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Disaster Recovery Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Replicates and recovers within minutes and enables our growth
Pros and Cons
  • "There are a lot of valuable features. The basics of what it does to replicate and recover things within minutes is awesome. It's far above anything that any of the competition has. We offer other disaster recovery software but primarily use Zerto for recovery times and the number of recovery points because of how fast and easy it is. It's so much better."
  • "The problem with the backup product is that it's not very mature and you really need a specific use case to be able to use it effectively. It's hard to explain to our customers, especially our large customers, that the use case is so limited."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for Zerto is for disaster recovery. In the last few versions, they've offered backup, but we don't use it because it's not nearly as robust as what most of our customers are looking for. We also use it for migrations too, to migrate customers into our cloud, and things like that. But that's around 20% of our use case.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto has enabled our growth. Five years ago we had around 20 customers and now we have 500. We protect around 15,000 VMs now.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the analytics portal. It's still a new feature and has a ways to go but we use that for monitoring because we have hundreds of sites. It's nice that all the alerts and everything is consolidated into that one site because we used to have to make sure that we were connected to many, many sites to make alerting work, which was a nightmare. 

Our alerting is done through scripting too. They do have alerting through there and they're working on it. They actually included us in the study on it. So the actual pre-canned alerting is not very good either. For instance, if you were to have a problem at a certain site or something, there's no way that you could take it out of monitoring. If you were using their system, it would just flood you with alerts from all kinds of stuff from the site if it was down. It is great if it's down and you don't expect it, but if you know it's coming, you don't want all this stuff coming in.

There are a lot of valuable features. The basics of what it does to replicate and recover things within minutes is awesome. It's far above anything that any of the competition has. We offer other disaster recovery software but primarily use Zerto for recovery times and the number of recovery points because of how fast and easy it is. It's so much better.

We reduced the number of people involved in recovery situations by using Zerto. We had another solution before and we had a small number of customers and it took the whole team to manage 20 customers. Now we have 400 to 500 customers and our team is relatively the same size. We're broken up into different teams, but when we managed it all ourselves with only 20 customers, we had four people. And now we have around 500 customers and we have around 15 team members.

Zerto is very easy to use on the surface, especially if you're an enterprise customer, which is just like A to B replication or one site to two sites. As a cloud provider, they still have a lot of work to do. But for most customers, it would be fantastic. We have a lot of private clouds that are one site or two sites to another site. So when it's not meshed like our larger environment is, it works fantastic. But when you get into the overall fully meshed model with vCD integration that we have, it doesn't work as well. I think Zerto is mostly concentrated on the enterprise customer and left the cloud providers by the wayside.

What needs improvement?

Zerto has a really robust PowerShell and scripting that you can get lots of numbers out of but it's not exactly the easiest thing to do. Zerto has a few nice the pre-canned reports but there is a need for more. Unless you script something, it's difficult to go in, click a button, and see the information that you may be looking for.

The problem with the backup product is that it's not very mature and you really need a specific use case to be able to use it effectively. It's hard to explain to our customers, especially our large customers, that the use case is so limited.

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Zerto
July 2022
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For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for five and a half years. It's deployed on-premises, on the cloud, and we use it as a SaaS offering. We are the cloud provider. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable solution, for the most part. They have a new release every six months and some releases are better than others as far as bugs. Sometimes those bugs have to do with something in Hyper-V, sometimes they have something to do with VMware or vCenter. But many times it's directly related to Zerto problems. Usually, their major releases go in .0 and .5. The .0 releases have the new features in them and they're more buggy and the .5 releases are more stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's extremely scalable, in a small sense, but the problem is when you get very meshed, with 10 sites replicating to 10 sites, and each one of them is meshed in to be able to replicate it to the other one. Then scalability starts to become problematic.

The big thing is, we have a cloud manager that manages all our ZVMs, which enterprise customers probably wouldn't have. You can only upgrade half a release for each upgrade. So you couldn't go from Zerto six to Zerto seven. For instance, you have to go to 6.5 and then go to seven.

Trying to upgrade is not easy because every customer that's paired and replicating into those sites has to upgrade it in those steps. It takes us several months, twice a year, to get everybody upgraded. They have a portal called Cloud Control which makes things better as far as upgrades, but they recently broke it with version 7.5 by adding encryption. So it was useless. We just upgraded to a version in which it should be working again, so the next time we're going to try to use the Cloud Control to upgrade. Hopefully, it will be better. We only really have one round of upgrades through the Cloud Control to get an idea of how well it worked. 75% of the time, those upgrades work without problems.

How are customer service and support?

There was a time where they had customer service people just taking tickets and couldn't really help you at all, which was terrible. Now, they have a level-one level-two-type model. The level-one guys are getting better, but as they grow and things like that, it can be difficult. 

All of our engineers are certified and we would like to go straight to level two. A lot of times we waste a lot of time with level one, and then they put the ticket in the queue for level two. So it takes another day to get to level two unless we're really loud and escalating the ticket right away. The biggest problem that we have with Zerto is getting to level two. 90% of the time, because of our knowledge, level one is not useful to us. Although, it probably would be to the average customer. 

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

We switched from our previous solution because Zerto was so much easier from everything that we saw. We have a team that does testing and things like that. It was a pretty easy choice to move away from the platform and that platform no longer exists. It was bought by Microsoft and then they did away with it. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty easy. You have to have connectivity between your sites that you're replicating, your production, and then your DR site or sites. Getting that connectivity is the biggest thing. Once that connectivity is there, it's fairly simple. You deploy Windows VM, put a small software package on it, and then pair the two. You do the same thing at the recovery site and once those sites are able to talk. In VMware, you install a VM on each ESX host that you need to replicate a VM on. Then you create a policy to do that replication.  The replication policies work very well.  Re-IP on failover if problematic.

The network connectivity takes the longest. It can take weeks, depending on what you have to do to connect the sites. It could be a couple of hours if you're just setting up a VPN. If you're putting in a circuit, it could take a very long time. That's the X factor with it, but assuming that's already there, within an hour you could be replicating data from one site to another.

What about the implementation team?

In house.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. Otherwise, we wouldn't keep using it. The biggest thing is the number of VMs we can support with the staff that we have. 

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

The licensing is fair. We have an enterprise license in which Zerto gives us 20,000 licenses or something well above what they think we're going to sell for the year. Then all our customers pull from that pool. And we resell the licenses. We may sell 50 licenses to a customer but at the start of their contract, they may only have 30 VMs ready for DR. We contract them for 50, but eventually, they'll get up to 50. So we don't have to go to the vendor and add and remove one license here or one license there all the time.

That part of it is easy, but we do have to license all of our sites once a year, which is a pain and all of our sites report to Zerto Analytics. I've been asking them for years since they started Zerto Analytics, why we can't just put our license key on analytics rather than logging into hundreds of sites and putting them in each site. That's a real beast. They definitely need to fix the part where the site licensing is terrible. As far as the licensing VMs to replicate, that's great.  In version 9, Zerto plans on deploying a license server to address this.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Commvault was one of the big ones we looked at. We also looked at AWS Azure. We offer a bunch of other ones. Commvault is much more complex and expensive.

We just launched a lot of those last year, so we don't have the customer base yet.  Nutanix is primarily designed for people that are using Nutanix and not everybody does. Not everybody can use it. RecoverPoint for VMs is Dell EMC so it's geared towards people that are running VxRail.  For vCloud availability, you have to have vCloud director on both sides, which is not something that everybody has either. Those are more specific whereas Zerto is more generic. We generally have broader use.

What other advice do I have?

Some of the biggest problems that we've had as a cloud provider are the VCD integration and the Zerto Cloud Manager integration. If you can avoid those two things, avoid them.

I would rate Zerto an eight out of ten. 

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?

Other
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Senior Manager, Technical Services at a logistics company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Simple to set up and use, and offers continuous data protection with a five-second interval
Pros and Cons
  • "This product is impressively easy to use. It's dummy-proof, once it's set up."
  • "The long-term recovery is a little bit weak in its granularity."

What is our primary use case?

We use Zerto for real-time replication of our systems, company-wide. The main reason is disaster recovery failover.

How has it helped my organization?

We use the long-term retention functionality, although it is not deployed system-wide. We have a lot of critical systems backed up, such as our file servers. We utilize it to hold things for up to a year and we send our long-term retention to ExaGrid appliances.

When we need to failback or move workloads, this solution has decreased the time it takes and the number of people involved. The entire process is, realistically, a one-person job. We usually have an application specialist involved just to validate the health of the server. Whether it's an SQL server or application server, we have somebody that runs integrity checks on it. That said, the entire process is very painless and easily handled by one person.

I estimate that this product saves us hours in comparison to products like Veeam. Veeam would take several hours of time to fail something over. 

Our company fell victim to a ransomware attack that affected between 50 and 60 servers. Until we knew for sure that the entire situation was remediated and that we weren't going to spread the infection, we restored the servers in an offline manner, which only took a matter of minutes to complete. Then, we pushed all of that data into Teams and OneDrive directly for people to start accessing it.

From the SQL server perspective, we failed those servers over, running health checks such as anti-virus scans, just to make sure that the failed over instance didn't contain the same situations. Thankfully, they did not. We probably saved ourselves several days worth of work in the grand scheme of things. In total, it potentially would have taken weeks to resolve using a different solution.

I wouldn't necessarily say that using Zerto has meant that we can reduce the number of staff in a recovery operation. However, I think it's probably mitigated the need to hire more people. Essentially, as we've continued to grow, we've avoided adding headcount to our team. Using Veeam as my problem child to compare against, if we were using it, it would have required a lot more management from us. It would have cost us more time to recover and manage those jobs, including the management of the ExaGrid appliances, as well as the VRAs, which are basically proxies.

Definitely, there is a huge saving in time using Zerto and although we didn't reduce any headcount or repurpose anything, we've definitely mitigated at least two people from the hiring perspective.

Zerto saved us considerable downtime when we experienced the ransomware attack. It may be hard to substantiate that just on the one situation but we saved at least a couple of million dollars.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the continuous recovery with the five-second checkpoint interval. Just having those checkpoints prior to when a situation arises, we're able to get the transactional data that occurred right before the server failed. That has been a blessing for us, as we are able to provide a snapshot with no more than five seconds of data loss. This means that we don't have to recreate minutes or hours worth of data for an industry that includes fulfillment, shipping, warehousing, et cetera.

Zerto is very good at providing continuous data protection. It does a very good job keeping up with the system and it creates five-second interval checkpoints. This has been helpful when it comes to needing to fail something over, getting that last moment in time that was in a usable state.

This product is impressively easy to use. It's dummy-proof, once it's set up.

What needs improvement?

The long-term recovery is a little bit weak in its granularity. Veeam is definitely superior in that aspect, as it's able to provide a granular view of files and databases, et cetera. However, it just kind of depends on what a business' recovery strategy is.

From our business perspective, it's really not impactful to us because our recovery strategy is not based on individual files. But, I could definitely see it being a challenge if there is a very large instance of individual files, as a subset, that need to be recovered. I think that if somebody has terabytes of data then Zerto will recover it faster but navigating through the file explorer to get to files is not as easy with Zerto.

One thing I don't like about the product, and I know this is where their claim to fame is, but whenever I have a VPG that has multiple virtual machines in it, and one virtual machine falls behind, it'll pause replication on everything else in that job until the one server catches up. The goal is to keep symmetric replication processing going, so the strategy makes sense, but for our business model, that doesn't really work and it has created a challenge where I have to manage each VM individually. It means that instead of having one job that would cover multiple servers, I just have one job to one server, which allows me to manage them individually.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zerto for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a company perspective, a few years ago, I would have said that it is very stable. It is a solution that is thriving and growing. At this time, however, HP is in the process of acquiring them. While I had assumed that was their long-term plan, I didn't quite anticipate HP being the one to pick them up. As such, I am a little bit worried about what will change in the long term.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it's a very painless product. As we continue to grow out our virtual environment, Zerto is able to, in a very nimble fashion, scale with us with very little effort or overhead involved.

I'm covering approximately 400 VMs currently, which is approximately 360 terabytes worth of data. That is between two separate data centers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Rating the Zerto technical support is a little bit tough because I've had some experiences that were truly 10 of 10, but then I've had one or two experiences where it was definitely a two or a three out of 10. It really depends on who I've gotten on the phone and their level of, A, comfort with their own system, and B, comfort helping the customer.

Some people have said this isn't within their scope of work, where others have said, "No, let's absolutely do this." In that regard, it's been a little hit and miss, but it's usually been a decent quality in the end.

Overall, I would rate the technical support a seven out of ten.

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

I have worked with Veeam in the past and although I prefer Zerto, there are some advantages to using Veeam. For example, long-term recovery offers more features.

In-house, we had also used the Unitrends product, as well as a SAN-to-SAN replication using an old HPE LeftHand array.

The main reasons that we switched to Zerto were the management ability, as well as its ability to provide continuous replication. Veeam was a very cumbersome product to manage. There were a lot of instances to monitor and manage from a proxy perspective, whereas Zerto's VRAs are relatively transparent in their configuration and deployment. These are painless and I don't have to continually monitor them. I don't have to update them since they're not like standalone Windows instances. It's very low management for us.

Of course, continuous replication is critical because Veeam, even though when we had owned the product, it claimed 15-minute intervals were doable, it never seemed to actually keep up with those 15-minute snapshot intervals.

One final reason that we migrated from Veeam is that they were utilizing VM snapshots at the time. I know that they've moved away from that approach now, but it was very painful for our environment at the time. The VMware snapshots were causing some of our legacy and proprietary applications to fail.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple.

Our implementation strategy involved setting it up for our two data centers. We have a primary and secondary data center, and Zerto keeps track of all of the VMs at the primary site and replicates them to the other site.

In the future, we plan on looking into the on-premises to cloud replication. On-premises to Azure direct is on our roadmap.

What about the implementation team?

I completed the setup myself without support or anybody else involved in the deployment.

It took approximately an hour to deploy.

I handle all of the administration and maintenance. As the senior manager of infrastructure, I oversee our work and server group. I have also retained private ownership over the disaster recovery plan and failover plan.

What was our ROI?

We have probably not seen a return on investment from using Zerto. We don't really have lots of situations where we have to use it and can substantiate any kind of financial claim to it.

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

I do not like the current pricing model because the product has been divided into different components and they are charging for them individually. I understand why they did it, but don't like the model. 

Our situation is somewhat peculiar because when we bought into it, we owned everything. Later on down the road, they split the licensing model, so you had to pay extra for the LTR and extra for the multi-site replication. However, since we were using LTR prior to that license model change, they have allowed us to retain the LTR functionality at our existing licensing level, but not have the multi-site replication.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have not evaluated other options in quite a long time. We very briefly evaluated Rubrik. 

What other advice do I have?

When we first decided to implement Zerto, it wasn't very important that it provides both backup and DR in one platform. In fact, realistically, even now, while we have it and we used it on a limited scope, I'm not sure that it's needed.

With respect to our legacy solutions, I'd say that the cost of replacing them with Zerto is net neutral in the end.

My advice to anybody who is considering Zerto is that it's an awesome product and it won't steer them wrong. That said, there are some issues such as the licensing model and the situations where VPGs falling behind suspends the replication. Overall, it is a good product.

I would rate this solution an eight 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.
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Buyer's Guide
Zerto
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about Zerto. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
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Network Engineer at PRICE TRANSFER, INC
Real User
Allows rapid RTO and great customer support, in the simplest DR solution I have ever every deployed
Pros and Cons
  • "The whole package is valuable. The most useful feature for the company is the rapid RTO, which offers a faster return to operations and brings us back online quicker. The last time we had an issue, we recovered within about 36 minutes, which was probably the most valuable thing for us because, previously, it took four to seven days."
  • "There are quite a few elements in the long-term retention areas that I wish were better. The bio-level recovery indexing of backups is the area I struggle with the most. That's probably because I desire to do tasks that ordinary users wouldn't do with the solution. The standard medium to large customer would probably never ask for anything like I ask for, so I think it's pretty good the way it is. I'm excited to see some of the new improvements coming in the 9.5 version. Some of the streamlines and how the product presents itself for some of the recovery features could be better."

What is our primary use case?

We're currently doing a two-tiered on-site and off-site replication, with one long-term retention being displaced into a cloud and one long-term retention being displaced to a third data center. We were looking to make our recovery solution more streamlined and efficient, that's why we implemented this product.

We're not as huge as everybody else. We just have large devices. We have four SQL servers running, each of which is about six terabytes, so our continuous replication is a lot larger than others. We also have multiple secured file storages in the two-terabyte range, so we replicate around 140 terabytes continuously, utilizing about 60 VM servers. Our primary and secondary production is VMware, and our third-tier backup area is a hypervisor. 

How has it helped my organization?

The most significant improvement is the reduced stress of running our operation. Before deploying the solution, we had two people on-call 24/7, one on-shift and one off-shift. Now our workload has been reduced, and we only have to give support over the phone, which rarely happens.

For this deployment, I realized the benefits very quickly. I already knew how the solution would provide a reliable safety net and offer a better risk-reward profile for our cybersecurity insurance. I knew this three deployments ago. The main selling points I presented for this deployment are the continuous replication, plus the reduction in man-hours and cybersecurity risk.

What is most valuable?

The whole package is valuable. The most useful feature for the company is the rapid RTO, which offers a faster return to operations and brings us back online quicker. The last time we had an issue, we recovered within about 36 minutes, which was probably the most valuable thing for us because, previously, it took four to seven days.

I've worked with Zerto since the beginning; I think it was when we were still on version one. Having that continuous replication, as we call it, where we have just a small delta point is paramount to being able to create that multiple mine backup solution or recovery solution. It's absolutely the product's selling point. 

Zerto is the simplest disaster recovery and data recovery solution I've ever deployed, and I've been doing this for 30-plus years. 

We have used Zerto to protect VMs in our environment. That's the entire solution for us; it's all virtual. They can even calculate a number now, and I have 30-day testing documentation that gives them real-time data that shows a 15 to 40-minute recovery. It's astronomical because they now have a number they can guarantee to the stakeholders. 

There isn't much comparison with other disaster recovery solutions, though it depends on the configuration. A more dramatic or complex multi-tiered recovery would expand the time, but we went from four to seven days down to under an hour. For that reason, it's almost incomparable to other solutions. Depending on the deployment, even the VMware Site Recovery Manager takes four, eight, or even 12 hours. We can bring things back online in under an hour. I don't know any other solutions that can do cross-breed virtual environments or multi-hypervisors with VMware, with different types of cloud. We can go with Microsoft Cloud, VM Cloud, or Google Cloud. It's not even a comparison. If you have a good product seller and a buy-in from your network engineer and your software engineer, it's an easy sell. 

We currently have over 600 days of saved downtime. It's almost two years now without a single moment of downtime, because we utilized the failover to do maintenance cycles.  

Our last collapse was when we were hit by ransomware just about two years ago. It took out 80% of our systems, and we were back online in 36 minutes. 

I use the orchestrator for DR testing. I run a simulated test every 30 days, and we do two live tests a year. Before my arrival, they had never done a test, but that's what we do as a standard now. It only takes two members of staff, me and one other, for the entire test. It's very low-volume in terms of staff requirements.

The solution dramatically reduced the number of staff involved in recoveries. Before my deployment of Zerto in this organization, they had one disaster recovery and had to hire 19 people to do it. When we had the ransomware attack, two of us recovered the entire solution within an hour without having to hire anyone. The previous recovery costs were around $20,000 for the staffing alone, not counting the loss of revenue. I implemented the recovery during my regular work shift.

What needs improvement?

There are quite a few elements in the long-term retention areas that I wish were better. The bio-level recovery indexing of backups is the area I struggle with the most. That's probably because I desire to do tasks that ordinary users wouldn't do with the solution. The standard medium to the large customer would probably never ask for anything like I ask for, so I think it's pretty good the way it is. I'm excited to see some of the new improvements coming in the 9.5 version. Some of the streamlines and how the product presents itself for some of the recovery features could be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for two and a half years, and I've assisted in the deployment at three other companies. I personally have close to ten years of experience with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've been using Zerto for close to 10 or 11 years, and the stability is probably in the 95% to 98% range. That's pretty good, and I give it an A.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is the smallest solution I've ever deployed. It scales very well across multiple platforms and at a long-range. It's very scalable; I've implemented substantial deployments and deployments over huge areas. I'm impressed with the solution's scalability, especially the integration with vCloud environments.

How are customer service and support?

I dealt with them recently, and they're pretty solid. The process is mainly automated, they connect remotely, and I don't have to explain much as they can look at the logs. With that capability, it does work very nicely.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I replaced the VMware Site Recovery Manager and a Symantec backup solution when I came in. I also replaced the third-tier snapshot replication, which they had never successfully tested or recovered from.

We switched because I begged them to. I've used Zerto extensively, and the amount of fluidity and flexibility it offers is necessary. It gives me peace of mind and allows me to sleep well at night knowing it will be alright, which is uncommon in this business. I said as much to the company and was able to convince them within about six months.

I used Veeam and some other bare-metal backup solutions before. Since virtual servers have been in place, Veeam and SRM are pretty much the two standards, with Symantec being the tape backup solution or virtual hard drive backup solution. Since Zerto came around and I saw what the product could do, it's all I ever push for when I get called in for a company that needs a DR plan.

How was the initial setup?

I designed it all and already knew what I wanted to accomplish and what the product could do. Once we knew what direction we were going in and where the critical applications aligned, it was just a point of picking things up and putting them into placeholders already in the required image I designed for our purposes. It was pretty easy. It might take a little longer without prior experience and an idea of what I want to accomplish. It would still be pretty easy as Zerto provides excellent documentation. This is one of the most straightforward designs out there. End-to-end, with testing and approvals at each step, I think it took two and a half weeks.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented the solution on my own.

What was our ROI?

I can't give an exact figure, but I would say that protection from Ransomware tech alone paid for the initial startup process and most of the maintenance needed. 

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

I wouldn't say I like the licensing pricing structure. Every year, it increases exponentially, which bothers me a little. It's worth it in terms of the value, but I worry the price will increase even more often after the Zerto merger. I still think it's worth it and that the solution is cheaper than the others. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Symantec, and NetApp, and we brought in Veeam.

The main differences between Zerto and the other solutions are the continuous replication capabilities and the ability to have two continuous replications simultaneously. These were major selling points for the company. With snap replication from NetApp or even Veeam, there isn't that consistency between multiple divisions. I showed the company we don't have to have VMware at the low MBR; we can have a hypervisor at a much-reduced cost, as the price was the last hope for the other solutions. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. I don't give anybody a ten, as nobody is perfect. The best score I give is an eight, and they get that.

We don't necessarily use Zerto for immutable data copies as it's never been a requirement. I know it's there and what we can do with it if we need to.

We only use the physical solution because of the nature of our business, but we do long-term retention in the cloud. It is nice to have that long-term cloud retention, as it gives us another tier of data available for worst-case scenarios. 

I wanted to replace our legacy solutions, but we still have old-school solutions for legacy data recovery. We use Symantec for backup exec. on our bare metal, but I don't think it's critical because it's more for our legacy data recovery. After all, we're not like most companies. We have to keep our data for 24 years. 

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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Technical Account Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Top 20
Decreases the time it takes when we need to failback or move workloads
Pros and Cons
  • "The testing features are the most valuable features of this solution. We use the failover test feature not just for testing failovers and disaster recovery, we've also had clients use it for development purposes as well as patching purposes to test patches. We can failover the VM and then we can make any changes we want without affecting production. It's a nice sandbox for that usage."
  • "One improvement that could make it easier would be to have an easier way to track journal usage and a little bit more training around journal sizing. I've done all the training and the journal is still a gray area. There is confusion surrounding how it's billed and how we should bill clients. It would be easier if it had billing suggestions or billing best practices for our clients to make sure that we're not leaving money on the table."

What is our primary use case?

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

How has it helped my organization?

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

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

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

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

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

What is most valuable?

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

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

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

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

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

What needs improvement?

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

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

For how long have I used the solution?

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

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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

How are customer service and technical support?

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

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

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

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. 

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

What was our ROI?

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

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

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

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

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

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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

What other advice do I have?

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

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

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

I would rate Zerto ten out of ten. 

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
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.
PeerSpot user
Chief Information Officer at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
We have reduced the amount of workloads being handled
Pros and Cons
  • "We have seen ROI. The biggest way that we have seen it is in avoided downtime. We have had outages before, and we count downtime in terms of dollars spent. We have cut that down so dramatically, which provides us a very quick ROI. We have drastically reduced the amount of time it takes us to recover workloads, from an average of two hours to an average of 10 minutes."
  • "My only business complaint is the cost of the solution. I feel like the cost could be a tad lower, but we are willing to pay extra to get the Premium service."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it to protect all our on-premise virtual workloads, which includes mission-critical applications, line of business applications, and several unstructured data type repositories for disaster recovery.

It is our sole disaster recovery solution for what it does. It is protecting all the workloads at SmartBank. 

Both of our data centers are on-premise and in colocations. Our plan over the next year or two is that we will very likely be shifting to DR in the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

We had a ransomware event on one of our file servers. We detected that event very quickly using other methodologies. However, because we had Zerto in place on that server, within about 30 minutes from seeing the problem, we were able to go back and recover that machine before that ransomware event had happened. This is a great example of the solution's ability to restore so quickly that it really helped us.

Because of its ease of use, it has increased the number of people in IT who can failback or move workloads. This used to be something that was done only by our infrastructure team, because it was manual processes and complex. We now have the virtual protection setup so effectively, and Zerto does it so effectively, that we have now been able to get another three or four people from other groups of our IT company trained on how to do recovery operations. This helps us tremendously when we are doing recovery because there are just a lot more people who might be available to do it. On average, we have saved two hours per workload, and we have hundreds of workloads. We have taken about a two-hour process down to about 10 minutes in terms of recovery. Zerto is really good at what it does. It has been tremendous.

We can have a single person restoring scores of machines as well as doing DR. Backups are still managed separately. In our case, we did not reduce staff. Our staff was already kind of a limiting factor. We put Zerto in to enable our staff to do more, not to reduce our staff. Therefore, we have tremendously reduced the amount of workloads being handled by specialists.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the ease of use, i.e., the relatively low complexity of the solution, as well as the speed and effectiveness of the solution. This allows us to protect our workloads with extremely small latency, making it very easy for us to monitor and recover. So, we are very happy with it.

In terms of Zerto providing continuous data protection, I would rate it as a nine out of 10. It is incredibly effective at what it does. I really have no complaints.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more managed service= options. While Zerto isn't doing this a lot, there are a ton of third-parties who are doing managed services with Zerto.

For how long have I used the solution?

For this company, we have only been using it for about six months. However, I have used it at two other companies for a total of about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For our current needs, the scalability seems excellent. The scalability of the solution is really more of a function of your bandwidth and the amount of virtual resources you can point at it. I don't think there is any conceivable scalability limit.

Probably 10 people on my team touch Zerto in a meaningful way: 

  • Four of them are infrastructure and data center engineers. They support the storage, users, communications, the software, and the configuration of most of the back-end system as well as monitor the solution. They do a lot there. 
  • The other six people are our technical support director, enterprise applications team, and information security officer. Those people also get into Zerto. They generally do failover testing and monitor certain VPGs for parts of our system that they are responsible for, and they do some protection configuration. 

The heavy lifting is done on the infrastructure side, but the other teams monitor, maintain, and most importantly, test it. This is a big deal because we previously had the infrastructure team do all the testing for us before Zerto. Now, the business unit managers directly in IT can do their own testing, which is a big change for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is excellent. They have a great support portal, which is easy to use. They are very responsive and generally able to help us with any configuration or performance issues that we run into.

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

Our previous product was VMware Site Recovery Manager. We switched to get a less complex system that could protect our workloads better and enable faster recovery. Those were kind of the main reasons why we switched. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed Zerto initially with a VAR. They explained the process very well. It was just an initial installation service which included some training. Then, we took over the management of it and have been managing it in-house ever since.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. The biggest way that we have seen it is in avoided downtime. We have had outages before, and we count downtime in terms of dollars spent. We have cut that down so dramatically, which provides us a very quick ROI. We have drastically reduced the amount of time it takes us to recover workloads, from an average of two hours to an average of 10 minutes.

We measure our downtime in thousands of dollars per minute. While it depends on what is down and who it is impacting, we take in an average of $1,000 a minute at a minimum. So, 120 minutes of downtime at $1,000 is $120,000 per workload that is down, and that can add up very quickly.

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

My only business complaint is the cost of the solution. I feel like the cost could be a tad lower, but we are willing to pay extra to get the Premium service.

Zerto does a per-workload licensing model, per-server. It is simple and straightforward, but it is not super flexible. It is kind of a one size fits all. They charge the same price for those workloads. I feel like they could have some flexible licensing option possibly based on criticality, just so we could protect less important work. I would love to protect every workload in my environment with Zerto, whether I really need it or not, but the cost is such that I really have to justify that protection. So, if we had some more flexibility, e.g., you could protect servers with a two-, three-, or four-hour RPO at a certain price point versus mission-critical every five minutes, then I would be interested in that.

The costs are the license and annual maintenance, which is the only other ongoing fee. I would imagine a lot of customers also have an initial project cost to get it implemented, if they choose to go that direction, like we did.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We do not currently use it for long-term retention. We have another solution for long-term backup retention, but we are in the second year of a three-year contract, so we will evaluate Zerto when those contracts are up. We will probably test it out. It is certainly something that we will look at. We will also plan to vet having backup and DR in one platform.

The incumbent was Site Recovery Manager, so we evaluated them as an incumbent. We also evaluated Veeam Disaster Recovery Orchestrator. We use Veeam for data backup, and they have a disaster recovery piece. It would have been an add-on to our Veeam, so we evaluated that while also looking at Zerto.

It would be ideal to integrate your backup and disaster recovery into a single solution, so that is a pro whichever way you go with it. Zerto certainly has an answer for that, but so did Veeam. Zerto's replication is superior to anyone else's out there. It's faster, simpler, and effective. I don't think I could get as low an RTO and RPO with any other solution other than Zerto.

When comparing this solution to Site Recovery Manager, pay special attention to the fact that Zerto is hypervisor-agnostic and hardware-agnostic. It is a true software-based solution, which gives flexible options in terms of the types of equipment that they can recover on and to. Ultimately, it is very flexible. It is the most flexible platform for system replication. 

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely advise them to give Zerto a chance and PoC it, if they desire. It is the best solution in the marketplace currently and has maintained that for quite some time.

I would give them a nine (out of 10). I really love the solution. I want more Zerto, but I can't afford more Zerto. I would love to protect everything in our environment, but we do have to make a business decision to do that because there is a requisite cost.

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
Susantha Silva - PeerSpot reviewer
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
Cloud Specialist at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to set up, good disaster recovery capabilities, helpful and responsive support
Pros and Cons
  • "Zerto provides our customers with the ability to continue work, even if something happens to their office or data center."
  • "The monitoring and alerting functionality need to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

I am a cloud provider and I use Zerto to provide disaster recovery solutions for my clients.

Recently, we had an issue where one of our customers using Oracle Server experienced corruption in a database. The customer doesn't know when the issue started, so we used Zerto. We started to do a real-live failover for the machine, and we were able to determine the timestamp for the start of the issue. Prior to this, Oracle engineers tried for four hours to fix the database but did not have any luck in doing so. Ultimately, we were able to save the customer's data by using Zerto.

A few of my customers are using file-level restore but the majority of them are using the replication features for disaster recovery.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto offers features for long-term data retention; however, we don't use them. The longest time that we back up data for is 30 days. At this time, I don't have any request for this from my customs, although in the future, if we have a customer that asks for it then we can provide it.

Zerto provides our customers with the ability to continue work, even if something happens to their office or data center.

We have a customer with an on-premises data center that replicates the environment to our cloud. One day, this customer had a water pipe burst in his data center. The entire data center was flooded and everything stopped working. We did a live failover and from that point, he could continue working but it was running from the data center in our cloud, instead. Zerto definitely saved us time in this data recovery situation.

It took the customer between four and five days to return everything back to normal onsite. During that time, he spoke with us at 9:00 AM on the first day, and after an hour, his company resumed work with our help. This reduced his downtime to one hour from approximately five days.

Performing a failback using Zerto is pretty much the same in terms of how long it takes, and how many people we require. The customer decides when to do the fallback; for example, it can be done during the night. We replicate the data at their chosen time and it avoids issues for them because they don't operate during those hours.

In a situation like a burst water pipe or a database becoming corrupt, Zerto doesn't help to reduce the number of staff involved. The reason is that when something affects the company, management, including the CEO, has to be involved. They do not deal specifically with operating Zerto but rather, they wait for things to develop. The good part is that they know that with Zerto, they have a solution, and they don't need to figure out what to do.

In terms of the number of people it takes to recover data in cases like this, there is typically one person from our company involved, and one person from our customer's company.

My customers save money using Zerto and our facilities, rather than a physical data center because they do not have to do any maintenance on the backup equipment. It is also much easier to pay one company that will do everything for them.

Using Zerto makes it easier for my clients, giving them time to work on other things. The main reason is that they don't have to maintain or upgrade their environment. Not having to implement new recovery solutions as their needs change, saves them time.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to do disaster recovery.

Zerto is very user-friendly and engineer-friendly, as well. When we need to create a new Virtual Protection Group (VPG) for replication, then it is done with just a few clicks of the mouse. We can see all of the environments and we don't need to install agents on the customer's VMs.

The live failover feature is very helpful.

With regards to providing continuous data protection, it's great. Most of the time, it's about five seconds for replication.

What needs improvement?

The monitoring and alerting functionality need to be improved. Ideally, the monitoring would include the option for more filters. For example, it would be helpful if we could filter by company name, as well as other attributes.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for almost three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Zerto is a pretty stable product. We have had issues from time to time over two years, but usually, it is stable. When we have trouble then we contact their excellent technical staff.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have quite a lot of customers that are using Zerto for disaster recovery and it is simple to scale. Our intention is to increase our usage by bringing on more customers that will replicate from their on-premises environment to the cloud.

In my company, there are five or six people who work doing the backup and recovery operations. On the client's side, they normally have one or two people that are in charge of maintaining the data center.

The size of your environment will depend on how many VMs you need to replicate. For example, if you are replicating 100 VMS then you can use a small environment. However, if you are replicating 1,000 or more VMS then you will need a stronger and larger environment, with more storage and more memory.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical staff is excellent and we contact them whenever we need something.

We had a customer that replicated his VM and for some reason, when we tried to do a failover test, the VM came back with an error saying that the network card was disconnected. We spoke with the Zerto technical staff and they actually implemented an ad-hoc fix for our environment. In the next Zerto version update, they released it for all their customers.

The technical support is definitely responsive and they explain everything.

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

I began using Zerto version 6.5 and am now using version 8. We did not use a different solution for disaster recovery beforehand.

We use Veeam for backup tasks. We looked at Veeam CDP to compare with Zerto, and Zerto is definitely better. It is more user-friendly, agentless, and the technical support is better.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and pretty easy to complete. It takes about an hour to deploy. During the process, you set up the Zerto server to see the whole environment. You then install VRAs on all of the hosts. In general, the management server is pretty user-friendly.

The implementation strategy changes depending on the customer. We did have a few customers that required a more extensive setup because one had an IPsec connection, and a few of them were using point-to-point connections. That's the only strategy. But with Zerto, they need to decide which VMs they want to replicate, and then we create it based on that. First, we will want to replicate the DC, the domain controllers, and then we will want the infrastructure servers, and then the database servers, and the last one is the application.

During setup, one person from our company normally works with one person from our customer's side. Only a single person is required for maintenance.

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

My impression is that Zerto is more expensive than other solutions, although I don't have exact numbers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated CloudEndure and we also had Double-Take, but neither of these solutions worked well. These solutions were based on agents, which affected the customers' server performance.

In terms of usage, Zerto is a different level of experience when compared to other products. It is easier to set up and use.

With other solutions, we need to install software on the customer's server and then reboot, whereas, with Zerto, we don't need to do these things. In fact, there is no downtime on the customer's side. Depending on the customer's environment, post-installation downtime may have been as little as one minute, or more than an hour.

In situations where downtime is expected, and there is an important application like a database running, these periods need to be scheduled. Normally, downtime will be scheduled at night, after business hours. Although there may not be a disruption in work, it is an extra effort that needs to be put into the other products.

What other advice do I have?

Looking ahead, I have seen that the next version of Zerto will support Salesforce replication. This could be something that is useful for my customers.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from user Zerto is that every organization should have a disaster recovery plan. My advice for anybody who is considering this product is to calculate how much it will cost in the event of downtime or a disaster, and then compare it to the cost of Zerto. Once this is done, people will opt for a disaster recovery solution.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

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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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: July 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Zerto Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.