VFD2 - Zerto
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 | 2 Comments
The second vendor for day 1 of Virtualisation Tech Field Day #2 was Zerto.
The session was held back at the hotel. The camera crew did not come back and this event was not broadcast over the Internet. To be honest I was a little confused about the what you can say, and what you can't say, discussion. There was going to be mention of some things which are coming out in the next version as well as some customer names. Both of these might be things that should not be in the public domain until appropriate. To be honest, this is difficult as a blogger and I thought there was some "understanding" with these events that everything was public, no NDAs. Whilst I respect a vendor wants to keep things private whilst balancing giving us the greatest insights and information, it makes it really difficult for me to navigate what I can and can't write about. So if I make a bad mistake treading that line I am sure someone will let me know in the morning and I will be editing this post very fast.
Our presenting were Gil Levonai who is the VP Marketing and Products and Oded Kedem, CTO & Co-founder. So we were really getting things from the experts.
Zerto do disaster recovery solutions for the VMware environment. Their target customers are the Enterprise and now the Service or Cloud providers. Having spent quite a few years working in the DR and recently the Cloud space I was very keen to hear what Zerto had to say.
Here is my summary notes for the session.
- Then there is the Zerto Virtual Replication Appliance (Linux based) which is required on each host. This is deployed by the manager.
- Some of the features of Zerto are :
- Replication from anything to anything, its not reliant on any hardware layers, just VMware
- Its highly scalable, being software based
- It has an RPO in seconds, near sync (but not sync)
- It has bandwidth optimisation and WAN resiliency. Built in WAN compression and throttling.
- Built-in CDP which is journal based.
- It is policy based and understands consistency groups. You can set CDP timelines for retention in a intelligent way.
- If it gets behind and can't keep up it will drop from a send every write mode to a block change algorithm and drop writes in order to catch up. This catchup mode is only used if the replication can't keep up for some reason (lack of bandwidth, higher priority servers to be replicated. What I would like to see is for this to be a feature you can turn on. So rather than CDP you can pick a number of points in time that you want and writes between these are not replicated. This would emulate what occurs with SAN snapshots. Yes its not as protection but for lower tier workloads you might want to save the bandwidth, you can match what you might be doing with SAN snapshots but can do it across vendor. Gil did not think this was a great idea but I think their is real merit to it, but I would, being my idea.
- There is a concept of Virtual protection groups. VM and VMDK level consistency groups. This is very important for some applications which need to have data synchronised across multiple disks or across systems, its great to see this supported.
- Support for VMotion, Storage VMotion, HA, vApp.
- There are check points in the CDP stream every few second and you can set a time for doing a special VSS check point. This is excellent.
- Its vApp awareness is very good. If you add a VM to a vApp it will start replicating it. It also knows things like startup order within the vApp and retains that information for recovery at the other site. This is better then VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM).
- When you need to do a failover , what happens if the source site no longer exists. Well you go to the vCenter on the destination site and do it their. This is a problem in the Cloud space as the customers are not going to have access to the vCenter, only the provider. Today the provider is going to have to do the recovery for you if you your site is gone. Their is an API for the provider to use with their own portal. Ultimately Zerto are saying they will provide a stand alone interface to do this function.
I really enjoyed the presentation for Gil and Oded. Not to many slides, a great demo, lots of explanation and really showing of what was unique about their offering. I am looking forward to learning more about what they are doing and in seeing their functionality grow, I think they have many things right in this new hybrid Cloud world.
P.S. Note that I am at this event at the invite of GestaltIT and that flights and expenses are provided. There is also the occasional swag gift from the vendors. However I write what I want, and only if I feel like it. I write nice things and critical things when I feel it is warranted.