Disaster Recovery Failover - Overview | Zerto


A-to-Zerto Glossary of Terms



Failover is the action of recovering IT operations to a secondary system when your main system fails. The failure can be due to many reasons, but the main ones are power and network outages, natural disasters, and ransomware. Failover of IT systems, also known as disaster recovery failover, is a critical piece of business continuity. 

What Is Failover?

Failover is the action of being able to recover applications and infrastructure into a secondary site or cloud that is not affected by the issues at the primary or production site. Because failover is a key element of business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), it should be simple and orchestrated as much as possible while including clear actions to ensure a false failover does not occur.

How Does Failover Work?

Failover usually works by restoring data, configurations of applications, and supporting infrastructure into a secondary site. This process is normally conducted by a specialized piece of software or hardware that facilitates this complex action. The best tools in the marketplace have automation and orchestration built into them to simplify recovery operations; these tools are also able to restore data from just seconds ago, rather than from hours or even days ago. Application consistency is key in minimizing downtime during failover. To accomplish this, you need a tool that understands your applications and can restore them as a whole entity (rather than as just the components) which results in a faster return to normal IT operations.

Example of Failover Live Operations

Confidence in Failover Execution

Zerto can provide failover for your critical systems along with industry-leading data protection, backup, and disaster recovery—all in a single, scalable, software-only solution. With continuous data protection and non-disruptive testing, you can have complete confidence in your organization’s ability to recover from any disaster at a moment’s notice:

  • Continuous data protection allowing whole sites, applications, and files to be recovered with only seconds’ worth of data loss 
  • Automation and orchestration ensuring failover operations are as simple as possible by minimizing complexity and keeping manual tasks to a minimum
  • Application consistency ensuring whole applications are failed over together from the exact same point in time, speeding up recovery and reducing complexity of recovery 
  • Non-impactful testing allowing DR test failover to take place anytime, making sure systems are fully tested and SLAs are met
  • Visibility and control enabling organizations to fully understand and see what is occurring inside their data protection solution and gaining valuable insights with real-time data and historic reporting capabilities

Zerto Solution Overview

Other Resources


Live Failover Confidence = Failover Testing

Testing is critical in ensuring your live failover will work as expected. Understand what is involved in a failover test.

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Failover Test Overview

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Get More Out of Failover Testing

See how failover testing can help you with DevTest and patch management / testing, with no impact on your production environment.

3-Step Failover Testing

See the major steps involved in a failover test, and how automation and orchestration make it easy, using Zerto as an example.

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Failover Test

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What is Zerto?

Learn about Zerto and how it can help you solve your data protection and recovery challenges.