May 22, 2019
(Pictured above: United Airlines’ Julietta Pisano speaks with Zerto CMO Gil Levonai on stage at ZertoCON in Nashville, May 21.)
ZERTOCON — United Airlines jets fly thousands of passengers a day through cloud-filled skies all over the world, but so far, the airline’s IT infrastructure hasn’t included cloud computing as a major component.
That will likely change in the future, though, as United continues to evaluate how its massive IT infrastructure could incorporate cloud capabilities in ways that can bolster its IT systems while maintaining the stability, reliability and scalability that are must-haves for the schedule-conscious airline.
“We’re looking at what makes sense for us to go to the cloud,” Julietta Pisano, the managing director of disaster recovery and data center services for United, said here during the opening keynote at ZertoCON 2019 in Nashville. “We’re looking at hybrid and at software-defined data centers. We have requirements for stability. Leveraging the cloud is probably a good solution for us.”
United initially starting using Zerto for disaster recovery inside its IT systems to work with virtual workloads running on Hyper-V and VMware, said Pisano. But the latest new features in Zerto 7.0 have United considering expanding its backup and disaster recovery program with the company, including the all-new integration and convergence of backup services directly with disaster recovery functions, she said.
“It hits home,” said Pisano. “Backups are very critical and they are interrelated [with disaster recovery] so it would help to have it in one tool. We are going to explore it.”
As United has been refining its backup and disaster recovery road map and cloud initiatives, Zerto has been a helpful partner, said Pisano.
“The people at Zerto are the main reason why we continue to expand this relationship,” she said. “They have been extremely responsive in helping us make this journey for disaster recovery.”
That includes Zerto founder and CEO Ziv Kedem, who has been extremely active and helpful with the United account, said Pisano. Zerto has been willing and supportive of making software changes and improvements when United asked them for assistance, she added.
United’s IT department supports about 1,000 applications – which is a huge number – for its users, Pisano said.
Zerto 7.0 also includes new long-term data retention capabilities, support for purpose-built backup appliances (PBBAs) and the first redesigned user interface since Zerto 4.5. Also integrated in Zerto 7.0 is a new Elastic Journal feature that gives businesses a continuous stream of recovery points with indexing and search across data, files and virtual machines from any point in time. This upgrade allows companies to have long-term data retention capabilities, compared to the 30-day retention built into the previous Zerto 6.5 application.
Other features include automated data protection workflows that make recovery easier and more consistent across short- and long-term data retention stores, and new retention policy settings for daily, weekly, monthly and annual cycles to copy the recovery data to cheaper long-term-release repositories — plus added support to accelerate the application recovery process for Microsoft Azure.
Zerto Analytics also gets a boost in Zerto 7.0, giving users additional resource planning and what-if scenarios, while continuously monitoring and analyzing compute, storage and network resources across on-premises environments and public, private and hybrid clouds, according to the company.
Zerto 7.0 brings together disaster recovery, backup and cloud mobility into a single platform the company describes as its IT Resilience platform.
About 800 Zerto customers and partners are attending this week’s conference at Nashville’s Music City Center.
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