Two Outages in Two Weeks? Get DR for AWS - Zerto

Two Outages in Two Weeks? Get DR for AWS


Give your organization the gift of Zerto In-Cloud DR before the next outage 

At the end of November, I blogged about the need for disaster recovery in the cloud and also attended AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a great conference, and I was able to see some great AWS solutions up close and personal both from the AWS team and other vendors. But I am not clairvoyant, and even I could not have predicted two AWS outages in the time since then. On December 7, 2021, a major outage in the form of a DNS disruption in the North Virginia AWS region disrupted many online services. On December 15, 2021, AWS suffered another network-related outage affecting major third-party web services, although for a shorter duration. 

How Safe is the Cloud? It’s Complicated 

I covered this topic in more detail in my last blog post, but the highlights bear repeating in light of these recent outages. A public cloud platform like AWS has some inherent resiliency advantages that are more difficult to achieve in on-prem computing. There are multiple datacenters per region and multiple regions across the cloud platform that are either automatically used for resiliency or configured for resiliency using native (or third-party) tools. In short, the sheer scale of the cloud infrastructure itself offers layers of architectural redundancy and resilience. 

Yet, even with so much scale, and arguably the greatest, or at least biggest computing platform the world has ever known, it is not invulnerable to disruptions. We get reminded repeatedly with each cloud outage that there is no such thing as a bullet-proof platform, and no matter where your applications and data reside, you still need a disaster recovery plan.  Outages are only one of many threats facing your data and applications. Cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwarfare are continuing to grow, and ransomware is a constant threat to every industry. Regardless of where your data and applications live, disaster recovery is more important than ever. 

With 2021 coming to a close, one of your new year’s resolutions should be to take a fresh look at your disaster recovery strategy. Whether you are on-premises, a hybrid cloud, or born in the cloud, you should make sure your strategy is meeting your needs to avoid downtime and data loss; and not being held back by legacy technologies and procedures. One area we at Zerto see organizations struggle in is finding a disaster recovery plan for virtual machines they have migrated to the cloud or in this case, Amazon EC2. One of the reasons I was at AWS re:Invent was to talk about the release of Zerto In-Cloud, a new disaster recovery solution for Amazon EC2 instances. Let me explain a little more what that is.  

Zerto In-Cloud for AWS 

It is not hard to explain Zerto In-Cloud in simple terms because it simplifies disaster recovery on AWS. Zerto In-Cloud for AWS is disaster recovery at scale for Amazon EC2 instances. Whether you have dozens or thousands of EC2 instances, Zerto In-Cloud can protect these instances with the deployment of a single Zerto In-Cloud Manager appliance on EC2. From this single appliance, Zerto In-Cloud protects EC2 instances across accounts, across zones, and across 17 global regions. 

Zerto In-Cloud is fully integrated with native AWS microservices allowing for agentless disaster recovery. We accomplish this by automating and orchestrating snapshots and replication within EBS to efficiently move data across regions and allow rapid failover between regions in a disaster event.  If a region experiences an outage or some other disaster strikes, like a cyberattack, all protected instances can be quickly stood up in the destination region with application-centric groupings for failover and consistency. Because Zerto In-Cloud can work across accounts, and supports multi-factor authentication on the manager appliance, it enables added layers of protection against cyberattacks. 

In terms of management, Zerto In-Cloud includes an intuitive web-based interface that matches the our other Zerto solutions’ simplified workflow and includes a full API set and bash scripts for easy integration into other automation and management solutions. Zerto In-Cloud is also integrated into Zerto Analytics for reporting and insights on recovery time objectives (RTO), recovery point objectives (RPO), and virtual protection groups across all sites and clouds. Zerto Analytics is no additional cost. 

There are other solutions available for data protection on AWS, but these are often agent-based solutions, requiring an agent on each EC2 instance which limits scalability and impacts application performance. Other solutions are designed for backup rather than disaster recovery and do not have the levels of orchestration and automation needed for the RTO required for disaster recovery. As an agentless disaster recovery solution, Zerto stands out in delivering rapid failover and recovery at scale. 

For compliance, and as a recommended best practice, Zerto In-Cloud includes the ability to perform non-disruptive disaster recovery testing into the target region so that disaster recovery plans can be tested frequently to assure recovery. The close integration of Zerto In-Cloud and native AWS services allows the single Zerto In-Cloud Manager appliance to be stateless and utilize a DynamoDB database for configuration and protection metadata. Therefore, this stateless appliance can be quickly redeployed in a new region if there is an outage to continue managing protection and recovery. 

So those are the Zerto In-Cloud basics: simplified disaster recovery at scale for Amazon EC2 instances. 

What is Your In-Cloud Disaster Recovery Strategy? 

As I had said earlier, the end of the year is a great time to think about your data protection and disaster recovery goals for the coming year.  With these recent outages, it may be an even better time to focus on your in-cloud disaster recovery strategy. Are you using the best technologies available, or are you clinging to legacy technologies that could be slowing you down with complexity or hidden costs? Do you have an effective disaster recovery strategy delivering the best RTO and RPO, or is it really a traditional backup strategy in disguise? 

At Zerto, we can help you evaluate your current data protection and recovery strategies both on-premises and in the cloud and help you achieve the best RTO and RPO for your organization. Before the next outage hits, take the time to learn about all of the solutions Zerto has to offer, and maybe you’ll be able to give yourself the gift of peace of mind in 2022. 

Check out Zerto for AWS solutions here 

Check out our Zerto In-Cloud Solution Brief here 

David Paquette
Product Marketing Manager