New England VMUG Winter Warmer: Top 5 Takeaways

Contributed by Jennifer Gill & Wes Schifone.

The New England VMUG Winter Warmer saw more than 1200 attendees arrive at Gillette Stadium last Thursday to discuss all things VMWare — particularly these five key takeaways that we heard from many people throughout the day.

The cloud is more and more prevalent.     Based on the number of questions, sessions, and discussion around the cloud — it is clear there is more interest from customers and some have deployed or are in the middle of a cloud deployment.   We got lots of questions on how Zerto supports BC/DR for the cloud and even how we define a cloud.   Luckily, we have solutions for public, private and hybrid cloud, delivering enterprise-class BC/DR not matter what kind of cloud you have.

There are key applications that run a business — they must be protected and continuously available.   Mother Nature isn’t the only thing that can make an application go down — a DBA might drop a table, or an overzealous marketer might “try out” a new button in an application — either way, the organization NEEDs business continuity and disaster recovery.   It is the IT professional’s responsibility to ensure business critical applications have ‘continuous availability’, and that the organization has the ability to recovery these applications quickly. Data is a means to an end, it’s the applications that their businesses operate off of that are critical to their executives. For Forrester Analyst Rachel Dines’ take on “always-on” business continuity, read more here…

Highly Virtualized? Why Manage From the Storage Layer? — More and more folks realize that managing replication (or DR in general) at the storage layer doesn’t make sense — there is a lack of alignment across the IT strategy and it creates complexities that you were trying to get away from by going virtual in the first place. The hypervisor is the atomic unit of storage today, and that’s only going to continue to be the case more and more going forward.  We had several customers stop by and talk to us and say, “Finally!   Replication at the hypervisor!” — especially in our 3:30 session.   Unfortunately, Zerto is not a trend setter here — Cisco did virtualize switches first.   However, we are lucky to be the FIRST company to offer Hypervisor-based Replication.    

More and More Tier 1/Production Applications Are Being Virtualized — We spoke with VMWare users who have 60%, 70%, and even 95% virtualized environments.   Once you get to that level, business critical applications are virtualized. A few customers spoke to us about how most replication solutions are lacking in providing truly ‘virtual aware’ technology — the replication is not at the hypervisor level so their IT strategy is not aligned.   Meaning, they have a virtualized strategy, but are still force fitting a physical solution to cover some key aspects of their SLAs, like BC/DR and replication.   Customers are looking for an enterprise class replication solution — one that doesn’t impact their mission critical applications, like snapshot technology.   Additionally, RTO of minutes is a requirement for an application which runs a business — Zerto provides a RTO of minutes and does not take away CPU cycles from the mission critical applications.  Read about Zerto’s better Disaster Recovery and low TCO.

People Like T Shirt Cannons!  They also like real customers — shooting a T-shirt out of a cannon, even if it is at a wall, is pretty fun.   Although, having Rob volunteer to act as a target did raise some eye brows!  Rich Corl from Woodforest National Bank did a great job discussing his experiences with Zerto.   We saw many in the session with heads nodding, having come across the same experiences. According to Rich, “The NE VMUG was a great event at a great venue!.  I was excited to hear others that saw this product fill a need that they had in a way that no other product does. They seemed to appreciate the real world experience of our story and could better envision how they might use it at their companies. One person claimed that it was just the product that he had been looking for.”

Thanks @csharney ,  @Knieriemen, and all those who organized the event!

Photo: “T-shirt carnage” with @rbergin was taken by @stu at @Wikibon- thanks!

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