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Zerto is set to launch the latest incarnation of its flagship product that converges backup and recovery, and will enable users to recover to a point in time going back years.
Zerto 7, the new edition of the Zerto IT Resilience Platform, is scheduled for a tech preview in February and general availability in April.
“Legacy backup doesn’t really work anymore,” said Rob Strechay, senior vice president of product, on a webinar preview of Zerto 7 last week. Strechay pointed to the complexity and cost of old backup products and emerging threats such as ransomware as reasons why a new data protection platform is needed.
The major new feature in the Zerto IT Resilience Platform is the Elastic Journal, which combines short-term journaling technology with long-term repositories. Through its journaling, Zerto previously offered the ability for an organization to roll back to a point in time within the last 30 days and recover. Now the Boston-based software vendor claims it will enable point-in-time recovery going back years.
“It lets you simply rewind to any point in time with no data loss or downtime,” said Strechay, who previewed Zerto 7 at the vendor’s annual ZertoCON user conference last May.
The Elastic Journal offers point-in-time recovery across files, virtual machines, applications or sites. Strechay said he remembers a time when he had to use many tapes just to bring back one application.
Zerto claims recovery point objectives of seconds and recovery time objectives of minutes.
“It gives you a much more flexible way of handling long-term retention,” Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn, technology evangelist at Zerto, said in an interview.
The Zerto IT Resilience Platform uses Changed Block Tracking copies to keep costs down, van Doorn said. The product features new support for secondary storage target repositories such as ExaGrid and HPE StoreOnce appliances.
Zerto is hardware-agnostic and has no plans to start making appliances, Strechay said.
The ability to restore to a given point in time is a critical functionality in the evolution of recovering from ransomware and threats of that nature, said Phil Goodwin, research director at IDC.
“The Elastic Journal is fairly unique,” Goodwin said.
Application mobility and what’s next
Goodwin said another key piece of Zerto IT resilience technology is its application mobility. Zerto is one of the companies ahead of the game in its ability to move workloads from one location to another, for example between public clouds. He pointed to VMware, Microsoft and Veeam as other vendors that provide that capability.
The market is moving from an era of products offering separate functionalities to vendors providing a “continuum” of application availability, workload migration and management of data in different locations, Goodwin said.
“I think they’re in a very unique spot. They have very good technology,” for example in replication, journaling and workload migration, Goodwin said. “The question is now can they get the mass adoption they need to compete against larger companies?”
Goodwin said Zerto’s next big move could be more integration with other vendors and systems. Veeam, one of Zerto’s top competitors and another vendor with no plans to manufacture its own hardware, has launched several appliance partnerships in the last couple of years with vendors such as Cisco and Lenovo.
“Building out their ecosystem is going to be critical for Zerto to succeed,” Goodwin said.
Zerto is discussing physical protection and container support as potential future elements of its IT resilience platform, van Doorn said.
The new Zerto IT Resilience Platform also features intelligent index and search capabilities, an enhanced user interface and analytics. The longer organizations keep data, the more important it becomes to be able to search and analyze that data well.
All current customers will automatically receive the new features at no additional cost, according to Zerto. For new customers, Zerto will continue to price per virtual machine.
Zerto claims more than 7,000 customers.