Government agencies and other customers that require highly secure IT environments need a way to automate deployment of Zerto’s IT Resilience PlatformTM within these secure environments. The Zerto platform is constantly evolving to accommodate the unique needs of our customers and the latest Zerto 7.5 release is no exception. Zerto’s latest integration with VMware APIs for IO (VAIO) enables support for server Secure Boot. The VAIO-certified version will soon become generally available and allow for cluster-level deployment of Zerto with support for Secure Boot for vSphere hosts.
During our recent Early Adopter Program, some of our customers performed a trial of the upcoming VAIO enhancements. I recently sat down with Zerto customer, John Hamilton, Systems Administrator from Sumter County, South Carolina, to learn about his experience in the Early Adopter Program and what the VAIO integration means for his environment.
Zerto: John, before we talk about VAIO, I would love to learn a bit about your environment and how Zerto fits.
Sumter County: Prior to Zerto, our disaster recovery (DR) strategy never went beyond backing up to tape. Today, we use Zerto to protect everything from SQL to law enforcement records. We use Nutanix for storage and we have four sites – 2 for production and 2 for DR. Production is on our main campus and at the sheriff’s office. We use the judicial center and jail for DR.
Zerto: I like that, leveraging the jail to deal with all sorts of disastrous situations! Seems fitting…
Sumter County: Something like that…
Zerto: Help us understand how Zerto has made a difference in your environment.
Sumter County: We’re a local government/county organization and downtime directly impacts the community in very tangible ways. Before Zerto, we had two big AC units in our server room, and both died at once. The room was 130 degrees, so we had to run portable AC units for a few minutes, do the essential work, power down and repeat. Ultimately, we only had about 10 VMs running and we couldn’t process claims, people couldn’t pay their property taxes, our GIS department couldn’t do mapping updates, no one could buy a house. etc. It was a painful three days.
Zerto: That sounds paralyzing – not to mention miserable!
Sumter County: For comparison, when we first got Zerto, we had a Drupal breech and our website was hit with ransomware. Every Monday we would get a ransom request and a message that the site had been captured. Because it took us a month to patch the Drupal breech, it meant every week started with taking 5 minutes and rolling back with Zerto. While I didn’t love having to roll back every Monday, without Zerto the 5-minute inconvenience would have meant days of downtime, every week. I cannot begin to imagine the headaches that would have followed.
Zerto: Is there anything else you would like to add about your experiences thus far with Zerto?
Sumter County: File-level recovery is great. We’ve had a couple instances where files have been deleted and we can recover them in seconds with Zerto. Before Zerto that would have taken 2-3 hours at least – now I can go make a cup of coffee and come back to a recovered file.
Zerto: Like magic, right? Next, I want to hear a bit about your experience with how Zerto’s new VAIO integration will be beneficial for you.
Sumter County: The VAIO feature just worked! With VAIO, the cluster installation on the ESXi hosts was simple. As a government agency, we continuously increase the security of our environment. Zerto’s support for Secure Boot for vSphere Hosts is a new option for our 2020 infrastructure plans. When we need to enable Secure Boot next year, we won’t need to take manual steps to deploy the VRAs.
Beyond the reliability and ease of use with the VAIO feature of Zerto, we plan to continue using Zerto as our environment extends to hybrid cloud in the future.
Zerto: Thank you for sharing your Zerto experiences and giving us some insight into how this new VAIO integration will be helpful in your business. We wish you continued success with your cloud strategy and your experience using Zerto to keep Sumter County up and running!
Sumter County: Thank you to Zerto for giving me the time in my day to have conversations like this!
Click here to learn more about Zerto’s VAIO integration and other reasons Zerto and VMware are better together. For more information on Zerto’s VAIO integration, please refer to our press release here.