Today, continuous data protection [CDP] vendor Zerto has announced the general availability of their Zerto 9 release, with the major enhancements being new anti-ransomware features. The aim is to provide customers more flexibility in recovery options, to ensure the appropriate level of fast recovery and minimize data loss.
“Zerto 7 was the foundation line of our continuous data protection,” said Andy Fernandez, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Zerto. “Zerto 8 and Zerto 8.5 extended that. Zerto 9 brings the full picture of our backup story put through the whole picture of the ransomware lens.”
The growth in both volume and severity of ransomware attacks has led to a broad focus on the issue throughout the security industry, as well as claims from many vendors that they can protect customers against these attacks. Fernandez said that while many vendors claim this, Zerto is able to deliver.
“Zerto has the best capability to facilitate recovery from ransomware,” he said. “Zerto 9 has best the ransomware story in the market now, in terms of how much time it takes to recover from an attack, and how little data is lost during the recovery.”
Fernandez stressed that effective anti-ransomware protection means being able to recover and resume operations quickly following a ransomware attack, not just protect against it. Zerto is emphasizing that their ransomware defense now leverages their CDP to allow users to rewind and recover data with granularity from any point in time, and within seconds of the attack, so that data loss is minimal.
“Most organizations make bold statements around ransomware, that with them, you never pay again, but people pay for decryption keys all the time,” he said. “We know threats will come in but we can help with a confident recovery in a short time. From a recovery aspect, there is no vendor better out there than what we do.”
With Zerto 9, immutability settings for long-term data retention can be easily managed from within the Zerto user interface, to set how long backups can remain unaltered. They can also be safeguarding them to the cloud, starting with support for Amazon S3 in this release. It will be extended to other cloud platforms, but Fernandez indicated that this is a longer term plan, rather than something that is likely in 9x releases.
“It’s a complex technical job, where we have to be very careful, because we are the last resort,” he said. “That’s why cloud immutable backups beyond Amazon S3 will not come in 9x updates, but in our next few versions. We started with AWS S3 because it was the fastest for us to develop that way.”
A new instant restore capability has been added, so that the user does not to have to fail over to a DR site first.
“We now deliver an instant VM restore from production, so you can restore at any time with no impact on production, and with no data loss,” Fernandez said. “We have also added file-level restore from any long-term retention repository like the public cloud. This is a big new piece, being able to provide this recovery capability at the file level.”
Another addition is automated VM protection to ensure complete, flexible data protection across each environment even when new VMs are added. Using native vSphere tags, servers can now be instantly added to Virtual Protection Groups (VPGs) without any manual configuration, allowing for application of existing SLA rules, including pre-validation and alerts.
“This new automated VM protection is another crucial thing to deliver consistent recovery during ransomware attacks,” Fernandez stated. “You can designate multiple VMs all at once for a specific point in time, instead of having to take a lot of time to recover these. This vSphere tagging saves a lot of time and removes any gaps in availability.”
Support for new cloud platforms and cloud tiering has been added. Long-term retention repositories can now be stored on S3-compatible on-premises storage such as Cloudian. In addition, users can also tier LTR data to Amazon S3-IA and S3 Glacier as well as Azure Blob Cool and Archive storage classes by defining retention policies within Zerto 9.
“On Azure and AWS before we supported standard and hot storage, but for longer-term support we now support these longer term tiers,” Fernandez said.
“We have also implemented a new license type – Zerto Data Protection – which is a backup option for tier 3-5 applications, without the DR,” he added. “Now you can select these backup-only options if that’s what you want.”
All of this provides more flexible options for customers, Fernandez concluded.
“It’s all about differentiating our ransomware story,” he said. “No ransomware attack is the same, and we give multiple options and tiers. Our ability to deliver recovery options from hot to cold allows users the most flexible recovery, and makes us the best option to quickly resume operations and recover your data.”