Zetta adds local option for hybrid cloud backups, DR

Cloud backups vendor Zetta adds hybrid option by supporting local data for quicker restores of recent or large backup sets.

Zetta today said it will add support for local backup to its DataProtect cloud service, enabling a hybrid approach for cloud backups, replication and disaster recovery.

DataProtect installs as an agent on client systems and synchronizes data that is stored locally and within a cloud that Zetta maintains at Equinix colocation sites on both U.S. coasts.

A new local copy plug-in lets customers use on-premise storage for the most recent copy of large backup files. Chris Schin, Zetta's vice president of products, said the local copy capability allows for faster off-site backup and recovery by splitting the backup load.

"Local copy enables rapid restores from local backup instead of having to go to the cloud," he said. "Customers can have split paths of backups, with one local and one in the cloud. The default is to keep the most recent backup copy locally. Customers can restore the most recent version and then bring back changes from older versions in the cloud."

Zetta first launched with its Enterprise Cloud Storage file system in 2009, then added off-site backup, archiving and disaster recovery in 2010 with ZettaMirror replication. Last March, it added the ability to use plug-ins for Microsoft Exchange and SQL, virtual machines and file servers.

Zetta claims it has more than 200 customers. Schin said many of those customers have switched from appliances or backup applications, such as Symantec Corp.'s Backup Exec. He said Zetta's advantage is that its software was developed specifically for the cloud.

"That gives us a long head start over other hybrid guys who use what we call a 'dumb cloud,'" he said. "They try to put all the intelligence into the appliance. We started with a cloud-down solution that works without any local knowledge at all. Now we've added local knowledge with a split path so there's no single point of failure or dependencies between the cloud copy and local copy. They're maintained separately."

The town of Dedham, Mass., is among Zetta's customers. Veronica Barnes, Dedham's director of technology, said she switched from tape backups to cloud backups out of fear for natural disasters. Dedham stores more than 50 TB of data in the Zetta cloud.

"I was worried about whether I could do our restore if something happened to our office," she said. "I was worried about the cloud initially, but everything went smoothly. I can do restores from my desk in three clicks."

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