If virtualization is so vital to cloud computing, shouldn't cloud disaster recovery also take advantage of virtualization technology? Zerto, which develops business continuity products tailored for the cloud, thinks so, as it has shown with the release of its latest hypervisor-based business-continuity platform. How does it compare to other solutions in the rapidly growing market for cloud recovery? Read on for a look.
Cloud recovery has been a hot topic lately. That may be due in part, perhaps, to the slew of natural disasters that have impacted data centers and networks in the United States in recent months. But it's also likely a reflection of the ever-increasing amounts of resources organizations are placing in the cloud, and the realization that cloud recovery strategies pose particular challenges that often need to be addressed separately from those for traditional infrastructure. We've covered a lot of different vendor approaches to cloud business-continuity in just the last few months, such as the packages offered by Vision Solutions, Carbonite (NASDAQ: CARB) and Asigra.
Within this field, Zerto has adopted a somewhat different strategy by integrating its recovery solution with virtualization. Running on top of a hypervisor, Zerto's business-continuity application is designed to maximize efficiency and flexibility across different types of cloud platforms. Since the solution is not tied to physical hardware, it can be more easily deployed and tweaked.
Zerto also offers some distinguishing performance features, including continuous replication and journal-based recovery that make it possible to restore systems to arbitrary recovery points. It's also closely integrated with VMware (NYSE: VMW) vCenter, through which users control Zerto operations via an embedded GUI. For now, Zerto supports only VMware's vSphere and vCloud platforms. But in a conversation about Zerto's future plans, Jennifer Gill, director of Products and Marketing, said "we are investigating other hypervisors."
The latest iteration of the Zerto application, version 3.0, expands upon the existing Zerto feature set in several ways. Major updates include standardized disaster-recovery protection between different sites, "test-before-you-commit" functionality that allows organizations to run trials of their recovery plans before deploying in the wild and integration for VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC). Zerto currently represents the only disaster recovery solution for vCAC environments.
How does Zerto, which was founded only in 2009, stand up within an increasingly tight niche? For one, it's clear that the company's focus on tight integration with virtualization hypervisors positions it to compete strongly as cloud environments grow more and more diverse, making traditional recovery strategies difficult to deploy consistently. Zerto's striving to provide organization-wide solutions will likely also pay dividends, as enterprises search for comprehensive, one-stop business-continuity solutions for all of their sites.
In the eyes of many cloud professionals, Zerto's restriction of support for the time being to VMware products may pose problems, especially as other hypervisors, such as KVM and Hyper-V, gain market share. But this is an issue that the company can address in due time.