Stanley Lee, Manager, Solutions Engineering, APAC and Japan at Zerto
Today, enterprises of all sizes are already deploying applications on virtualised IT infrastructures and clouds. However, the values of virtualisation including flexibility, scalability and mobility can complicate business continuity efforts in times of disaster. On the flip side, the advantages of virtualisation can also be in conflict with your ability to recover the business in the event of disaster.
Zerto provides enterprise-class disaster recovery and business continuity software specifically for virtualised data centres and cloud environments. Zerto Virtual Replication is the industry’s first hypervisor-based replication solution for tier-one applications, replacing traditional array-based BC/DR solutions that were not built to deal with the virtual paradigm.
Stanley Lee, Manager, Solutions Engineering, APAC and Japan at Zerto talks to DSA about what he thinks about the challenges and opportunities of DR in this region.
DataStorageAsean: How has cloud, software defined data centre and virtualisation transformed the DR landscape?
Stanley Lee: Virtualisation and cloud benefits include increased flexibility, better asset utilisation and reduced operational and maintenance costs.
However, legacy business continuity solutions for virtualised mission-critical applications impede these benefits as they are complex to manage, do not support advanced virtualisation features and require additional hardware and software resources.
All the benefits that are expected when an application is virtualised – lower costs, simplified management – are lost with legacy solutions. Over the years, customers had come to realise that they must look at alternatives when building their business continuity and disaster recovery strategy.
This includes the rate of virtualised platform adoption and implementation, the ability to provide disaster recovery capabilities for on premise virtual infrastructure to private-hybrid-public cloud, migration from any cloud to any cloud and as well a need for a software defined disaster recovery solution that manages disaster recovery execution and automation.
DataStorageAsean: Are you finding customers are expecting improved RPO and RTO?
Stanley Lee: As the adoption of virtualised infrastructure and demands for virtualised workloads mobility and availability increases, so do the stringent requirement for recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) improvements.
Customers today are not just looking at single application requirements but multiple application workloads with continually improving RPO and RTO.
Protecting mission-critical applications is not only about copying data; it is about ensuring application recovery, protecting from logical errors and frequently testing failover to ensure you can recover when needed.
DataStorageAsean: What are the key attributes that you are seeing companies look for in a DR solution?
Stanley Lee: Customers require that their disaster recovery solution has a non-impact installation and seamless deployment whilst integrating and leverage into existing virtual infrastructure.
As is the case with VMware, Hyper-V or a public cloud infrastructure, disaster recovery solutions need to be able to scale without impacting production workloads.
They need to be simple to manage and operate for small to large enterprises using the same graphical user interface (GUI), providing reporting capabilities when performing failovers or disaster recovery tests.
Other questions to consider include is the solution hypervisor agnostic? Can it provide application mobility and migration? Is the solution application aware? Will there be any performance impact when implementing the solution and what is the product learning curve like?
DataStorageAsean: What are the specific challenges for DR in the ASEAN region?
Stanley Lee: ASEAN is a unique region made up of a number of small countries which although geographically “close” have very different challenges not just for disaster recovery but for IT in general.
Understanding the different requirements by country is a big part of that challenge, as an example, companies based in Singapore are unlikely to have the same bandwidth challenges as companies based in industrial areas of Indonesia or Philippines.
ASEAN also has a huge small and medium business eco system, and whilst many SME’s might need a disaster recovery solution they are not as ready to spend money on it as larger enterprises.
However; we see that changing with disaster recovery moving up the priority list for savvy SMEs who want to future-proof their businesses data.
Until now, ASEAN businesses have been reticent to prioritise disaster recovery, however with accelerating cloud adoption we see disaster recovery starting to be considered seriously with discussions among ASEAN businesses raising disaster recovery on their IT priorities list.
At Zerto, we are trying to contribute to the education process that will raise the profile and importance of this subject in the region.
DataStorageAsean: What is unique about your DR offering?
Stanley Lee: Zerto Virtual Replication eliminates hardware dependencies, reduces network requirements, centralises management of your business continuity and disaster recovery strategy and leverages automation to reduce complexity and eliminate errors associated with trial-and-error business continuity and disaster recovery processes.
It is a software-only product that simplifies and automates the entire application protection lifecycle by utilising hypervisor-based replication technology, which enables virtual machine-level protection. Uniquely we enable customers to replicate between VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and support disaster recovery to public cloud (e.g. Amazon Web Services).
At the same time we reduce complexity by enabling all of the before mentioned to be performed in a few clicks. Zerto Virtual Replication has become the standard for protection, disaster recovery and migration of applications in cloud and virtualised datacentre, it delivers a true business continuity and disaster recovery solution designed for your business critical applications.