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Zerto targets cloud data protection at ZertoCon 2021

Zerto rolled out three products to protect SaaS, Kubernetes and AWS at its ZertoCon virtual event and gave a preview of new features added to Zerto 9.0.

Zerto unveiled three products focused on protecting workloads in the cloud at ZertoCon 2021.

During today's ZertoCon virtual event, the vendor officially made its Kubernetes data protection product generally available, launched a product for protecting SaaS applications and beta launched a new AWS cloud data protection product.

Zerto for Kubernetes originally debuted at ZertoCon 2020 and went into beta in November 2020. The product uses Zerto's proprietary journaling technology to enable continuous data protection for Kubernetes. It is deployed via Helm chart onto Kubernetes clusters and supports the most popular Kubernetes distributions, including Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, Google Kubernetes Engine, IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service and Red Hat OpenShift.

Through a partnership with Keepit, the new Zerto Backup for SaaS is a backup-as-a-service offering for protecting Microsoft 365, Salesforce and Google Workspace data. The service is provided by Keepit, but licensed through Zerto on a per-user, per-year basis and will be available before the end of April.

Zerto also launched into beta a new cloud-native data protection product for AWS cloud. Tentatively called Zerto In-Cloud Manager, the new product doesn't use Zerto's journaling technology and instead uses AWS's native snapshot functionality to create restore points.

Zerto handles the orchestration of capturing, replicating and restoring snapshots, and the vendor claims the product is capable of replicating 1,000 VMs concurrently. It is in a controlled beta, limited to customers with 1,000 or more VMs, and is expected to become generally available in July.

Customers have been moving more production workloads to the cloud, so it made sense for Zerto to build and release products for the cloud-native world, said Deepak Verma, vice president of product. The demand pushed Zerto to create a data protection product that doesn't use its journaling technology and enter a reselling partnership with another vendor -- both company firsts.

"Our motivation was to remove the roadblocks to some of our enterprise deals," Verma said of the Keepit deal. "The path of least resistance was to partner, as it didn't make sense to spend development resources on tech that's already in the market."

Zerto also gave a preview of some of the features in the upcoming Zerto 9.0, due to become generally available in July. Zerto 9.0 will have support for cloud tiering within AWS and Azure, S3-compatible storage systems such as Cloudian and immutability through integration with AWS's Object Lock function. Zerto 9.0 will also introduce one-button Instant VM Restore from the journal straight into production and file restore from long-term retention.

Customers want consolidation

Customer demand for cloud data protection is growing, said Vinny Choinski, senior lab analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a division of TechTarget. The amount of business-critical data customers have in Kubernetes containers, SaaS applications and public clouds is at a point where protecting them is a necessity, so it makes sense Zerto is targeting these workloads.

No one is happy about having separate remotes for their TV, DVD player, Apple TV, etc., on their coffee table, but they accept it.
Vinny ChoinskiSenior lab analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

The three products Zerto mentioned at today's event aren't individually noteworthy compared with what's currently available on the market, Choinski said. The importance is that, taken together, they expand the Zerto platform to cover more workloads, most notably ones in the cloud. A customer won't, for example, need Commvault for core data protection, Trilio for Kubernetes backup and Spanning for Office 365 backup, Choinski said.

ESG surveys have found that customers generally want vendor and product consolidation, but they will buy products from multiple different vendors if they have no other choice, Choinski said. Some customers might mind this less than others, but no IT admin has ever said they like having to use six different interfaces for six different data protection products, he added.

"No one is happy about having separate remotes for their TV, DVD player, Apple TV, etc., on their coffee table, but they accept it," Choinski said.

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