Zerto (Zerto for Kubernetes)

Zerto for Kubernetes is the cloud-native successor to Zerto’s popular virtual environment disaster recovery solution. The same data replication method is used in Zerto for Kubernetes, with the added benefit of per-second journal-based persistent volume recovery.

The Helm-based installer delivers the program onto a cluster as a Stateful DaemonSet. VMware Tanzu, Red Hat OpenShift, and native Kubernetes are all supported. Zerto supports Amazon EKS, Azure Kubernetes Service, Google Kubernetes Engine, and IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service on the public cloud.

A Zerto for Kubernetes Manager instance must be deployed to either the cluster or a third location in addition to the per-cluster components (like a separate VPC account). By auto-scaling components and instantiating parallel instances based on running jobs, it has a small resource footprint on clusters. Zerto for Kubernetes comes with both perpetual and subscription licensing options.

The ZKM-PX components from Zerto reside in the data pipeline and capture all I/O actions for replication.

The product is designed to support local backups, remote disaster recovery, and long-term archival to S3, but it can also be very useful for simplifying data and application migrations, as well as the CI/CD process, by adding tags to the Zerto journal during new application version deployments to capture that moment in time.

Zerto for Kubernetes does not have a UI and instead functions as a kubectl addon. It’s only good for defending the cluster to which it’s been installed. Multiple clusters can be managed by the Manager. The offer includes access to the SaaS-based Zerto Analytics platform, which provides some overview of numerous deployments.

Zerto for Kubernetes can find and protect apps and their resources as a whole, making both local and remote restorations simple. Annotations are now used to enable backup selection. The Zerto Replication Engine backs up Deployments, StatefulSets, ConfigMaps, Secrets, PV Claims, CRDs, and Services, as well as the Persistent Volume data. It doesn’t have any database-aware processing capabilities, and it doesn’t handle external databases like AWS RDS.

Zerto for Kubernetes is extremely efficient, replicating only the blocks that are required to the secondary replication pod, which can run in a separate cluster for disaster recovery or in a local cluster for backup.

The journal-based approach allows for the capture of checkpoints every couple of seconds and storage for up to 30 days. Daily, weekly, and monthly checkpoints can be replicated to a long-term retention repository (such as an S3- or Azure Blob-compatible service) and provide immutability features based on the underlying storage service.

Zerto for Kubernetes can be used as an application migration tool with very short cut-over windows, including failover and migration testing, deploying the application into a temporary new namespace, and permitting verification, using the same journal-based technique. This is also the recommended procedure for making temporary copies for testing and validation during application development.

Zerto for Kubernetes’ remote replication capabilities enable customers to achieve extremely low RTOs and RPOs. The tool is simple to use and has a lot of potential for improving data mobility and making migration easier.

Challenges: The product is still weak around the edges for data security needs, despite the fact that the fundamental technology is rock solid for disaster recovery and application migration scenarios.