Arcserve RHA vs Zerto

Choosing the right replication solution for your organisation can be tricky if not daunting.  Arcserve RHA or Zerto? That is the question! In this post we highlight the key features and benefits of both of these products in an attempt to make the decision making process easier for you.

Arcserve RHA vs Zerto

In short, Zerto is a hypervisor agentless VM replication solution whereas Arcserve RHA is an agent based real time replication & high availability solution.

Architecture 

Zerto requires a ZVM (Zerto Virtual Manager) on each site, a ZVA (Zerto Virtual Appliance) on each virtual host and a ZCM (Zerto Cloud Manager) in order to manage multi-tenancy. This can range from a minimum of 4-5 servers upwards, depending on the amount of hosts.

Arcserve RHA requires a minimum of 1 control service engine with RHA manager, to 2 servers if redundancy is required for scenario management.

Overview

Zerto: 

  • After the large installation, Zerto allows for simplistic DR VPGs (Virtual Protection Groups) to be created.  This doesn’t involve much configuration except to point to a secondary site ZVM & some Re-IP configuration for the DR site.
  • SLAs can be created to ensure VPGs meet their RPO’s.
  • Zerto replicates VM files at a block level to the DR site spool and only creates and powers a VM onto the DR Hypervisor once failover is initiated, regardless of whether it’s a test or real scenario. Therefore Zerto cannot guarantee a RTO.
  • Zerto does not test application or data consistency within the guest OS of the protected VM.
  • When a scenario involves a transactional intensive DB environment; an agent is required to be loaded onto the specific VM’s.  Guest Quiescing is then initiated from Zerto to commit transactional logs (log truncation) so that the DB’s stay consistent on the DR side as it’s an active passive solution. SQL is only built at the point of failure with the latest blocks replicated; and you would need to consider factors like transaction size and long-running transactions that cannot be cleared from the log until they have completed. If a fail over where to occur during the transaction, the DR VM built on the other side will have inconsistent DB’s in a recoverable state.
  • Zerto has a journal history function where blocks can be rolled back to a certain time, but you would need to find a specific point in time where all transactions were completed. Alternatively you can load a Zerto agent which will Quies the guest OS, thus utilising VM resources and IO.  Zerto recommends that it be run every 4 Hours +, inflating your RPO to 4 Hours.
  • Zerto’s failover process requires the user to log into the site ZVM and press a fail over button.  There is no HA or automatic failover solution.

Arcserve RHA:

  • Arcserve RHA requires a control service engine to be loaded onto the server managing the HA or DR replication scenarios. A control engine agent is loaded onto each server protected.
  • Unfortunately the scenario setup requires that the user be more involved. Arcserve allows for DR file & application replication where failovers are manual & HA full system or application HA; where failover can be manual or automated with integrated DNS changes to the local DNS server.
  • In a replication scenario; a live DR VM or server is required to receive replicated files and the server will be required to be setup by the user. With application HA; the server will require the application to be setup and configured as well. This does require more setup and running computer resources on the DR site but it has its added benefits.
  • Arcserve RHA allows for replication or HA from physical environments, virtual or a mixture of both (P2V, V2P, V2V & V2P) this can then be configured to automatically failover or failover through user Intervention. This then provides seconds RPO & seconds RTO.
  • Arcserve has another feature called ‘Assured Recovery’ that allows for automated HA & DR testing and unlike Zerto, tests the application in the guest OS as well as the data constancy with the master server.
  • Other features include data rewind (similar to Journal History) where you are able to rewind changes made to an application or the OS files; unlike Zerto which is at a hypervisor block level only.
  • Synchronization between servers can be done at a block or file level.
  • This entire solution is then able to integrate into Arcserve UDP (Backup Suite) and is managed through a console with 1 license.
  • To avoid the large setup of building the DR VM’s for your scenarios, you can use the backup feature of UDP to replicate source servers and export as VSB ( Virtual standby ) the VSB can then be used in an HA or replication scenario.

Quick Feature Comparison

arcserve zerto comp

Crazy. I Love Crazy.

 

Arcserve award

The picture for this post is the Arcserve team holding the award that they just won at VMworld 2015. Two things stand out for me:

1. IT IS A FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT. Arcserve is just 1 year out of their old CA parents. in that time, they basically had to rebuild their business process back end. New ERP, new CRM, new everything. At the same time, they enhanced the product to such an extent that it has won this award against some pretty well-entrenched VMware aligned solutions.

We are achieving ridiculously good results. De-duplication and compression of 12TB to 199GB is an example. This performance and richness of features that allows a single solution to perform simple backup, right through to application High Availability and at a price point that makes other solutions weep is seriously compelling for service providers, mid-market and enterprise customers.

2. THEY ARE CRAZY. These guys do things differently. They add fun into the equation and they make you want to deal with them. Just take this picture of them holding their award. They are doing it in front of their largest competitor’s stand and posting it all over social media. At VMworld Europe last year, they had a “silent club” where people put headphones on in a dark booth with a proper DJ and strobe lighting and danced away and a few months ago, they drove around the UK with a massive green inflatable elephant, pumped it up in their partners’ offices and spoke about the “elephant in the room” and how they can help partners make more money and build better businesses.

You may have read my post “When Crazy Becomes The New Normal“, if not, go read it. Arcserve is Crazy. We love Crazy. We support Crazy. We love Arcserve. You should try some Crazy!

About Arcserve Africa

Tarsus Cloud On Demand is the regional distributor and representative for Arcserve.

 

arcserve logo

Arcserve is a leading provider of data protection and recovery software.

Arcserve provides organizations with the assurance that they can recover their data and applications when needed. Founded in 1990, Arcserve provides a comprehensive solution for virtual and physical environments, on premise or in the cloud, backed by unsurpassed support and expertise. Our new unified architecture, Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP), drives a full range of highly efficient and integrated data protection capabilities through a simple, web-based user console.

Arcserve has an active customer base of 43,000 end users in more than 50 countries. The company partners with over 7,500 distributors, resellers and service providers around the world. Arcserve is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota with offices around the world.

 

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