For the last few years many IT organizations have been moving some workloads to the cloud but in my experience, most enterprises have a “no cloud” policy still. That policy is, of course, not quite enforced and they have some cloud services being consumed due to shadow IT or Software-as-a-Service. Most analysis today are predicting in the next few years the “no cloud” policy will be nearly extinct. The problem many IT operations folks have with this is that you can’t outsource responsibility. Now, what exactly does that mean?
My favorite example of this has to do with what cloud providers think backup is versus what an enterprise thinks a backup is. A cloud service provider things backup is a way to protect itself from failures they cause, but an IT operations person sees backup as a way to protect the organization against any conceivable. The last thing they want is some VP calling and yelling at them that the files in their deleted items actually got deleted. Issues like that are one of the reasons enterprises have been skittish moving data to the cloud. What has been traditionally lacking is a way to move workloads from on-premises to any cloud provider. To really protect your business applications when moving to the cloud what you really need is the ability to move workload around from any location to any location. A multi-provider and multi-hypervisor vMotion.
Zerto is a software provider which started as a way to protect virtual machines inside of VMware. It started as a VM-level journaled replication technology that allowed you to replicate a VM from Site A to Site B. This had the interesting side benefit of allowing VMs to move between different CPU types without affinity. It wasn’t long before Zerto came up with a way to allow a virtual machine to move from ESX to Hyper-V. Next came the ability to replicate an on-premises workload to AWS and allow it to run. This was a huge leap forward but left a few things to be desired. First was the loss of choice in only supporting AWS, but we all understand that is driven by demand. More importantly was the lack of failback from AWS in the event of a recovery event. Don’t get me wrong, this was some really awesome stuff, but it wasn’t really what the industry needed to protect the business.
At Tech Field Day 11 we had a chance to get some insight into the Zerto product roadmap. Not satisfied to simply be a replication software provider, Zerto is working to position themselves for the future. They really see themselves being the glue that will allow an IT organization to move data seamlessly from any location to any other location. Imagine being able to move your on-premises workload to AWS and then to Azure. All done easily and with little to no pain.