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Extended Zerto journaling highlights backup, resilience push

Zerto 7 will feature a journaling capability that extends far beyond what the vendor previously offered. The vendor's IT Resilience Platform also includes automation and analytics.

BOSTON -- Zerto is going back in the future.

Through its new Elastic Journal, Zerto will eventually enable the recovery of data going back years, the Boston-based vendor said at its ZertoCON user conference on Tuesday. The backup feature, due next year, will be part of what Zerto is branding its IT Resilience Platform that aims to be an all-in-one data protection, recovery and cloud mobility product.

The enhanced Zerto journaling merges granular journal technology with long-term repositories to provide continuous recovery points across data, files or virtual machines. Zerto pitched it as a new way to do backups.

"Periodic backups are a thing of the past," said Rob Strechay, Zerto's senior vice president of product. "Continuous, journal-based protection is the future."

Zerto CEO Ziv Kedem echoed Strechay's sentiments in his ZertoCON keynote on Tuesday, saying backup tools such as periodic snapshots aren't cutting it anymore for an always-on business world.

"We believe in changing the way backup is done," Kedem said. "You need a continuous backup."

'A better way' for backup

While Zerto already focused on business continuity, disaster recovery and replication, the backup push is new.

Anyone who uses backup today should understand there's a better way.
Ziv KedemCEO, Zerto

"Anyone who uses backup today should understand there's a better way," Kedem said in an interview following his keynote.

Zerto journaling previously went back 30 days. Customers told Zerto they need to go beyond a month, Strechay said.

Most of what an organization needs to recover comes from the last week, Strechay said, but it may need weekly, monthly or yearly backups for compliance purposes, for example.

"We think this is groundbreaking -- being able to see the near term and long term in the protection scheme," Strechay said.

Ransomware recovery has been one of the big uses of Zerto journaling and continuous data protection.

"It's not if you will be attacked," Kedem said. "It's when you will be attacked."

The Elastic Journal will be part of Zerto 7, the new edition of the vendor's flagship product, which is scheduled for release in early 2019. Under the product's previous name, Zerto Virtual Replication, version 6.0 -- released in February -- expanded on the vendor's bidirectional replication capability to protect applications and data to and from clouds and between multiple clouds. The name change reflects Zerto's expansion beyond replication.

Zerto 7 also features indexing and search that is compatible with on-premises or cloud data, enabling recovery for short- and long-term retention.

Customers seeking singular, simple, speedy

Much of Zerto's IT Resilience Platform is available now. The platform also includes orchestration and automation. Analytics reaches across multisite, multi-cloud environments.

Vanessa Babcock, senior systems engineer at ‎Canton-Potsdam Hospital in New York, said she would like to have one product for all IT resiliency work. Babcock, who is part of a three-person infrastructure team, said the organization has several backup products that aren't as easy to use as Zerto.

"It would work out easier for me if we had a single pane of glass," Babcock said.

Phil Goodwin, research director of storage systems and software at IDC, said Elastic Journal provides recovery point objectives of seconds. However, Goodwin pointed out that Zerto journaling will only go back to the first day of its implementation. That means its value is in the long term, rather than immediately.

"The benefits of this product are years down the road," he said.

Goodwin cited Veeam as one of Zerto's major competitors. Like Veeam, Zerto began by providing virtual infrastructure protection. Veeam has recently made a big enterprise push, adding features such as improved data management and physical protection.

As part of its roadmap, Zerto plans to target physical applications, containers and cloud-born applications, Strechay said.

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How would you use the new Zerto journal feature in your environment?
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Zerto dramatically simplifies IT operations by consolidating DR, Workload Mobility, Backup,. and supporting analytics into a single tool. This is a known quantity and a solid performer.  Throw in Hybrid Cloud support for all of the above along with a superior backup model - continuous replication via journal - and you have a very compelling story.  When combined with  RBAC enabling tenant self-management of the backup, restore, failover and move activities, Zerto becomes practically a no-brainer.

But even more important will be how it can solve a very thorny issue - the GDPR Data Subject Access Request.  Under GDPR when a Data Subject requests all the data an enterprise has on them, it can be extraordinarily difficult to identify, let alone copy or delete that data.  Zerto-enabled index and search of disk-based backups is something impossible to do with tape, and nearly impossible with deduplication on disk (unless rehydrating the data from every in-scope application is realistic). With companies like Microsoft announcing they will provide GDPR-level compliance not just for their EU customers, but globally, this trend will surely be growing, and with it the requirement to do what Zerto does.
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Thank you for the comment. Timely thoughts on GDPR - the compliance deadline is today! Who's ready?
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