Zerto Room for Improvement
The onset of configuring an environment in the cloud is difficult and could be easier to do. When it's on-premises, it's a little bit easier because it's more of a controlled environment. It's a Windows operating system on a server and no matter what server you have, it's the same.
However, when you are putting it on AWS, that's a different procedure than installing it on Azure, which is a different procedure than installing it on GCP, if they even support it. I'm not sure that they do. In any event, they could do a better job in how to build that out, in terms of getting the product configured in a cloud environment.
There are some other things they can employ, in terms of the setup of the environment, that would make things a little less challenging. For example, you may need to have an Azure expert on the phone because you require some middleware expertise. This is something that Zerto knew about but maybe could have done a better job of implementing it in their product.
Their long-term retention product has room for improvement, although that is something that they are currently working on.View full review »
The interface is the only thing that we've ever really had an issue with. It's gone through some revisions. The UI, it's not clunky, but it's not as streamlined as it could be. Some of the workflow things are not as nice as they could be.
I like the fact that Zerto does what it does and it does it very well. I have had Zerto since version four, so the longterm retention and things like that were never a part of it at that point. I just like the fact that I can install it, I can protect my virtual machines, and I'm comfortable and confident that it's doing things correctly because of the amount of testing that we've done with it.View full review »
The alerting doesn't quite give you the information about what exactly is going on when an issue comes up. We do get alerts inside of our vCenter, but it doesn't give you accurate information on the error message to be able to tell us what's going on without having to go actually login into Zerto to determine what's causing the issue.
Another issue with the alerting is that it will pause a job. E.g., if we have something running from Massachusetts to Arizona, but a VM has been removed, updated or moved to a new location in vCenter. It literally pauses the VPG the VM resides in but will never give us a notification that it's been paused. Therefore, if we had an issue during the course of the day such as a power event and we needed to gain access to those VMs in some sort of catastrophe, we wouldn't be able to get access to them because that job was paused and were never notified about it being paused for whatever reason. It would therefore be a big problem if the VM was needed to be recovered and we didn't have those resources available.
It would be great to get more precise alerting to be able to allow us to troubleshoot a bit better. Or have the application at least give us a heads up, "A VPG job has been paused." Right now, it's sort of a manual process that we have to monitor ourselves, which is not a great way to do things if you have a superior disaster recovery solution.View full review »
In terms of improvement, it would be helpful if the implementation team had a better best practices guide and made sure things like the journaling are very clearly understood.
Speaking directly to our incident, we did have professional services guide us with the installation, setup, and configuration. At that time, there was no suggestion to have these appliances not joined to the domain or in a separate VLAN from our normal servers and everything. They are in a completely isolated network. The big thing was being domain-joined. They didn't necessarily give that guidance. In our particular situation, with our incident, had those not been domain-joined, we would have been in a much better place than what we ended up being.
We did look at the long-term retention backup feature of Zerto a few years ago, and at that time, it was limited. I can't say what it is right now, but at the time, its functionality was limited in terms of basically where we could save it and how we could save it. Offsite air gapping our backups is important to us to help protect against ransomware, and at the time, it couldn't do that. That would be one area that would be important before we consider using the long-term retention again. I haven't looked at it recently, and they may have addressed this in the meantime, but if not, this would be an area of improvement.View full review »
Software Engineering Specialist at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
There's room for improvement with the GUI. The interface ends up coming down to a personal preference thing and where you like to see things. It's like getting into a new car. You have to relearn where the gauges are.
I'd also like to see them go to an appliance-based solution, rather than our standing up a VM. While the GUI ends up depending on personal preference, the actual platform that the GUI is created on needs to go to an appliance base.
Another area for improvement I'd like to see is the tuning of the VRAs built into the GUI. It's a little cryptic. You really have to be a very technical engineer to get that deep into it. I'd like to see a little better interface that allows you to do that tuning yourself, rather than trying to get their engineer and your engineer together to do it.View full review »
Systems Architect - Cloud at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
The number-one area in which they need to improve their product is what I would call "automatic self-healing." This is related to running them at scale. If you're a small company with 50 VMs, this doesn't really become a problem for you. You don't have 1,000 blades and 1,000 of their VRAs running that you need to keep healthy. But once you get over a certain scale, it becomes a full-time job for someone to keep their products humming. We have 1,000 VRAs and if any one of their VRAs has a problem, goes offline, all of the customer protection groups and all of the customers that are tied to that VRA are not replicating at all. That means the RPO is slipping until somebody makes a manual effort to fix the issue. It has become a full-time job at my company for somebody to keep Zerto running all the time, everywhere, and to keep all the customers up and going.
They desperately need to work self-healing into the core product. If a VRA has a problem, the product needs to be able to take some sort of measure to self-heal from that; to reassign protection. Right now it doesn't do anything in that self-healing area.View full review »
One thing I would like to see, and I know that this is on their roadmap, is the ability to use long-term storage in the cloud, like in Azure or AWS, making that even more seamless. Whether it's stored in glacier or on-prem, being able to retrieve that data in a quick manner would be helpful. They're just not there yet.View full review »
Previously, our main need for Zerto was actually database cluster servers running fairly old software, SQL 2008 on Microsoft Windows clusters with none of the advanced SQL clustering functionality. Our environment is all virtualized. The way we had to present the storage to our host machines in VMware was via raw device mapping (RDM). Technically, Zerto can do that, but not very well. We have gone to some different methods for our databases, which don't actually use or rely on Zerto because the solution wasn't that functional with RDMs. This is an old, antiquated technology that we are currently moving off of. I can't really blame them, but it definitely is something they thought they could do better than they could in practice.
They had a bug recently that has come up and caused some issues. They currently have a bug in their production versions that prevents their product from functioning in some scenarios, and we have hit a few of those scenarios. Aside from that, when it is not hitting a bug, and if we're not trying to use it for our old-style, old-school databases, it functions incredibly well.
I would like to have an overall orchestration capability that would enable you to do multiple VPGs in some sort of order, with delays in between. For example, at least in our testing scenario, we have our domain controllers. We have to fail that over first, get those up and running before we bring up the application side so that people can log in. If there was an actual failover, there would be certain things that would have to failover first, and get them running. Then, the application would be second, like SQL for example. For our dialysis application, one would have to have SQL up and running first before that. It would be nice to be able to select both and then say, start up this VPG and then wait 10 minutes and then fire up this one.View full review »
The improvement that I would like to see is a little bit easier product knowledge, things like that. It's getting a lot better than it was before because it's not as old of a product as Cisco, but if you look for something like Cisco routing and networking, you'll find millions of articles out there and it's everywhere. It's prolific. So with Zerto, you have to find it within the Zerto application. Hopefully, as they grow, it'll be more out there on the net. Same thing with Microsoft. If you look for a problem with Microsoft, you're going to find millions of articles on it, maybe it's just because they've just been around for so long. I'm hoping that one day Zerto is just as prolific and can be found everywhere.View full review »
Long-term retention of files is a function that isn't available yet that I'm looking forward to them providing. The long-term retention is the only other thing that I think needs improvement.View full review »
The reporting could be improved in terms of the reports that you can show to auditors to prove that you have done the testing. I provide the reports that it generates now but, it would be great if, at the end of a DR test, it would generate a report of everything that Zerto did.
This would include details like what systems were up. Currently, that's not how the report reads. You would have to be an IT person to read the current reports that it produces. I would like for them to be the type of reports that I can put in front of an auditor or the president of our firm that would make sense to them, without me having to interpret and explain the results.View full review »
While I am open to transitioning over to using Zerto for long-term retention, the problem is the alerting function in Zerto is very poor. That makes it a difficult use case to transition over.
The alerting has room for improvement as it is the biggest pain point with the software. It is so bad. It is just general alerting on or off. There are so many emails all the time. You have no control over it, which is terrible. It is the worst part of the entire application. I have voiced this to Zerto hundreds of times for things like feature changes. Apparently, it's coming, but there is nothing concrete as to when you can do it.View full review »
It would be nice if we were able to purchase single licenses for Zerto. As it is now, scaling requires that we purchase a multi-pack. It hasn't been a big deal for us but it would still be helpful to have a little bit more granularity on the license count.
The only timeline or limiting factor, in my opinion, is how long it takes to replicate. That all depends on your infrastructure, and we happen to be pretty fortunate that we have a nice pipe in between the two locations, between here and our DR site. If you don't have that limiting factor, it's just a matter of time. You just wait long enough for it to replicate over and then you're covered.View full review »
The replication appliances tend to have issues when they recover from being powered off when a host is in maintenance mode. Sometimes you have to do a manual task where you go in and detach hard disks that are no longer in use, to get the replication appliances to power back on. There are some improvements to be made around the way those recover.
My other main inconvenience is fixed in version 8.5. That issue was moving virtual protection groups to other hosts, whenever a host goes into maintenance mode. That's actually automated in the newer version and I am looking forward to not having to do that any longer.View full review »
Disaster Recovery Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Zerto has a really robust PowerShell and scripting that you can get lots of numbers out of but it's not exactly the easiest thing to do. Zerto has a few nice the pre-canned reports but there is a need for more. Unless you script something, it's difficult to go in, click a button, and see the information that you may be looking for.
The problem with the backup product is that it's not very mature and you really need a specific use case to be able to use it effectively. It's hard to explain to our customers, especially our large customers, that the use case is so limited.View full review »
Senior Manager, Technical Services at a logistics company with 5,001-10,000 employees
The long-term recovery is a little bit weak in its granularity. Veeam is definitely superior in that aspect, as it's able to provide a granular view of files and databases, et cetera. However, it just kind of depends on what a business' recovery strategy is.
From our business perspective, it's really not impactful to us because our recovery strategy is not based on individual files. But, I could definitely see it being a challenge if there is a very large instance of individual files, as a subset, that need to be recovered. I think that if somebody has terabytes of data then Zerto will recover it faster but navigating through the file explorer to get to files is not as easy with Zerto.
One thing I don't like about the product, and I know this is where their claim to fame is, but whenever I have a VPG that has multiple virtual machines in it, and one virtual machine falls behind, it'll pause replication on everything else in that job until the one server catches up. The goal is to keep symmetric replication processing going, so the strategy makes sense, but for our business model, that doesn't really work and it has created a challenge where I have to manage each VM individually. It means that instead of having one job that would cover multiple servers, I just have one job to one server, which allows me to manage them individually.View full review »
Technical Account Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Zerto seems to keep up with what I think needs to be improved pretty well.
One improvement that could make it easier would be to have an easier way to track journal usage and a little bit more training around journal sizing. I've done all the training and the journal is still a gray area. There is confusion surrounding how it's billed and how we should bill clients. It would be easier if it had billing suggestions or billing best practices for our clients to make sure that we're not leaving money on the table.View full review »
Senior System Administrator at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
It has a file restore feature, which we have tried to use. We have had some issues with that, because the drives are compressed in our main file system. It is a Windows-based file server. So, it compresses the shares and can't restore those by default. However, we have done it with other things. It is pretty handy.
I would like it if they would really ramp up more on their PowerShell scripting and API calls, then I can heavily utilize PowerShell. I am big into scripting stuff and automating things. So, if they could do even more with PowerShell, API calls, and automation, that would be fantastic.View full review »
For what we got it for, it does it great. I use a different solution for my disk-to-disk local backups to where I can have a local backup of files. I don't think Zerto does that well to where it keeps a memory of the files that are there. Basically, when something is deleted on Zerto, it gets deleted on the replicated version. So, some sort of snapshotting or something where I could have backups at different points in time of files would be a really helpful tool.View full review »
Chief Information Officer at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
I would like to see more managed service= options. While Zerto isn't doing this a lot, there are a ton of third-parties who are doing managed services with Zerto.View full review »
I would like to see a separate product offer for performing backups, although I think that this is something that they are expecting to release in the next version.View full review »
Cloud Specialist at a tech company with 51-200 employees
The monitoring and alerting functionality need to be improved. Ideally, the monitoring would include the option for more filters. For example, it would be helpful if we could filter by company name, as well as other attributes.View full review »
Senior Systems Engineer at a recruiting/HR firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
When you're configuring the VPGs, they can improve the process by looking at the hardware configuration of the existing VMs and then recommending what they should be, rather than us having to go back and forth. For example, on the VM configuration portion of creating the VPGs, it should already figure out what sort of CPU, memory, and capacity you need, rather than us trying to write that down and then going in afterward to change it.
The logging could be a lot better from a troubleshooting standpoint. If the log was more detailed and more user-friendly, we wouldn't have to make the calls to the support to try and figure out where the problem lies.
They could improve on how many machines the management server can handle for replication.View full review »
They definitely have room for improvement in a couple of areas. One is role-based access control. Right now, they don't have an identity source so they use the identity of the vCenter or the VMM. If they connected to an identity source like Active Directory and allowed for granular roles and permissions, that would be an improvement.
Another area of improvement is support for clusters. They have very limited support for Microsoft clustering.
Also, integration with VMware could be improved. For example, when a VM is created in vCenter, it would be helpful to be able to identify the VM, by tags or any other means, as needing DR protection. And then Zerto should be able to automatically add the VM to a VPG.
There is definitely room for improvement. But what they have implemented so far, works pretty well.
I haven't seen any significant features or improvements in the past few major version releases. The only challenge I have with Zerto today, and over the past few years, is that it seems like a lot of development and effort is going toward the cloud. Since we're utilizing the solution with an on-premises hypervisor, it seems like development for our needs is kind of stuck.
The other thing I wish they would do is to develop their PowerShell module to be more robust. So instead of having to rely on the API to actually include a PowerShell command, it would let you create VPGs, delete VPGs, modify VPGs, etc. This would ease the automation effort of deployment and decommissioning and I'd really appreciate that.
I would like to see them continuously improve Zerto's automated functions, such as putting hosts in maintenance mode within vSphere and not having to worry as much about how Zerto is going to react. Rather, Zerto should be able to handle putting various hosts, within either the source or destination side, into maintenance mode without having to worry about the vRA appliances. Sometimes, Zerto almost holds the vSphere environment hostage when it comes to taking certain actions. You really need to be cognizant about what you're about to do. They should further automate that and increase Zerto's ability to handle things like that in a very slick, automated way, without intervention.
Zerto could also build more canned automation tools within their product, tools that automatically work with DNS updates to AWS or Azure. Maybe they could provide an area for scripting help or canned scripts, a community or a place where people could grab some scripting. Maybe they could reach into Citrix or F5 load balancer APIs.
Also, if you have a host go wrong or you need to put one in maintenance in an emergency situation, especially on the source side, it can require you to fix Zerto and redeploy vRAs or redeploy the little appliances to the host that they're going to be on.
Also, depending on what resources it has available, storage or vSphere-wise, I'd like to see it able to balance itself out within the virtual environment, with its storage usage on the destination side.
I've only run into these things briefly, so I can't speak about them at the deepest technical level, but I have noticed that they're not as perfect as they could be.View full review »
Resiliency Specialist at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Zerto should add the capability to replicate the same VM to multiple sites.
The export capability should be improved so that it is more customizable in terms of what fields are exported and what the formatting is.
I would like to see the ability for Zerto to handle physical servers, although that is becoming less important to us.View full review »
Enterprise Infrastructure Architect at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
We would like some of the real fine or granular things. We've submitted a few minor things for enhancements such as being able to control bandwidth utilization for each facility you replicate to versus overall. We just need a little bit more granularity on some of the things, but there is not a whole bunch that is in need of tweaking.View full review »
It took me a little bit of time to get used to Zerto's terminology and to relate it back to how you do a backup traditionally. It was a little different. It took a little while to understand what a VPG is and what it does. That's an area that they could probably improve on a little, making the documentation easier to understand.View full review »
Network Administrator at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
The only time I ever have an issue is because there's a virtual server on each host in our environment. If I have to reboot a virtual machine host, I have issues with Zerto catching up afterward. That's about the only thing I would say needs improvement. Sometimes, when I have to do maintenance, Zerto takes a little bit to catch up. That's understandable.View full review »
There are still some pieces in testing that aren't automated. There are still some built-in scripts or workflows I wish Zerto would do out-of-the-box, versus having to PowerShell or have a vendor create it, or create it myself. We haven't done a full failback yet of production so I couldn't really say. The failover process is a lot of manual steps, but Zerto is a mechanism that gets the data there. In that aspect, it does what it's supposed to do. But I wish they would expand on their out-of-the-box functionality for the VM. When you fail it over, there are DNS and SQL changes and there are reboots. There are some things I wish that Zerto would facilitate with a checkbox that would do some of these things for me versus having to PowerShell it and put the scripts in a certain place and have support run it. I want it more automated if possible.
The issue I have with ransomware is if I don't know I have ransomware in all my recovery points, and if it goes three months, I wish Zerto somehow either bought a company or could tell me that we're infected with ransomware. If I don't know how ransomware and everything gets encrypted, there's nothing to restore back to if all my recovery points have been corrupted. So I wish Zerto somehow had a mechanism to alert me of suspicious activity.
We have a Trend product that does that for us. We can get alerts of things that Trend finds, but it's always nice to have layers for your security. We have alternatives, but it would be nice if Zerto had a mechanism to alert me as well.
Alerting has also been a pain but it was supposed to be fixed in the newer version and that's. I would like to have more granular alerts.View full review »
System Administrator at City of Rock Hill, SC
The backup solution needs to be improved. From our perspective, Veeam and Zerto were competing products. They both do very unique things that they're very good at. For instance, Veeam can do replication well. However, it's really a backup product. Zerto can do backup, and yet it's really a disaster recovery product. It would be great if they could improve upon the backup functionality, or continually improve. We've seen some improvements, however, if they continue improving upon that it may eventually eliminate the need for the other product.View full review »
Tech Lead, Storage and Data Protection at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
I would like the ability to monitor the performance of some specific components. Right now we're having an issue with local and remote replications with some of the VPGs. Being able to look at individual VPG performance would be helpful.
Another thing that would help would be a recommender, or some type of tool that says, "Hey, you're not conforming to best practices." It would do a conformance or compliance check to tell you if your VPGs are set up according to best practices and whether your Zerto clusters are set up optimally. It would see if you have HA enabled and whether your alerting is turned on.
Another area for improvement is alerts. We're getting so much noise right now in the 8.5 version. The problem is that we don't know which are the ones we need to act on. We don't know which ones are severe versus those that are informational or notice or debug. They have told us that when we upgrade to version 9 we'll be able to tune some of the alerts. That type of alert tuning, where we can get just the emergency and error alerts, would be helpful, while not necessarily tuning out the informational or notice or debug alerts. If alerts could be channeled to a syslog server where we could filter and see which alerts are the priority that would be an improvement.
We have a network operation center and for us to operationalize this tool with them, we have to be able to deliver each alert along with an action plan for it. That way they can take the appropriate action if Zerto has some type of error. It would help if the alerts didn't just fall on our storage and data protection team. If we could transfer some knowledge and have other level-one teams look at some of the more basic Zerto alerts and try to resolve them, that would help.View full review »
Sr. System Administrator at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
We have had some issues with trying to get certain parts of the backup or restore functionality to work. However, I cannot recall the specific details.View full review »
IT Professional at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Compared to other products, I would praise the intuitiveness of the product. But I think that can always be improved. The intuitiveness of the graphical user interface, while it is very solid and I don't have issues navigating it. I would say that it can always be improved.View full review »
Solutions Architect / Building Supervisor at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
Some of the integrations with our internal tools, in particular, company-specific ones, do not work. In cases like this, we have to ask for additional support. This is an area that has room for improvement.
If the API integration worked more efficiently then that would be an improvement.View full review »
In future releases, doing backups of the environment we need to be able to do hot backups of the database. Granular based backups of the OS, versus taking a backup of the entire VMDK. Currently, I don't think we are able to do all that right now. Having an agent-based backup is a benefit because you can back up the OS files, and If you have an agent for the database, you can do a hot backup of the database and restore it. You then would have the ability to do an entire VMDK backup. I don't think that they have the ability to do a hot backup of a database itself via an agent or something similar.View full review »
Sr Director Security Operations at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
There are two areas which I would recommend for improvement. One is when we are trying to upgrade any virtual machines, we have to stop the virtual machines that have been replicated in Zerto and then upgrade or update to the virtual machines onsite. Instead of having to do it manually, there should be some way of automating that particular function.
And when it comes to AWS failover, the documentation has a lot of scope for improvement. It's come a long way since we implemented it, from the scantiness of documentation that was available to do a failover into AWS or recover from AWS, but they could still do a much better job of providing more details, how-to's, tutorials, etc.
In terms of additional features that I would like to see included in the next releases, if they could provide us some kind of long-term storage option, that would be the best thing. Then it could be a storage and a failover solution combined into one.View full review »
Principle Systems Engineer at a government with 10,001+ employees
I am a little bit worried about how Zerto will work with large volumes of data, such as replication for big data and very large files. I have not tested it yet, so I can't say for sure whether it will choke or not.
The two large clouds that we use are AWS and Azure, and compatibility with these is always important for us.View full review »
Cloud Hosting Operations Manager at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
I know that Zerto can definitely improve some functionalities. I know some of the cloud pieces probably enable that. At the moment, it's doing what we want for us, and what it's doing for us right now is plenty. I can't say there's any improvement that I can see that needs to be done at the moment.
I'm not sure if it has throttling, meaning, what's going over the wire and how we can throttle that to reduce the amount of data that's going across the bandwidth. I can't remember if that's something that's in this product. It might be in the more recent version.View full review »
Cloud Systems Engineer III at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
So far, it's been pretty good. I haven't had any issues. If I had to pick anything, it would be the documentation for upgrades. They need to make it easier for users to do upgrades without having to contact support, by providing better documentation for that.View full review »
System Engineer at American Medical Response
Some of the features need improvement. One would be, as you're creating a Move group or a VPG, as they call it, it should either autosave or have the ability so that you can save it for coming back to later because if the setup times out, you lose all your work. That would be a nice improvement to have.View full review »
With the VPG (virtual protected group) it would be nice if you could pick individuals in the grouping instead of having to failover the whole group.
Other than that, it's a pretty good product.View full review »
I have brought this up to support before, but it would be really nice to have the option to "roll back" a particular VM to a previous time in the past if it were to become damaged, compromised, or infected. Zerto does not allow this. It's all or nothing, so you must roll back the entire VPG. You cannot roll back a single VM unless that VM is ALONE in a VPG all by itself.
It would also be nice if they could find a way to make it where one VM does not impact the entire journal history of the VPG. I do not understand why a single VM with mass amounts of changes should impact the journal history of the entire VPG. Although this has never caused me problems, it is an annoyance for sure.View full review »
Regional Director IT at Apache Gold Casino Resort
The only issue I've ever had is that I wish that Zerto would work more closely with VMware. There have been a few times that Zerto has released an update but it wasn't supported with that version of VMware. I would like them to coordinate their updates with VMware's updates.View full review »
Security Architect at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
When we initially set up the product, we didn't know about the exact features. Some of them were discussed in different wording. It took some time to get to know the solution in general, and exactly what functions each of the features is used for. They seemed more like hidden features to us.View full review »
Some features are not up to what we need, although we have found alternatives and aren't really looking for Zerto to handle those items today.
The setup process is time-consuming.
Senior Systems Administrator at a educational organization with 51-200 employees
The documentation needs improvement in terms of the setup, getting enough detail, and getting that up to speed.View full review »
Certain areas were designed and work fine for VMware but are under development for Hyper-V. Eventually, all features will work for both platforms. Zerto support is very responsive when those questions arise.
There is a comprehensive online training program which is a good start to using the application. But nothing can take the place of actually using the product in your own environment.
The online search for solutions is very large. This is good, but also bad, as there are solutions present but you have to be diligent to find the answer you need.View full review »
Team Lead / Virtualization SME at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
It has some quirks. We have quirks with appliances. Some things don't really work as expected, but it is minor. It doesn't really affect the overall functionality.View full review »
There are a couple of minor areas that could use improvement.
The GUI could be streamlined a bit more to enhance the administrative tasks. I would also like to be able to throttle the email alerts, as sometimes they become a bit noisy, and get tough to keep on top of.View full review »