March 23, 2023 By Debbie Van Zyl
Bob Floyd
4 min read

Zerto on IBM Cloud is a disaster recovery solution for any size or complexity of workload.

Traditional disaster recovery used to be running a second site—typically with your old infrastructure that was in a basement or old building and tested once or twice a year by recovering from external media. This took days, was fraught with hardware outages, required excessive staff and meant that mountains of documentation needed to be updated and configurations reworked to keep up with production.

Today, things are different. With the cloud, we have the opportunity to relocate disaster recovery into an environment that is technically matched with production, flexible and, most importantly, has the uptime needed to ensure that the landing zone is stable and ready in the event of a disaster.

IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions and Zerto offer Zerto on IBM Cloud, a disaster recovery solution for any size or complexity of workload. Ensuring data is continuously replicated and compute is ready to go when you need it makes for a cost-effective and flexible solution that reduces business risk and complexity.

Eliminate data loss and downtime with Zerto

Here’s how Zerto is helping enterprises continuously protect, move and recover enterprise applications:

  • Purpose-built for disaster recovery: Zerto was purpose-built for disaster recovery, rather than being a Frankenstein mismatch of backup solutions twisted into a product marketed as disaster recovery.
  • Based on continuous data protection (CDP): The solution is based on continuous data protection, not a scheduled moment-in-time backup that might be hours or even days old when you need it. There are no snapshots to take and no physical media to worry about.
  • Protect the same workload up to three times: Being a software-only disaster recovery solution, Zerto allows you to protect the same workload up to three times on whatever infrastructure you choose. In short, if it’s a virtual workload running on a supported hypervisor, Zerto can continuously protect it.
  • Best-in-industry VM-level replication: Zerto uses the industry’s best VM-level replication engine that provides the lowest RPOs and RTOs in the business. In most cases, RPOs in the seconds and RTOs in the minutes.

Top three critical features of Zerto replication

  1. Journal: This is the heart of Zerto’s continuous data protection (CDP). Think of the Journal as something like a DVR for your TV. It is continuously recording so that if you miss something in your favourite show or want to see that big play from the football game again, you rewind to the exact moment in time you want to see and you are good to go. Zerto’s Journal is much the same. It lives on the replication target site, and it is continuously recording your data while that data is being created. When you experience a disaster event—be it something natural like severe weather interrupting service at your primary production site or something man-made like a ransomware event—you simply pick the moment in time immediately before the event, failover to that moment, and your production site is back up with only a short interruption and limited data loss.
  2. Logical grouping of VMs together into a Virtual Protection Group (VPG): This allows you to create a VPG that protects all the VMs involved in running an application. Zerto then treats those VMs as a single unit, ensuring Write Order Fidelity during replication so that no matter which Journal checkpoint you chose to failover to, every VM comes up at that exact same point in time. No hoping that all your snapshots are compatible and that your application works.
  3. The ability to do full failover tests: This feature is available with complete reports for audit and compliance with just a handful of mouse clicks. Just select the VPG or VPGs you want to failover, choose the checkpoint you want to test and Zerto will spin up the VMs in a bubble network with no impact to your production environment. This isn’t simulated either. These are full VMs with production data, allowing you to connect to them and confirm the integrity of the data or the application functionality. Zerto continues to run in the background during the failover process, so a test of your environment doesn’t mean a gap in your protection.

No more guessing about whether your DR strategy works or how long it will take to recover in an emergency. You will know. You can even go to the next level with the test functionality, spinning up workloads to do things like new development, testing that new development, patch testing for OS or application—all without impacting production but all with real data from production.

Pay only for what you use on IBM Cloud

Everyone needs offsite backup for disaster recovery these days but running a redundant data center for this purpose can get expensive very quickly. This is where IBM Cloud comes in.

IBM Cloud is built on VMware vSphere—the same thing you are probably running in your data center today. You know it and you trust it. While Zerto is hypervisor-agnostic, it was born on vSphere and in many ways still functions best there, which means you have all the same functionality in IBM Cloud that you have on-premises.

The only difference between using IBM Cloud for disaster recovery and having your own second data center is that you aren’t paying for a whole second data center.

Zerto and IBM Cloud work together to provide flexible, unified billing; in other words, you pay only for what you use, and you only pay IBM. Let’s say you order 400 licenses when you start your project, but work goes more slowly than anticipated and that first month you only protect 50 VMs—you only pay for 50. Maybe the project never expands past that. You never pay for more than that.

To make it more economical, Zerto replication is data only, so you are only paying for storage. There is no compute expense on the DR side until you need to spin VMs up to do a failover.

Zerto and IBM Cloud also function bi-directionally, so you can use IBM Cloud for your data replication and do failover—live or test—back to your production data center. If your production data center is unavailable or you need additional compute temporarily, you just failover right there in IBM Cloud.

These are only some of the great features that make Zerto the best DR solution on the market today and just a handful of advantages of using the combination of Zerto and IBM for your cloud DR strategy.

Learn more

Zerto on IBM Cloud

Read the technical docs

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