, and a test failover which is not disruptive.

Select the VPG to be failed over.

On the execution parameters screen you can change the checkpoint to which you fail over. Click Next.

When you’re ready, click “Start Failover Test”.

You’ll see the ZVM will have an action item taking place. When it’s finished you’ll notice that your EC2 screen has an additional virtual machine listed. Note: The failover process could take some time so be sure to test your RTO. The Cloud ZVM performs an import from the S3 bucket into EC2 and this process can take time.

When you’re finished with a “Test Failover” you can click the Stop button and you’ll be prompted with a window to enter a note about the test for record keeping. If this is a real failover scenario, there is no current failback built into Zerto 4 at the time of release. Failing back from AWS to your vSphere environment can be accomplished by exporting the VM and importing into vSphere. Look for this to change in future updates from Zerto.

Summary

I’m a big fan of Zerto and even more so now that they can replicate to Amazon. This product is very easy to use and administer and doesn’t require any sort of hardware appliance to handle replication traffic. It even does WAN optimization to cut down on the amount of bandwidth needed. If you’re looking for a orchestration tool for disaster recovery, you should check them out.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Zerto has been a sponsor of theITHollow for a long time. This has not in any way affected my views towards the product and I was not paid or even asked to write this post.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Cloud Solutions Architect at Clouditalia Telecomunicazioni
Real User
It's HW agnostic, with no impact on production systems, but backup dedup and online restore need improvement.

What is most valuable?

HW agnostic, no impact on production systems, no snapshot, easy management.

Version 4.0 is revolutionary, allowing replication between VMware, Hyper-V and AWS - conversion on the fly, and a a HTML5 GUI

Version 4.5 allows file restore, access based on roles, more powerful APIs.

How has it helped my organization?

We dismissed SRM and we no longer need the NetApp replication license. We were able to offer a DRaaS multitenant environment integrated with vCloud Director. Our customers think this tool is awesome.

What needs improvement?

Backup dedup and online restore, support for SMTP authentication.

For how long have I used the solution?

4 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Just in case of strict permission, we needed several ports to be opened. English language of OS for ZVM is needed, otherwise there's a bug showing some of the graphs.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes in large environments - enough to restart the service in ZVM.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No because it scales with ESXi scale.This is a strong pro.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Very very great, reactive answers in minutes and they don't leave you until the issue is resolved.

Technical Support:

Great too - If the first level is unable to solve the issue, it scales to higher-level engineers on the fly.

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

SRM, but it needeed replication and it was complex to manage.

How was the initial setup?

Smooth and Zerto techs assisted.

What about the implementation team?

It was direct.

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

We only got SP licensing prices/model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, we had to decide if leaving SRM or not. Choice was simple.

What other advice do I have?

There are other competitor on the market, but this is the only one dedicated to DR. All others are backup based. It could seems expensive, but when you realize its power, you'll understand that cost is justified.


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
CTO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
We like the replication at the hypervisor level.

What is most valuable?

Replication at the hypervisor level. We’re a cloud Service Provider, and any solution relying on a specific storage vendor's functionality is a show stopper for us.

How has it helped my organization?

We can set up Disaster Recovery environments for our customers in a matter of minutes.

What needs improvement?

I hope that in the future the product will offer integrated encryption functionalities, so that the VPN setup between protected and protection site can become optional.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Assuming that you comply with the minimum requirements specified in their documentation, there should be no problems with deployment which is very straightforward.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never encountered problems with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Zerto scales very well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

10+

Technical Support:

11 on a scale from 0 to 10, probably the best technical support amongst the vendors I'm working with.

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

Yes, complexity and cost.

How was the initial setup?

Very straightforward and simple setup.

What about the implementation team?

We always do the implementation in-house for our customers. The vendor always kindly provides one of their engineers to perform a post-installation check.

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

We sell on a per-use basis and pay using the same model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we started using the product, it was pretty unique. Since then, we have evaluated some competitors but still there’s no match.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We’re a partner in the Service Provider’s program
PeerSpot user
it_user326337 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user326337Customer Success Manager at PeerSpot
Consultant

What distinguishes their Customer Support from those you've experienced with other solutions/providers?

PeerSpot user
Sr System Admin at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Allows us to to replicate our critical application servers with a sub 5 min RPO.

Improvements to My Organization:

Zerto allow us to to replicate our critical application servers with a sub 5 min RPO. Before Zerto we would restore from tape backup. 

Also, the testing recovery in an isolated environment allows us to test recovery any time we need to.

Room for Improvement:

I would like to have automated load balancing of the ZVM's at the target site. Each ESX server needs to have  ZVM system to replicate the VM's. At the target site if you need to take one of the ZVM's offline at the target site you need to manually change the VM's using the ZVM. I would like this to be automated. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user326337 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user326337Customer Success Manager at PeerSpot
Consultant

How would automated load balancing affect your results?

Solutions Architect at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Reduces downtime and is fast and efficient
Pros and Cons
  • "The stability is good, and I have never had any customers say anything bad about it. Some have used it for years and have not had any problems."
  • "Zerto added the backup feature, but it's not quite up to speed yet when you compare it with the backup capabilities of other solutions out there."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is doing demos and testing to make sure that Zerto is going to work for our customers. I test it mainly for disaster recovery and backup.

We've tested with VMware, Zadara, and AWS.

What is most valuable?

My clients found the DR feature to be the most valuable. It's something they deal with daily from a virtual machine using VMware, Amazon, or Azure.

Zerto absolutely helped to reduce downtime. My customers can bring up their machine somewhere else, and they can test on it.

Zerto's speed of recovery is very fast and efficient whenever I tested it.

What needs improvement?

Zerto added the backup feature, but it's not quite up to speed yet when you compare it with the backup capabilities of other solutions out there.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used Zerto off and on for about a year and a half.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good, and I have never had any customers say anything bad about it. Some have used it for years and have not had any problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Zerto can be scaled to any number of servers that you need.

How are customer service and support?

My customers have used Zerto's technical support and had no problems with it.

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

My clients loved Commvault from a backup side of things, but Commvault just didn't do the DR right for them. It was not quick real-time DR. They brought in Zerto, and it worked phenomenally for their production systems.

From a backup perspective, Commvault is really good, but from a DR perspective, Zerto is way better. It's much quicker and easier to use, and it works right out of the box.

What was our ROI?

My customers said that though they had to pay for it, they were glad they bought it because Zerto works. It's got really great ROI coming from that perspective.

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

The licensing model is good. The price is a little bit expensive, but for what customers get on it, it tends to pay for itself. However, if more and more companies start to improve, then Zerto may need to look at their pricing and make it a little better.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Veeam, Cohesity, and RackWare. Zerto is by far the best disaster recovery product out there.

What other advice do I have?

You should set it up, test it on a few machines, and also test it in multiple environments. Most people have multiple clouds, so make sure you try it with VMware, AWS, etc. Also, decide whether you want to do all your critical tasks with Zerto and fully plan your DR as the top-level. Determine what is most important and then scale it down to the least important. You can then implement Zerto from that perspective.

Overall, I would rate Zerto at nine on a scale from one to ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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