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DCIG Quick Look: Zetta’s Cloud Backup and DRaaS Offerings

Recently cloud backup and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) have gone from niche markets into the mainstream with companies of ever larger sizes bringing these two technologies in-house. Zetta is one such provider that has largely grown up with this market having first started out as a cloud storage provider in 2008 before adding on cloud backup and DRaaS offerings in recent years. Last week I had the opportunity to speak with its CEO Mike Grossman who provided me with an update on Zetta and its technology offerings. Here are the key points that I took away from that conversation.
I always like to first understand what features separate a company or product from its competition. In speaking with Zetta, these are the three key ways that I saw Zetta differentiating itself from competitors:

  1. It started out as a cloud provider and grew into being a cloud backup and DRaaS provider. While Zetta does not necessarily promote this aspect of its history nor is it immediately evident on its website, this part of its history does give it a better grasp of the intricacies involved with delivering cloud backup and DRaaS that its competitors may lack. While others often utilize offerings such as Amazon and Azure to store data in the cloud and even perform recoveries, Zetta owns the entire intellectual property stack from DR to cloud backup to the cloud storage itself. Few if any other cloud backup or DRaaS providers can make that claim. This translates into organizations being able to hold Zetta accountable to deliver these services and minimizes any finger pointing should problems ever arise.
  2. Offers 5-minute application recoveries in the cloud. Successful backups are great but fast, successful recoveries in the cloud are the new standards by which any provider that offers cloud backup and DRaaS should be measured. Zetta passes this test with ease with its ability to do 5-minute application failovers to the cloud.
  3. It has real customers using this technology. Zetta’s 5-minute push button failover to the cloud is real. In one customer use case, a construction firm that operates hundreds of job sites across the US spun up its servers in the Zetta cloud in minutes when a storm hits its central office. The job sites remained operational during the storm with the failback to the central office occurring later when initiated by the company’s IT team.

That said, cloud backup and DRaaS are still maturing technologies and here are some key considerations for anyone evaluating Zetta’s offerings.
First, it promotes its product as offering “enterprise-class disaster recovery” that is targeted at SMEs. Those are important terms to understand in relation to one’s business. In quizzing Zetta’s CEO Mike Grossman about them, Zetta defines SME as IT shops that have from 1-10 people in IT or an organization that has about 500 people. While Zetta has customers that are both smaller and larger in size than those definitions, if you are a very small organization (sub-25 people) or a larger organization (over 1000 people,) it behooves you to take a closer look at Zetta’s technology to make sure it aligns with your needs.
Second, Zetta’s soup-to-nuts approach of delivering its services (cloud storage, cloud backup, and DRaaS) may not give organizations the breadth of flexibility that they want, especially when it comes to cloud storage. The size of the organizations in which Zetta has historically had success may not care or be overly concerned that they can only use Zetta’s cloud storage offering to store their data. However larger organizations increasingly want the option (even if they may never use it,) to keep their data with other cloud storage providers. It still appears Zetta does not currently give them that flexibility.


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