In today’s virtual world where disk-based media rules and everything is interconnected via the internet there is a very high probability that you’ll need replication for BC/DR to get your valuable VMs protected off-site to another location. Fortunately Zerto makes that simple by offering a virtual-aware, software-only, tier-one, enterprise-class replication solution purpose-built for virtual environments. Unlike traditional storage array replication which requires like brand and model storage arrays at each site to be able to replicate with each other, hypervisor based replication is storage agnostic meaning it operates above the physical storage layer at the virtual layer so it supports any type of underlying storage on each side. Another advantage of using HBR is that it allows you to replicate at the more granular VM level instead of the larger scale LUN level.
It works by using only two components, the Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) which is a Windows-based service that acts as the management console and can be accessed via a plug-in to vCenter, the ZVM manages all vSphere replication and keeps track of applications and information in motion in real time. The other component is the Virtual Replication Appliance (VRA) which is deployed as a virtual appliance (VM) on each host and continuously replicates data from user-selected VMs, compressing and sending that data to the remote site. The following diagram shows how Zerto Virtual Replication is deployed across sites as a DR solution:
Zerto does one thing, replication and they do that well, I’ve always admired them and thought that had a great solution. They were founded in 2010 and their product debuted shortly after that and won the Gold in the BC/DR category for the Best of VMworld awards in 2011. It also won Best of Show which means is was chosen as the best product across all the many awards categories. I noticed a quote from Jo Maitland while on Zerto’s website that essentially stated the decision was a no-brainer. As a former Best of VMworld judge myself I know that feeling well as I was involved in a similar situation in a prior year with the product I had picked as the winner in the Security category, HyTrust which also easily won Best of Show.
So if you are in the market for a great BC/DR solution, I highly encourage you to go checkout their replication solution for VMware vSphere environments. One thing to get you started is this great overview and demo video. They have a lot of great and smart folks that work at Zerto that you should follow on Twitter as well, and be sure and read this great post entitled “I am not a booth babe, Ask me a question” by Fara Hain, Zerto’s Director of Marketing.
Key Zerto folks to follow on Twitter: