vRetreat 2018

This year I had the pleasure to be invited to the second ever vRetreat event in London organised by @PatrickRedknap.  The first event looked a lot of full, it was held at Silverstone F1 track and included a driving experience with a selecting of performance cars so when I got invited to this years event, it was an event I didnt want to miss.  The format of the events are to have vendor presentations to a selected group of UK bloggers followed by a networking event.

This year Patrick organised Zerto and Cohesity to present for us followed by a trip to the Crystal Maze Experience as a networking event.  The Crystal Maze was a successful TV show from the 90s which has recently made a TV come back, the idea of the experience is to re live the TV show with a group of friends.  The premise of the Crystal Maze is to complete 3 minute tasks such as puzzles to collect Crystal balls, you work in a team to solve the challenges and collect more Crystal balls than the other teams.

The event was very successful and I got to meet some new peers and bloggers in person from around the UK, given its a small room you get a real chance to grill the vendors, something that isnt always possible in the big events such as VMworld or VMUGs.  The day was followed up by the Crystal Maze, which turned out to be a lot of full and had us all working together and having a laugh. Below is a picture from the event, I couldnt make the photo shot as I had a train to catch home.


Zerto did a great presentation around Zerto Virtual Replication 6.0, a later version than I had last had a chance to look at.  Zerto has been a product I have been aware off but not actually had any hands on experience with outside of canned demos.  Version 6.0 was ony released a few weeks prior to the event so very much hot of the press.

Zerto’s main message was – “IT Resiliance Platform” regardless of the platform, either on-premises with multi hypervisor support or public cloud with integration in AWS and Azure.  This is a move away from a previous focus around the hypervisor.

The main feature set include

  • Data Replication – DR
  • Journal-based Recovery
  • Orchestration – Multi-cloud, non-distributive workload mobility
  • Open API

In v6 a lot of the new features were focused around the multi-cloud approach.  Zerto enables mobility across clouds, across Azure to AWS for instance, it does this by leveraging a Zerto appliance running in these cloud using the underlying native cloud features.  All this can be managed via a single Zerto UI, on-premises Zerto appliance and multi-cloud appliances.  I can see a lot of use cases for this, the ease to be able to migrate across platforms is something a lot of companies I talk to are wanting to achieve.

The solution itself is designed to be easily scaleable due to the architecture, for instance its not tied directly to an on-premise device.  The API is open to be consumed with Zerto spending a lot of development around this area. this allows products such as Ansible and vRealize Automation to consume them.  Analytics APIs are also available to be consumed by products such as vRealize Operations.

Some high level details for Zerto in Azure include

  • Available now in any Azure region
  • One to Many configuration available
  • Azure to Azure uses VNet peering
  • Journal data is stored on Block Blob storage
  • Replication data is stored on Page Blob storage

High level features added to AWS

  • Automatic failback from AWS is now supported, previously this was a manual process
  • No agents are required for Zerto
  • New appliance zASA is used to manage AWS snapshots
  • Appliance zSAT to read the data and only replicate the changes over to Zerto
  • Automatic conversion from EC2 to on-premises

To see the requirements for AWS see the following link.

More information on Zerto version 6 see below.


Thanks @PatrickRedknap for a great event.





Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *