DSA reached out to Zerto after the release of their latest IT Resilience platform earlier this month to find out more about some of the unique features of ZVR 6.0, what Zerto actually mean by “IT Resilience”, whether cloud freedom is truly feasible and what Zerto’s plans are in the Asia region for 2018. The following is the response that we have received from the Vice President of APJ at Zerto, Andrew Martin.
DSA Editor: Doesn’t everyone support multi cloud these days? What’s so special about this announcement from Zerto?
Andrew Martin: It’s true that many companies have a cloud story and have support for multiple clouds in their own way. What Zerto is announcing here really is very different. Moving application consistent data and the applications themselves between clouds in a way that enables them to simply continue running with almost no down time, is a big challenge which ZVR 6.0 solves. We can now move enterprise applications such as ERP systems or online transaction systems between on premise, the major public clouds and hundreds of managed clouds without disruption.
People often question me as to whether it really is that difficult to move production workloads into public cloud, I point out that the planning, resource allocation and testing involved in moving enterprise applications into public cloud is significant, requiring fees for skilled services to ensure success. Zerto really does make the promise of simplicity in this cloud journey a reality in a way that has not been possible until now.
DSA Editor: Your headline refers to a resilience platform, what does that really mean?
Andrew Martin: Resiliency is about managing the planned and unplanned successfully and without disruption. These planned and unplanned changes can be in response to moving a workload to a more cost-effective cloud or a system failure which causes immediate disruption. Disaster recovery (DR) products in the past were about providing failover within a single infrastructure. From day one Zerto challenged this idea, offering hardware agnostic replication and failover from the get go. With this release of Zerto, we really do transform from a DR product to a platform on which to build resiliency.
As companies implement scalable, flexible software defined cost-efficient data centres, the nirvana is to be able to use the cloud you want. The limiting factor is the “heavy lifting” involved in seamlessly moving data and applications between platforms and clouds. Technically you may manage multiple clouds as a single logical data centre. However, up until now, it has not been possible to move your workloads at will across them. Zerto is now the underlying platform that can sit at the heart of your logical data centre that makes this flexibility a reality. Having a hardware and cloud agnostic resiliency platform as the basis for your cloud strategy is the only way a company can have non-disruptive movement on any workload between clouds. Zerto is the only company that provides this platform.
DSA Editor: ZVR 6.0 makes it possible for organisations to move between different clouds easily and seamlessly. But in practice, how often would Zerto’s customers typically do that, and wouldn’t migration potentially incur high download fees and bandwidth cost?
Andrew Martin: Bandwidth cost and particularly download fees are absolutely something that can cause nasty surprises. Cloud providers en masse tend to talk about freedom and no tie in, but some will hit you hard with fees if you move data out of their cloud. The reality is that until now, it has been so difficult in practice to move business critical workloads out of a public cloud, that despite the hype, the journey has been one way. With Zerto’s resiliency platform allowing, as an example, failover of an application from AWS to Azure, the cloud providers “escape” fees are likely to come under closer scrutiny. What people will find is that these fees are very variable across different cloud providers. Some “walk the walk” and don’t just “talk the talk” and don’t penalise you for moving data and workloads out of their cloud. Surprisingly some companies are holding true to real cloud ideals with IBM Cloud for instance having far less fees for downloading data than other more “born in the cloud” rivals who really do impose significant fees for downloading data. The great news is that with Zerto’s resiliency platform we reduce the dependence on providers whose fees don’t make sense for you.
DSA Editor: Do you feel that backup is becoming redundant?
Andrew Martin: I started my IT career in backup almost 20 years ago, and from the day I started I was told that backup will be dead in the next year or so. Based on that anyone predicted the demise of backup is most likely wrong. However, what is clear is that the mechanism and technology for backup is really changing. Today we offer any point in time recovery for 30 days, in effect that means if your retention requirement is only one month then you would not need a separate backup operation. As our technology develops we will increase the duration of recovery history we retain. Backup doesn’t go away but the way we serve the same purpose will change for sure.
DSA Editor: What are your plans for Asia for 2018?
Andrew Martin: 2018 is a really exciting year for Zerto both globally and here in Asia. We are putting a major focus into Japan and Australia which have already developed into the more established part of our region. We are also putting extra investment into partnerships for our business in China, India and ASEAN to build on significant momentum we saw in 2017.
The value Zerto brings enterprise companies who are going through digital and data centre transformation now and into the future, 2018 is about strengthening our customer relations with these large enterprises that have either already invested in Zerto or planning to do so this year. Partnerships will continue to be very important for us in 2018. Large global providers such as IBM, Microsoft and in Japan, companies like NEC will be very strategic for us this year. At the same time, we will continue to recruit and work with systems integrators, cloud providers and service providers who are skilled in leading their own customers transformation journeys.