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.

How has it helped 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.

What needs 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?

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
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.
767,095 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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
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_user153090 - PeerSpot reviewer
Head of Cloud Architecture at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Top of the list if you're using VMware or Hyper-V. Would be nice to have more supported hyper-visors.

What is most valuable?

Near real time continuous disaster recovery, Journaling and the ability to replicate from Hyper-V and other VMware clouds into our cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

We provide this product as a service to our clients. The ease of providing test failover results to them is invaluable and only takes a few minutes to initiate and complete so no time is wasted.

What needs improvement?

More Supported Hyper-visors

For how long have I used the solution?

2 year

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Non What so ever very straight forward and easy to complete. Also upgrading to the latest version could not be easier to do.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not once in the last two years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Non scales easily with an appliance on each ESX host and a central management console.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Excellent

Technical Support:

Excellent

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

We did use a previous product which was clunky to use and was only a point in time image. Zerto is simple fast and reliable and our clients like the charts we can produce and is near real time.

How was the initial setup?

Initial install was straightforward and simple to complete with the minimum amount of time taken up.

What about the implementation team?

We had Zerto help us with the implementation and they were brilliant.

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

We pay per month per protected VM which is vastly cost efficient.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, I looked at VMare SRM and Veeam Replication.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking at DR products put Zerto straight to the top of the list if you are using VMware or Hyper-V.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Solutions Architect with 1,001-5,000 employees
Reseller
I would not do a virtual based disaster recovery solution without this tool

What is our primary use case?

Cloud-based disaster recovery. However, do your homework on your provider. There are several options besides Azure and AWS that don't have their surprise charges. Be sure to check them out.

How has it helped my organization?

Would not do a virtual based disaster recovery solution without it. Or would not do a virtual to virtual migration without it.

What is most valuable?

It just works. This sounds simple, but it is so true. So much of what we are sold in IT doesn't work as advertised. Zerto does.

What needs improvement?

It's coming, but I want to do my backups from my DR side without impacting my production side. This is supposed to come out in v7.0.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Rock solid, it just works. Make sure your Windows boxes are not previous in-place upgrades. Bugs between the Windows components create issues with assigning IP addresses. This is a Microsoft issue and not a Zerto issue. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's being used for hundreds of machines. It just works.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is great. They help troubleshoot things that are not their issues. See Microsoft upgrade note above.

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

Yes, VMWare Site Recovery Manager. SRM is not as intuitive and is VMware version dependent. Zerto does not have those issues. 

How was the initial setup?

Very easy setup. Like all DR solutions, it requires planning. Specifically the network side. Don't skimp.

What about the implementation team?

Use a Zerto cloud service provider. They generally know their stuff. 

What was our ROI?

Amazing ROI considering I don't have to buy a second set of hardware for my DR site. I can use a cloud provider and only pay when I need it.

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

Check your cloud providers. You don't have to host the DR side yourself. Also, look at folks other than Azure and AWS. The hidden/surprise costs will knock your socks off.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Veeam (no CDP), SRM, RecoverPoint for VMs, Double-Take.

What other advice do I have?

No.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are also a reseller of Zerto services.
PeerSpot user
it_user6492 - PeerSpot reviewer
Cloud Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
We have helped several customers implement their Disaster Recovery Plans more easily than before, thanks to the independence of hardware that the product provides

What is most valuable?

There are two main features which I consider to be the greatest value of the product: The ability to replicate without using snapshots and the journaling capabilities.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been able to implement a DRaaS product based on Zerto Virtual Replication.

Also, we have helped several customers implement their Disaster Recovery Plans more easily than before, thanks to the independence of hardware that the product provides.

What needs improvement?

Monitoring and integration, like a management pack for vRealize Operations Manager.

For how long have I used the solution?

Around four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, the product is very easy to install and very stable once setup is complete.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, the product is very easy to scale and can support a large infrastructure.

How are customer service and technical support?

Very good, they respond quickly and accurately.

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

Multiple solutions, and we switched because they all required snapshots.

How was the initial setup?

Very straightforward, the installation and setup are very simple, and we even had assistance from technical support to accomplish it.

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

Honestly, I'm not well informed in terms of pricing and licensing. My interaction with the product is 100% technical, in terms of architecture, implementation, and operation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Multiple solutions, like Veeam, VMware SRM + ABR.

What other advice do I have?

It's very easy to set up a lab or a PoC to test it. I would recommend doing that because you will be able to see the real value of the product in a very short term.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: The company is a Partner in Colombia.
PeerSpot user
IT at a marketing services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
A user-friendly solution for secure, off-site disaster recovery
Pros and Cons
  • "We now have the ability to replicate critical data to a secure, off-site location that can be brought back in seconds if needed."
  • "The email alerts can be excessive, so better control over frequency or resolution may be a worthwhile improvement."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use this solution for Replication and Disaster Recovery.

How has it helped my organization?

We now have the ability to replicate critical data to a secure, off-site location that can be brought back in seconds if needed.

What is most valuable?

The dashboard is very user-friendly and easy to navigate.

What needs improvement?

The email alerts can be excessive, so better control over frequency or resolution may be a worthwhile improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for between one and two years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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.