June 10, 2020
Zerto is revamping its backup and disaster recovery platform to support cloud native applications starting later this year. A tech preview of Zerto for Kubernetes is expected in late 2020 with the final product slated for 2021.
The move to support cloud native applications was announced at the company’s virtual ZertoCON 2020 online event. The platform-agnostic Zerto for Kubernetes will work with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). It will also support Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Red Hat OpenShift and VMware Tanzu.
New Zerto for Kubernetes capabilities will include integration of disaster recovery (DR) and data protection in applications from day one. Also slated is always-on replication to protect persistent volumes within and between clusters, data centers and clouds. Application-centric protection will also be featured, including all associated Kubernetes objects and metadata. Point-in-time restores will also be available with thousands of recovery checkpoints to overcome synchronous replication challenges. Ordered recovery of microservices for complex applications will be supported, as well as non-disruptive recovery and testing. Management will be provided through a kubectl plug-in and native Kubernetes tooling. In addition, automated workflows for failover, failover test, restore, rollback restore, and commit restore will assist in maintaining system integrity.
Zerto’s Deepak Verma
Much of the impetus for the move to support cloud native applications comes from customers and partners, Deepak Verma, director of Zerto’s advanced technology group, told Channel Futures.
“We have customers telling us they will only develop applications using cloud native platforms now,” he said. “They are saying they will not develop applications using the old techniques anymore. I’m hearing this from conservative customers I never thought I’d hear this from, including banks and financial companies.”
It has become a constant and recurring theme when it comes to cloud native applications, he said.
From channel partners such as service providers, the messages are similar, he said. Some are still exploring the idea, while others are working on projects for customers around artificial intelligence and machine learning. Both AI and ML are automatic use cases for cloud native applications, said Verma.
“As that moves into production for customers, channel partners are doing more than just selling products from vendors,” he said. “They are also providing their own products and services, including deploying hardware for customers with architecture for containers.”
Future products to support cloud native applications
The partners then asked Zerto for disaster recovery and backup capabilities that would work with those services, he said. “You look out there in the market today and it’s ‘roll your own’ backup for Kubernetes. Data protection and resiliency is just not a first-class citizen yet for a lot of the containerized workloads.”
That’s why Zerto is addressing these needs with its future products to support cloud native applications, said Verma. “I’m pretty happy that in about six months we’ll be in public beta testing. We’re doing alpha testing right now.”
Traditional backup won’t work for containers because it isn’t set up for the frequent updates required by DevOps, he said. “Traditional daily backup is an eternity for containers,” which during DevOps can experience four updates in a working day. Unless developers have the discipline to back up with every change, the last backup will be out of date.
To solve the problem, Zerto backup is being updated to fit those scenarios and needs around cloud native applications.
“We are taking different parts and moving them up the stack so they are deployed as a Kubernetes application” on Kubernetes itself, said Verma. “And that allows us to be truly agnostic. It doesn’t matter if you are running Kubernetes nodes on-premises, virtually or anywhere.”
Leveraging containers becoming more necessary
ESG’s Christophe Bertrand
Christophe Bertrand, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, said leveraging containers is becoming more necessary as organizations accelerate digital transformations. “But protection of these environments is lagging behind today” he said. “This announcement very credibly places Zerto in the race for establishing leadership in the protection of Kubernetes environments.”
Other products today tend to be specialized…
… and focused on protecting containers and Kubernetes without other features, said Bertrand. “It’s a strong strategic move for Zerto at the right time to be expanding their platform with this addition. I believe this will give Zerto an edge over other vendors who are lacking advanced capabilities in this space.”
For partners, this will generate new opportunities to position themselves to support their customers’ application development teams, he said. “It will generally expand the scope of data protection solutions they provide by embracing the container space,” said Bertrand. “It’s also an opportunity for them to expand from business continuity and DR into intelligent data management type of engagements.”
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