Also read: vCloud Hybrid Service Disaster Recovery – A closer look
In an earlier and very popular article I compared SRM replication options: “VMware SRM: vSphere Replication vs. Array Based Replication“. In this article I want to broaden the scope and add three other Disaster Recovery (DR) options for virtualized environments; namely the ‘free’ vSphere Replication option, Veeam Backup & Replication and Zerto.
Both Veeam and Zerto offer a virtual machine level, hypervisor based replication/DR solution. In the case of Veeam the replication option is part of their core backup application. Zerto is 100% DR solution and offers some very interesting advanced features. vSphere Replication is included in vSphere since version 5.1 offering some limited replication options.
For this comparison I will use the same kind of table as in the previous article, adding some columns:
- VR = vSphere Replication included in your vSphere license.
- SRM/VR = Site Recovery Manager using VMware vSphere Replication.
- SRM/ABR = Site Recovery Manager using Array Based Replication.
- Veeam B&R = Veeam Backup & Replication version 6.5, replication is part of this solution.
- Zerto = Is Zerto’s Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery solution for Enterprise. There’s is also a version for Cloud Providers available.
The table doesn’t include the vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) solution. With vMSC you’re building one vSphere datacenter on top of a streched storage solution like NetApp Metrocluster, EMC vPlex or HP Lefthand. This is a different approach compared to solutions discussed in this article.
Disaster Recovery Comparison
|Replication type||vSphere layer, using virtual appliances||vSphere layer, using virtual appliances||Array based replication (e.g. snapmirror, truecopy)||vSphere layer, using Veeam Backup & Replication application||vSphere layer, using virtual appliances. A VA is deployed on each host|
|Licensing||VR is included in vSphere||VR is included in vSphere, SRM licensed per VM||Replication license required, costs depend on storage vendor. SRM licensed per VM.||Licensed as part of Veeam Backup & Replication, license per socket.||Zerto is licensed per VM.|
|Uniform storage infrastructure required||No, replication is VM based||No, replication is VM based||Yes, same vendor and sometimes same model||No, replication is VM based||No, replication is VM based|
|Replicate local storage||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Replicate physical servers||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Replication Granularity||Per VM||Per VM||Per LUN and/or Consistency Group||Per VM||Per VM and/or per VM group|
|Configure Consistency Group||No||No||Yes (Depending on the storage vendor)||No||Yes (Virtual Protection Groups)|
|Recovery Points||Just one, latest succesful replication date||Just one, latest succesful replication date. (SRM 5.5 allows to revert to 24 points in time)||Just one for SRM, although you can of course create snapshots on the storage level. SRM isn’t snapshot aware.||28 points in time||Up to 5 days earlier|
|Management (how)||vSphere Web Client plugin||vSphere Web Client plugin||Storage vendor management interface. Sometimes plugins are available.||Veeam B&R management console. V7 introduces a vSphere Web Client plugin.||vSphere Web Client plugin|
|Management (who)||vSphere administrator||vSphere administrator||Storage administrator||Veeam administrator||Zerto administrator|
|RPO||RPO of 15 minutes – 24 hours||RPO of 15 minutes – 24 hours||RPO of 0 minutes with synchronous replication||Based on a replication schedule which can be set to continuously||RPO of seconds|
|Application consistency||Yes, using VSS||Yes, using VSS||No, VMs/data is in crash consistent state||Yes, using VSS||Yes, using VSS|
|Orchestration||No, although vSphere offers various scripting options e.g. through PowerCLI||Yes, SRM is all about DR orchestration||Yes, SRM is all about DR orchestration||No, but with the Veeam B&R Powershell plugin you can write an orchestration script||Yes, you can configure startup order for a Virtual Protection Group. Zerto includes scripting options which will give additional automation options.|
|Raw Device Mappings||Not supported||Not supported||Supported||Not supported||Virtual and physical RDMs are both supported.|
|Fault Tolerance VMs||Not supported||Not supported||Supported||Not supported||Not supported|
|Replicate Clusterd VMs||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|VMware vCloud (Director) Integrated||No (you can replicate VMs, but vCD is not aware of any replication options)||No (you can replicate VMs, but vCD is not aware of any replication options)||No (you can replicate LUNs hosting VMs, but vCD is not aware of any replication options)||No, but there are some improvements in Veeam B&R version 7, to be available soon.||Yes, Zerto for Cloud Providers is available. The provider must have Zerto installed.|
Although good old Array Based Replication is still a good option, virtual DR options offer some nice advantages: per VM granularity, application consistent VMs and no need to have an identical storage solution at both sites. In the case of Zerto they even integrate with vCloud Director, which makes this solution also a good option for (vCloud based) IAAS providers.
More information on the respective products:
- vSphere Replication information is here.
- Information about Site Recovery Manager with vSphere Repication and/or Array Based Replication, here.
- Veeam Backup & Replication version 6.5 information is here, more info on version 7 here. An evaluation and a free version (offering limited functionality) is available for download.
- Zerto information is here, Zerto offers a trial version of their product.
You might like to include PhD Technologies in this list – they recently acquired “VirtualSharp” a company based out of Spain. VirtualSharp is more “SRM” like than say Zerto – because at the time they developed their own plug-ins to speak to the array – like SRM’s “Site Recovery Adapter”…
It’s not clear what PhD Techs intentions are – but VirtualSharp has recovery plans and such like – which made it more similar to SRM than perhaps the other technologies listed here…
Sounds like a good idea for a follow-up post (and some extra time in a lab environment 🙂
Very nice, finally a comparison that includes both VR and ABR as separate items! Quite a fair comparison. Might be worth revisiting a little later in the year… 🙂
I did a paper about DR comparing SRM with vMSC, though the introduction of splitter tech since then has changed it a bit, maybe would be of use in your next article? http://bit.ly/GMkiBJ
Ah… just saw you linked to it in your blog post on the topic. Never mind! 😉
Hi Ken! Thanks for the compliment. Looking forward to new developments in the DR focus area :).
I know your whitepaper, it is very valuable. I had several discussions about vMSC versus SRM; sometimes vMSC is seen as the holy grail and people forget SRM. Depending on the business case both solutions have their pros and cons, so that should be evaluated. Build the business case, choose the best option…you know the story. Always a good subject for discussion :).
Anyway, thanks for the comment!
Great Comparison Viktor, I was planning to do such a comparison for some time now between Zerto, Veeam B&R and VirtualSharp but did not get around to it.
Good reading. Thank you!
Najib Abi Fadel
Very nice article;
it would be great if you can include also the bandwidth requirements for each used technology since this is a recurring cost. I believe some of the mentioned solutions have integrated WAN optimization techniques.
Also what about the impact of high latency for each solution ?
Emin M. IMER
Viktor, is it possible for you to update this chart, adding new features of the given products, and also adding new competitors (if there are any)?
Hi Enim, which vendor would you like to be added?
Emin M. IMER
Thank you very much for your fast response.
It would be nice to see updated/new features of the current ones, and adding, perhaps EMC RecoverPoint, Unitrends ReliableDR, CommVault Simpana, and any other solution which you would consider to include.
Great work, but I’d like to suggest to include CloudBacko (www.cloudbacko.com) that I started using early this year. Quite nice for ESXi free version VM level backup. Worth to take a look, and maybe include in your list if you like it. Cheers.
Luis M. Astudillo
Why not add Symantec Veritas Cluster Server?
I think this is more an OS level solution and not really virtualization focussed…