Replicating the Hypervisor

Michael Vizard

Disaster recovery tasks today are still based on the same basic replication technologies that have been a hallmark of backup and recovery for more years than anyone cares to remember.

The good news is that in this age of virtualization, it's a lot easier to manage the distribution of application images, but the act of replicating the data needed to go with those images is still time-consuming.

That's why a lot of IT people tasked with being responsible for business continuity are watching a company called Zerto bring to market a new approach to replication that is based on the hypervisor technology included in virtual machine environments.

According to Zerto CEO Ziv Kedem, the basic idea is that it's a lot easier to replicate the entire hypervisor environment than it is to rely on cumbersome storage technologies to replicate data. This approach, says Kedem, is not only vendor-neutral, it also makes it a lot easier to meet just about any service-level agreement (SLA) requirement.

If successful, the Zerto Virtual Replication offering, which is currently in beta, isn't likely to make a lot of storage vendors very happy. But as Kedem notes, that's the point. Storage vendors have no real incentive to solve this problem. Even VMware, as a unit of EMC, can find other things to focus its energies on.

In the meantime, Kedem notes that one of the primary reasons that IT organizations are reluctant to deploy virtualization in mission-critical application environments is because of the complexity and costs associated with replicating large amounts of data. According to Kedem, simplifying that process should spur more adoption of virtualization in Tier-1 application environments.

It's too early to say what kind of impact Zerto Virtual Replication might ultimately have, but one thing that is for certain is that nobody is particularly enthused about the state of replication as it stands today.

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