Jan 26, 2016

Choosing the Right Disaster Recovery as a Service Solution: Veeam or Zerto?


Budgeting decisions, whether personal or business, are among the most stressful individuals consistently have to make. Because the vast majority of us don’t have the financial flexibility to make too many wrong choices, allocating funds toward a particular product or service over another can induce a significant amount of anxiety, and worse yet, severely affect the outcome of our households’ or business’ financial goals.

IT managers know this as well as anyone. Picking the right provider, investing in the right infrastructure, hiring the right employee to architect and deploy environments — these decisions are never easy.

In modern IT, there’s one such decision rising above the noise, and it’s affecting IT leaders worldwide: implementing the appropriate Disaster Recovery strategy and product amid the ever-growing cloud-based replication market.

At INAP, we offer Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) powered by Veeam and Zerto. So which vendor’s solution is best for you? The short answer is … it depends!

Should I Choose Veeam or Zerto?

Let’s assume for a second you don’t use either Veeam or Zerto in your current environment and are looking to deploy one of them fairly soon.

Frankly speaking, comparing these two very similar products is a bit challenging, especially if you’re new to them. Both products are DR market leaders. Both offer a rich feature-set that offer powerful control and reliable failovers. Both solutions offer a range of tools enabling the Test Disaster Recovery and customized pre- and post-script execution during the Test/Live Failover and Failback.

INAP’s Veeam solution also offers powerful Backup as a Service (BaaS), as well, which offers broad functionality including File-Level recoveries and tool sets like Active Directory, SQL and Exchange integration.

I could spend a lot of time picking apart the technical nuances of each solution, and will do so in a forthcoming post. For now though, it would be more helpful to highlight the key difference — the single most important factor in determining the right solution.

And that difference is in each service’s Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RPO is focused on data loss tolerance and is determined by identifying the maximum amount of time your business can tolerate between data backups.

Veeam v9 replicates your data using snapshot-driven technology provided by VMware and Hyper-V hypervisors. With a snapshot approach, the time required to create and remove the snapshots during the replication process contributes to the overall time required to finish the job. Cloud-based DR powered by Veeam Availability Suite v9 delivers an RPO of less than 15 minutes.

Zerto approaches the same replication tasks leveraging “continuous” replication. Zerto sends a copy of each write targeting the protected VM to its “shadow” copy at the remote site, allowing the RPO times to range from mere seconds to minutes, depending on backend storage and networking performance capabilities.

While technically possible to run continuous replication with Veeam, it’s not advisable to implement for production environments due to the impact the snapshots may have on application performance.

Choose the Solution that Most Closely Mirrors Your DR Objectives

The takeaway here is relatively straightforward: Both products are outstanding platforms for Disaster Recovery, offering a wide range of tools to get the job done. The right solution, however, should always be determined by your applications and business requirements.

If your company doesn’t require continuous replication and can tolerate a 15 minute RPO, Veeam Availability Suite v9 is an excellent choice. If your workloads require more stringent RPOs, Virtual Replication with Zerto is the way to go.

Why wouldn’t you always choose the solution that offers the lowest RPO? It’s a matter of cost vs. your data loss tolerance. Due to its aggressive target, Zerto is typically the more expensive option of the two for fully built-out solutions. But to reiterate: The responsible, long-term strategy is to choose a solution based on your recovery requirements. I’m confident we’ll be able to find you one that does the job.

At INAP, we offer two distinct levels of DR: On-Demand DRaaS and Dedicated DRaaS. Here’s the major difference: Essentially our On-Demand service, powered by Zerto, is a great entry-point to DR, in that you only pay for the infrastructure when you declare a disaster. While you sacrifice some recovery speed and the ability for fine-tuned configuring, it’s an economical plan that gives you excellent protection.

Dedicated DRaaS, on the other hand, is a robust DR solution allowing you to choose between either Veeam or Zerto. While you pay for your target infrastructure, it allows for advanced testing and configurations, and guarantees leading RPO and RTO.

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