Boston-based availability and disaster recovery Zerto has announced the general availability of the 5.5 release of their Zerto Virtual Replication flagship solution. The new release significantly upgrades their support for both the Azure and AWS clouds, enabling full bi-directional replication to and from the Azure cloud and improving AWS recovery times by 3-5x. It also increases the software’s analytics capabilities, including providing a platform for the first time.
“Zerto Virtual Replication 5.5 is a major planting of the flag in delivering on our vision,” said Jason Cowie, Zerto’s Senior Director of Global Partner and Channel Sales. “Directionally, we are focused on application protection, portability and giving customers and partners freedom of choice. From the partner perspective, the 5.5 enhancements tie into a nice range of use cases that many partners have struggled with – customers’ journey to the cloud and journey to the hybrid cloud. They can take a very consultative role on what a public or hybrid cloud strategy would look like, leveraging our platform to do amazing stuff on migrating those workloads.”
Zerto has upgraded support significantly for the Azure cloud with this release, while also improving the capabilities of its AWS recovery times. They first added support for the Microsoft Azure Cloud in their 5.0 release last November, joining AWS, which it had supported earlier. At that point, it only enabled replication to Azure, however. Now it adds replication from the cloud, providing full bi-directional replication, and becoming the first vendor in the space to do so.
“Zerto Virtual Replication 5.5 makes it easy to move out of Azure as well as in,” Cowie said. “That has been an issue in the cloud. It also opens up a ton of use cases – like dev-ops. You can also now replicate the data back into primary site datacentre consolidations, and move those workloads around.”
This capability means that even though Zerto added Azure support after AWS, it now has more complete support of Azure.
“It is a roadmap item for us to be able to replicate out of AWS, but we are not there yet,” Cowie said. “The movement with Azure relates to our deep relationship with Microsoft. Not only are we co-selling with them, but we are deeply embedded with their engineering efforts. They’ve been very open and willing to deliver granular RPOs and RTOs. With AWS, we don’t have as granular RTOs and RPOs as we do with Azure.”
The rapid growth of Zerto’s Azure business makes this a welcome addition.
“A good portion of business in the last six to twelve months has been companies using Microsoft Azure realizing that they have a huge hodgepodge of data, and wanting to simplify it,” Cowie indicated.
Support for the AWS platform has also been upgraded in the 5.5 release, which increases the speed of recovering applications 3-5x times, to the point where it approaches near real-time.
“We weren’t getting the performance we wanted before, so we created our own Z-Import, that allows us to streamline those RPOs and RTOs, rather than use just the AWS EC2 import,” Cowie said.
Support for additional AWS regions has been added, including the Canadian AWS region that went live last fall. Other AWS regions now supported are in Ohio, London and Mumbai.
Zerto has also upgraded Zerto Virtual Replication’s analytics capabilities, with the addition of a platform that which provides real-time and historical analytics on the status and health of multi-site, multi-cloud environments.
“We had an analytics capability before, with the Mobile App we introduced in 5.0, which let you look at the environments’ overall health,” Cowie said. “However, we have really beefed up the capability. The platform itself is brand new, as is the ability to consume it as a service. If they have multiple sites, they will have one unified interface for RTOs and RPOs. This part of the announcement has been very well received by our customer base as well as our partners.”
The Mobile App itself has also been upgraded, with the Zerto Mobile Widget.
“The Widget provides the same capabilities as the App, except that you can now see the statistics without having to actually open up the App,” Cowie said. “This is something customers had requested.”
Other enhancements include automatic virtual replication appliance upgrades through a single upgrade process, and extended API openness.
“You can now select auto-upgrades to maintain replication agents across environments,” Cowie said. “The APIs are also significant. In the last 12-18 months, we have placed a heavy engineering emphasis on exposing APIs.”