New integrations with Google Cloud, AWS Storage Gateway highlight Zerto 8.0

Zerto is also emphasizing that several enhancements around the public clouds and VMware will be of particular interest to MSP partners.

Today, continuous data protection vendor Zerto is accomplishing quite a unique feat — they are announcing a significant release of their flagship product, and not postponing that release because the Wuhan coronavirus’ distraction of most people’s interest away from the normal course of news events. The release itself lacks the sizzle of last year’s 7.0 release, but that was because that 7.0 release was a mammoth one for Zerto, which redefined their product around a converged vision of DR and backup and cloud mobility. Zerto 8.0 does have significant new elements however, and will have particular interest for the company’s MSP channel partners.

“Zerto 7.0 was about adding a lot of the long term backup capabilities,” said Caroline Seymour, Zerto’s vice president of product marketing. “However, with 8.0, we have improved DR for on prem and cloud and for MSPs. We have two major net new announcements in our integration with Google Cloud and support for AWS Storage Gateway. We have also deepened our integrations with Amazon and AWS, and made some significant enhancements for VMware.”

The new strategic partnership with Google Cloud involves support of Google Cloud Platform’s VMWare Engine.

“This is a new service Google Cloud developed with VMware, using technology from their CloudSimple acquisition,” Seymour stated. “It lets workloads run natively in VMware in Google cloud, and also lets you spread your data across Google regions as well. It all looks the same in your Zerto environment.”

The AWS and Azure items are more in the nature of enhancements with one exception

“AWS Storage Gateway has now been added as a repository,” Seymour said. That allows it to be used as an inexpensive target site for cloud archiving and data protection.

“Our Azure enhancements are more updates, although we have added in more management and configuration capabilities for larger deployments around Azure Gen 2 VM,” Seymour indicated. “This includes Azure Unified Extensible Firmware Interface [UEFI], which offers complete data protection and recovery of Microsoft Hyper-V Generation 2 VMs.

Seymour emphasized that Zerto’s multi-cloud strategy, in addition to offering customers more choice, is also designed to strengthen their MSP patrtners.

“We’ve been building out our own cloud strategy, so that it gives customers freedom of choice,” she said. “However, we are also focusing on MSPs there, because we have seen a significant increase in the number of MSPs testing services on the public cloud during the last year. Building out the cloud is important for our managed services partners.”

Seymour said that Zerto’s VMware-related enhancements in  Zerto 8.0 will also be significant to MSP partners.

“We have announced two new capabilities around VMware vCloud Director,” Seymour stated. “A lot of our MSP have standardized on that. One is Zerto Self Service Extension for vCloud Director. It gives a tenancy-wide plug-in to make it easier for MSPs to take advantage of vCloud Director. The other capability is new  Standalone VM support, which allow Zerto DRaaS users to protect standalone VMs in one Zerto Virtual Protection Group in the VCloud. Both of these two new capabilities are significant for MSPs.”

Another VMware enhancement is support for VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols), which provides storage savings, greater visibility, better workload control and  storage policy-based management.

“We have also continued to build out our platform to make it simpler,” Seymour said. “This includes optimizing VM to VRA load balancing to provide a simpler way to automate the population of VMs across available VRAs.” Rapid reverse protection now makes it easier to perform failovers with more availability, and  Application Aware Retention brings live validated checkpoints to provide much greater application consistency, and thus maximum recoverability for archived applications.

“We have also added some additional reporting capabilities around long term retention,” Seymour noted. “For MSPs, it now shows protected and unprotected status through a single pane of glass. We have also added new alert management capabilities.”

Finally, Seymour said that while last year, Zerto added a new Resource Planner capability for partners and customers, to provide VM-level details about protection requirements,, that capability has now been opened up to prospects, so they can see what protection scope is required in private, public and hybrid clouds.

Zerto 8.0 is generally available now.