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Zerto Competitors and Alternatives

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TJ
Network Systems Analyst III at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Instead of taking three different backups of your systems, you're taking only one but their support is lacking

Pros and Cons

  • "Instead of taking three different backups of your systems, you're taking only one. You're able to crack that open and get what you need. The incident recovery, where it creates the VM and then you're running it, technically you're running it on Spectrum Protect. But then in the background, it's doing the storage motion and moving it off the Spectrum Protect back to your VMware environment. The users don't know the difference."
  • "Their support is lacking. I've talked to their developers and stuff in the last couple of weeks and they reassure me that some people have retired, and they're working on getting that bumped back up. But the support lacks a lot to be desired at this point."

What is our primary use case?

We have two data centers, we have two Spectrum Protect servers, and we do cross replicating between them.

The main use case is AIX. Because AIX is an IBM product, they have their backup software for it, for SysBack and things of that nature that most other companies don't get into because there are not a lot of companies that use AIX. Bigger federal government companies use AIX  but AIX is a big one that always hampers us. That's why the business, over the last several years, we've been trying to encourage them to go into the VMware arena. We're using a lot of different products in VMware that are able to recover things very quickly, versus Spectrum Protect and AIX, you have to drop down the OS, then you have to restore the database, and then you have to roll the logs forward.

All of that takes time, whereas in VMware you can take snapshots, or you can use products like Zerto. We have Zerto in-house where we're doing asynchronous replication from our primary site to our DR site. Our VMware systems that are being protected by Zerto are seconds behind the production world. We're running anywhere from four seconds to 11 seconds behind, whereas in AIX, you have from that last backup. You may be eight hours behind. It's challenges like that, that we run into, that I'm always on the lookout for. I've been using Spectrum Protect since it was TSM for 17 years, but I'm not tied to it. There are other products out there that make your life a lot easier. As far as the data protection admin or business continuity, whatever you want to call the title they have out there, but those are challenges that we run into. And so that's where we're going, but it's just going to take some time to get there.

What is most valuable?

In the past, we've always been uploading our stuff to tape. We now have disc-based solutions, and those disc-based solutions, one of the neat features of them is when you use what they call TSM for VE, Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environment, you're able to crack those snapshots open and are able to do file-level recoveries out of them. It gives you the ability to get rid of some file-level backups that you're using and gives you the ability to get rid of some SQL data protection backups. 

Instead of taking three different backups of your systems, you're taking only one. You're able to crack that open and get what you need. The incident recovery, where it creates the VM and then you're running it, technically you're running it on Spectrum Protect. But then in the background, it's doing the storage motion and moving it off the Spectrum Protect back to your VMware environment. The users don't know the difference. 

Those are nice really features that we really use. And it's really been helpful since we've gone to an all disc-based solution.

What needs improvement?

Their support is lacking. I've talked to their developers and stuff in the last couple of weeks and they reassure me that some people have retired, and they're working on getting that bumped back up. But the support lacks a lot to be desired at this point.

Their backups are once a day, they're not doing asynchronous replication. They're doing a one time a night backup. So whereas products like Zerto, every time there's a change in a block, it's immediately written across. They're not doing replication instantaneous, they're doing it once a day. There is a lot to be desired there.

For how long have I used the solution?

At the company that I'm at now, they've had it since 2004. I've been here since 2010. I used it at my prior company, and I've been using it for 17 years in total.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My impression currently is that stability is not very good. I'm constantly babysitting it. I'm working with IBM right now to do an assessment to hopefully pinpoint if our systems are truly undersized. And if they are, then that's not a reflection on the application. That's a reflection on us purchasing undersized equipment. If it's not, then that's a reflection on the application not performing correctly.

I'll give them a seven out of 10. They've got their niche. The two shops I've worked at have been big AIX shops, and that kept them in there.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's definitely scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is retiring, they move on, and they just don't have the expertise. I've spoken to some duty managers and they've even told me that they lost a lot of people and that they are trying to rebuild that up, and it takes time. I understand it takes time, but as a customer, I don't have the luxury of saying, "Hey, I'm going to leave my system down for a couple of months because support's working on beefing back up."

How was the initial setup?

I would rate the initial setup on the medium side. It's not totally complex, but there are a lot of moving parts to it. I would give it a medium.

What other advice do I have?

I would say partner up with a business partner, someone who does it day in and day out because installing the application or the server is not something you do every day as a customer. As a customer, you do that once in a blue moon. A business partner is constantly doing these installations over and over so they've got it down fairly well.

I would say partner up with someone who can help you through it. Support's not going to do a whole lot with you as far as installing it. That's not really what they're there for. They're there to troubleshoot issues. A business partner's there to hold your hand and walk you through getting it installed and set up and running.

In the next release, I would like to see better protect storage pool and node replication.

I would rate IBM Spectrum Protect as a whole a seven out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
OmidKoushki
Solution Architect at KIAN company
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good replication and integration capabilities with a straightforward setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very flexible."
  • "The biggest issue for us is that this product does not have any demo for customers."

What is our primary use case?

We have implemented SRM to replicate around the 800 virtual machines to the data recovery files. Due to the fact that we implemented to data centers as well as the primary and secondary data center, we use SRM to replicate around most of the virtual machines in order to be the secondary site.

How has it helped my organization?

If you can plan and create a recovery plan correctly, it will do and replicate virtual machines and when a disaster occurs, you can easily replicate off the secondary site. If you create a proper primary recovery plan, you have good protection.

What is most valuable?

The most important features that we're using are the replication of VMs as well as the integration with the EMC recovery platform. The replication solutions to replicate the LAN and data storage to the secondary external storage.

The solution is quite stable. We haven't had an issue with the performance.

The solution is very flexible. 

What needs improvement?

VMware introduced the two next versions of the solution. They are SRM 6.5 and 6.7. I don't have any experience with these two products. However, if I was to talk about version 6, which we are using, at that time we faced a problem specifically when we create recovery plans. After the creation of the recovery plan, sometimes an issue happened in the GUI, in the Center. I'm not sure if that has since been resolved.

We've faced issues with the licensing. If you don't choose a specific license, you can only cover around five or ten virtual machines.

The biggest issue for us is that this product does not have any demo for customers. They should offer demos so that clients can try it out before they commit to buying a license.

For how long have I used the solution?

At this point, I have been using the solution for about two or three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It is reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, you can integrate the POC and you can distribute SRM on three sites. At our project, we use VPLEX architecture to distribute storage between two data centers and therefore we could publish an important file related to SRM virtual machines and the active LANs, which is distributed between two data centers. In terms of scalability and holding of data storage, we can put a doc online whenever we need to.

Our team has around six members for virtual support and maintenance of the VMware infrastructure. In terms of the customers that are related to using the VMware services, there are around 800 people.

How are customer service and technical support?

Due to the sanctions in my country, in Iran, we can not use direct support from VMware and there is not a partner in my country. Therefore, we need to study, we need to design, we need to support everything directly and focus on providing maintenance service to our customers ourselves.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's not too complex. 

Deployments can typically take two months.

In the first month, I dedicate focus on learning and conducting POC sessions. For around two or three weeks, I also spend some time implementing SRM at the site.

What about the implementation team?

I am responsible directly for installations.

I work with a specific team that includes three members. I'm responsible as a team lead and VMware engineer. I have two other team members, one member has a specific focus on its storage concept and another is working on the networking.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We are always looking for solutions that are more affordable. SRM is more expensive than, for example, VirtualBox.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have looked into Zerto. I attended a seminar two years ago. If we ever moved off of this solution, we may switch to that. It is quite affordable and is very hands-on. It may even be easier in terms of deployment. They are very similar solutions overall.

What other advice do I have?

We are using two product versions. We are using product versions 6.0 and 6.5.

We need to use only on-premises deployment models. This due to the fact that there are sanctions in my country. We cannot use the cloud services directly as there is no support.

For customers who are using VMware infrastructure, I recommend using VMware SRM due to the fact that it has the ability to integrate with other products like HP, SRA, or even CSRA. It has good features that integrate well with a storage concept.

Overall, I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AS
Senior Engineer, Disaster Recovery at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Rock solid, does its job, but needs better UI, deduplication, and ease of doing certain things

Pros and Cons

  • "Scheduling is valuable. It does a good job of backing up, and it does a good job of restoring. Nobody has got a problem with that. The agents are well supported."
  • "When you get down to doing certain things, such as somebody wants a particular file restored, the process by which you do that is stupid. You kind of have to know exactly where to look for in order to find it. Even on older backup products that I've used, I didn't have that kind of problem. If we were looking for a file with a particular kind of a name, the solution would find that file anywhere irrespective of where it resides within the backup system. So, we didn't have to know the name of the specific server, the specific timeframe, almost all the characters of the file name, and all kinds of data in order to find a file. In Avamar, we got to know these details. We've gone around and around with them on that, and their attitude seems to be that it is working just fine. There is nothing for them to improve. The organizational system of other products that I'm working with, such as Zerto and Cohesity, seems to be centered around the tasks that you would most commonly do and want to do, as opposed to we've laid it out in a really neat technical hierarchy."

What is our primary use case?

It is our main backup system while we're in the middle of switching over to Cohesity.

What is most valuable?

Scheduling is valuable. It does a good job of backing up, and it does a good job of restoring. Nobody has got a problem with that. The agents are well supported. 

In terms of functionality, it is rock solid. It does its job.

What needs improvement?

The UI is a complete mess. It is graphic, but it might as well be a CLI considering how difficult it is to work with. It takes an entire person and a significant amount of time to manage backups within the company. It really shouldn't be that hard.

When you get down to doing certain things, such as somebody wants a particular file restored, the process by which you do that is stupid. You kind of have to know exactly where to look for in order to find it. Even on older backup products that I've used, I didn't have that kind of problem. If we were looking for a file with a particular kind of a name, the solution would find that file anywhere irrespective of where it resides within the backup system. So, we didn't have to know the name of the specific server, the specific timeframe, almost all the characters of the file name, and all kinds of data in order to find a file. In Avamar, we got to know these details. We've gone around and around with them on that, and their attitude seems to be that it is working just fine. There is nothing for them to improve. The organizational system of other products that I'm working with, such as Zerto and Cohesity, seems to be centered around the tasks that you would most commonly do and want to do, as opposed to we've laid it out in a really neat technical hierarchy. 

There should be some kind of greater granularity in the way it is storing backups. The reason why we're using things like Zerto and going to Cohesity, at least in the DR environment, and this will work in terms of backups as well, is that we need to be able to have a recovery point objective with some kind of granularity, such as every 15 minutes, every half hour, or every hour in case of a disaster recovery scenario, ransomware scenario, etc. We're pretty much allowed to do our once-in-a-day backup every 24 hours or however we schedule them. In most cases, we don't do anything different for basic backups, but it seems very difficult within Avamar to do anything if we want to have an image of a system every so often or at least an incremental point of reference or an RPO point. 

The other thing is that the way that it locks files seems to make those systems unavailable while it is operating the backup. So, we have to very carefully schedule our backups after hours or over periods of time when there is low bandwidth of the transactions happening. With the other products we have, we don't have this problem. I certainly don't have that problem with Zerto. I've got a recovery point of every few seconds, and it doesn't seem to take a lot of storage room to do that. Storage is a big thing for us. It is very expensive, and that's always an issue for us. So, things like deduplication would be really nice to have.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for at least six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is rock solid. We don't ever have any problems with backups being lost or anything like that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

All of the data in the company is used by one person or another, so there are a couple of thousand users.

How are customer service and support?

Their technical support is excellent. We've never had any problem dealing with Avamar in terms of technical support. We've had some nasty instances too where they've not been able to drill down on things and support their own product.

How was the initial setup?

I've only been with the company for about five years, and it was present when I came on board.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Dell EMC Avamar a six out of 10. It is a pretty basic backup system in terms of features. It does its job. However, its UI is just ridiculous.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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EC
IT Manager - Infrastructure at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Easy to use, lightweight, and the pricing is good, but replication orchestration needs to be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "The Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows is easy to use and performing a recovery is easy to do."
  • "I would like to see the capability for remote installation of third party applications added( Like installing WinRar MS Office etc..) , and Firewall for servers."

What is our primary use case?

We use Veeam for backing up our ESX servers. We back up all of our VMs on a daily basis and we replicate them off-site.

What is most valuable?

The Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows is easy to use and performing a recovery is easy to do.

It is a lightweight application that does not consume a lot of resources.

What needs improvement?

We started with Zerto and moved to Veeam to save costs. It did the job but I wasn’t as impressed with the orchestration as it didn’t do the re-IP and spin up automatically. It caused some delays during the snapshot and replication process. We went from a 30 second RTO to a 2-3 hour RTO. Since that was still within our requirements and cost reduction was the goal, we stuck with Veeam.

This experience was at my last company so it’s 2 years ago. Had we started with Veeam, it’s likely we would have been fine with it but I was a bit spoiled starting with Zerto’s polished replication. We will likely go down the Veeam route again as we are about to initiate a DR project at Ariens and believe Veeam will be “good enough.”

I would like to see the capability for remote installation of third party applications added( Like installing WinRar MS Office etc..) , and Firewall for servers.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it personally for about five years, and for about one year at my current company.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The Veeam Agent is very stable. For the most part, this solution works successfully and we don't have a whole lot of failures.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't think that we've ever had any trouble scaling it out. We've never had a performance issue due to scalability and the backup has always run great.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is probably more complex than we would like it to be, although, at the same time, I think that it is very reasonable. It took several weeks for us to get it set up.

What about the implementation team?

We had to go through a partner to get their end set up, and getting permissions configured on the remote end was a little bit tricky. We had to have the right level of permissions, but once we got through those hurdles, I think that it was pretty seamless.

The next challenge was just getting Snapshots to replication quickly enough.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are currently investigating Zerto. Our intention is to keep using Veeam, although we may be supplementing it with another solution. The goal is to get better RTOs on some of our critical servers.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is considering Veeam is to do a proof of concept first, to make sure that it works in your environment.

Overall, we are pretty happy with this product. Compared to what else is out there, it works well and it seems to have a lot of options.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Vivath  Chan
Head Data Center and Cloud Infrastructure Unit at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Reliable but could use enhancements

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is how reliable Veeam Backup is. It has the normal expected features that allow you to ensure that everything is backed up completely."
  • "Veeam Backup is not enhanced. There aren't any enhancements yet and they are still using traditional methods for snapshots and to perform the backup, like many other vendors. Another improvement would be simplifying and integrating their software."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is for VM backups. We have more than 500 VMs to backup completely every day, which is quite a big backup, and we run it incrementally. This solution is deployed on-premises. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is how reliable Veeam Backup is. It has the normal expected features that allow you to ensure that everything is backed up completely. 

What needs improvement?

Veeam Backup is not enhanced. There aren't any enhancements yet and they are still using traditional methods for snapshots and to perform the backup, like many other vendors. I've noticed this has an impact on the performance. We run hundreds or thousands of VM backups in the same night. Most software don't have a SMAC algorithm to schedule the backup and improve performance for the production environment. They just randomly create. In order to perform big backups at one time, we have to invest in storage. 

Another improvement would be simplifying and integrating their software. I have one app for VM backups, another for file backups, and another for implications, so I have to implement three platforms in one organization. This is quite difficult. The implementation process could be simplified, in regard to VM files and replication. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than four years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable product. It rarely requires maintenance and I rarely deal with backup files that are gone or cannot be restored because of software bugs. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is easy to scale. 

How are customer service and support?

The response time is quite slow and I have complained many times. But their technical skill is quite good. For most customers, the technical support should depend on the SLA that they have, but support doesn't always respect that. Sometimes they respond to us within the SLA, but after we reply, we have to wait around one day for another email. 

What about the implementation team?

We implemented through an in-house team. There are two administrators for maintenance. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Overall, I'm not happy with the pricing. The price could be improved. Every year, most vendors try to increase the price. It says it's being upgraded, but there's no improvement. The product stays the same, but the licensing costs are increasing. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have also used Zerto for POC. I found that Veeam is good for backups, but it has a limitation. It's good for VM backups, but can be quite challenging for file backups and replication. Zerto is different, in that it's good for replication and it's simpler to use. The license is quite expensive though. 

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking into implementing this solution, I advise you to make a POC, understand your requirements, and make sure the solution you choose can provide what you want. 

I rate Veeam Backup an eight out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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