The inaugural ZertoCON was held this week at the Boston Convention Center in the rapidly growing Seaport neighborhood.
Zerto provides disaster-recovery and business-continuity software designed for virtualized data centers and cloud environments. Its Cloud Continuity Platform is for customers that need to protect virtualized workloads moving among public, private and hybrid clouds. Zerto Virtual Replication covers applications in cloud and virtualized data centers.
Event sponsors included NaviSite, Amazon Web Services, Exagrid, Tierpoint, Nutanix, Pure Storage and Virtacore.
The show featured some product news. Attendees got a preview of recovery to Microsoft Azure, along with a new mobile application that allows admins or partners to manage restores from any device; both are part of the next iteration, code-named Athena, and due in Q4. Better multi-site protection is also on tap.
VP of product Robert Strechay also discussed advances in the recently released Zerto version 4.5, which added journal compression for data in transit and at rest that Zerto says saves, on average, 60 percent of disk space; journal-level file recovery for file system objects including Windows, SQL, Oracle and Exchange in increments from seconds up to two weeks; role-based access control integration into Active Directory to delegate view, edit, test and failover permissions to users and groups and enable “self-service” disaster recovery; and a new set of APIs.
The company also announced increased sales in the highly regulated health-care and financial-services verticals, both targets of ransomware; these deals contributed to 100 percent year-over-year cloud revenue growth in Q1. Execs said the company is on track to double overall year-over-year revenues.
Channel Partners was there. Click through our image gallery for ZertoCON highlights.
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The Zerto Alliance Partner Program accepts resellers and SIs on three levels: registered (no annual sales commitment), gold (at least $500,000 annually) and platinum ($2 million and up). Its MSP program, Zerto Cloud Ecosystem, enables sales of replication, migration and recovery in an as-a-service model.
Technology partners include AWS, Cisco, HPE, IBM, Microsoft, Nutanix, Oracle and VMware.
On Wednesday, Robert Strechay, Zerto VP of product, took the stage to discuss what’s next for Zerto. Strechay focused on data protection in the hybrid-cloud model that’s gaining popularity and on the increasing pace of disasters, from extreme weather to terrorism — he remembers physically carrying servers out of a data center directly across from the World Trade Center on 9/11.
“I was just hoping that there was data to recover,” said Strechay. “Do I wish I had Zerto? Yeah.”
Zerto founder Oded Kedem addressed what matters to business users, and how that informs disaster recovery. Today, customers don’t want to suffer even an hour of data loss, which is why continuous data protection is becoming standard.
“They don’t care about VMs or servers,” said Kedem. “It’s your responsibility to keep applications running, to keep applications safe.”
He also addressed the trend of backup and DR becoming “converged data protection,” largely in response to malware. Kedem cited KESA Workers Comp, a Zerto customer that was hit with ransomware — twice. End users never knew what had happened, and the company never paid a dime (or bitcoin) in ransom.
“We see ourselves as last line of defense when everything else fails,” he said.
Event sponsor Cybric has a unique concept: Take a shadow clone of a customer’s production environment that’s sitting in the cloud and assess security via pen tests, launching attacks and running code scans, a concept it calls “continuous security virtualization.”
The goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes to identify and remediate vulnerabilities. But the company’s CDO, Sean Walker, told Channel Partners it’s also spotted some other surprises.
“One customer couldn’t believe the AWS sprawl,” said Walker. It thought there were just a few instances for testing, but instead Cybric’s analysis found hundreds.
The Boston-based company, which is just 7 months old, was founded by veterans of Actifio, Yahoo and Dell EqualLogic. It’s looking to broaden its focus from shops with DevOps and continuous delivery in place to more traditional companies. While there’s no formal channel program yet, Zerto partners can offer the service.
ExaGrid President and CEO Bill Andrews says his company and Zerto are part of a “Rat Pack” of cutting-edge tech suppliers that also includes Pure Storage, Veeam, Nutanix and Nimble Storage, and that partners often sell some combination of these as a complete solution to replace legacy infrastructures.
Andrews says that in 30-plus years in data centers, he’s seen significant change in customer expectations. That spells opportunity for the channel, and ExaGrid wants to work with partners to capture the business.
“We doubled the number of our territory sales managers,” said Andrews. “We’re serious about channel support.”
The company’s scale-out backup appliances work with software from Carbonite, Commvault, Dell, EMC, HP, Veritas, Veeam, Zerto and many more — and can be mixed and matched in a grid configuration up to 1 PB.
Channel-centric sponsor Pivot 3 says it was in the business of hyperconvergence before hyperconvergence was cool.
The company holds 32 patents, some in use by Google for its scale-out infrastructure, and focuses on data availability and storage efficiency, offering up to 94 percent usable capacity. Pivot 3 recently revamped its partner portal.
In October, Tierpoint shelled out $575 million for Windstream’s data center business; it also just closed its purchase of Cosentry for an undisclosed sum. That gives it more than 850 employees, about 5,000 clients, and 39 data centers in 20 markets with approximately 600,000 total square feet of raised floor space.
The Zerto partner says its channel focus is a “sell with,” solutions-based model.
Managed cloud and hosting services provider Expedient had a choice of three full-size disaster posters; partners could pose in front of their choice of devastation while a drone snapped a photo.
NaviSite CTO Dave Grimes, who started as an application developer, addressed the ways DR reality and expectations have changed for customers. For example, today, 40 percent of outages are due to operations errors, 40 percent are application failures, with only 20 percent environmental.
And, backups do not constitute a business continuity plan.
“The concept of backups as a DR strategy is still pretty prevalent with customers I talk to,” said Grimes. “Obviously, that couldn’t be further from the truth.”