What is Zerto? Understanding How It Works

What is Zerto? 5 Services You Should Use On It

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Zerto is a cloud data management company that offers unique solutions for protecting, recovering, and migrating applications and data across any hybrid cloud. With it, you can move files from on-premises to AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, and other significant clouds.

Zerto’s award-winning solution helps thousands of customers accelerate IT transformation by simplifying their journey to the cloud. By replacing multiple solutions with a single all-inclusive offering that delivers enterprise-class availability for all applications, Zerto is changing how disaster recovery, data protection, and cloud are managed.

In this piece, I’ll answer the question; what is Zerto? And also provide insight to some of the services you can enjoy on the platform.

What is Zerto

Zerto is a software vendor that offers backup and disaster recovery solutions. Zerto Virtual Replication is an easy to use, easy to deploy, easy to manage, and easy to scale solution for backup, replication, and failover. Additionally, it can be run as a virtual machine or appliance that can run on VMware, Hyper-V, or Azure.

Zerto Virtual Replication became available in 2011 and was the vendor’s primary product. Like all of Zerto’s products, Virtual Replication is hypervisor and storage-agnostic to be used across platforms.

Today, the platform has several investors, including 83North, Battery Ventures, CRV, Harmony Partners, RTP Ventures, U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).

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How to use Zerto

You’d have to download an ISO image if you want to install Zerto Virtual Replication on a physical server and it’s not already installed. Then, mount the ISO file to your system and boot from it; follow the steps in the installation wizard. Once installation is complete, you can launch your app from either the desktop shortcut or by typing its name in the Search box.

Once launched for the first time after installing Zerto Virtual Replication (either as a VM or appliance), you’ll see an introductory screen welcoming you before it prompts you for some basic information about where it should store backups online and what kind of backup policy type(s) should be created automatically by default. This means Full Backup with Granular Recovery Points versus Differential Backup with Incremental Granular Recovery Points (or both).

How Does Zerto Virtual Replication Work

Zerto Virtual Replication is a backup and disaster recovery solution for virtualized environments. The software works with VMware vSphere, Hyper-V, and vCenter to enable automated replication of virtual machines between hosts. It also supports Microsoft Azure as a target for replication.

How Zerto works. Picture from settlersoman.com

The Zerto Virtual Replication (VZVR) solution is a hypervisor-based replication and data protection solution for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xen. Zerto VZVR utilizes the host’s acceleration capabilities to replicate VM storage from the primary site to the secondary site in a ‘write once, read many times’ model.

Zerto Virtual Replication also uses the storage snapshot capabilities of its underlying storage system to capture changes made to your replicated VMs over time. These snapshots are then transferred to the DR site using native protocols such as iSCSI, Fibre Channel, or FCIP (Fibre Channel over IP), depending on which system you’re replicating.

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The Zerto User Interface is web-based, which means it can be accessed from multiple devices. For example, you could log in to the Zerto UI from any device with internet access and a web browser. That means your Zerto administrators could be working from their home offices or on the road, accessing their jobs from anywhere in the world.

1. Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM)

Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) is a VMware vCenter plug-in that simplifies the management of Zerto Virtual Replication by providing an intuitive interface and single-pane-of-glass view for managing replication and recovery.

ZVM provides a graphical representation of all virtual machines in your environment and allows you to easily manage them from a single point, including monitoring their status, setting up replication or recovery jobs, managing backups, and more.

2. Virtual Replication Appliance (VRA)

The VRA is a virtual appliance installed in your VMware or Hyper-V environment. The VRA is used to manage your Zerto Virtual Replication environment and can also be used as a backup server for your other data protection solutions.

3. Virtual Backup Appliance (VBA)

The Virtual Backup Appliance (VBA) is a physical appliance that runs in the network. The VBA can be used as a backup and recovery solution, as well as for replication, file and folder recovery, and disaster recovery. This software protects data in multi-tenant environments such as cloud computing providers or hosting companies.

4. Data Streaming Service (DSS)

Data Streaming Service (DSS) is a cloud-based, software-defined solution that makes it easy to collect and analyze data across hybrid environments. It’s an open platform that enables enterprise IT organizations of all sizes to monitor data protection and business continuity in real-time.

DSS provides visibility into your backup infrastructure to proactively identify performance issues, troubleshoot problems quickly, and automate manual tasks. In addition to monitoring your backups, DSS enables you to manage disaster recovery testing from the cloud. This makes it easier for your team members worldwide to coordinate their activities as part of a disaster recovery plan.

5. Automatic Conversion from VMware Virtual Machines to Hyper-V VMs

Zerto Virtual Replication provides a fully automated solution to move your VMware virtual machines to Hyper-V. You no longer have to manually convert VMs, manually migrate them or manually move them. Your entire conversion process can be completed in just a few minutes.

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Benefits of using Zerto 

Zerto Services
image from: vladan.fr

Zerto Virtual Replication is an enterprise-grade replication solution that provides continuous data protection and disaster recovery for VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines. Zerto’s software solution eliminates the need for expensive hardware appliances or dedicated hardware, providing a flexible, easy-to-deploy solution to protect your applications and services. With Zerto Virtual Replication, you can enjoy the following benefits:

1. Fully Virtual – Sits in the Hypervisor or Cloud

Are you interested in a fully virtualized solution that runs in the hypervisor or cloud? Zerto’s Virtual Replication (ZVR) is a software-only solution that runs on a virtual machine or in the cloud.

ZVR allows you to replicate data between two different locations using storage snapshots. This can be done remotely, over the internet, so you don’t need extra hardware to replicate your data.

2. Fully Scalable

Zerto Virtual Replication can be run as a virtual machine or appliance. It has been designed to scale linearly up several nodes and supports multi-site replication with automatic failover between sites. Zerto Virtual Replication can rise to more than 1,000 nodes (up to 2,500) per cluster and includes support for mixed configurations where some primary sites are physical and some are virtual machines (VMs).

3. Compatibility across Virtual Environments

Zerto Virtual Replication is compatible with VMware, Hyper-V, XenServer, KVM, and OpenStack. Zerto Virtual Replication is also available as an EMC-sanctioned plug-in. Such as VMware vCenter Server, Microsoft SCVMM, and public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.

4. One-Click Migration

The One-Click Migration feature enables you to migrate one or more virtual machines, including their configuration and data, to a new host with a single click of the mouse. This can be useful in cases where an administrator needs to replace a failed host with a new one quickly and easily.

The following types of migrations are available:

  • VM migration (virtual machines only)
  • Disk migration (virtual disks only)
  • Snapshot migration (snapshots only)
  • Volume migration (volumes only)
  • File system folder import or export

5. File and Folder Recovery

File and Folder Recovery is a feature that allows you to recover files and folders from a Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) backup. This feature helps you prepare for the possibility of ransomware or other data loss by enabling you to recover files from backup.

You can recover specific files and folders from the recovery site for virtual machines that Zerto is protecting and running Windows or Linux operating systems in minutes rather than hours or days. 


Zerto is a company that provides solutions for data protection and recovery. They also offer software to help manage your organization’s data in the cloud.