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The Zerto Killer

Joshua Stenhouse 0

First of all let me start by saying I love Zerto. Seeing it action as one of the first customers in Europe back in 2011 (10 years ago!) was the coolest thing I’d seen since vMotion. The near 5 years I worked there gave me the opportunity to have life I have today for which I am eternally grateful. And there is simply no better migration tool on the planet, but in 2021 that’s all I can recommend it for.

I cannot any longer recommend it for DR. I wouldn’t use it myself and neither should you. Why?


Ransomware attack is now the most likely reason for DR, yet if you are a Zerto customer your DR solution is a sitting duck.  At its heart is the most compromised OS in the world. The 1 consistent thing I have seen in all ransomware attacks is every Windows server in your network is toast. Anything reliant on Windows is therefore also comprisable, kill the ZVM you kill Zerto. Same applies to Veeam. Running both? Then you should be very very worried.

But what if you tier the backups elsewhere? What if you make them immutable? That’s great for getting a secure copy of your data, but what’s the RTO? Likely weeks, also not recommended. And neither are going to help you detect an encryption event, tell you what to recover and help classify data at risk from exfiltration. These solutions simply aren’t up to the modern challenge of ransomware, no matter how many times they say the world immutable.

So you have to act and act now, but what’s the solution?

Almost 2 years ago Rubrik released the first integrated CDP solution with backup, but I couldn’t recommend it. It needed time to bake and was missing 2 key features. 1st was a bitmap sync to auto-resume from disruption, fixed a year ago, 2nd was journal length. At an arbitrary and useless 4 hours it simply wasn’t long enough (with snapshots required every 4 hours) rendering it unusable for anything but a demo.

But all this changed today with the release of Rubrik CDM 6.0, bringing into play a 24 hour journal combined with daily snapshots for 30+ day retention:

VM with 24 Hour Journal in Rubrik CDM 6.0

Rubrik is now fit to replace Zerto in your environment with the added bonus of giving you both a local and remote journal baked into backup at no cost whatsoever, and the ability to recover in-place!

Zerto can only failover to DR, or use one-to-many replication for a local copy using 2x production storage. Rubrik can recover VMs back to prod from a local copy using CDP without any prod storage usage, and re-wind the VM back in time removing the need to mount and storage vMotion. The competition has not only caught up, it’s over taken, and it’s significantly more secure with a scale-out hardened linux based appliance at its heart, masterless, fault-tolerant and most importantly of all; no windows.

The only missing piece is orchestration, the push button test failover/failback, but Rubrik has fixed that too with Appflows:

A Rubrik Appflows Blueprint (VPG)

Licensed per brik, or included in the Rubrik enterprise license for free, the TCO saving vs your current backup software, storage and Zerto is at least 40% making it a no brainer.

If all this sounds interesting then go to, reach out to your local account team and I’d be happy to help you secure your DR solution from ransomware attack. And it really doesn’t matter what Zerto says or does anymore, as long as its Windows based its stuck in the past and I don’t see the new owners changing that anytime soon. Thanks for reading,


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