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The Virtual Board Room: Zerto CTO Oded Kedem

January 26, 2012

This is another great edition of The Virtual Boardroom, and today’s post will feature Oded Kedem, CTO and Co-founder of Zerto. Zerto provides enterprise-class disaster recovery and business continuity solutions for virtualized data centers and cloud environments. Zerto provides large enterprises with data replication solutions designed specifically for virtualized infrastructure and the cloud. Zerto Virtual Replication is the industry’s first hypervisor-based replication solution for tier-one applications, replacing traditional array-based BC/DR solutions that were not built to deal with the virtual paradigm. A big thanks to Oded for taking the time to join me in The Virtual Boardroom, he joined me from Tel Aviv and it was a 9 hour difference. I was impressed with his sharpness given it was 12:00 AM local time for Oded. The company’s hypervisor-based virtual replication solution, received both the Best of Show and Gold Award for Business Continuity and Data Protection at the 2011 VMworld Conference. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more good things about Zerto this year. Here is the interview in its entirety:

Greg Stuart: Welcome to this edition of The Virtual Boardroom, joining me today is Oded Kedem, CTO and co-founder of Zerto. Why don’t we start off with you introducing yourself and tell us what you do for Zerto.

Oded Kedem: Ok, thanks Greg. I’m Oded Kedem, CTO and co-founder of Zerto. Zerto has been around sine late 2009. Before Zerto I worked for a company called Kashya which provided disaster recovery solutions for SANs, so I’ve been doing business continuity for a while now. When Kashya was acquired by EMC in 2006 I then served as director of software development for EMC, where I managed the entire RecoverPoint (formerly Kashya) research and development organization.

GS: Great, thanks. Tell me about Zerto. What should my readers know about your company? What does Zerto bring to the virtualization industry and why should we take notice?

OK: Zerto provides a new approach for disaster recovery and business continuity for virtualized environments and cloud environments. Zerto provides a new concept called hypervisor based replication, that means that it’s able to provide tier 1 enterprise class business continuity.

GS: At this point in time, who are you supporting, and who do you look to support in the future?

OK: Right now, Zerto supports VMware environments. Our product went GA this past August and it supports VMware virtualized environments. We plan on releasing our cloud offering sometime Q1 of this year. This product will enable cloud providers to provide disaster recovery as a service to their customer, and will allow them to protect their own internal infrastructure using Zerto.

GS: Ok, so what differentiates you from other disaster recovery companies out there today?

OK: This point in time the only company that provides enterprise replication are the storage array vendors, but the storage array vendors solutions are provided from outside the virtualization infrastructure. This means they are lacking the flexibility of using a virtualized environment. In addition they are also tied to physical infrastructure. With Zerto customers are able to protect and replicate virtualized entities or virtual machines and virtual applications which consists of several virtual machines. They can reside on any hardware, on different servers, different storage arrays and then can move around storage arrays. Zerto can replicate them at the highest level of protection with full flexibility of virtualization and actually allow customers to maximize their virtualization benefits and still get the tier 1 protection. Obviously it will also allow customers to manager their entire environment, business continuity, disaster recovery all from the same location, from vCenter.

GS: Very good. So this is a many-to-many set up?

OK: This is a many-to-many set up as well as an any-to-any set up. You can have any number of storage arrays in any type of host or any type of storage array. It completely detaches business continuity and disaster recovery services from physical constraints. You are able to replicate virtual machines and virtual applications rather than physical disks or physical servers.

GS: Let’s talk a little bit about the future of Zerto. What does the future hold for Zerto?

OK: This point in time virtualization of the datacenter is already in tact but we’re seeing everything moving toward the cloud. We’re seeing cloud providers building their infrastructures providing services for their customers moving more and more enterprise applications into the cloud. With Zerto, Cloud providers will be able to provide disaster recovery as a service just like any other service they provide. They’ll be able to protect their own environment. Also expect to see more variants in larger variety of products out there, more storage array vendors, more server environments. Also additional virtualization solutions and additional cloud management solutions picking up. In these extremely heterogeneous environment a solution like Zerto is actually a must. It is the only way to protect without using a large number of separate solutions. You are able to manager your entire disaster recovery from the same place although your environment becomes much more complex.

GS: You bring up some very valid points. I think we will see more virtualization solutions as well as more competition from the vendors on the scene already. I have to agree with you, at this point it seems the future is all cloud. We will see a lot of cloud service providers cropping up throughout this year and beyond. Thanks Oded, for joining me today, again I know its past midnight for you and I appreciate you staying up to do this interview. Zerto seems to be on the right path and we’ll look forward to seeing more from Zerto in the near future.

OK: Thanks Greg, for having me on for the interview. It was my pleasure.

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