Clash of data protection Giants

 

This is an updated version of our ever so popular Zerto vs Veeam blog released a few years ago now. So, read more below to find out what’s new and how this document could help you find the right solution.

Most people would ask a straight question so “which one is better”. The answer is not quite a straightforward one. The below debate should at least give you enough insight to help you make the right choice for your needs. We would say, which one is better suited for your organisation needs?

 

As we know by now, both Zerto and Veeam are excellent backup & replication products. Both are very established data protection market leaders. The products UX and GUI are easy to understand, read and follow, with a library of online help available if necessary. At first glance, both products look similar. However, there are a few major differences and functionalities between these business continuity solutions. Over the last decade, Veeam has been most recognisable as an excellent backup (BaaS) provider and Zerto as the disaster recovery (DRaaS).

So to keep it fair, we will focus on Disaster Recovery as this is the argument where the two products compete most.

 

Veeam

Veeam Software is a privately held information technology company that develops backup, disaster recovery and intelligent data management software for virtual, physical and multi-cloud infrastructures. Veeam changed the backup world by providing an easy method of backing up virtual machines (VMs) and later by replication of VM. In 2008 the company released Veeam Backup & Replication, a tool that provided VMware vSphere VMs with incremental backups and image-based replication, with built-in data de-duplication and compression.

Veeam uses VMware snapshot technology to create a replication of virtual machines. During the snapshot, a redo file will be created and all changes during the replication process are written into this file. Once the replication is finished the redo file will be merged into a live disk file again. The next time the replication job is started only the changes since the last job will be replicated.

Disaster Recovery planning includes defining the lowest possible RTO to minimize the disruption of business operations. In terms of ability to restore failed operations in minutes, replication mechanism wins the game allowing you to instantly switch the failed workload to its ready-to-use “clone” to get the lowest-possible RTO. For disaster recovery (DR) purposes, standby replicas of production VMs are stored on a remote secondary site or in the cloud. Even if the production site goes down, for example with a major power failure, a remote site remains unaffected by the disaster and can take the load.
Veeam recently has released a new solution for scalable, flexible and easier-to-use disaster recovery planning and orchestration – Veeam Availability Orchestrator. This product supports disaster recovery scenarios for many VMs at multiple locations and provides automated, template-based documentation to meet compliance requirements.

Veeam Availability Suite supports both on-site replications for High Availability and off-site replication for DR of Hyper-V and VMware VMs.

VCC replication diagram

Zerto

Zerto is founded in 2009 and they also were focused on virtualisation. Zerto provides disaster recovery (DRaaS) software for virtualized and cloud infrastructures. The company’s main product, Zerto Virtual Replication provides a continuous Replication, Workload Mobility and Multi-cloud Agility. The technology leverages ‘hypervisor-based replication’, which moves data replication up the server stack from the storage layer into the hypervisor. Zerto is entirely hypervisor and storage-agnostic, so data can be replicated to and from any VM operating to a different platform.
Similarly to Veeam, Zerto strength is in the simplification. Zerto’s innovation and simplification are in moving the replication of mission-critical objectives to the hypervisor, enabling Zerto to be fully virtually-aware and provide quick recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs). Its UX is an integrated virtualisation administrator client is pretty simple to navigate and use.

Zerto is also cloud agnostic and enables users to switch seamlessly to and from any cloud provider. Zerto will deploy small virtual machines on each physical node. These small virtual machines will capture the data that is written to the host and sends a copy of that data to the replication site. The process is not synchronous but near-synchronous replication. The replication is continuous meaning once set it will replicate a change (using Zerto’s own change tracking technology) as it occurs in the virtual machine without negatively impacting compute resources of the live infrastructure.

Zerto Disaster Recovery is configured via a Zerto Virtual Machine (zVM) which communicates with the Virtual Manager (SCVMM/vCenter) in a local environment enabling virtual machines (VMs) to be replicated into a cloud platform. The zVM is responsible for the entire Zerto configuration for a site and performs the replication tasks. Zerto Virtual Replication is automated. Combined with its continuous replication, this enables IT teams to conduct non-disruptive testing with no impact on live production environments. This is key for uptime-intensive industries, like manufacturing, online retail and healthcare.

zerto replication diagram

 

Conclusion

Where Veeam has recently expanded their replication functionality with disaster recovery capabilities into the cloud, unlike their cloud connect backup service, this has to be to the same environment type; Hyper-V to Hyper-V or VMware to VMware. Zerto, on the other hand, is completely agnostic and will recover a Hyper-V to VMware or VMware to Hyper-V.

The capability for Veeam to restore into either a VMware or Hyper-V cloud environment means businesses can now automate most of the recovery processes.

Veeam, unlike Zerto, does not automatically failback data from the cloud environment to the on-premise once any problems have been resolved, arguably one of the most critical features that need to be developed. This means the process of rebuilding of systems is still lacking behind the recovery from the actual disaster.

The ultimate difference between the two solutions is the recovery point objective (RPO) for business justification and method of replication for technical justification. Both solutions have proven that they are providing best in class for disaster recovery solutions for virtual infrastructures. Obviously, there is a pricing difference and this is where the justification comes in. I’ve seen many sites that utilise both solutions to provide a good mix of RTO and RPO. The RTO for both solutions is similar when a VM is replicated it only takes minutes to boot the virtual machine and off you go. However the RPO is a big difference, Zerto provides seconds and Veeam can do 10 minutes minimum depending on your external links and change rates though. With Veeam most companies use once a day replication.

 

PeaSoup Hosting is using both products, which means we can be used for your company as a replication target (DR-as-a-Service). Our platform runs on VMware vCloud and both Veeam and Zerto are fully vCloud certified. For more information please contact us.