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Zerto 9.5 update adds Linux support and multi-cloud storage

Zerto's biannual update to its disaster recovery and data backup platform expands data protection features into Linux environments and adds features for Azure and GCP users.

Zerto's latest update to its Zerto Platform adds support for Linux data recovery, an important upgrade for Kubernetes users, and new features for Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform users.

The Zerto 9.5 update, now generally available to Zerto customers, brings new features to help companies build cyber resilience and data recovery. Headlining additions in the 9.5 update include support for immutable data in Microsoft Azure, a new Debian Linux virtual appliance for managing Zerto and support for Google Cloud Platform storage.

Zerto, now a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company following its acquisition last year, sells disaster recovery, cyber resilience and other business continuity services through its Zerto Platform, which uses virtual replication to enable granular data recovery.

Each of the 9.5 updates increases the feature set of the Zerto Platform, said Christophe Bertrand, practice director at Enterprise Strategy Group, a division of TechTarget.

Although part of HPE, Bertrand said Zerto appears to remain operationally independent and capable of building out technologies to combat ransomware without the development slowdown such corporate maneuvers usually bring.

"Zerto is going broader and deeper and building upon the platform," Bertrand said. "[Ransomware] is a broad-spectrum problem that requires a broad-spectrum solution."

Container-centered future

The new pre-built Linux virtual appliance, based on Debian Linux, enables management of Zerto's features and capabilities in Linux.

The Zerto platform previously operated in a Windows environment, but this addition enables Zerto to protect Linux environments with capabilities such as automated upgrades and troubleshooting features, according to Kevin Cole, director of technical marketing and training at Zerto.

"This is the future of Zerto," Cole said. "Folks want a platform that is a little harder to infect and a little harder for the infection to spread."

[Ransomware] is a broad-spectrum problem that requires a broad-spectrum solution.
Christophe BertrandPractice director, Enterprise Strategy Group

The need to secure container data is a growing market, according to Johnny Yu, a research manager at IDC. Container service providers originally considered the storage infrastructure ephemeral, but organizations are incorporating operational workloads into container services and need enterprise-class protection.

"[This Linux appliance] seems like the secret back road to target the container people," Yu said. "I see every reason to want to tend to that crowd."

Zerto sells a Kubernetes-specific backup and disaster recovery service, Zerto for Kubernetes.

The popularity and open source roots of Linux do not guarantee a foolproof environment against ransomware, said Krista Macomber, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group, but Linux underpins the popular container orchestration platform Kubernetes.

Kubernetes and other container platforms can offer greater data security due to the fragmented structure of microservices but increase the infrastructure surface for a potential attack, she said. However, the capabilities Zerto can bring to Linux, such as multifactor authentication (MFA) and role-based access control (RBAC), can help to stymie those threats.

"Microservices architectures are gaining attention as being potentially more secure," Macomber said. "Capabilities that Zerto added like the MFA and RBAC and the ability to be self-healing are important."

The update also adds instant file restore for Linux, enabling recovery for files in Linux VMs.

Immutable Azure

Zerto users looking to take advantage of hyperscaler clouds outside of AWS can now use the native version-level immutability to protect and store immutable copies of data in Microsoft Azure. Zerto previously supported just AWS and its object lock feature for creating and storing immutable copies for long-term retention.

The update also adds support for Google Cloud Platform storage as a destination for data copies. Zerto doesn't support other native GCP capabilities, including immutability, as of this update.

Zero also expanded its partnership with Keepit with an update to the Zerto Backup for SaaS, adding support for the Azure Active Directory, a cloud-based user identity and access management service.

Zerto launched Zerto Backup for SaaS last year with support for Microsoft 365, Salesforce and Google Workspace data.

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