Global IT Operations Manager at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Instead of using SQL Always On, we protect the whole VM, saving us server costs, but management overhead has increased
Pros and Cons
  • "The quickness and efficiency of creating snapshots, on a real-time basis, is one of the most valuable features. Whenever changes are made on a server, Zerto starts taking snapshots right away and replicating them to the DR site. It's very effective and very quick."
  • "In Azure... We have to make sure that every resource group is tagged correctly, with the correct team and department because we have to bill them at the end of the month. The problem is that Zerto does not have that ability. When the product fails over or migrates a VM from on-prem, or even within Azure, to another site, it does not give you the option of selecting an existing resource group."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for migrations and VM protection.

How has it helped my organization?

The near-synchronous replication is very good. It's very critical for us. For example, with SQL, we used to use Always On to protect databases at the database level, to give us high availability and DR. But now, in Azure, we don't do that. If we wanted to do that, we would have to have a SQL Server on the protected site and another up and running on the DR site and those machines would always have to be up and running. To save on costs, instead of using Always On, we're now protecting the VM as a whole, thanks to Zerto.

It's also the main tool that we use for our annual DR tests for all of our production applications. Once a year, for one week only, we do a failover of those critical production applications from the primary site to the DR site and we let them run there for that week. Zerto does the failover and the DR site becomes the active site while everything replicates to the former primary site. Once the week is over, we do a failback and Zerto is the main tool that we use for that, and we repeat the whole process. We're then good for the whole year. Zerto is protecting those VMs.

Another advantage is that Zerto has decreased downtime for us. It could have been a situation where we were down for weeks because of something that Azure did on their end. Even though Zerto has a partnership with Microsoft Azure, sometimes Azure makes changes that are disruptive. There was one change that affected our ability to replicate our critical workloads and it was a rough one. For that week, Zerto found a workaround because they were not getting any progress on resolving the situation from the Azure team. Zerto applied the workaround in their code and we were good, but that was a rough situation. Zerto goes out of its way to help its customers. We've had issues but Zerto has been very responsive.

What is most valuable?

The quickness and efficiency of creating snapshots, on a real-time basis, is one of the most valuable features. Whenever changes are made on a server, Zerto starts taking snapshots right away and replicating them to the DR site. It's very effective and very quick. Our SLAs are 24 hours, but Zerto could do what we needed, on-prem, in seconds, and in the cloud, in minutes. Zerto is way ahead of what our SLAs are.

Sometimes we do failover tests to make sure that we will potentially have a successful failover or migration. It's very flexible and does its job very well. And one of the things I love about the product is that whenever you do a failover, it gives you the ability to either commit or roll back. Some of Zerto's competitors don't have that ability, at least in Azure. That's critical for us because after we have DR tests on a weekend, we have users sign off on their applications that everything is fine. If something isn't right, we can always roll back to how everything was right before we started the DR test. And if everything is working great, then we commit.

What needs improvement?

Since we are primarily in the cloud now, Zerto definitely needs to update its platform. When we were decommissioning one of our on-prem data centers and going to Azure, there were issues. And with Azure, it's still limited in the way we can manage our resources there. Zerto hasn't quite kept up to date with how certain elements run within Azure.

In Azure, there is something called resource groups. You cannot create a resource without a resource group. You can apply tags to resource groups and that tagging information is very critical to our company because we now have 95 percent of our production environment workloads running in the cloud. We have to make sure that every resource group is tagged correctly, with the correct team and department because we have to bill them at the end of the month. The problem is that Zerto does not have that ability. When the product fails over or migrates a VM from on-prem, or even within Azure, to another site, it does not give you the option of selecting an existing resource group.

When it fails over, it uses the name of the group that you created within Zerto. The VM is failed over with no problem in a reasonable amount of time. But the problem then becomes that the resources are part of a resource group that has no tags. It does not follow our naming commission for resource groups and then we're stuck. It's not as easy just renaming the resource groups.

These components are very critical for us but they are missing in Zerto. They're aware of it because we've had feature-request meetings with our Zerto account team. They're working on it for the next release and have mentioned that they are going to be making improvements to the product. But for now, it's lacking.

Also, a downside with Zerto is that there is a lot of management overhead when running it in the cloud. On-prem, we used to have one Zerto management appliance, but in the cloud, we have about 20 to manage to protect our VMs. Zerto has mentioned to me that, for the next release, they're building it from the ground up and it will be much better in the cloud, with more cloud focus.

Because of the experience that I had with Zerto running on-prem, where we only had one appliance in each of our data centers, I deployed one in Azure as well. Little did I know that there were limitations and that more appliances had to be deployed because of all the replication of the traffic and the number of VMs that we were trying to replicate. But Zerto stepped in and helped when it came to that.

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For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is an eight out of 10.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is also an eight out of 10.

How are customer service and support?

They're very helpful. They always want to understand your situation and, even if they're not sure, they do their best to help and fix the problem. 

For on-prem, there were always references, but for the cloud there is a bit of a knowledge gap. I would always get workarounds, fixes, or KB articles for on-prem, but the cloud implementation is where the documentation is lacking. But the team does its best. It depends on who you get. Some know Azure, or cloud, and some still lack that knowledge. But if they don't know, they get the right person on the call.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We were a VMware shop on-prem and we were migrating to the cloud from on-prem VMware to Azure, so the tool that we were using to protect VMs through DR would no longer work. We used VMware SRM (Site Recovery Manager) for years when we used to be solely on-prem. 

We started looking for a product to help and, at the time, Zerto was the one that stood out among the competitors, and it was a solid product, so we started using it. Zerto is definitely a more effective product. It is a lot quicker when bringing our VMs up on the DR side, and even when we do a fallback. And Zerto is a lot easier to use than VMware.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not straightforward.

And maintenance is required for upgrades when there are newer releases, especially when it comes to Azure. There are newer releases that contain fixes and improvements and we do update the version of the Zerto appliance. They are running on Windows Servers, so we also have to patch the operating system. In Azure, there are a lot of SKUs with different pricing. Depending on the utilization of a VM, we sometimes make changes to the family types to save on costs at the VM level.

What about the implementation team?

I did it with our Zerto account team, which included our sales engineer. Just the two of us were involved.

What was our ROI?

Zerto saves us a lot of time. One team member alone can handle the DR test using Zerto, whereas before, when we used SRM, at least two or three people were involved from the VM perspective and from storage. VMware was integrated with our NetApp environment and that meant at least two or three team members were involved. But with Zerto, just one person uses the product for a DR test.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Azure Site Recovery. We were close to going with it. It did have the ability to do resource group selection, but there were two showstoppers at the time that prevented us from going forward with it.

When we were looking at Azure Site Recovery, it seemed that it had a better cost per VM, but Zerto was not that far off. And we were more comfortable using Zerto to protect our VMs than the other products we were testing.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is that if you're in the cloud, you really should test the failover of your VMs. If tagging is not a key component, you'll be fine. But if it is, that is a huge problem. And expect a lot more management overhead when it comes to managing Zerto in the cloud.

In terms of our RPOs, Zerto is consistent. From time to time, it may run past our SLAs, but that's because there are network or VM issues. And that happens very rarely. It almost always meets our RPOs.

The ease of moving data varies on the size. A good thing about Zerto is that it does give you a little chart indicating the step that it's at in the replication process.  But even if it's a small VM, it does take some time, including setting it all up and starting the synchronization. It's not instant.

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Deputy Head of IT Infrastructure at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
The solution can achieve very low recovery point objectives due to its efficient use of resources and compression techniques
Pros and Cons
  • "I give Zerto's stability a nine out of ten."
  • "Zerto's price has room for improvement."

What is our primary use case?

Zerto is primarily used for disaster recovery. In rare cases, it is also used for backup, but only for long-term storage.

We deployed our on-premises infrastructure in two data centers in Russia located in two cities, and multiple regions with combined infrastructure. We also had two data centers in Europe.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto is extremely easy to use. When I started to pilot the product in 2016, I was able to deploy all required components in one or two hours without any help from Zerto engineers. I only used the provided documentation and user interface. In the years since my engineers have also had no issues with the implementation or configuration of the product. Zerto's ease of use is one of its best features.

To ensure good synchronization and replication of changes in a timely manner, we need to have a very good storage subsystem. In our case, we replaced our old storage subsystem with a new one that is based on full flash storage. After that, Zerto started to replicate changes at lightning speed. Many companies experience issues with Zerto if they do not have full flash storage. When full flash storage is implemented, Zerto is the best replication solution because it is highly dependent on the latency of the storage. Therefore, any kind of storage that is not based on full flashes, such as hybrid storage that combines flash and disks, is not a good foundation for Zerto implementation.

Prior to implementing Zerto, our disaster recovery tests had a 70 percent success rate. After implementing Zerto, all DR tests were 100 percent successful. This represents a significant improvement in our DR capabilities.

We used Zerto to replicate our virtual machines from our primary data center to our disaster recovery data center in another city over a single connection.

Zerto can achieve very low recovery point objectives due to its efficient use of resources and compression techniques. However, our company has different RPO requirements for different-sized companies. Since our company is small, our standard RPO is four hours. Zerto exceeded this requirement by achieving a typical RPO of about 15 seconds.

Zerto is a very easy and fast tool to use. However, it is important to note that Zerto requires some time to accept changes after migration. This means that if we do not finish testing within the required time frame, we may run into issues with storage space, as Zerto will continue to collect logs and other data. If the testing period is short and we are comfortable switching between data centers frequently, then we should have a very good experience with Zerto. Compared to VMware SRM, Zerto is much more reliable. I have never had any issues switching between production and the DR data center with Zerto, while I have had to start DR exercises from scratch multiple times with VMware SRM.

We always define and perform the required RTO values in our company. RTO is the time required to recover from a switch. It is about how long it will take IT staff to restore the environment. With Zerto, we can now do this in hours, typically one or two hours, for all switching activities. We have 70 virtual machines configured in Zerto, so it takes about one hour to switch all of them. This is four times faster than our previous solutions, such as VMware SRM or storage-based replication.

Zerto has saved us time in data recovery situations due to ransomware or other causes. It is very easy to use, so we do not need to spend extra time training engineers on how to use it. All of our engineers were able to start using Zerto immediately. Zerto is also very fast at replicating data. For example, when we set up a new replication, the initial replication was completed very quickly. Another advantage of Zerto is that it does not require additional steps to change the size of virtual disks. With our previous solution, VMware SRM, engineers had to perform additional manipulations in VMware when changing the size of virtual disks. This was a complicated process, but it is not necessary with Zerto. Overall, Zerto is a very user-friendly and efficient data protection solution. It has saved us time and money, and it has made our data recovery process much easier.

Zerto has saved us around 50 percent of our time.

What is most valuable?

The most important thing to me is Zerto's ability to deliver continuous protection for all data without any issues or incidents. Zerto is a rock-solid product in terms of protection. We migrated to Zerto from VMware SRM because we had a lot of issues with VMware SRM, including the loss of one server.

What needs improvement?

Zerto's price has room for improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Zerto for six years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I give Zerto's stability a nine out of ten.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Globally we have around 200 engineers that use Zerto.

How are customer service and support?

Zerto's technical support is excellent. When we first started using Zerto, we had Russian technical support to help us with some complex tasks, such as configuring unique virtual machines. Our engineers had no communication issues with the support team. Later, when we were in a stable period, global technical support was also very helpful. I cannot recall a time when technical support was unable to help us. Overall, I give Zerto's technical support five stars.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

For many years, the company globally used a variety of different solutions for data protection and disaster recovery. These included storage-based replication solutions based on IBM and EMC storage, as well as special appliances from Dell EMC. For smaller companies, VMware SRM or VMware replication without SRM was used, with manual configuration of replication. In order to simplify and unify its data protection and disaster recovery strategy, the company decided to adopt Zerto. Zerto was initially implemented in a small region, the Middle East/Asia. After a couple of successful migrations of data centers in this region and a parallel unsuccessful DR exercise in EMEA, the company selected to use Zerto globally. Following this, smaller companies in Russia started to receive a recommendation to implement Zerto instead of any existing solutions. Zerto has been a success for the company, providing a unified and simplified data protection and disaster recovery solution that has improved the company's overall resilience.

How was the initial setup?

We used one internal engineer to perform the initial setup on two data centers in two days. In general, this involved installing two virtual machines with Zerto Virtual Manager on each data center, creating the corresponding network access rules, and then deploying Zerto replication agents to all virtualization hosts. The last activity was automated, so it took about one hour to deploy Zerto for all virtualization hosts. The replication took one week.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was completed in-house.

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

Zerto is a premium disaster recovery solution. It is not the cheapest option on the market, but it offers a number of features that make it a good value for businesses that need a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

What other advice do I have?

I give Zerto a ten out of ten. Based on my experience with different replication solutions, Zerto is the best one I have used. I am very disappointed that my current company decided to stop using it due to existing standards. Zerto is not cheap, but it is very stable, available, fast, and easy to use.

The most time-consuming part of a disaster recovery test is the testing of small and medium-sized enterprises, business users, and other stakeholders. IT-led environment restoration activities typically take up about 30 percent of the overall DR process. Zerto can reduce this time by 50 percent. Overall, this is not a significant impact, and Zerto is a very stable and reliable solution.

Zerto has not reduced the number of employees involved in data recovery situations. This is because we have a small team, and we always use engineers to perform disaster recovery activities related to storage and virtualization infrastructure. As a result, we have not had to reduce the number of staff members used for these activities.

Zerto did not replace all of our legacy backup solutions. Our legacy backup solutions were dependent on IBM Power servers, which required corresponding backup agents. Zerto is not compatible with these agents, so we use a separate backup solution for these servers. This separate solution is still in use.

We have two data centers, each with its own equipment, servers, storage, network equipment, and so on. In each data center, we deployed two separate VMware vCenter server infrastructures connected using an L2 line. There was no L3 connection between the data centers. This created a flat L2 network with two data centers and two vCenters on each data center. After that, we deployed two VM servers configured for replication. This allowed us to have a highly available and resilient infrastructure in the event of a failure at one of the data centers.

Regarding Zerto's maintenance, we configured some monitoring for related Zerto services. However, we do not have any daily routine procedures to manually check Zerto to ensure that everything is working properly. Instead, our engineers spend one hour per week reviewing monitoring items and other metrics to ensure that Zerto is operating as expected. From my perspective, Zerto is a self-operating system that requires very little manual intervention.

Zerto is very easy to pilot. I recommend that any customer pilot Zerto before making a decision on whether or not it is the right solution for them. Zerto is a self-selling product. When I piloted it in 2016, I was able to install it in hours and start using it immediately without any help. I believe that a pilot is the best way to see how easy and beneficial Zerto can be.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
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May 2023
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Senior System Administrator at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
More user-friendly than other solutions because of its GUI
Pros and Cons
  • "Since we are at a bank, there are certain protocols in place where we need to have RPO and RTO times of two hours or less. Zerto does a great job of setting those times and alerting us if those can't be met. We have our help desk actively monitoring that. It is extremely helpful that Zerto lists what is falling out of compliance in regards to RPO and RTO. It has been great in that regard."
  • "It has a file restore feature, which we have tried to use. We have had some issues with that, because the drives are compressed in our main file system. It is a Windows-based file server. So, it compresses the shares and can't restore those by default."

What is our primary use case?

We mostly use it just for disaster recovery. We also utilize it for our quarterly and annual DR test.

It is on-prem. We have a primary location and a DR location.

How has it helped my organization?

Since we are at a bank, there are certain protocols in place where we need to have RPO and RTO times of two hours or less. Zerto does a great job of setting those times and alerting us if those can't be met. We have our help desk actively monitoring that. It is extremely helpful that Zerto lists what is falling out of compliance in regards to RPO and RTO. It has been great in that regard.

If we need to fail back or move workloads, Zerto decreases the number of people involved by half versus companies of similar size who don't have Zerto.

We have had patches that have broken a server. We then needed to have it right back up and running. We have been able to do that, which has been a huge plus. 

What is most valuable?

The real-time data protection is the most valuable feature. We are able to quickly spin up VMs instantly. 

We have also utilized it, from time to time, if our backups didn't catch it at night. If something was deleted midday, this solution is nice because you can use Zerto for that. 

I would rate Zerto very high in terms of it providing continuous data protection. We have had multiple instances that took days with our old DR test (before I was at my current company) and DR tests from other companies where I worked that didn't have Zerto. Now, we can realistically do DR tests in less than 30 minutes.

Zerto is extremely easy to use. If 10 is absolutely dummy-proof, I would give the ease of use an eight.

What needs improvement?

It has a file restore feature, which we have tried to use. We have had some issues with that, because the drives are compressed in our main file system. It is a Windows-based file server. So, it compresses the shares and can't restore those by default. However, we have done it with other things. It is pretty handy.

I would like it if they would really ramp up more on their PowerShell scripting and API calls, then I can heavily utilize PowerShell. I am big into scripting stuff and automating things. So, if they could do even more with PowerShell, API calls, and automation, that would be fantastic.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it at my company for almost four years. My company has been using it for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate stability as eight and a half out of 10.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would rate scalability as eight out of 10.

We monitor and use it every day. Our current license count is 150 VMs. I could definitely see us increasing that license because we keep adding more VMs.

As big as our company is, we don't have a very large infrastructure sysadmin group. I wouldn't say that Zerto has reduced our staff in any kind of way, but it definitely has helped the small amount of people that we have.

We have around 20 people using it: 

  • Our core admin group is four people, including me. To put that in perspective, we have a $10 billion bank and our core infrastructure team consists of just those four people. The core admin group does administration, creates VPGs, and executes the main day-to-day operations. 
  • We have a few users who are just monitoring it only. This is a read-only role. 
  • We have our help desk, which is basically read-only, but they actively monitor RTO and RPO every day, all day long. They leave up the dashboard on a huge TV and just keep an eye on things.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support as nine and a half out of 10. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that they are located in Boston, and you feel like you are talking to someone just like you. They do an excellent job of following up and escalating anything that is needed. I rarely have to call Zerto support, but I am confident that anytime I need to, then it will be resolved.

We stay in close contact with our main local rep.

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

My company never used anything quite like Zerto. We still use things for backup and recovery, such as Dell EMC Avamar, which used to be NetWorker. We also use RecoverPoint for applications, but it is not at all the same. There is actual real-time recovery. It is kind of a different animal.

How was the initial setup?

I have had to redeploy it a few times with data center changes and such. We went from your typical data center to Cisco UCS Blades to VxRack, a VMware Dell EMC product. With that, I had to deploy it from scratch.

It was pretty straightforward. There is plenty of very easy to follow documentation when it comes to implementing it. There is also a lot of training provided so you can understand it before you implement it. Those two things make it pretty easy.

Just to stand it up and get everything going, that took an hour or two. The overall implementation was over the course of three days, because our core is heavily utilized.

We had a ZVM Virtual Manager on our production side and another on our DR site. Most of our data is replicated from production to DR. We do have some that are in the DR replicating back, but not a lot. Our main concern was between both sites, because we don't have a very large pipe. Even though Zerto's compression is pretty good, we didn't want to send that data all back over. Our main priority, when we set it up again, was that we were able to retain a lot of the data at our DR location and remap it by using preseeded disks, which was huge.

What about the implementation team?

At least two staff members are required for deployment and maintenance. Whenever an update is released, we try to do that fairly quickly. For quarterly updates or major releases, we try to stay on top of them. Then, whenever we deploy new systems, applications, or servers, depending on the RTO and RPO, we add Zerto to those. That is daily, depending on how much workload we have and how many servers we are deploying. Those two people add those groups and such configuration into Zerto.

From an implementation standpoint, just follow the guide and check their support page for things. Worst case, reach out to support if you have already paid for it. It is pretty straightforward.

What was our ROI?

Zerto has helped reduce downtime. We have had servers go down and could easily spin them back up at our DR location almost instantly. Instead of taking an hour, it took a minute.

On average, it saves us three to five hours a day.

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

We pay for 150 VMs per year. It is not cheap.

Having backup and DR is somewhat moderately important to us. The problem with us, and a lot of companies, is the issue with on-prem Zerto. It utilizes whatever you have for a SAN. Or, if you are like us, we have a vSAN and that storage is not cheap. So, it is cheaper to have a self-contained backup system that is on its own storage rather than utilizing your data center storage, like your vSAN. While it is somewhat important to have both backup and DR, it is not incredibly important to have both. I know Zero is trying to heavily dip their toes in the water of backup and recovery. Once you see what Zerto can do, I don't think anyone will not take Zerto because they don't necessarily specialize in backup and recovery 100 percent. They do replication so well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Zerto did really well with presenting their solution to the management here, really getting people involved, and helping them understand what and how it could be used. At the time, their real-time recovery was pretty far above anybody else available, and even still somewhat.

Other solutions would take an entire workday to recover our core infrastructure. With Zerto, we are done within an hour for all our major systems.

As far as the GUI goes, Zerto is more user-friendly than a lot of other products, such as Avamar and Commvault. It is fairly easy to use, but I think the GUI interface of Zerto is pretty far above the rest.

We use Avamar, and I don't see Zerto replacing Avamar for the simple fact of retention and how expensive the storage is. Using an RPM storage is pretty pricey, especially to try to rely on that for a long retention of seven years, for instance. 

What other advice do I have?

When it comes to purchasing, I highly recommend Zerto all the time to friends that I have at other companies. 

It is just for DR. We keep an average of three days of retention, e.g., journal history of three days. However, it is not always the same for all products. We don't really keep it for backups. That is more of a convenience thing.

Currently, we don't utilize the cloud. It may be an option in the future. The cloud was a bad word for our bank for a long time, and that is starting to change.

Biggest lesson learnt: DR tests don't have to be so painful.

I would rate Zerto as 10 out of 10.

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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Solutions Manager at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Easy-to-use interface, straightforward to deploy, good compression features, and responsive support
Pros and Cons
  • "The most important feature is that the recovery point (RPO) is less than one minute. The is really good for our customers, as they can keep their data loss to a minimum."
  • "I would like to see a separate product offer for performing backups, although I think that this is something that they are expecting to release in the next version."

What is our primary use case?

I am a solution provider and Zerto is one of the products that I implement for my clients.

Most of my customers use this product for disaster recovery purposes. Some of them use it in a local, on-premises environment, whereas other customers use it in the cloud.

We have assisted some of our clients with on-premises to cloud migration. These were customers that had an established local environment but wanted to explore the cloud. For these clients, it is a cloud-based DR implementation.

There are four or five customers that did not want a cloud deployment, so we have implemented the DR site on-premises for them.

If the client is given the choice, typically they prefer a cloud-based deployment. CDP technology is becoming the new norm, even for the backup industry. However, there are some instances where it is not an option. For example, in some situations, they cannot use cloud-based storage due to legal and compliance requirements.

Some of our customers that are making a digital transformation cannot afford to lose hours or even minutes of data. As such, I think that cloud-based disaster recovery is the future and the customers understand why it is much more important for them. Together with our reputation, I see this as a game-changing situation.

How has it helped my organization?

Most of my customers are interested in DR and do not know much about the long-term retention capability. Our last three deployments already had a backup implemented from the integrator and didn't need an overnight one to avoid the loss of data. We discussed this with them and explained that this product offers much more than what they are using it for. We pointed out that it was a two-in-one solution but they continue to use it primarily for DR.

Our customers find that the interface is really easy to use. It gives you a great deal of flexibility for the administrators, as well as for the end-users to a certain extent. Overall, with respect to ease of use, this product scores the highest points in this area.

What is most valuable?

The functionality available in the console is not complicated and is easy to use, especially for DR failover. It just works.

It offers a high level of compression, which is very good. My customers and I are interested in this feature primarily because it saves bandwidth.

The most important feature is that the recovery point (RPO) is less than one minute. This is really good for our customers, as they can keep their data loss to a minimum.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a separate product offer for performing backups, although I think that this is something that they are expecting to release in the next version.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zerto for between three and four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Based on the number of support calls that I get from my customers, where we have done the deployment, issues arise very rarely. From time to time, we get calls because the allocated space is running out. Otherwise, it is pretty much stable.

Even the situation where the allocated space runs low is rare and I haven't had this type of call in a long time. The reason for this is that I take precautions during deployment. For example, I check to see whether they have too many workflows. I know what it is that we need to do including how many VRAs we need to deploy and what the configuration should be. Over the past three to four years, I have only had to deal with four or five support tickets. Apart from that, I haven't experienced any problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I do not have a great deal of experience with scaling this product because all of my customers have only a few hundred VMs. I know that Zerto has the capability to go beyond 5,000 or 10,000, but that is something that I've never experienced. My understanding is that it is very capable at the data center management level.

How are customer service and technical support?

In the initial phase, I leveraged technical support, but then I completed the deployment.

During the PoC, there were one or two times where I had to contact them to deal with issues. I am pretty happy with how they respond and how they follow up compared with the other vendors that I work with.

I don't have much of a complaint with respect to support.

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

I have been working with Zerto since version 6 and the most recent one that we deployed was version 8.5. Approximately six months ago, our customer that was using version 6 was upgraded to version 8, because version 8.5 was not yet released.

I also have experience with Veeam but Zerto uses a very different technology to perform the backup and change tracking. Veeam leverages the VSS technology for the volume set up, which will do the job but it is not ideal. Zerto has taken one step ahead by utilizing the Journal technology, which is the main difference that I can think of between these two products.

Prior to working with Zerto, many of my clients were using the VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) feature, which comes built into the product, based on their licensing. I have also had a customer who was using Commvault and others that were using NetBackup. These are typically the enterprise-caliber products that I expect to find.

One of my customers is using Veeam and because of the difference in price, with Zerto being more expensive, they did not switch. My customer felt that Veeam was convenient and the price was more tolerable. This is the only instance where my customer did not transition to Zerto.

The customers who switched have done so because Zerto provides the lowest RPO and RTO. It is one of the main points that I emphasize about this product because it is very important to them. There is also a saving in bandwidth, which is something that my customers are concerned with because they typically don't have fancy high-speed connections. The compression is superb and really helps in this regard. These are the two primary selling points.

How was the initial setup?

For us, this solution is not difficult to deploy. For a complicated environment then you have to do careful planning but otherwise, it is not hard to deploy.

Typically, if everything is well in place, the deployment will take between one and three hours. In cases where the customer's environment is very complex then I might need a little bit more time. I would estimate that it would take six-plus hours, after careful planning and ensuring that all of the resources are in place.

The installation takes less than 30 minutes; however, the customer environment increases the time because we have to do things like open ports on the firewall. We tell them about these preparations in advance but we always end up doing some of the work ourselves. In situations where the firewall has already been properly configured, I can normally complete the installation and configuration in one hour.

I have two customers that use the cloud-based deployment on Azure but the majority of them use it in a local, on-premises environment.

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

The main challenge that I face with this solution is the price. All of my customers are happy with how this product works and they like it, but unfortunately, in the market that I represent, Zerto is expensive when compared with the competition.

Another issue is that Zerto has expectations with respect to the minimum number of devices that they are protecting at a given price range. I understand that this is an enterprise product, but unfortunately, price-wise, it is really tough when it comes to the TCO for the customers in the one or two countries that I represent. Apart from that, everyone understands the value, but at the end of the day it comes down to the price being slightly higher.

Pricing is something that I have discussed with the regional head of sales in this area. I have explained that you can't have a price of 25 million per year in this region, and in turn, have requested a lower price with different models for corporations. Unfortunately, I have not received a positive response so far.

What other advice do I have?

With the separate backup product expected to be available in the next release, in a way, they have already done what I was expecting to offer to our customers. They have also announced some features that are really interesting. Right now, I'm waiting to get the new products in my hands.

My advice for anybody who is implementing Zerto is that if the system administrator has basic knowledge about networking and storage, then setting it up and deploying it will be easy, and not an issue at all. They just have to be careful and take the appropriate time to plan properly, especially in a complex environment.

In summary, this is a stable, enterprise-grade product.

I would rate this solution a nine 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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Independent Consultant
PeerSpot user
Senior Systems Engineer at a recruiting/HR firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Knowledgeable support, good disaster recovery options, and the one-to-many replication capability is helpful
Pros and Cons
  • "The one-to-many replication functionality is helpful. While we were protecting our VMs in Azure, we were able to use the one-to-many feature to also replicate the same VMs to our new data center, in preparation for data center migration."
  • "If the log was more detailed and more user-friendly, we wouldn't have to make the calls to the support to try and figure out where the problem lies."

What is our primary use case?

We are using Zerto as our disaster recovery solution for on-premises to Azure, and also from Azure to Azure between different regions.

At this time, we are only using it for DR. However, we will also be using it for data center migration.

How has it helped my organization?

I would rate Zerto's ability to provide continuous data protection a ten out of ten. The tool is very easy to use. It's also a very simple and very quick setup. The outcome from our setup showed that we had very low RPO and RTO. The interface is intuitive and as such, anyone can log in and figure out how to use the management utility.

Being able to achieve such a low RPO and RTO has significantly reduced our lengthy recovery times. For example, a recovery that previously took four hours is now completed in 40 minutes. Furthermore, it allowed us to complete the data center migration very quickly, with very little downtime.

Using Zerto has allowed us to reduce the number of people involved from a failover standpoint. There are only a few of us who can perform the failover and it is done with the click of a button. From an overall verification standpoint, the application owners are still required to verify.

We have saved money by performing DR in the cloud rather than in a physical data center for a couple of reasons. First, we saved money by not having to upgrade our hardware and pay for additional facility costs. Second, in Azure, we saved between 10% and 20% compared to Azure site recovery.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the disaster recovery capability.

The one-to-many replication functionality is helpful. While we were protecting our VMs in Azure, we were able to use the one-to-many feature to also replicate the same VMs to our new data center, in preparation for data center migration. Importantly, we were able to do this without affecting the DR setup.

What needs improvement?

When you're configuring the VPGs, they can improve the process by looking at the hardware configuration of the existing VMs and then recommending what they should be, rather than us having to go back and forth. For example, on the VM configuration portion of creating the VPGs, it should already figure out what sort of CPU, memory, and capacity you need, rather than us trying to write that down and then going in afterward to change it.

The logging could be a lot better from a troubleshooting standpoint. If the log was more detailed and more user-friendly, we wouldn't have to make the calls to the support to try and figure out where the problem lies.

They could improve on how many machines the management server can handle for replication.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zerto for approximately two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, it's pretty good and we've been happy so far. We've had a couple of issues here and there, but nothing that wasn't easily resolved.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is pretty good. If you need to scale then you can always add more appliances on the Azure side, which is very easy to set up. For the on-premises side, you only need one management server.

We are not a very large environment; we have approximately 400 servers, and then we are protecting about 125 VMs. In terms of users, we have close to 3,000 full-time employees and then about 25,000 contractors. Being a recruiting company, we have a large base of contractors.

The site reliability engineers are the ones that use Zerto more often, and there are three or four of them.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is pretty good. The level-one has a lot of knowledge and because we've been using the product for a while now, if we get to the point of calling support, usually we have everything ready to go. We explain the situation to level-one support and we can always escalate easily to the next engineer.

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

Prior to using Zerto, for our on-premises environment, we did a typical database replication from our production site to a secondary site in another city across the country on the West Coast. We also replicated the storage and application code, and it was a very lengthy process. One of the environments took as long as four hours.

We switched primarily for the time savings, although there was also the cost factor. In order to meet the growing demand of our business in IT, we would have had to upgrade all of our hardware, as well as pay extra for facility costs. As such, it did help out on both sides of things.

Also, just the process itself was a lot simpler. It would have required coming up with five or six different teams to do the individual parts, whereas this automates everything for you from a server level.

We use a different product as our backup solutions. Zerto is strictly for DR and data center migration.

How was the initial setup?

To set up the initial environment, it took about an hour. This included setting up the appliance, making sure it's added to the domain, and things like that. But then, creating all of the VPGs will probably be another couple of hours.

The strategy was that we already had everything ready to go, which included our server list and all of the VPG names. If you have that, you could probably have everything completed in half a day, or a day, from a setup standpoint. Of course, this is depending on how large of an environment it is, but for us, we set up five or six environments and it took us approximately half a day.

What about the implementation team?

We had assistance from the sales engineer. 

When we did the PoC, they showed us everything. Once we purchased the product, we used Zerto analytics to determine how many appliances we would need on the Azure side. Then, using that, we were able to break up the VPGs between the different sites.

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

We have an enterprise agreement that combines all of the features, and we have approximately 250 licenses. There are two different licensing models. The one we purchased allows us to support Azure, as well as the on-premises jobs. This was a key thing for us and, I think, that is the enterprise license. They have a license for just their backup utility, and there's the migration option as well, but we went with the enterprise because we wanted to be able to do everything going forward.

Zerto needs to improve significantly on the cost factor. I know friends of mine in other businesses would not look at this when it's a smaller shop. At close to $1,000 a license, it makes it very hard to protect all of your environment, especially for a smaller shop.

We're very lucky here that finances weren't an issue, but it definitely plays a factor. If you look at other companies who are considering this product, it would be very expensive for somebody who has more than 500 servers to protect.

The bottom line is that they definitely have to do better in terms of cost and I understand the capabilities, but it's still quite pricey for what it does. It would make a huge difference if they reduced it because as it is now, it deters a lot of people. If you've got somebody who's already using VMware or another product, the cost would have to be dropped significantly to get them on board.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other vendors, but this was the only tool that was able to fully automate the conversion from on-premises VMware to Azure. This was important because our goal, or our DR objective, was to set up DR in Azure. Every other tool required having some sort of intervention from us to convert them to Azure format.

I don't recall all of the tools that we looked at, but I think we looked at VMware SRM and also a product from EMC, from a replication standpoint. Ultimately, from a strategy standpoint, this was the only thing that was really capable of doing what we wanted.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is interested in Zerto is definitely to do a PoC. Run it against your environment to do a thorough comparison. This is the best scenario; instead of just picking the product, let it go through the different options. For example, whether you are doing on-premises to on-premises, or on-premises to the cloud, this product can do it, but you'll only see the results that you want to see if you grind it against your own environment.

Overall, we are very happy with this product.

I would rate this solution a 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.
PeerSpot user
John Skarja - PeerSpot reviewer
Technical Analyst at Niagara Health System
Real User
Top 10
Makes it much easier to test functions as we can get reports on the test runs
Pros and Cons
  • "Zerto's ability to test failovers with a record of how long it takes to fail the motor is beneficial, as it allows us to know the timing in the event we have to do it live."
  • "With secure boot enabled, which is the case for newer systems, it is not easy to rotate passwords and we would have to reinstall the DRAs."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use Zerto for disaster recovery and business continuity. We have also used it significantly for transferring workloads between different environments.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto's Near-Synchronous Replication is very important and was one of the main factors that drew us toward the solution. Some of the other solutions now have a similar feature that wasn't available before or doesn't support RDMs that we use. Fortunately, we haven't been hit by ransomware, but if we ever were, Zerto would be a great help. The fact that we would be able to easily pick a point with minimal data loss compared to having to go to a backup is a major advantage. 

We have definitely been able to do some functions that we wouldn't have known how to do without Zerto. For example, we get hardware refreshes every so often. We are still using Dell VxRail, but for some of our clinical workloads, we created a new cluster for PACs and radiation oncology. We had to move many workloads from Dell VxRail to this dedicated cluster, which was traditional SAN. Zerto saved us in this situation, as we were able to start a VPG and move the workloads. Additionally, we have different data centers, and if someone decided they wanted the workflow to run in a different data center, Zerto saved us a lot of time by not having to rebuild the system. Lastly, it gave us the ability to test failovers with staff to prove that it would work before we had to trigger a live migration.

We primarily use Zerto to protect our virtual machines.

Before we found Zerto, our backup environment was so slow that it could take multiple days to recover certain servers. This was not practical, so we looked for a better solution. Zerto has had a much greater effect on our Recovery Point Objectives than we could have achieved with any other solution before it. We could have potentially lost a day's worth of data, whereas with Zerto it is only a matter of a few seconds. Therefore, for any critical workload, Zerto is the best choice.

Our only other option was to recover from a backup. We found that for larger VMs, it would take days to do that compared to using Zerto. Zerto would spin up in a matter of minutes, and with the recording running through testing, we had the actual times recorded that we could accomplish all the tasks. It was drastically different.

Zerto has helped us reduce our DR testing. Before Zerto, we never had a DR test plan. It is still a work in progress, but Zerto makes it much easier to test functions as we can get reports on the test runs. This makes it easy to hand over to someone explaining the details of how long it took. Whenever we have done testing, it has been easy to perform and not very time-consuming.

What is most valuable?

Zerto's ability to test failovers with a record of how long it takes to fail them over is beneficial, as it allows us to know the timing in the event we have to do it live. Additionally, the support and RDMs, which many products do not have for this type of workload, are useful. Furthermore, the ability to easily move something between different sites and the general ease of Zerto is great.

Zerto's ease of use is the best I've seen. We initially looked at different options such as Veeam Backup & Replication and VMware SRM, but Zerto appeared to be the most straightforward. We have had other options come up since then, but they are not nearly as user-friendly as Zerto. Zerto is quite straightforward.

What needs improvement?

The only challenge we have encountered is with rotating passwords on our VMware nodes. With secure boot enabled, which is the case for newer systems, it is not easy to rotate passwords and we would have to reinstall the VRAs. This is not ideal, especially when our security team wants to rotate them weekly. Aside from that, everything has gone smoothly. The updates are easy and it does not hinder us when updating the VMware. The only issue is that we have to wait three months after a major release. This lessens the complexity of the update of the software itself. Other than that, there is no issue and it does not hinder us from running different versions of VMware.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for over five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Zerto is stable and we have never had any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not increased our original purchase, but Zerto would scale if we needed it to. As new projects came along, we were supposed to identify if Zerto would be a use case. We have enough licenses for everything that has been added so far. We do eventually want to go into the cloud and potentially add more workloads, and Zerto seems to be sufficient for that.

How are customer service and support?

I always find the technical support to be quick in responding to us, and the issue seems to be resolved almost instantly. It has been nothing but positive with support. They are definitely one of the better companies to deal with in terms of support.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. We had someone from Zerto come down and set up the system in just a few hours. They provided us with knowledge transfer on how to create VPGs and other items and gave us an overview of the architecture of the whole solution so that we were confident in managing it ourselves. We have done all the updates ourselves.

The full deployment including the planning phase took a couple of weeks and required a few people.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was completed in-house with the help of a Zerto specialist.

What was our ROI?

Zerto has been more of an insurance policy. We haven't had to use it yet, but if that day ever comes, it will be invaluable. Zerto has already helped us in other areas, such as moving workloads, which has saved us a lot of time that would have been spent rebuilding and decommissioning. more of a safety net.

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

We do renewals and haven't added any additional licensing yet. When we purchased Zerto, we felt it was worth the cost as it would protect us from any potential problems and give us peace of mind knowing that any critical items could be recovered quickly.

What other advice do I have?

I give the solution a ten out of ten.

When we bought Zerto, our goal was to be able to failover to the cloud. However, we have not yet fully adopted the cloud, so we have not yet upgraded our license or paid any connection fees. Our goal is to upgrade the license once we are ready, but that has not happened yet.

Zerto's ease of use, and straightforward use, is the reason we chose it over other solutions. We don't want to be in a situation where, during a crisis, we have to hunt around and try to figure out how to use something. It's nice to have something that is straightforward and easy to use, instead of adding stress to an already stressful situation.

We are still using other products for backups. We have not really ever used Zerto for backups. I know Zerto has changed its licensing model, but when we initially started using Zerto, we had to license every VM for basic protection, which was more costly than other backup solutions. I know Zerto has changed and we can now buy a backup license for VMs. However, due to the time, we are locked into a certain backup product, we will look at other potential solutions when the contract expires.

We have Zerto deployed across two of our data centers.

We have one person that maintains and monitors Zerto with an additional person who acts as a backup.

The maintenance consists of updates and tweaking of journals for VPGs.

If we have any specific use cases that we want to discuss with the Zerto team, they will often arrange a peer meeting with organizations. Zerto did that for us when we were using Meditech MAGIC so that we could make sure that anyone else with experience running it could help us. We were able to do a trial run with Zerto to get confident. I suggest taking advantage of doing a trial to make sure Zerto meets our needs, and if we have any unique workloads, then talk to the Zerto account team to try to arrange a conversation with someone else who is doing the same thing.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PeerSpot user
Senior Systems Administrator at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
We didn't have the ability to immediately fail over our production environment, and now we can
Pros and Cons
  • "It does what it's purported to do, which is to provide continuous data protection. We have a five-second RPO. It's definitely doing its job."
  • "I would like to see them continuously improve Zerto's automated functions, such as putting hosts in maintenance mode within vSphere and not having to worry as much about how Zerto is going to react... Sometimes, Zerto almost holds the vSphere environment hostage when it comes to taking certain actions. You really need to be cognizant about what you're about to do. They should further automate that and increase Zerto's ability to handle things like that in a very slick, automated way, without intervention."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for a hot DR site for our primary production environment, allowing us to fail over all of our production servers in case of an emergency.

How has it helped my organization?

We are in a much better position as far as our data protection scheme is concerned, with Zerto. Compared to where we were before, it's a night and day difference, because we didn't have the ability to immediately fail over our production environment. The difference is pretty extreme for our organization. We went from just having SAN snapshots to Veeam backups, and now we have replication.

It massively decreases the time needed for us to fail back because, before, we had no way to do so for our workload. It would have been a manual process to move our workload somewhere else. We would have had to get the VMs off of the existing infrastructure and we would have had to create a whole new infrastructure and get them running somewhere else. That could take two to three weeks, in an emergency situation, with our entire team working on it, versus just pushing a button and moving it right now. We're in a whole different realm now.

There would also be massive savings in manpower to do that. We would have to create a whole new infrastructure, whether in AWS, Azure, or even procuring physical equipment and deploying it. Now that we have Zerto in place, it's there waiting and being replicated too.

What is most valuable?

The fact that it just works is important to us. We don't have to do a whole lot to it. It does its thing in the background and it's ready to go. It enables us to execute our DR plan at any time that is required. It doesn't seem to require a lot of time or management or day-to-day maintenance. 

It doesn't "complain" a lot and it's ready to go at any time, so you could call it easy to use. It's just me responsible for maintaining it, and there is a network infrastructure person involved as well. But it mostly maintains itself, once it has been deployed.

It does what it's purported to do, which is to provide continuous data protection. We have a five-second RPO. It's definitely doing its job. It's there in the background, replicating constantly.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see them continuously improve Zerto's automated functions, such as putting hosts in maintenance mode within vSphere and not having to worry as much about how Zerto is going to react. Rather, Zerto should be able to handle putting various hosts, within either the source or destination side, into maintenance mode without having to worry about the vRA appliances. Sometimes, Zerto almost holds the vSphere environment hostage when it comes to taking certain actions. You really need to be cognizant about what you're about to do. They should further automate that and increase Zerto's ability to handle things like that in a very slick, automated way, without intervention.

Zerto could also build more canned automation tools within their product, tools that automatically work with DNS updates to AWS or Azure. Maybe they could provide an area for scripting help or canned scripts, a community or a place where people could grab some scripting. Maybe they could reach into Citrix or F5 load balancer APIs.

Also, if you have a host go wrong or you need to put one in maintenance in an emergency situation, especially on the source side, it can require you to fix Zerto and redeploy vRAs or redeploy the little appliances to the host that they're going to be on.

Also, depending on what resources it has available, storage or vSphere-wise, I'd like to see it able to balance itself out within the virtual environment, with its storage usage on the destination side.

I've only run into these things briefly, so I can't speak about them at the deepest technical level, but I have noticed that they're not as perfect as they could be.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for three months at my current company, but I have about two years' experience with it in total.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the most part, it has been stable. There have been a few points where I have had to delete the VPG group, re-replicate data, and start over, to get things back to a good spot. But overall it has been pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are only protecting 45 VMs. We're not a large, multinational, so I can't really speak about its scalability.

How are customer service and support?

I haven't used the technical support very much.

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

We didn't have a previous solution, other than SAN snapshots. That's why we looked to put something in place. Previously, we were in a tenuous situation that would make anyone nervous. We went in this direction so that we wouldn't have to be nervous.

How was the initial setup?

It didn't seem that difficult to set up. 

It took a couple of days, but that didn't include setting up the SAN and the secondary sites and all of the infrastructure around having it work directly. But just the Zerto solution itself did not take very long at all to set up.

Everything that we needed to do to facilitate the use of the solution was more involved and took a month or so. At the time, we also deployed a Veeam solution to do the long-term storage, and that was wrapped up in the same project, so it's hard to give an exact amount of time for the deployment. 

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

Everyone knows Zerto is a little on the expensive side, but what else is there on the market that does the same thing? It is more expensive per client, for what it does, compared to a backup product like Veeam.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't really go into a full evaluation of other solutions. We took the recommendation of our VAR. They're a company that provides us with help in implementing projects. They recommended going to Zerto, and I had already used Zerto before at another company, so I was comfortable with that recommendation.

Zerto serves a very specific purpose in our environment, which is to fail over the entire environment in an emergency, very quickly. Veeam claims to be able to do that, but I don't think it does it as quickly or efficiently as Zerto.

What other advice do I have?

The main thing is to make sure your network infrastructure is designed properly. Zerto is only going to be as successful as the network infrastructure and the automation that is created around it to help with a failover situation.

In our particular situation, we have a stretch network situation, which means we don't really have to do a lot of the automated scripting that most people might have to do, surrounding re-IP-ing the environment and DNS updates. We're in a unique situation. Because we are a telco, we own our entire network and we have the ability to stretch our network to a location that's a state away. That scenario doesn't apply to a lot of other business situations. Other institutions may not have that luxury, in which case their scripted automation, and how well that is set up, would be critical.

Because we weren't doing backup and DR management before, Zerto has probably increased the amount of staff we need. You don't need staff in place for things that you aren't doing.

HPE bought Nimble and made Nimble not as good. Hopefully, the HPE acquisition won't have a negative effect on Zerto. That's a deep concern among all people who have had to deal with things that HPE bought. They need to keep to the original intention and vision without diluting it within some other HPE product or some other HPE offering. I have no interest in seeing Zerto losing its functionality or having it rebranded as some other problematic HPE solution. We bought this as a purpose-built solution to do exactly what we want and that's the way we would like it to stay.

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
Virtualization Administrator at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
We perform more DR testing now because it is so easy
Pros and Cons
  • "The test features have been really good for us. Our DR testing goes very quickly and easily now for all our stuff with Zerto. We have our priority recovery process, where we cover our databases for our app servers and web servers. All our teams pretty much get their VMs very quickly. The RPOs are very low."
  • "I don't like the evacuation process. The host evacuation process could be a little simpler too. It takes our maintenance a bit longer, when we are doing host maintenance, because we still need to evacuate the vRAs manually. I know they tried to make it more automatic, but it is not quite there yet."

What is our primary use case?

We mostly use it for disaster recovery purposes. We do a lot of migrations as well, e.g., VM from one site to another. We use Zerto for that, as we have hundreds of VMs that we protect as our main DR position using Zerto.

In general, our DR position is entirely based around Zerto. We use it for everything. We just have a couple things that we don't put on it. There are a couple of Oracle things that we replicate with different methods, but we pretty much do everything related to DR with Zerto.

We are not using it for backup. We are using it for continuous DR and replication between two on-prem sites. 

We have two data center sites with bidirectional replications. Each site protects the other site and we have our VPGs that go back and forth.

How has it helped my organization?

We perform more DR testing now because it is so easy. For example, what we are doing right now is baselines on our recovery time objectives, determining, "Okay, if we recover one VM, it takes this long. If we recover another VM this size, it is this long." Then, we recover 10, 100, and 800. That way, we get kind of a forecast, when we add VMs, about how that will affect our DR stance.

When we need to move a VM from one data center to another, it is replicated there. We don't need to do any snapshots of storage. We just make a VPG for it, do a move action, and it is just there. It works really well.

What is most valuable?

The test features have been really good for us. Our DR testing goes very quickly and easily now for all our stuff with Zerto. We have our priority recovery process, where we cover our databases for our app servers and web servers. All our teams pretty much get their VMs very quickly. The RPOs are very low. 

It is very easy to use. There are a lot of training materials online on the Zerto portal, which make it very simple to learn and use. You could go from not knowing how to use it to fully understanding all of it in a day. This can be done by using the Zerto University, getting your little certification and making your boss happy. It is pretty easy to set up VPG-wise.

You have a 24-hour journal. The amount of disasters and things that you can recover from using a 24-hour journal is huge, e.g., ransomware. We haven't had to do that yet, but the possibility is there. It is good to know that you can go back as far as you need.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the app be more like the analytics site. Right now, when you go into the analytics, you need to zoom in real tight on your browser. You get a lot more from the analytics site than you do from the app. If they made those two more similar, it would be really useful for day-to-day monitoring of your stuff.

I don't like the evacuation process. The host evacuation process could be a little simpler too. It takes our maintenance a bit longer, when we are doing host maintenance, because we still need to evacuate the vRAs manually. I know they tried to make it more automatic, but it is not quite there yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for at least three years in my job function.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no problems with it. Stability-wise, I can only say positive things because we haven't had any real negatives with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. If you add a data center, then you just add a ZVM at that data center, link it up, and add your vRAs. After that, you are ready to start making VPGs. It is very simple to set up.

We don't have issues with scaling. If a vRA is getting a bit overloaded, it makes little vRAs. So, it kind of handles itself. We have our vRAs at the maximum size, as far as CPU and memory, that they can be. Our RPOs are really short, so we are doing pretty well for our size.

How are customer service and support?

Zerto's support is always responsive. I have never had any problems with it. Our lead Zerto engineer does a lot more stuff than I do as far as with support. Typically, I will escalate to her. If there is an issue, then I defer to her. However, as far as my experience with support, I have experienced nothing but good things. The learning portal, myZerto portal, and analytics are very good. I don't have to use support very often, which is a good thing.

If I were to rate it, I would probably rate it as 10 out of 10. Every time that I have needed them, they have been responsive and quick. I haven't used them that much, but when I have, they have been very responsive.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We have used SRM, who is Zerto's main competitor. 

SRM was pretty quick. However, the speed of recovery with Zerto is so simple. It can failover, e.g., do whatever kind of failover you want it to do. You choose your VPGs, then you are off. It is really fast and simple. A lot of people could handle using it pretty easily.

How was the initial setup?

I haven't found it to be hard. When you add a new host, you just go to set up and add a new host, then it builds a vRA. It is pretty easy to manage alerts. It will tell you exactly what is wrong, e.g., this doesn't have enough scratch disk, so you need to go update that. Or, this host is offline, e.g., you forgot to evacuate it, so then you need to take it out of Zerto. So, it will alert you to that stuff.

What about the implementation team?

I have done my share of deploying vRAs. Though, our lead Zerto engineer handled most of that stuff from the initial setup.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen a return on investment. We can move any of our VMs from either of our data centers back and forth very easily, bringing them back and doing tests as frequently as we want. We will be doing two tests next week. At previous companies, we did one test a year. Now, we are doing different stacks, e.g., if we do 20, 100, or 700 VMS, then it will be this long. So, we can forecast additional workload and how much that will affect our DR position.

Zerto is definitely a lot easier to manage. My whole team knows how to use it, since it is very simple to use and intuitive. There are a couple people who use it and I am the secondary person. We have someone who basically lives in Zerto. She adds stuff on a daily basis and we are always on top of our updates. We are always looking at whatever new features come out. We try to maximize our journals. We are up to 24 hours on a lot of them. Our average RPO is eight seconds, and that is pretty good since we have 1,500 VMs and 280-plus VPGs. We have a pretty big on-prem environment. So, the good thing about it is the frequency and ease of testing because Zerto is very simple to use. DR has enough problems to deal with and Zerto makes things a lot easier.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have looked at Veeam and SRM. We examined the marketplace, Gartner, etc. This product that management chose, and we are pretty happy with it.

What other advice do I have?

Give it a try. Move some VMs back and forth to see how easy it is to use. The one-to-many is pretty good. We have two sites, so it is not a very big deal for us to do that, but it is very useful. 

I would rate Zerto as 10 out of 10. I love Zerto's CDP solution. It is really easy to use. It does everything that we need it to do and scales easily.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Updated: May 2023
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.