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September 18, 2020

VMworld 2020 Digital Q&A: Zerto Talks IT Resilience Platform and Continuous Data Protection

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VMworld 2020 goes digital.  Will you be in attendance?  If the event were physical, I would have looked forward to visiting with Zerto.  So we reached out to them digitally instead.

With the current pandemic, we're seeing a lot of changes taking place in our normal, everyday lives -- both professionally and personally.  One of those changes is the end of physical trade show events as we move to socially distance ourselves from one another.  While some trade shows simply cancelled or postponed until 2021, others have made the switch to a 100% digital format.  VMworld, the world's largest virtualization and cloud computing event hosted every year by VMware, is one of those shows -- enter for the first time ever, VMworld 2020 Digital

While a physical VMworld event would normally have north of 150+ sponsors, a digital VMworld event won't be able to effectively support that number of sponsors. 

Zerto helps customers accelerate IT transformation by eliminating the risk and complexity of modernization and cloud adoption. By replacing multiple legacy solutions with a single IT Resilience Platform, Zerto is changing the way disaster recovery, backup and cloud are managed. At enterprise scale, Zerto’s software platform delivers continuous availability for an always-on customer experience while simplifying workload mobility to protect, recover and move applications freely across hybrid and multi-clouds.

So what about you?  Are you gearing up for VMworld 2020 digital?  Get started now by reading this exclusive interview with Caroline Seymour, VP of Product Marketing at Zerto, to learn more and start getting excited for what's to come!


VMblog:  Are you sponsoring this year's VMworld 2020 digital event?  Can you talk about what that sponsorship looks like?

Caroline Seymour:  Yes, Zerto is Sponsoring at the Gold Level. This sponsorship includes a pre-recorded breakout session called "How to Backup Every 5 Seconds" presented by Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn, which will be featured on-demand for viewers. The sponsorship also includes a dedicated page in the sponsor hub with live chat feature where we'll be answering questions and engaging with attendees on a variety of topics.

VMblog:  What type of things will people be able to do and find at your virtual booth this year? 

Seymour:  Besides the dedicated page in the sponsor hub, where we will have Zerto experts standing by to answer any questions on the live chat feature, we will also have new data sheets available for viewing, and we will be raffling off a Yeti Tundra Haul Cooler to a lucky visitor of our sponsor page. Good luck to everyone who stops by!

VMblog:  And do you have any speaking sessions during the event?  If so, can you give us the details?

Seymour:  Zerto Session - (HCI2970S) - "How to Backup Every 5 Seconds" presented by Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn

This speaking session will focus on how periodic backups are old news. Zerto has modernized backup while minimizing data loss by introducing a new, faster, and better way to solve for backup use cases. It will help attendees gain a deep understanding of how they can use and architect the Zerto IT Resilience Platform for more than just disaster recovery. During this session, Gijsbert will detail how Zerto's deep integrations with VMware vSphere and Tanzu provide one-to-many replication, journal-based recovery, and long-term retention features that can help you execute your day-to-day data protection strategy and streamline the number of tools you need to do so. He will share with you our vision for solving data protection with a single, scalable platform for applications running on-premises, with VMware Cloud solutions, or on Kubernetes.

VMblog:  Are you giving away any prizes at your virtual booth or participating in any prize giveaways?

Seymour:  Yes! We will be raffling off a Yeti Tundra Haul Cooler following the event. Just visit the Zerto sponsor page to be entered to win.

VMblog:  With COVID-19, we've seen a lot of changes in the tech world.  One big change has been the disruption of physical trade shows.  Many, like VMworld, have become digital in 2020.  What are your thoughts on digital events compared to traditional physical events?

Seymour:  We certainly miss the face-to-face element of traditional events. However, when we produced out own event, we saw a positive increase in those able to attend. The online and on-demand aspects of virtual events open them up to more people than ever before, so that's a good thing. Nothing can ever replace seeing our friends and customers in person but we've learned to adapt and conference organizers have done a great job of engaging attendees and making the best of the situation. Dare I say, we've seen our industry be quite resilient.

VMblog:  Another change has been a shift to working from home.  What are your thoughts on this, how has it changed things for your company both internally and externally?

Seymour:  We have been working from home since our offices closed in March, and as with most companies, it took a while to settle into what was a "new normal." We already had infrastructure set so that WFH did not impact our level of productivity. We had the tools in place, such as web video conferencing and live chat tools, allowing us to keep up the much-needed communication during this time. Our offices are gradually re-opening according to the rules and regulations and some team members have been keen to get back into their office routine,  but others, not so much. Moving forward, we shall see a hybrid approach with the flexibility of allowing folks to both WFH and go into office.

Same thinking applies to customer engagement. While we hope to have more face-to-face meetings with customers and prospects, our approach to working with them will also evolve. We've been using the same tools and technology to meet their needs, but in the future, we want to safely begin having those critical in-person meetings. 

VMblog:  Can you give us the high-level rundown of your company's technology offerings?

Seymour:  The Zerto IT Resilience Platform is software-only and based on a foundation of continuous data protection, converging the functions of disaster recovery, data protection, and mobility across on-premises and cloud. Orchestration and automation are built into the platform to dramatically simplify data management functions, so you can automate manual processes and therefore align your resources to better focus on digital initiatives that drive innovation for the business.

VMblog:  Talking about your product solutions, can you give readers a few examples of how your offerings are unique?  What are your differentiators?

Unlike some replication technologies that offer data protection with snapshots and agents, Zerto provides continuous replication with zero impact on application performance. One low-CPU VM installed directly on the hypervisor hosts-a virtual replication appliance-is at the core of Zerto's innovation. This enables every write made to any protected VM's disks to be copied locally or to a recovery site with no impact on storage latency or production performance.

VMblog:  For those individuals attending the VMworld 2020 digital event, or those who have attended VMworld in the past, why should they be interested in your company and solutions? 

Seymour:  The Zerto IT Resilience Platform is the future of data protection by replacing traditional, often-cumbersome snapshot-based backup with low RPO journal-based "operational recovery," which enables enterprises to perform day-to-day granular recovery much more quickly and focus on strategic IT initiatives.

The platform further accelerates IT transformation for customers by reducing the complexity of modernization and cloud adoption with powerful data management capabilities. Zerto's IT Resilience Platform delivers continuous availability for an always-on customer experience while simplifying workload mobility to protect, recover, and move applications freely across existing systems, hybrid, and multi-clouds.

VMblog: What specifically does your company offer a VMware shop or VMware implementation?

Seymour:  The Zerto IT Resilience Platform comes with an enterprise class always-on replication engine for VMware vSphere and enables you to replicate any virtual machine (VM) in VMware's vCenter and automate data recovery, failover, and failback. It's simple-no storage configuration necessary and no agent installation on guest required.

Zerto protects at the VM and VMDK level, which means that you can make protection decisions without storage constraints.

  • Replicate single or multiple VMs, and protect multiple virtual disks connected to the same VM
  • Recover immediately with the click of a button.
  • Support replication of RDM devices.
  • Deliver consistent protection across your company and across multiple sites.

VMblog:  Normally, VMworld is the time of year that people in this industry announce a new product or product update.  Do you have anything new that you've recently announced or plan to announce?  Can you give us the details?

Seymour:  While we can't give away the full details, we do have some very exciting news on the horizon. We're always improving our IT Resilience Platform in anticipation of our customers' needs to keep us at the forefront in cloud data management and protection. The next update will have significant advances to our data protection offering and extend our support for additional cloud platforms.

VMblog:  How does your company work with VMware?  Where do you fit within the VMware ecosystem?

Seymour:  Zerto's strategic alliance with VMware unlocks the full potential of VMware tools, giving you access to the best of our deepened our integration-providing more capabilities than ever before.

  • With support for vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols), you can achieve storage savings, increased visibility, and additional workload control.
  • VMware vCloud Director integration creates the most interoperable experience, including tenant self-service capabilities, such as disaster recovery and data protection operations for MSPs.
  • Support for all the VMware features used in day-to-day management like vMotion, Storage vMotion, DRS, Storage DRS, etc.
  • With support for Clouds that have VMware-based offerings, like Google, IBM Cloud, or one of our 450+ Managed Service Provider partners.

As for the second part of the question, Zerto's IT Resilience Platform for VMware replaces legacy array-based replication solutions. It provides the flexibility, scalability, and ease of use required in the virtual world-without compromising functionality needed to protect mission-critical applications.

  • Achieve recovery point objectives (RPOs) of seconds with always-on replication.
  • Recover applications instantly and automatically with recovery time objectives (RTOs) of minutes
  • Protect thousands of VMs with scale-out replication architecture
  • Eliminate snapshots and reduce application performance impact.
  • Recover from logical or operator errors with journal-based, point-in-time recovery.
  • Non-disruptive failover testing to prove recoverability.

VMblog:  VMware will be covering certain things in their keynote, but what big changes do you see taking shape in the industry?

Seymour:  Remote working will likely scale back in the coming year as we recover from the pandemic, but now that it's been proven to work, it will stay the norm to some degree for many companies. This means we will see an acceleration of digital projects, increased movement to the cloud, and the development of container-based applications in order to meet these new and continuing needs of customer and employees.

VMblog:  Finally, do you think physical trade shows will come back?  And if so, when and do they change?  Would you sponsor?

Seymour:  With the impact of COVID-19, I do not see physical events returning until there is a tested vaccine and the world is safe and back to our previous normal. My estimation is that in-person events won't return to "normal" until 2022, and some of these big events will be trying to host a new "hybrid" event option in 2021 with a portion of the event being held in-person as well as a digital portion for those not comfortable attending large events. I think most sponsors have seen a major difference in return on digital events vs. in-person events with digital not holding as high of a value. Nothing will replace the face-to-face interactions at live events, and we are hoping we have option to sponsor them in 2021.


David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, And co-founded, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.