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Zerto Releases Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) Version 4.5

Zerto has recently announced the availability of a new feature rich update to its flagship product, Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR), bringing it to version 4.5.    

Zerto Virtual Replication is the first hypervisor-based replication solution to offer enterprise-class cross-hypervisor replication, disaster recovery, data protection and workload mobility.  With ZVR, IT departments can automatically convert Hyper-V VMs to VMware, convert VMware VMs to Hyper- V, & convert Hyper-V to AWS for increased flexibility and cost savings.

Zerto Virtual Replication 4.5 builds upon the company's always-on replication, with no snapshots, replication and orchestration capabilities by adding granular recovery.  Now, a single file or folder can be recovered from the journal, improving the mean time to recovery for files, folders, VMs, applications and sites.  Many other improvements were made as well to simplify disaster
recovery operations, to further reduce ongoing management and maintenance and to automate more DR operations to ensure consistency and repeatability.

And it is Zerto's interoperability (cross-replication, multi-hypervisor support) that is one of the big advantages that sets this solution apart from others.

[A great way to learn more is by reading Discover Cross-Hypervisor Replication with Zerto.]

"The ability to help IT and business leaders confidently recover and restore within minutes any aspect of their IT infrastructure up to the last seconds of an outage is one that truly gives our customers a competitive advantage. For highly regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, this level of business continuity and disaster recovery granularity helps them easily exceed compliance requirements, while providing better customer experiences," says Oded Kedem, CTO and co-founder, Zerto.

This latest release packs quite a punch!  So, what's new in ZVR 4.5:

New Installation

ZVR 4.5's installation has been totally redesigned to be more robust and resilient.  In addition to receiving a brand new look, the installation itself has been updated to make things easier to understand.  You can perform a silent installation of Zerto Virtual Replication in all environments.  The silent installation has been changed so you can specify the installation configuration as part of the silent installation command.

VRA Functionality has been Enhanced

VRA Deployment (vSphere Environments)

VRAs can be installed using vSphere Installation Bundle (VIB), so that a password to install the VRA on a host is no longer required.  This makes automating the installation of VRAs in a vSphere environment using APIs simple.  And more importantly, it makes it resilient to password changes.

Enhanced Handling of Ghost VRAs

A VRA could enter a ghost state for a few reasons.  In Zerto Virtual Replication version 4.5 some of these situations resolve themselves automatically and some require user input.  When a protected disk cannot be accessed by the VRA, only the VPG directly affected is marked as ghost and the user can do one of the following:
  • Remove the affected virtual machines from the VPG, enabling the remaining virtual machines to remain protected.  Also, only the relevant VPG is affected and not all VPGs recovering to that VRA.
  • Change the recovery datastore.  This will result in the VPG being re-synced.  All other VPGs recovering to the VRA are unaffected.

Role Based Access Control

Zerto RBAC 

Handling permissions has been extended to enable applying permissions to specific entities such as ZORGs, VPGs, and sites.  Roles can be defined with a set of privileges that define an operation or a set of operations that can be performed, such as managing a VPG or VRA.  These roles can then be assigned to users and groups of users.  You can then define permissions which determine the roles that apply to a specific user or user group on a specific entity.

"For customers using the Zerto Cloud Manager, we’ve added Active Directory integrated Role Based Access Control (RBAC)," said Shannon Snowden, Zerto’s Sr. Technical Marketing Architect.  "In versions through ZVR 4.0, we had RBAC based off of vCenter.  However, as ZVR grows past just the VMware platform as we did when ZVR 4.0 was introduced, we needed to have RBAC available for those environments that aren’t just VMware based."

In addition to the already robust permissions available from Zerto Virtual Replication, these have been added.

  • View only – the ability to log into Zerto Virtual Replication and view the settings and configurations of the BC/DR processes. This permission level does not allow for changes to be made.
  • Manage workload protection – the ability modify virtual protection group (VPG) settings and update BC/DR plans and processes.
  • Recovery and Migrate Workloads – the ability to actually execute the BC/DR or migration plan. Workloads will move according to the execution plan.

Journal File Level Restore

In this release, Zerto solves this most frequent disaster problem by adding the ability to recover a single file or folder from up to 14-days in the past... from increments in seconds, from the journal, with just a few mouse clicks.

Journal File Level Recovery enables the recovery of any file system object, including but not limited to SQL, Oracle, Exchange and user data to remove the impact of data loss from using infrequent backup solutions.

"Wouldn’t it be great if you could restore a VM, database or a file from a Zerto protected Virtual Machine using any checkpoint in the journal you want?  Well, now you can with ZVR 4.5," added Snowden.  "We’ve kept the operation simple.  It is all managed from the same HTML5 Web GUI that is used for all the other operations such as failover testing, failovers and migrations."

S3 Server Side EncrypCon in AWS

For customers using AWS with ZVR, Zerto has added a security improvement in version 4.5 so all replicated data from protected virtual machines to AWS can be encrypted in S3.  This helps ensure data will stay secure, even when it is in the public cloud.

Compressed Journal

Journaling Compression of changed block data stored in the recovery site, saves 60% on average of disk space utilized for enabling point in time recovery of data and applications.

Zerto Compression 

According to Snowden, Zerto would only do this as long as it wouldn't cause delays in failover testing, live failovers or migrations.  

"It doesn’t, so you get storage savings without paying for a decompression operation during your testing or failovers," said Snowden.  "This results in Zerto using even less space than it did before, even though we were very frugal with our space requirements already.  Expect to need only about 10% for ZVR journal space now that it’s compressed."

APIs

There are many ways that today’s data center is trying to increase efficiency, from automating tasks to more efficient use of physical resources to maximize hardware and software investments.  In response, Zerto has made several advancements to make it easier for IT to run Zerto Virtual Replication in every way.

New APIs were added for automating deployment and the creation of protection groups to enable automatic protection and subsequent editing of protected VMs, increasing efficiency and automation of the virtual environment.

Zerto API

The following are some of the changes that have been made to the APIs:

  • Alerts – Enables retrieving information about alerts as well as being able to dismiss or undismiss an alert.
  • Events – Enhanced to include the ability to retrieve event information by category, entity or type.
  • Tasks – Enhanced to include the ability to retrieve information by task type.
  • Virtualization sites – Enhanced to include the ability to retrieve information to use in the vpgsettings API.
  • VPGs – Enables deleting a VPG, retrieving event information by VPG priority, retention policy, status or substatus.

Zerto Virtual Replication 4.5 ensures the continuous protection of applications, VMs, folders and files.  This increased granularity gives organizations unprecedented control over recovery operations.  New APIs and role-based controls ensure the right commands are accessed and executed, further increasing control of critical IT operations.

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The industry's premier business continuity and disaster recovery conference, ZertoCON 2016, will showcase these new features and more to help today's IT leaders unlock the potential of their data centers.  The conference takes place May 23-25, 2016 in Boston.

Published Friday, March 11, 2016 9:28 AM by David Marshall
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