Disaster Recovery with Zerto

Hi all,

Today I would like to discuss about Zerto Disaster Recovery and Replication solution. This post is an introduction to Zerto Virtual Replication.

We are using Zerto DR solution in our production environment and protecting more than 2000 VMs successfully. As everyone knows we have so many restrictions to perform any type of testing activity’s in production environment, So I planned to test a complete DR solution with Zerto in my lab environment.

Lab environment created for Zerto VMware to VMware DR test.

I attended ZertoCON Local in Bangalore few months ago, I heard more about Zerto from their technical team, based on that I planed to learn more about Zerto.

What is Zerto?

Zerto provides enterprise-class disaster recovery and business continuity software specifically for virtualized data centers and cloud environments. Zerto completely focusing on enterprise level business continuity and disaster recovery solution. It will work with both VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V environments, currently Zerto is not supporting any other virtualization solutions. Zerto will work with Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and other Zerto enabled cloud providers. So we can host a new DR solution in cloud with help of Zerto.

Watch an official video presentation from Zerto: Disaster Recovery to Cloud

Zerto Architecture

Zerto Virtual Replication provides disaster recovery between hypervisors such as VMware ESXi hosts managed by vCenter Servers and Microsoft Hyper-V hosts managed by SCVMM. In addition, you can protect virtual machines in these environments to a public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Zerto enabled cloud providers.

Image credit: Zerto.com

Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM)

Zerto Virtual manager is running on a windows server on both protected and recovery site. The ZVM interacts with the hypervisor management user interface, such as vCenter Server or Microsoft SCVMM, to get the inventory of VMs, disks, networks, hosts, etc. The ZVM also monitors changes in the hypervisor environment and responds accordingly.

A Zerto Virtual Manager can manage up to 5000 virtual machines, either being protected by, or recovered to, the Zerto Virtual Manager.

Virtual Replication Appliance (VRA)

Virtual Replication Appliance will be deployed on top of each hypervisor as a VM in protected site as well as recovery site. VRA needs 1 vCPU and 3 GB RAM as default configuration.

A VRA can manage a maximum of 1500 volumes, whether these are volumes being protected or recovered. As an admin we don’t have any access to VRA, its completely managed by Zerto support.

Virtual Backup Appliance (VBA)

A VBA is a Windows service, which manages back-ups within Zerto Virtual Replication. The VBA service runs on the same machine as the Zerto Virtual Manager service and is responsible for the repositories where
offsite backups are stored. These repositories can be local or on a shared network.

Zerto User Interface

Recovery using Zerto Virtual Replication is managed in a browser.

Watch an official video presentation from Zerto: Zerto Virtual Replication Architecture Explained.

How Zerto Virtual Replication Recovery Works

Installing Zerto Virtual Replication installs the Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM), We can install ZVM as a Virtual Machine on top of the underlined hypervisor or a physical server. We are going to manage the Zerto Virtual Manager for all the zerto installed sites, using the Zerto User Interface.

In the protected site we have to define the virtual machines that we want to replicate, either individually or together, as a virtual protection group (VPG). The virtual machines that we include in the VPG can come from one or more hypervisor hosts.

Zerto Virtual Replication will capture every write which is happening in the hypervisor level and sending to the recovery site with help of (ZVM), for replication Zerto use  asynchronous sync.

On the recovery site the write is written to a journal managed by a Virtual Replication Appliance (VRA). Each protected virtual machine has its own journal. Every few seconds, a checkpoint is also written to each journal.

Zerto Virtual Replication License

Zerto is having four type of licensing:-

  1. Zerto Virtual Replication
  2. Zerto Virtual Replication DRaaS
  3. Zerto Virtual Replication to Public Cloud
  4. Zerto Virtual Replication Enterprise Cloud Edition

Zerto Virtual Replication License Matrix (Image credit: Zerto.com)

Zerto Virtual Replication Feature Matrix (Image credit: Zerto.com)

We will discuss about more on Zerto in the upcoming posts.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to share this to others if it is worth sharing!!!

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Written by Sujith Surendran

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