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ZertoCon: Zerto Makes Big Play For Kubernetes, Cloud Data Protection

‘The new technologies being introduced at ZertoCon give customers the ability to protect, move and recover data regardless of the workload. We’ve done it in the virtual world in the past. Now we’re extending our capabilities to Kubernetes and SaaS,’ says Andy Fernandez, Zerto’s senior product marketing manager.

Cloud data protection and data management technology developer Zerto Tuesday used ZertoCon 2021 Virtual to unveil new data protection offerings aimed at workloads running on the Amazon Web Services cloud.

The Boston-based storage company also unveiled the general availability of Zerto for Kubernetes, a continuous data protection offering for backup and recovery across cloud and on-premises environments, and introduced Zerto 9.0, the upcoming release of its flagship data protection platform.

Zerto wants to be a platform for cloud data protection and management, said Andy Fernandez, senior product marketing manager for the company.

[Related: 2021 Storage 100: The Data Conversation Starts Here]

“The new technologies being introduced at ZertoCon give customers the ability to protect, move and recover data regardless of the workload,” Fernandez told CRN. “We’ve done it in the virtual world in the past. Now we’re extending our capabilities to Kubernetes and SaaS. We’re not using antiquated technologies. Instead, we’re providing modern protection and management in a scalable way.”

Zerto has over time proven to be a great partner and offer a lucrative relationship, said Keith Odom, senior vice president of presales and solutions at Ahead, a Chicago-based solution provider that recently closed a huge deal with Zerto to migrate 12,000 virtual machines from 30 data centers into two new data centers over a six-month period.

“We’ve had a long-term relationship with Zerto,” Odom told CRN. “It’s a very good company to work with. Zerto has a pretty good platform for data management, and we leverage it. And we like the back-end rebates with the flexibility Zerto provides our clients.”

New from Zerto is cloud-native disaster recovery for AWS workloads, including Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services, or Amazon EKS, Fernandez said. For businesses using Amazon EKS, the offering allows protection, recovery and migration for any Kubernetes application and its persistent data, he said.

Zerto is also now adding disaster recovery across AWS regions and availability zones to protect native AWS applications and Amazon EC2 data, Fernandez said.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a spike in customers wanting to run production workloads in the cloud,” he said. “But even in the cloud, there are still disruptions. Customers need disaster recovery and the ability to fail over to other clouds or regions.”

A beta of the Amazon EKS disaster recovery offering with the ability to fail over recovery to a second region in AWS is being showing at ZertoCon, Fernandez said. The ability to move and back up data will be available later this year.

Zerto Tuesday also introduced the ability to do self-service data restores and downloads for managed service providers, Fernandez said. MSPs previously could do local backups and replication, he said.

“We want to let end users have an easy way to recover their own files,” he said. “We are also enhancing workflow. We already deliver the best RPO [recovery point objectives]. Now, with enhanced recovery workflows, we’re also increasing RTO [recovery time objectives].”

Also new on Tuesday is the general availability of backup and disaster recovery for Kubernetes workloads. The new capability, Zerto for Kubernetes, or Zerto Z4K, gives users continuous data protection to containerized applications built using Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Amazon EKS, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, and Red Hat OpenShift, Fernandez said.

“Our Zerto for Kubernetes is a native Kubernetes service,” he said. “So as customers enhance and upgrade their environments, Zerto is in there with them. And we’re licensed to allow environments to scale up and scale out. This lets customers pick whatever platforms and clustering they want. Zerto is there at a native level to protect them.”

Zerto also used ZertoCon to introduce some of the key capabilities of its Zerto 9.0 platform.

Zerto 9.0, slated to go into general availability in July, includes backup for SaaS applications such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 thanks to a strategic partnership with Copenhagen, Denmark-based Keepit, Fernandez said. Keepit provides a simple, secure backup with granular control, unlimited storage and protection, and easy recovery, he said.

Zerto 9.0 also gives customers the ability to set up multiple storage tiers in Azure or AWS, a new long-term Amazon S3 data repository option using technology from Cloudera, immutability for data protected in AWS to protect against ransomware, and the ability to recover specific files from long-term retention, he said.

A lot of the new capabilities coming from Zerto, particularly the ability to use continuous data backup for instant recovery, are key, Ahead’s Odom said. He also appreciates the support Zerto is now offering for Kubernetes workloads across the major public cloud providers.

“Zerto has done much to differentiate itself from some competitors such as Cohesity or Rubrik,” he said. “Others are doing many of the same things. But no one is doing it all like Zerto is. And the ability to offer so much at the container level is huge. Customers do see errors in coding or issues with ransomware, so it’s nice to know they can recover.”

The ability to protect against ransomware is also top of mind for clients, Odom said.

“Zerto’s adding of data immutability is a huge selling point for customers,” he said. “If ransomware is not the No. 1 issue for customers, it’s the No. 2 issue. We’re dealing with this on a weekly basis, either helping proactively protect against ransomware attacks or helping someone recover.”

Zerto gets 100 percent of its revenue via solution providers and MSPs, Fernandez said.

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