Giovanni Golinelli. - PeerSpot reviewer
Hybrid IT Architect at Quanture Spa
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) in virtual and cloud environments
Pros and Cons
  • "A great Zerto feature is the non-intrusive failover of the application, similar to an actual disaster recovery test without impacting the services that are currently online. Sometimes customers need to failover to an isolated environment and validate an application without impacting the production environment: we can achieve this goal with Zerto. Again, we can do regular testing in a non-impactful way using isolated testing. For customers of our DRaaS we include once a year, a live test that is more like what would happen if the customer lost the production site. Near-synchronous replication is one of the benefits of Zerto that drove us to choose it over some others. With typical backup and recovery solutions, the recovery point typically is about 24 hours. With the near-synchronous replication, recovery point objectives tend to be minutes or a few seconds if the bandwidth is adequate. That's one of the major benefits of Zerto: there's no need to run incremental backups every xx minutes. And the recovery time is fairly quick as well, like a shutdown and reboot of a VM. Eventually, the VPGs (Virtual Protection Groups) allow to grouping of one or more VMs into a single entity, ensuring every point in time inserted into Zerto’s journal (a checkpoint) is from the same point in time for all components within the protection group. This allows easy recovery of an entire application and its dependencies to a consistent point in time. Zerto is also a very easy product to use."
  • "Zerto could be considered as a backup product but this is not true. So if we could consolidate and use Zerto for disaster recovery as well as everyday backup and restore for situations where we need to recover something, that would be helpful. Anyway, we think that Zerto will win with no competition in the Disaster Recovery process, so we stay focused on this. Now we are testing version 10 which include real-time ransomware detection, a new Cyber Resilience Vault and enhanced cloud capabilities and security: we expect more from these features for superior hybrid cloud security."

What is our primary use case?

We implement Zerto as a part of a Disaster Recovery process for our valuable customers, in various environments. Most of them consist of two sites owned by the same customer, connected with campus or wan link, but both using VMware virtualization platform.

Recently we realized a dedicated infrastructure in our Datacenter, then started to propose to our customers DRaaS using those resources as a recovery site and including dedicated 24x7 support. 

Few customers use the public cloud (Azure) as a recovery site: we could only implement and configure the solution or fully manage it because we are also a Microsoft Gold and Tier-1 partner.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto helps reduce downtime in a wide number of situations because it can bring up an entire environment of 40-50 VMs in minutes. 

Zerto helps to save time in a data recovery situation too. Some customers experienced VM or database corruption: using the solution's checkpoint feature, the data recovery happened within five minutes or less. A normal restore would probably be two to eight hours depending on if we had to restore from disk/tape and need or not need to apply logs.

Zerto is great at DR testing. We can spin off critical VMs or an entire environment pretty quickly and have users test against this copy with no production environment impact.

Its overall impact on our RTO has been great. It took a few hours in a very complex environment. The customer was very impressed with Zerto when we started with the PoC and then put it in production. It is great.

Zerto has reduced our downtime. Customers have minimal downtime. 

We have been enabled to automate tasks with Zerto. Staff can now be dedicated to other tasks.

What is most valuable?

A great Zerto feature is the non-intrusive failover of the application, similar to an actual disaster recovery test without impacting the services that are currently online. Sometimes customers need to failover to an isolated environment and validate an application without impacting the production environment: we can achieve this goal with Zerto. Again, we can do regular testing in a non-impactful way using isolated testing. For customers of our DRaaS we include once a year, a live test that is more like what would happen if the customer lost the production site.

Near-synchronous replication is one of the benefits of Zerto that drove us to choose it over some others. With typical backup and recovery solutions, the recovery point typically is about 24 hours. With the near-synchronous replication, recovery point objectives tend to be minutes or a few seconds if the bandwidth is adequate. That's one of the major benefits of Zerto: there's no need to run incremental backups every xx minutes. And the recovery time is fairly quick as well, like a shutdown and reboot of a VM. It is the key difference against the competition.

Eventually, the VPGs (Virtual Protection Groups) allow to grouping of one or more VMs into a single entity, ensuring every point in time inserted into Zerto’s journal (a checkpoint) is from the same point in time for all components within the protection group. This allows easy recovery of an entire application and its dependencies to a consistent point in time.

Zerto is also a very easy product to use.

We started using it a few months ago for immutable data copies for a few customers on multiple repositories like HPE.

Zerto's ability for blocking unknown threats and attacks is key in our disaster recovery process. It's the technical solution where we implement all the data. It is also the recovery plan for our customers.

We have tried experimenting implementing Zerto with the the disaster recovery site on cloud. We use an Azure. It's very useful. Zerto has enables us to do disaster recovery in the cloud, rather than in a physical data center.

We've only used Zerto two or three times to migrate an existing data center to a new one because the hardware under the machine was from a different brand. We used Zerto because the environment is quite complex and the migration using other tools did not fulfill the customers' needs. Zerto is very good at data migration.

One of its best features Zerto is the ability to maintain the data of multiple VMs using Vipro Protection Group. We can aggregate multiple VMs in a workload for specific services. They are protected at the same time. 

It's very easy to manage and monitor our DR plans with Zerto. It's very easy to learn and operate. It's easier than VMware. 

What needs improvement?

Zerto could be considered as a backup product but this is not true. So if we could consolidate and use Zerto for disaster recovery as well as everyday backup and restore for situations where we need to recover something, that would be helpful. Anyway, we think that Zerto will win with no competition in the Disaster Recovery process, so we stay focused on this.

Now we are testing version 10 which include real-time ransomware detection, a new Cyber Resilience Vault and enhanced cloud capabilities and security: we expect more from these features for superior hybrid cloud security.

Reports could be useful for customers. I would like to have a report that shows the latency for every single internal VM. it would be useful for troubleshooting.

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For how long have I used the solution?

We started to evaluate Zerto about three years ago, then we implemented it for our valuable customers who need affordable solutions in their disaster recovery processes.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with any of the builds or the virtual managers, especially with the new "appliance" mode. It just runs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Zerto is a very scalable solution. We can create as many protection groups as customers need for their environment even as they growth. 

Our customers are mostly medium to small sized enterprises. 

How are customer service and support?

We use Zerto Quick Start service for the first installations and we use it in very complex environments: great. 

We are very satisfied. We had to use it at the beginning to understand the implementation process and what we needed to do. 

They are quick and professional. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We previously used Veeam (B&R + DRO) and VMware (Replication + SRM), but they could not offer all the features of Zerto.

We also sometimes still use VMware Disaster Site Recovery Manager in conjunction with VMware Backup and Recovery. 

How was the initial setup?

The implementation is very straightforward.  Must be considered security and lay out the network infrastructure to be more efficient.

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

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

Pricing is adequate at the standard of the product, but there could be "always" some improvement. We would like to see a consumption model that would charge in a DR scenario, where you're failing over and consuming those resources, instead of a per-protected-node model.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to look at what you're trying to accomplish: with Zerto you could combine resilience, mobility, and protection into a single software-only solution. It's hardware and hypervisor agnostic as to whether you're using VMware, Microsoft, or Azure.

We have built a disaster recovery landing zone in our Datacenter and we built an isolated environment so we could do non-intrusive failover tests, and still keep customers' production environment up and running. 

We have recently introduced the immutable data copies feature, because of the issue of cyberattacks and because even backup systems could become corrupted and then this is still a bad situation. The ability to look at the data that is being replicated in real-time and scan it, in conjunction with immutable data, and putting that into a vault, would be a great benefit. 

The 3-2-1 rule isn't so important for us when it comes to disaster recovery. We consider the backup process and then the disaster recovery process. We treat them as two different workloads that we could implement to our customers to solve different issues.

The majority of our customers use it in a hybrid environment, but they prefer to use disaster recovery in their own data center. In some cases, we provide disaster recovery as a service, where the disaster recovery site is in our data center.

Doing a proof of concept is the best way to implement and sell Zerto. The customers don't always trust our advice but when I start with a POC in their environment, they see it's benefits. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

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

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I work for Quanture Spa, which is a System Integrator HPE Gold Partner in Italy
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Senior Director of IT Security & Infrastructure at a logistics company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Our average recovery time is now in seconds, and we can spin up a test version without affecting our production environment
Pros and Cons
  • "We can spin up our environment in DR without affecting production, which is probably the biggest feature for us. We have the ability to do passive testing. We can even test scenarios, such as installing software or changing software. We can make modifications without affecting our production environment. So, the test functionality of being able to test the failover solution and being able to bring up our virtual machines in a test mode is the biggest benefit."
  • "In general, the solution is pretty good, but because it is geared toward simplicity, sometimes, when things go wrong, the answer is not very detailed so that things can be solved quickly. If things do go wrong, it does require a little bit deeper troubleshooting to resolve the issues. That's the only area where improvement could occur. There should be a little bit more details about if things go wrong, how to remedy them."

What is our primary use case?

We're solving the issues of disaster recovery with it. So, our main use case is disaster recovery. We use it to do real-time replication of our data so that if we needed to failover for whatever reason or we had a disaster at our primary data center, we would be able to spin up in our colo disaster recovery location with minimum downtime. Our delay is about five seconds. So, if something negative were to happen to our data center, our DR copy would be within five seconds of the original copy, which is pretty good. We are also using it for testing.

Our setup is on-prem. It enables you to do DR in the cloud rather than in a physical data center, but we didn't go that route. We went the route of creating our own colo location. So, instead of leveraging Azure or AWS, we decided to maintain our own facility. Our primary data center is on-prem, and our disaster recovery location is a colo location that we control.

The current version that we're using is 9.5, which is the latest. When we installed it, it was probably version 8.

How has it helped my organization?

The mere fact that we're able to do live testing has definitely helped us with deployment times. It has helped us with troubleshooting as well.

It saves effort, time, and money. It saves us the effort of having to make sure that information is replicated. It saves us the time that would be required to build that ad hoc, and it allows it to be more of a point-and-click operation than something for which we have to dedicate more time and effort. Especially in our use case, we're not replicating a crazy amount. We're only replicating about 40 virtual machines and about 13 terabytes of data. It's not a small amount, but it's not a crazy large amount either. To be able to load all those 40 machines at one time with one click and then bring them up either in production failover or production test is fantastic. We haven't really been able to find any competitor that can do that at least as easily as Zerto. That was the driving force.

It has helped to reduce our organization's disaster recovery testing. We can now do it in minutes, whereas previously, we could never do a valid test. We could only test that our backups were copied. We could never spin them up and run them all. Barracuda would do point-in-time backups, but we didn't have any place where we could actually deploy and test them all. That's not necessarily a hundred percent on Barracuda, but from basically not being able to do it, we are now able to do it within a few minutes. 

It has saved all the time that would've been spent validating copies of virtual machines. It can now be used to actually test that everything is connected, everything is spun up properly, and everything is connecting and speaking properly. So, there has been a tremendous amount of time savings. People who were responsible for doing it have saved time because they don't have to spend an entire day testing to make sure that the backup is copied properly so that they can be recovered. Now, we can do a test failover in a few minutes and be able to validate it like that.

It helps to protect VMs in our environment. It has been great in terms of RPOs. Prior to using Zerto, depending upon the level of disaster, it took us hours, days, or weeks to recover. Now, the average recovery is nine seconds. That's pretty big. We went from hours, days, or weeks to seconds and minutes to recover.

Its overall impact on our RTOs has been fantastic.

What is most valuable?

Its main feature is continuous replication. We are able to have continuous replication, and we are able to have the information available as per recovery point objectives (RPOs) and how much data to retain. The real selling point was to be able to have those statistics and be able to test and show that the replication is occurring properly and then to be able to do live passive testing.

We can spin up our environment in DR without affecting production, which is probably the biggest feature for us. We have the ability to do passive testing. We can even test scenarios, such as installing software or changing software. We can make modifications without affecting our production environment. So, the test functionality of being able to test the failover solution and being able to bring up our virtual machines in a test mode is the biggest benefit.

What needs improvement?

In general, the solution is pretty good, but because it is geared toward simplicity, sometimes, when things go wrong, the answer is not very detailed so that things can be solved quickly. If things do go wrong, it does require a little bit deeper troubleshooting to resolve the issues. That's the only area where improvement could occur. There should be a little bit more details about if things go wrong, how to remedy them. 

Everything is meant to be simple. When something doesn't work, even though what you were trying to do appeared to be very simple, there are probably a lot of pieces behind the scenes. So, to be able to narrow down where in those 100 steps something went wrong can be a little tricky. When there is a failure, there should be a more detailed explanation of what the error is and how to remediate it. Currently, it's a little vague. A part of that could be because we use Zerto on top of Hyper-V. VMware still has a very large market share over Hyper-V and a lot of the information and a lot of the deployment plans are geared towards VMware. So, sometimes, there are new features that first roll out to VMware and then come to Hyper-V.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable platform, but sometimes, we've had instances where we've upgraded versions and went from version 8 to 8.5 or to version 9 to 9.5, and there were issues. When you deploy, depending upon how many host machines you have, something might go wrong with the deployment to a host. In that case, you have to do a decent amount of work so that you can remove your virtual machine and restart the underlying host, which is something that you try to avoid doing, but sometimes, that's required in order to resolve the issue so that you can do the upgrade properly and allow that. When there is a problem like that, it can affect the performance of the system, but that falls more under maintenance and upkeep. In general, it does run pretty smoothly. It comes down to the fact that whenever there is a problem, it's a problem. That's the same with anything. Everything works until it doesn't, but in general, it works more than it doesn't, which is what you want. I would rate it a nine out of ten in terms of stability.

How are customer service and support?

Their tech support is pretty good. We've had issues where we have reached out to them, and in general, they're pretty responsive and helpful. A few times, we've had them jump on to do screen shares and pull information and do deeper dives into some of those errors that didn't have detailed inputs about the area we need to look into, and their tech support has been pretty good. Based on the help that they provided for the issues we had, I would rate them a 10 out of 10.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We were using point-in-time backups provided by Barracuda. The issue with that was that we were taking point-in-time backups, and we were saving them in the cloud, but if we didn't have a location to restore the data to, the backups weren't very useful. They were useful from the backup standpoint but not from a disaster standpoint. In such a case, our primary data center would be wiped out. We would have our cloud copy, which would probably be a day old, and then we would have to take that cloud copy and download it somewhere where we don't have machines. So, we would have to buy servers or buy something to download our backup copies to and then spin them up. That could potentially take weeks. Now, we already have the hardware in place, or if it was a cloud, we would leverage the cloud, but we already have the hardware in place. So, at any point, it's a matter of enabling, going live, and saying failover, and then basically, having our DR copy become live. So, the time to recover was the main reason for going for Zerto.

We still have the Barracuda solution in conjunction. A lot of that is due to the fact that we already have a long-term contract. We have a five-year contract with Barracuda. We probably don't need to renew that, but there are benefits of both. We have kept both solutions because they do slightly different things. The way we use Zerto is that it's focused mainly on disaster recovery. Barracuda gives us more of a long historical recovery for easily recovering things such as files. We have backups of virtual machines that might go back four or five years. You might argue that it is not worth it because a lot of the data that is multiple years old might not be of value.

The way it would work with Zerto is that we could keep a live copy within Zerto for 30 days. After that, we would have to take that data and throw it somewhere else for long-term storage, which would incur additional costs and adds a little bit. Because we already had Barracuda, we leveraged Barracuda for long-term retention. We don't use Barracuda for disaster recovery anymore, but we use it for point-in-time recovery. We take a backup that gets shipped to the cloud to have an extra copy that is just there, which then becomes part of a historical backup where we could go back six or seven months, whereas Zerto is only for recovering files up to a few days. Anything older than those few days would be recovered via Barracuda.

Zerto can do a backup for or recover data longer than that period of time, but it becomes a little bit different process. When we looked at Zerto three years ago, the ransomware, journaling, and being able to go back a few hours and restore your entire environment back to a point in time were nice features, but they weren't the selling point. The selling point was disaster recovery. So, that's the main thing for which we're using it. We are not looking at the ability to go back 30 days to recover a file. I definitely see it as a plus, but because it wasn't the initial selling point, and the way that we architected things, we don't necessarily use that right now. However, when our contract with Barracuda ends, instead of renewing, we could consider just buying long-term retention through a cloud provider and then maintaining a longer history with Zerto.

How was the initial setup?

There is a lot that goes into setting it up. So, the planning has to be done. We were pretty much able to have it up in a few hours, but it also depends on your use case and the complexity of your deployment. Like anything, there are a thousand ways to skin a cat. So, it depends upon how you want to have it set up. It depends on:

  • How complex groundwork do you want to put in?
  • How isolated do you want your test case to be?
  • How isolated do you want different things to be set up?

There could be a little bit more complexity, but in general, it's pretty simple to get going. Obviously, there is a lot that goes into it, but the actual work of setting it up, once you have those decisions made, is pretty straightforward. It's pretty easy.

We definitely did a lot of planning, but we did the actual deployment or the actual configuration of it before we engaged with the professional services aspect of our deployment plan. When we bought the software, we had a project management plan and support from Zerto directly. We pretty much did all the setup ahead of time by ourselves. So, in our case, the setup was very simple and very easy.

It does require some maintenance. There are always service updates that are available, and occasionally, there will be little bumps in the road that require maybe reinstalling or updating something. In terms of general maintenance, as compared to other solutions, its maintenance is probably a little bit less than other solutions. Maintenance is still required, but it doesn't require an extreme amount of maintenance to keep things running smoothly.

What about the implementation team?

When we went to locate this software, we worked with ePlus. They made several recommendations on different solutions, and from those recommendations, we narrowed it down and picked Zerto.

I liked them a lot at the time. The sales rep that we had there was fantastic. Unfortunately, a few months after our project was purchased, our sales rep left the company, and then we just never really connected with any of the new people. That has not necessarily something to do with ePlus. They're a large, great company, but what really separated them and made that project beneficial was the account manager that we had during that time period. He was fantastic.

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

In general, it's pretty fair because it is software. In our case, we built our own colo. So, the cost of the colo was very expensive, and that's where a lot of the equipment is. The same thing is there if we were going to spin up in the cloud, but as a solution, in general, it's pretty fair for what you get out of it and how it works. It's not cheap, but at the same time, you get what you pay for, and it's definitely worth the cost. You just have to understand that the cost of the software alone is not the total cost of the project of doing ransomware protection or disaster recovery. It's a piece of the pie, not the entire pie.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at other similar solutions, but what made Zerto the solution that we went with was the fact that it included the recovery of the actual virtual machine. Other solutions had the ability to do the same kind of synchronous or near-continuous data replication. However, if we had the underlying data replicated but our virtual machine's copy or our virtual machine configuration was different or was not at that target location, we would have to then configure those machines to load the underlying data. The feature that made Zerto useful was that it handled that and replicated the virtual machine information as well. So, we didn't have to do that. Once we configure and specify it to replicate a virtual machine, all the data that's associated with it and its configuration is replicated. We don't have to deal with additional steps.

Three years ago, when we were looking at disaster recovery options, a lot of the solutions were targeted at replicating the underlying data but not necessarily how to get that data usable. Getting the data usable part is often the trickiest and the most time-consuming part. So, when you don't have to take that into consideration because it's already being copied and it's current, your downtime associated with a failure event is reduced. That was definitely a selling point for us.

We looked at Veeam, and we looked at how we use Pure Storage for our underlying data storage. They have the capabilities of doing synchronous, real-time replication, which has improved a lot in the past three years. So, the limitations that made it less appealing a few years ago might have been removed now, but at the same point, that's only the underlying data. We would still have to recreate virtual machines that will spin up that data. There is no other real solution that I'm aware of that does this as nicely. Even some of the other Microsoft native solutions aren't as nice and user-friendly. They definitely don't give you the ability to do testing. We couldn't spin up a replicated copy without causing issues. Zerto allows us to spin up a test version of our production software or our production VMs without affecting the production copy.

What other advice do I have?

There is a lot that goes into setting it up. So, the planning has to be done, but once it's running, it's very simple. If it's set up right, it literally involves a few clicks. Testing and failover can be done in a few clicks, which makes a very complex thing simple. So, if you set it up and you have the groundwork done, then with one or two clicks, you could do major testing, and you could do major failovers. From that standpoint, it's extremely simple to use once it's up and running.

They have a lot of other features that we don't really leverage 100%. We use it only for disaster recovery, but it also contains features for ransomware where you can recover files. Although we don't use that feature, that's definitely a benefit. We have recovered files from time to time but not because of ransomware. We maintain a history of up to 30 days for each of the virtual machines that we have. We have a different solution to recover files older than 30 days.

We don't really use Zerto for immutable data copies, which goes into the ransomware where you expect not to be corrupted by ransomware. We use it, but we've never had a case where we had to recover from a ransomware instance or anything like that. We use Zerto only for disaster recovery and continuous replication. We have a separate backup tool that takes point-in-time backups. In terms of the 3-2-1 rule for our organization’s recovery strategy, our separate point-in-time backups give us three locations. At a point, we have three copies of the data in different stages.

It hasn't reduced our downtime in any situations because we didn't need to do disaster recovery. So, from that standpoint, we don't have any baselines before or after.

It hasn't directly reduced the number of staff involved in data recovery situations, but the amount of time required per person or the time required by people for validation has greatly reduced. We never had anybody dedicated to it as their only function, but the amount of time that's required to do testing is significantly less. So, there has definitely been a saving of time. Similarly, there has been no change in the number of staff involved in overall backup and disaster recovery management. In theory, it wouldn't because, in most IT organizations, a lot of people wear different hats at different times. We didn't have a dedicated person or a dedicated team only to validate backup and recovery.

Compared to other solutions, I would rate it a 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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Buyer's Guide
Zerto
February 2024
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: February 2024.
756,650 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Global Lead Infrastructure at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Constantly replicates and it is economical and easy to implement
Pros and Cons
  • "The replication feature where it constantly replicates and sees that data is always in sync is valuable."
  • "There should be an automatic installation in a cluster. When I add a virtual client or ESX source to the cluster, it should automatically install that. There should be automatic installation. Currently, I have to do that manually."

What is our primary use case?

I am the global lead for infrastructure for the VMware and Windows Server environments. We are mainly using Zerto for disaster recovery. We have a prime site in Missouri, and we have plants in Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Italy, and Korea. We have 400 to 500 users in the environment. 

We have installed Zerto software on the DR site and the production site. We will be using Zerto for the production site for all the centrally used applications, such as SAP, file servers, and Exchange. Because this is a central site, a lot of other sites come to this site for various things. 

We also have Zerto on the DR site. In manufacturing, there are 60 or 70 tools, and each tool costs around $500,000. When the site goes down, you cannot transfer these tools very easily. It takes time. These are big tools, and it takes time for them to go somewhere else. You have to do a test again and go through the qualifications procedure, which takes time. As the IT department, we are interested in getting the applications that are used by all the sites centrally located, and if anything happens to the primary site, we want all the applications to be already there on the disaster recovery site. We just bring them up, and we are good to go.

Zerto will help to protect VMs in our environment. We have tried that in the test environment. That would be another reason for using Zerto.

How has it helped my organization?

We have used it for VMs. We know that it is a very good product. So far, we have only synced SAP and tested a few things. For SAP, there were two guys doing that, and they like Zerto very well. They have the test databases up there. It was smooth, and they liked it. The part that we still need to test is the Windows VMs where we can spin up a domain controller, change the IP, etc.

We can move data that is needed to keep our users collaborating with one another using Zerto because we are doing a continuous sync of the site. Once it is synced, we do not have to worry because everything happens in the background.

What is most valuable?

The replication feature where it constantly replicates and sees that data is always in sync is valuable. 

The ease of moving all the VMs is valuable. All we have to do is change the IP address and the VMs are all up and running there. There is a passive sync with all the VMs. That is what we like about Zerto. VMware has its own tool, but you need to do a lot of scripting. In manufacturing, we have a one-man team, so we do not have time for all the specialized work. We needed an application that is more GUI-based so that we can pinpoint and easily move VMs. We can bring up all the VMs and make sure the data is in sync, and we are up and running, so the ease of implementation is what attracted us to Zerto.

Zerto is very easy to use. It is very professional. We had no issues at all. Even for bringing up a new ESX host, they have a standard procedure. It is very easy. With a few clicks, you can do the ESX installation. 

What needs improvement?

There should be an automatic installation in a cluster. When I add a virtual client or ESX source to the cluster, it should automatically install that. There should be automatic installation. Currently, I have to do that manually.

They can give us a few training classes.

For how long have I used the solution?

We installed Zerto just three months back. We have not yet started using it properly.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Zerto is a very stable product. We have no issues. So far, it is working as planned. It is very stable. We will soon be working on it full-fledged. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. We buy new licenses, and we just add another ESX or VM. We manually install it, and then we are good to go. It is pretty easy.

How are customer service and support?

We have not contacted support yet. So far, so good. Everything is working as planned.

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

I tried VMware replication, but it was too hectic with all the scripts, so I gave it up. 

How was the initial setup?

We implemented it recently. There was the ease of implementation. It was easy and straightforward. 

In manufacturing, we have to make sure that everything is on-prem. The data has to be on-prem because all the tools write immediately to the servers. There are two types of manufacturing. For the type of manufacturing where your tools are constantly writing, cloud applications are not good. For example, when we scan wafers, there is a set of data, and when we go through another tool, there is another set of data. This has to be instantaneous. There is nothing called a cache or buffer on those tools. It has to be instantaneous. We cannot say that the cloud is down, and we lost the data. We cannot stop the tool because this is a manufacturing facility with 24-hour operations on 365 days. We cannot have any downtime where the full site has gone down because this site is used for central applications.

What about the implementation team?

I am the one who implemented it. Overall, there were just two people involved from our side. There was me and one more person. Because it was a new product, we also had a representative from Zerto as a standby. He would just watch our screen while we were implementing it. When we got stuck somewhere, he would help us. Because this was a DR site and it was a little far off, we wanted to make sure that everything went smoothly.

In terms of maintenance, so far, it did not require any maintenance from our side.

What was our ROI?

Having a solution like this is similar to having insurance. When you have a car accident, that is when you know the value of your insurance. Similarly, you cannot put a definite value on a solution like this till something happens, but there is peace of mind in knowing that the software is there, the VMs are there, and we can test it anytime. That is the true value.

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

It is economical as compared to other brands. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are an HPE shop. Zerto was procured by HPE, and we were looking for a DR solution. We went for Zerto because of its simplicity and ease of installation. We did an on-site proof of concept of Zerto for a year. We liked it and purchased it.

The only other product that we looked at was the VMware one because of the orchestrator. We did not look at any other products. I know that Veeam also has the same features that Zerto has. We had some discussions, but we never looked into it. Once we had a product that was easy to install, we did not feel the need to compare. It was doing what we wanted it to do.

Another factor for going for Zerto was that its price was economical. My boss, who is the CTO, liked its licensing scheme. It was much more economical as compared to VMware, and that is why we went ahead with Zerto.

What other advice do I have?

Before implementing this solution, in terms of preparation for disaster recovery, you have to identify the business applications that are critical to your environment. You have to scope that out and make sure you have your VMs accounted for because licensing depends on the number of VMs. With a product like Zerto, you have to know the number of VMs and the size of data you are going to sync. These are the two factors that you have to look into for disaster recovery. 

Zerto is way better than other products. Installation is done with the click of a button. Everything happens in the background. You do not have to worry about it. As a product, we have not had any issues so far. However, we have not yet done a full-fledged disaster recovery. We have done minor testing, and we want to do major testing. As of now, I am very happy with the product. It does not need any further modifications. It is simple. It is nice. It is easy to execute, so I would keep it that way.

We have not yet used Zerto for immutable data copies. I have been playing around to migrate a VM and see how it works. So far, we have only used it to sync up the SAP side. Our SAP stuff is already synced up, and we have done some testing of it, but we have not done any disaster recovery.  

I have not had a chance to assess Zerto for blocking unknown threats and attacks. We are mainly interested in using it for disaster recovery.

Overall, I would rate Zerto 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.
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Director IT at a outsourcing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Continuous replication gives us more checkpoints, improving our RPOs
Pros and Cons
  • "The ease of use is one of the most valuable features when it comes to making changes and configuring. It's very easy to set up and configure. It's a great product."
  • "They just came out with improvements for ransomware protection last week. I haven't used them yet but, overall, security and preventing ransomware is really a hot topic these days. I would like to see it detect when the ransomware occurs and provide more information on it."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for disaster recovery. We were looking for faster recovery time objectives. Our primary use case is protecting virtual machines in our environment.

How has it helped my organization?

It's improved our testing frequency, and that has definitely helped.

And the effect on our RPOs has been very good because of the continuous replication; you get more checkpoints. Compared to other disaster recovery solutions that we've used, it's much more efficient when it comes to recovery. It's much more resilient and provides a better experience. It's a better product than the traditional backup and recovery methods we were using.

Zerto has also helped reduce downtime in some situations. We can recover systems in minutes, versus hours. There has been a significant improvement in our RTOs.

It has also definitely helped us to reduce our DR testing on the order of hours and days.

What is most valuable?

The ease of use is one of the most valuable features when it comes to making changes and configuring. It's very easy to set up and configure. It's a great product.

Another very important feature, because I work in a very high-transaction environment, is the near-synchronous replication, and it works well.

What needs improvement?

They just came out with improvements for ransomware protection last week. I haven't used them yet but, overall, security and preventing ransomware is really a hot topic these days. I would like to see it detect when the ransomware occurs and provide more information on it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. I plan to increase our usage of the solution.

How are customer service and support?

I have not contacted their tech support.

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

We were using typical backup recovery from tape or disk. Zerto is far easier to use, simpler, more efficient and reliable, and more effective than traditional disaster recovery tools.

It has not replaced all of our backup solutions. It's another tool to prevent a disaster.

How was the initial setup?

Our deployment is on a private cloud. We have compute, storage, and network that we replicate to. The initial deployment of Zerto was straightforward. It took less than 30 days to get it fully operational.

We used it in our test environment first and, once we validated that everything was functional, we included our production environment.

The maintenance involves keeping the versions up to date and there are agents that have to be updated as well.

What about the implementation team?

We had a managed service provider set it up and deploy it. On our side there were one or two people involved.

What was our ROI?

I can't quantify the ROI because we haven't used it in a disaster. It's more of a cost-avoidance solution, protecting the organization.

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

The pricing is very reasonable. There are no costs in addition to the standard fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Symantec, Veritas, CommVault, and Rubrik.

What other advice do I have?

Have clear requirements on what your RTO/RPO requirements are, and which applications will be involved. You need to have clear business requirements and align Zerto with your business continuity plan.

Zerto is very innovative and they're constantly making improvements. It took some time to realize some of the benefits but it's been a great journey.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
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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Mansoor Hanif - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr Infrastructure Engineer at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Real User
Top 10
A disaster recovery solution with RTO and RPO features that allow us to restore data with six second intervals
Pros and Cons
  • "We have had many instances where VMs were corrupted by an application owner, where they were installing something and did not create a snapshot in VMware for it. Instead of tapping into our backups, with just two clicks, we were able to restore the VM back to its original state. It helps a lot in the day-to-day running of our business."
  • "The overall management plan could improve. If something happens with the VM on the vSphere side, the error codes are pretty weak. If there was a way to click on something within the UI that takes us to a support page or article, that would be very beneficial."

What is our primary use case?

We purchased Zerto for our business continuity and DR approach to make sure that workloads are available. We have 1,000 servers but are only protecting 250 of them because they are our core servers. The ones we don't currently protect are Tier three applications.

How has it helped my organization?

We have had many instances where VMs were corrupted by an application owner, where they were installing something and did not create a snapshot in VMware for it. Instead of tapping into our backups, with just two clicks, we were able to restore the VM back to its original state. It helps a lot in the day-to-day running of our business.

In some instances, there is data within transactions that I need to recover that might be lost. When using Zerto, I might be losing five seconds worth of data instead of losing ten minutes. That helps a lot. Zerto also helped us reduce downtime and we have been able to recover VMs fairly quickly by just clicking two buttons. Within a minute I would have a VM up and running and ready to go with no issues at all.

What is most valuable?

The RTO and RPO are the most valuable features. I get six-second snapshots for every single time that data gets replicated. I can go back six seconds past whatever happened. The frequency of the snapshots depends on your latency. It could be as frequent as every two seconds.

What needs improvement?

The overall management plan could improve. If something happens with the VM on the vSphere side, the error codes are pretty weak. If there was a way to click on something within the UI that takes us to a support page or article, that would be very beneficial.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zerto for six years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution. Most of the time, the issues that we have had with our ZVM going down are caused by us. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution. We deployed it in eight different locations. 

How are customer service and support?

The support could be better. Overall they do have the answers for me when I need them but it takes them some time. The Level 1 support team that I contact first when I call in could be more knowledgeable about products and be able to resolve an issue instead of having to wait for a Level 2 or Level 3 person to assist.

I rate their support an eight out of ten. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I've seen and looked into the VMware SRM. We also use another company, Cohesity, for our backups. They also have a solution for replication. When comparing these solutions, the RTO and RPO times are fairly reduced when using Zerto to get to a point where we need to be functional right away in an event of disaster recovery.

What was our ROI?

We have experienced ROI using this solution. It helps a lot when we use Zerto to test out certain applications. It offers a lot of value for our upper management to see how this product helps us in the event of a DR.

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

The pricing for this solution could be cheaper. They have two licensing tiers. When we purchased it, they didn't have a license for the cloud model. Certain things that I used to get with the basic licensing are no longer available. They are only available in the Cloud. Overall, the licensing model could be simplified. 

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to test drive the solution themselves. They should play with it, see how it works themselves and try to break it. 

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Senior Systems Engineer at a non-tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Easiest and cheapest way to get near real-time replication
Pros and Cons
  • "We relocated all our virtual machines from Belgium to Budapest, Hungary. I am not sure how we would have done it without Zerto, because we were able to keep the data in sync. We would have needed to have a lot more expensive storage products online at the time that could have kept that replication. From what I have seen from other methods, that would have required a much higher amount of bandwidth as well, then the cost would have been extreme. The mechanisms available to us with a storage space replication would have been more labor-intensive and prone to error. It was much easier and more successful with Zerto than other ways at our disposal."
  • "They had a bug recently that has come up and caused some issues. They currently have a bug in their production versions that prevents their product from functioning in some scenarios, and we have hit a few of those scenarios."

What is our primary use case?

We have typical use cases for it: resilience and disaster recovery. They have some other functionalities that their software can help account for, but we are using its disaster recovery and resilience, which are kind of its core functions.

How has it helped my organization?

I have used it in many scenarios, including a temporary data center move in Europe. I had to move all my resources from Belgium to Budapest, and then back, once our data center was physically moved across town in Belgium. I am not sure how this would have been accomplished without Zerto. 

With Zerto, the move was incredibly easy to do. It was click of a button, wait 10 minutes, and everything is up, then turn on the data center. Once the data center was relocated and rebuilt, click a button, and wait a few minutes, then it now runs back to the original site. It was that easy. The data center move part was obviously the hard part, as it should have been, not keeping the applications going at a secondary site during that time. That was a pretty big success with Zerto and our largest use case for it: a data center move.

We are currently using Zerto with some more modern databases, application servers, and tertiary systems to provide redundancy and resiliency to our crown jewel application. We have been doing a lot of DR testing scenarios, part of which relies on Zerto and part of which are other mechanisms. In general, when we have done our recent testing using the Zerto portions, once we say, "Okay, we are doing this now," it is taking less than three minutes on average for the systems to be fully back online at the new location once we start. That includes booting all the Windows VMs up. The actual VMs were ready to go and functional within 30 seconds. However, some of them are larger Windows machines and those take their time to boot, getting services online and connected to everything. So, the Zerto part was literally under a minute in these test scenarios to clear a total failure and initiate our disaster recovery function.

What is most valuable?

The near real-time replication is probably the biggest value of this solution. There are some other ways to get that done, but this seemed to be the easiest and cheapest way to get near real-time replication. In most instances, our RPO is about five seconds, which is pretty aggressive and not that taxing to achieve with Zerto.

The ease of use is pretty high. It really isn't very complex to use. They did a good job with the UI, and it is fairly obvious where you need to click, what you need to click, and what you are doing. There are good confirmation screens, so you are not going to accidentally take down or move loads that you are not trying to. It is fairly user-friendly, easy to use, and you don't need to read a manual for three weeks to start using it.

What needs improvement?

Previously, our main need for Zerto was actually database cluster servers running fairly old software, SQL 2008 on Microsoft Windows clusters with none of the advanced SQL clustering functionality. Our environment is all virtualized. The way we had to present the storage to our host machines in VMware was via raw device mapping (RDM). Technically, Zerto can do that, but not very well. We have gone to some different methods for our databases, which don't actually use or rely on Zerto because the solution wasn't that functional with RDMs. This is an old, antiquated technology that we are currently moving off of. I can't really blame them, but it definitely is something they thought they could do better than they could in practice.

They had a bug recently that has come up and caused some issues. They currently have a bug in their production versions that prevents their product from functioning in some scenarios, and we have hit a few of those scenarios. Aside from that, when it is not hitting a bug, and if we're not trying to use it for our old-style, old-school databases, it functions incredibly well.

For how long have I used the solution?

I had an early Zerto certification from their first ZertoCON conference. I received a certification from them in May 2016, so I have been using it for at least five years. I would have been one of the initial users at my company, so they have been using Zerto for at least five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is reasonably good, but I wouldn't say excellent. We have had some odd issues with vRAs, which are little VMs that hang off of every VMware host that we have. Those aren't consistent, but they do occasionally happen. As I referenced earlier, there is a bug in the system right now that can affect my VM recovery. It tries to put too many requests into VMware at once, and VMware will timeout those requests, which causes Zerto to fail. That has not been constant throughout our use of Zerto. It is usually a flawless operation, and that is why I can still say good to very good, even though they currently have a bug. It is very uncommon for them to have anything that affects the platform negatively.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability hasn't seemed to be an issue. We started out with two sites connected in the same city. Now, we are running the connected infrastructure of Zerto on three different continents. Some of those continents have various cities and/or countries involved. That has not given us an issue with scalability at all. It seems to be fairly flexible in adding whatever you need it to do. As long as you have the bandwidth capability and reasonable latency between sites, Zerto seems to work quite well.

10 to 12 people are actively in Zerto, or even know what it is besides a word that an IT guy uses to say, "It is okay." Generally speaking, their titles would be network administrator, network engineer, or senior network engineer. 

For all our sites, most of our IT staff wouldn't be allowed to mess with it. Because if you hit the wrong buttons in Zerto, you can take down an application. So, there is a fairly small list of folks who would be able to get into this. Only a few sites can actually access the management console. They are located in Louisville, Kentucky; Belgium, Budapest, and Melbourne, Australia.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support as eight out of 10. They know the product very well. I have had a couple misfires at times, but they are pretty good in general.

One of the issues that we had early on was regarding some of the storage functionality, especially regarding RDMs. I had contacts and conferences with the Zerto development staff, whom I believe are in Israel, about the ability to ignore disks in Zerto for my virtual protection groups (VPGs). What they can do currently is mark them as temporary disks, then they will do a one-time copy, and that is it. However, some of those temporary disks are extremely large, so it wasn't a great answer for us. I would like the ability to ignore disks instead of still trying to replicate every disk on a VM as being protected by Zerto. The biggest thing that they can do right now is improve their product. This would have been much better a few years ago rather than now. Now, we are finding other ways around it.

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

We previously had some storage-based replication, which we are currently still using, but nothing that really fits the same mold that Zerto does.

Zerto's database storage replication is not good with RDMs. We are still doing storage-based replication for those. 

Our new schematic is self-replicating. It doesn't require any type of Zerto replication or storage-based replication, so that was a need removed.

How was the initial setup?

It was quite straightforward. You just install the software, point it to your vCenter instance, and then deploy your vRAs, which is done automatically. Updates have been the same, e.g., quite straightforward. The only challenge with updates is if you have multiple Zerto instances that are linked to each other. To be able to replicate to different sites, they can't be out more than a half a version. For instance, I am running version 8.5 on all my sites that are currently running Zerto, but I couldn't be running those if I was running 7.5 anywhere. That would have been too far out of appliance. That is more of a minor challenge than a problem. I don't consider that to be a shortcoming, but it is well-documented, easy to figure out, and also pretty straightforward.

The first site was also kind of a learning experience. That deployment took less than a day from, "Okay, let's start the download," to, "Look, it's doing something," and you need to stand up two sites to go from site A to site B. That took less than a day to get them up and functional in at least some capacity, protecting some machines and workloads.

What about the implementation team?

We generally try to perform all functions in-house instead of bringing in a third-party or contractor service to help for deployments. That was the model that we followed. We read the documentation, had Zerto's number handy in case we ran into issues, and deployed it ourselves.

There are probably only five of us (out of the 12 who have access) needed for deployment maintenance. Their titles would be network administrator, network engineer, or senior network engineer. 

It is fairly simple to deploy and maintain. We do product upgrades every six to 12 months.

What was our ROI?

We relocated all our virtual machines from Belgium to Budapest, Hungary. I am not sure how we would have done it without Zerto, because we were able to keep the data in sync. We would have needed to have a lot more expensive storage products online at the time that could have kept that replication. From what I have seen from other methods, that would have required a much higher amount of bandwidth as well, then the cost would have been extreme. The mechanisms available to us with a storage space replication would have been more labor-intensive and prone to error. It was much easier and more successful with Zerto than other ways at our disposal.

Zerto has reduced the time involved that staff would spend on a data recovery operation. We don't have dedicated resources for disaster recovery. It is a scenario where, "Everybody, stop what you are doing. This is what we are all working on right now." We haven't had a reduction in headcount because of Zerto, but we have reduced the use of existing headcount.

DR management is less time-intensive and resource intensive. Therefore, there are less staff hours involved because of Zerto, but not less headcount.

Zerto has helped to reduce downtime in any situation. The easiest one to point out was the data center move. It took minutes to move an application to a different country, then minutes once again to move it back. That would have been hours at best to days with the other solutions that we had at our disposal.

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

Even though we are on-prem, the licensing model was changed to more of a cloud licensing model. We pay for blocks of protected machines. You need to buy a block for use and pay for maintenance annually based on the block size that you have.

When they changed their licensing model, pricing might have gotten a little more expensive for some use cases, but it has been pretty straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It is a little easier to use than Cohesity or Rubrik, but we haven't really had another DR platform in place. 

At the time of evaluation, we did not have a good snapshot-based backup platform, such as Cohesity and Rubrik, so that was not much of an option. The only thing we were aware of and investigating was VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM), which is VMware's built-in system, SRM, and played around with it. In comparison to Zerto at that time, Site Recovery Manager is a nightmare. Zerto was definitely the easy button when we were last investigating solutions. Zerto was better in terms of ease of use, visibility, and costs. Frankly, these are all the metrics that we looked at, and Zerto worked better than SRM as well as it was easier and cheaper.

What other advice do I have?

Do a PoC. Test it along with other solutions that you are looking at and make a decision. Our decision was easy, and it was Zerto.

We are changing the infrastructure supporting our primary crown jewel application and will be utilizing Zerto more heavily in that. We are expanding the amount of application servers as well as adding some database servers that Zerto will be responsible for, and currently aren't. We are expanding using Zerto because we are expanding the assets for our application. That is happening currently. We have been working on that switchover for the last 12 months. We are getting close to actually deploying all those changes in production, so that is a fairly recent and ongoing task.

We haven't had to deal with a data recovery situation due to ransomware or other causes. We have a combination of luck and some pretty good security measures in place to where we haven't had an impactful ransomware event, CryptoLocker event, etc. In that event, I don't think Zerto would probably be the first thing that we would try to utilize. We have some pretty good backup mechanisms as well. We would probably look to those first to restore from backups. We have a fairly aggressive backup schedule with many servers backed up once an hour or more, which contain critical data. That is probably where we would go first.

There is a need to have both DR and backup in one solution, but it is not important. There are better backup methodologies that we use and they cover more use cases.

We are not utilizing any cloud resources for DR at this point. Our applications are very CPU and memory intensive, which becomes very expensive to run in the cloud.

We have other mechanisms for long-term retention.

Biggest lesson learnt: Disaster recovery doesn't have to be the biggest challenge in your organization.

I would rate Zerto as eight out of 10. The rating may not sound great, but it is pretty high for me.

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
Sr Infrastructure Engineer at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Simple UI, quick disaster recovery, and responsive support
Pros and Cons
  • "The UI is straightforward. It makes it very simple to group our resources and understand that our production workloads are covered because we can set them up as granular or as non-granular as we want."
  • "The biggest pain points we have experienced are related to some of the SQL-intensive workloads just because the VPGs struggle a little bit to keep up. That might be because we are pushing too many transactions."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for disaster recovery. We do disaster recovery in the cloud as well. We also do routine testing of the disaster recovery functionalities.

How has it helped my organization?

We do disaster recovery in the cloud. Having DR in the cloud is absolutely fundamental. Backups are great, and disaster recovery is quick. If something is down, with the click of a button, we would be able to spin up multiple assets. Zerto allows us to do that.

We primarily have Azure, but we also have some integration with AWS. We found it pretty seamless. There are a couple of pain points every now and then with setting up policies and getting things to work as expected, but their support is very helpful for any of the cases that we run into. Whether it is running against RTO or having issues with certain VMs and certain workloads, we have been able to work through these issues and get it functioning as expected.

Zerto has been very helpful for RPOs. It definitely keeps us at our target recovery point. It is definitely the most important toolset for us to meet the RPOs.

Zerto definitely helps our engineers sleep better at night because we know that we can meet our RPO. We have an immediate button if we have to do a restore. Sometimes, we look in Zerto first rather than having to dig out of backup. That is probably Zerto's highest value-add.

It does near-synchronous replication. CDP has definitely come a long way. They were the first ones to do it, and they have definitely done it the best in my opinion. Other solutions that are out there are trying to emulate it, but in our stack, Zerto will always be the one on which we rely the most for continuous replication. For production workloads, this continuous replication is absolutely critical. We have a lot of SQL data and things that are constantly changing. It is sometimes a little bit of a struggle for Zerto to keep up with that much change rate, but with the tweaks that we have made, it has definitely been more possible. It is definitely something that is important to us, and for production apps, it is absolutely key. 

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of features. The UI is straightforward. It makes it very simple to group our resources and understand that our production workloads are covered because we can set them up as granular or as non-granular as we want. If we want to select an entire cluster, we can do that, or we can group it by application, which is the best practice and what we do as an organization.

What needs improvement?

The biggest pain points we have experienced are related to some of the SQL-intensive workloads just because the VPGs struggle a little bit to keep up. That might be because we are pushing too many transactions. That might be on us, but that would be my main suggestion. There might be a way to tweak the settings. There is an option to exclude scratch disks or temp disks in SQL, and that helps, but we still struggle a little bit with the databases with high transaction volume for the VPGs to keep up. We have done a little bit of work with the monitoring features that they have in the portal to identify whether ZVM or something else is overloaded and then allocate more resources to it, but there can be a little bit more transparency. If there is something they can do along those lines, that would be awesome.

Deployment is an area that can be improved a little bit. Sometimes deploying new ZVMs and things can be a little confusing. Also, with the supportability matrix, there is a little bit of a gray area sometimes as to which version is supported. There is some opportunity there to improve transparency around versioning and what to use moving forward for all workloads.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for about five years between multiple organizations.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have no issues. We do not have to worry that Zerto will go down. We shifted most of our on-prem into Azure, and it works flawlessly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is definitely scalable. It just works. We can add more VMs. We can add more ZVMs to scale with the business needs.

We are using it mostly for the production workloads. We have a couple thousand VMs.

How are customer service and support?

I would rate them a nine out of ten. It is hard to get a ten out of ten. There is always more that you can do with support, but they are always very responsive. They helped us through multiple issues with different VPG replications. We have had some issues there, and they were always very good at guidance. They always have a solution and a lot of good documentation as well to reference before opening a case. That is helpful. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I have only used Zerto in the past. That is the one I am the most familiar with and comfortable with. I can compare it to other backup tool sets that I have used in the past, but I know Zerto is not exactly a backup solution. 

Its UI is very simple. I always find what I am looking for relatively easily. As they have evolved the web portal, it has only gotten better. The UI is definitely on point today.

What was our ROI?

I believe we have seen an ROI, but I do not know the exact number. We are definitely seeing a good return from what we have put into the Zerto product. Our business users said that it is very important to them to have disaster recovery and for us to be able to perform quarterly tests with all these different application stacks. We can show them what it is like to bring up a bubble environment and do full testing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It was a little before I joined the company, so I cannot comment on the solutions they evaluated. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Zerto a nine out of ten. There is always room for improvement. There could be a little bit more transparency around releases and what version to use. They have done some rebranding in the past such as ZRA and ZVM. There is some confusion there sometimes related to some of the internal terminology when you do not work on it every day, but overall, we are very happy with the product. It does what it is intended to do, and as a customer, that is all you can ask for.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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CIO at Per Mar Security and Research Corporation
Real User
The ability to spin things up near-instantaneously enables us to guarantee our uptime
Pros and Cons
  • "We are doing continuous data protection. It works flawlessly. Our recovery points are measured in seconds. We have all these "baby snapshots" throughout the course of the day, so we can roll a VM back to any point in time, spin it up, and away we go. We're actively using that. It works great."
  • "One thing I would like to see, and I know that this is on their roadmap, is the ability to use long-term storage in the cloud, like in Azure or AWS, making that even more seamless. Whether it's stored in glacier or on-prem, being able to retrieve that data in a quick manner would be helpful. They're just not there yet."

What is our primary use case?

We're backing up VMs with it. Our company has about 200 VMs and we're using Zerto on 30 of them in the main line of business applications. We're using it to replicate all that data over to our DR site so we can do our testing and reporting against that. 

Within those 30 servers we've broken out into three different SLAs on which ones get spun up first. We have it all scripted with monthly plans to fail over, spin it up, actually use it over there, spin it down, bring it back into production, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

The business that we're in means we have to run our network 365 days, 24/7, with no downtime. If there's any kind of interruption to business processes — power outage, tornado, fire, etc. — we need to be able to get certain systems up and going in almost real-time. That's how we're leveraging Zerto, to guarantee that uptime and for the ability to spin these things up near-instantaneously.

I know my networking team loves the tool and the interface and being able to roll back and do the failover stuff very easily. But for me, personally, it's how it has impacted our business. The reporting functionality showing that our DR plan is rock-solid and stable, and my ability to generate summaries for our customers, have really improved business processes for us. It gives peace of mind to our customers that our systems are stable and the services that we're providing are stable.

Also, when we need to failback or move workloads, Zerto decreases the time it takes and the number of people involved. The failback feature, from a technical standpoint, is what sold us on Zerto. One of the challenges we had with Site Recovery Manager was spinning up and being in production at DR. If everything is equal, everything is patched and everything's working, both solutions offer a very similar experience: the ability to move a workload from production to disaster recovery works with both of them, no problem. Coming back the other way was just a bear of a move with Site Recovery Manager. With Zerto, it's almost seamless. With Zerto, it takes about four or five mouse clicks and stuff fails back over, and our end-users are none the wiser. And it's just one guy doing it. When failing back from Site Recovery Manager, we'd have to get one of our sys admins involved and we'd have to let our end-users know that they all had to log out.

While it hasn't reduced staff, we have become more efficient and it has allowed me to reprioritize some projects. It's freed up some capacity, for sure. We haven't reduced headcount, but it has definitely taken a big wedge out of the daily grind of our backup and recovery; the stuff they always had to check.

What is most valuable?

Personally, what I find valuable is the executive summary that says our DR plan is operational. I can then pass that out to our customers. 

Per Mar has about 75,000 customers and, more and more these days, especially given all this [COVID] pandemic, we're asked: Do you have a business continuity plan? Is it tested regularly? Do you have documentation for it? Two years ago, a simple email from me saying, "Yes, we have this," sufficed. We're finding now that people want true documentation from an independent system that generates a report. The reporting that comes out of Zerto is a lifesaver for me. I'm able to generate that up, send it out to the customers that need it, and say, "Yes. Here are our SLAs. Here is our monthly test routine. Here is where it shows us being successful," and so forth.

We are doing continuous data protection. It works flawlessly. Our recovery points are measured in seconds. We have all these "baby snapshots" throughout the course of the day, so we can roll a VM back to any point in time, spin it up, and away we go. We're actively using that. It works great.

It's easy to use and there isn't a huge learning curve. Even some of the advanced features are very intuitive to folks who have been in this space before. If you have any kind of skill sets around any kind of backup and recovery tool, the user interface for Zerto is very natural.

What needs improvement?

One thing I would like to see, and I know that this is on their roadmap, is the ability to use long-term storage in the cloud, like in Azure or AWS, making that even more seamless. Whether it's stored in glacier or on-prem, being able to retrieve that data in a quick manner would be helpful. They're just not there yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Zerto for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It just works. We architected it pretty nicely. One of our licensed servers is a complete test solution for us to show that it is truly working. We're able to take a small test server, a Dev server is really what it is, and we can move from production, move it over to DR, have it run over there for a day, and then we move it back with no data loss. 

It's never not worked and when you come from the SRM world, that's just unheard of. Now we're a year into this product and have gone through an upgrade, and our June test went off without a hitch. It's very rock-solid.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their tech support has been fantastic to work with. We ran into a glitch when we did our update in mid-May and our primary data center stopped talking to our secondary data center. We couldn't figure it out. We got their tech support involved right away. They identified a bug right away. They were able to roll us back and then stayed engaged with us as they figured out how to fix the bug. And once the bug was isolated and fixed, they got right back a hold of us to say, "We're ready to go," and then they walked us through upgrading both sides. There was a lot of hand-holding in that upgrade scenario. It was a fantastic experience.

It took them four or five days to fix the bug and they stayed engaged with us just about every single day, letting us know the status of it and when it went to QA. We didn't fall into a black hole. It was a very customer-centric experience.

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

We were using VMware Site Recovery Manager. We're still a VMware shop. Zerto replaced SRM. It was probably cost-agnostic, but what it really came down to was that SRM breaks all the time. You apply some patches or a Windows update. Uptime and reliability for us are super-critical. We don't have a ton of time to spend on making sure it's always working. We were really looking for a solution that we could architect, deploy, and just let it run, knowing that we're protected without our always having to go back and mess around with it.

What we kept finding with Site Recovery Manager was that every time we wanted to do a full-scale, failover DR test, we would have to spend a week ahead of time prepping for it, to make sure everything would work flawlessly during our test. It always worked, we knew how to patch it and get around it. But disaster doesn't give you a two-week notice. You don't know you're going to have a tornado in two weeks. You get about a 10-minute notice and then you've got cows flying through the air. We wanted a tool that we know would just run and work and be reliable. 

It was cost-neutral to the budget, the timing was right, and the solution was rock-solid so we made the change.

How was the initial setup?

Ease of use and deployment are fantastic. This is a solution that we started with a proof of concept. We threw it in a lab and said, "Hey, let's just see what it looks like." Next thing you know, we never even had to tear down the proof of concept. Once we started seeing it working we said, "This is definitely something that we want." All we really ended up doing was negotiating licenses, applying the license key, and we were off to the races.

Soup to nuts, it took us five hours to spin the whole solution up and to create our protection groups. It was very fast. That includes downloading the software, spinning the VM up, and protecting and backing up data.

We worked with one of their engineers through the proof of concept. Once we said, "Hey, this is going to work," we tested it on a few servers and then we became a paying customer. They worked with us to help us define what made sense for the 30 licenses that we bought and what machines to deploy it to. But it's really not a complicated tool to deploy. There wasn't a ton of architecting and solution-building around it. There was some, but it was a very simple solution to install.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. And even when you cost-compare against Site Recovery Manager, none of these solutions is cheap. But we are folks who need to have uptime and these things have to work. When you start comparing it against Site Recovery Manager, Zerto blows it out of the water, in my opinion.

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

If it were easier to license, and to scale it out a little bit more economically, that'd be a godsend. At the end of the day, my druthers would be to have all 200 of our servers protected by this platform. But for a company of our size, that stretches our IT budget and it just doesn't make economic sense. I would really love to be able to just apply Zerto to every virtual machine that we spin up, drop it into the right SLA bucket, and just be done with it, knowing that it's protected, soup to nuts. Unfortunately, that's just cost prohibitive.

My advice would definitely be to leverage the number of VMs. It's not a cheap solution by any stretch, but it delivers on its promise. There's definitely value in the investment. With hindsight, I would have gotten a better cost per VM if I was able to buy, say, 100 licenses. It would have been easier for me to put other servers under the protection of Zerto. I wish I would have had that flexibility at the time. Eventually, budgets will open up and I'll be able to go get another 50 or so licenses, but I'll still be paying a higher price, more than if I would have negotiated a higher quantity to begin with.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We took a look at a couple of other solutions. The other ones fell off the table pretty quickly. We're based in Iowa. We have a good account team here in Iowa from Zerto that knew our account from previous relationships. They came around and said, "This is a tool that you guys really need to take a hard look at."

The sales process took about six months. They came in about six months before my renewal with VMware. We had a few conversations and, about two to three months before the renewal, designed a proof of concept to see if it was actually going to work. They came in and did that. My guys were raving about it and I saw some of the reporting out of it. At that point I said, "Okay, done deal." It was cost neutral. When Site Recovery Manager came up, we canceled that portion of the renewal. There wasn't really a need for us to go out to market. I just trusted the account guys. They knew who we were. The tool worked the way they called it. I don't get too picky. If it works, it's good enough for me.

What other advice do I have?

Take a hard look at it. Don't pass it by, don't be scared off by the price. Definitely take them up on the proof of concept. Have the team come in and do that. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

They talk about technology that can just actually do what it promises. I've been doing this for over 20 years and sometimes you get jaded by the fact that people over-promise and under-deliver. Zerto was definitely on the opposite end of that spectrum. The solution went in so easily that I had to do a double-take when my guys were telling me, "Hey, it's already up and running." I said, "It can't be done already." I'm used to complicated deployments. They promised and it does exactly what they said it would do. Don't be so skeptical. Keep an open mind to it and explore the possibilities.

I just sat through ZertoCON. They put a lot of emphasis on long-term retention. It really started putting a question out there as to whether you need a different backup and recovery solution. We use a different partner called Rubrik for backup and recovery. The challenge that we have with Zerto is that we're only protecting 30 VMs, whereas with Rubrik, we're protecting all 200. There's a little bit of a dance between value and return. So we're not using Zerto for long-term storage right now. We're evaluating it. I don't know if it makes economic sense to do so, but we are taking a look at it. And we're not protecting all 200 servers because of cost.

In terms of using the solution for a data recovery situation due to ransomware or other causes, knock on wood, we have not had to use it in that capacity just yet. We have a very mature cyber security posture and we haven't been popped by ransomware in the last year. But it does give me peace of mind that we also have that ability. That's just another layer of our cyber security posture and we know that we're protected against those threats. So there's definitely a peace of mind around that.

The only folks using it are on our IT team, about five or six of us. Five of my guys use it on a regular basis and know how to manage it. I'm the sixth guy. If I ever have to get in there, we're in trouble.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
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Updated: February 2024
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.