Deploy Zerto disaster recovery on Azure VMware Solution

In this article, you'll learn how to implement disaster recovery for on-premises VMware or Azure VMware Solution-based virtual machines (VMs). The solution in this article uses Zerto disaster recovery. Instances of Zerto are deployed at both the protected and the recovery sites.

Zerto is a disaster recovery solution designed to minimize downtime of VMs should a disaster occur. Zerto's platform is built on the foundation of Continuous Data Protection (CDP) that enables minimal or close to no data loss. The platform provides the level of protection wanted for many business-critical and mission-critical enterprise applications. Zerto also automates and orchestrates failover and failback to ensure minimal downtime in a disaster. Overall, Zerto simplifies management through automation and ensures fast and highly predictable recovery times.

Core components of the Zerto platform

Component Description
Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) Management application for Zerto implemented as a Windows service installed on a Windows VM. The private cloud administrator installs and manages the Windows VM. The ZVM enables Day 0 and Day 2 disaster recovery configuration. For example, configuring primary and disaster recovery sites, protecting VMs, recovering VMs, and so on. However, it doesn't handle the replication data of the protected customer VMs.
Virtual Replication appliance (vRA) Linux VM to handle data replication from the source to the replication target. One instance of vRA is installed per ESXi host, delivering a true scale architecture that grows and shrinks along with the private cloud's hosts. The VRA manages data replication to and from protected VMs to its local or remote target, storing the data in the journal.
Zerto ESXi host driver Installed on each VMware ESXi host configured for Zerto disaster recovery. The host driver intercepts a vSphere VM's IO and sends the replication data to the chosen vRA for that host. The vRA is then responsible for replicating the VM's data to one or more disaster recovery targets.
Zerto Cloud Appliance (ZCA) Windows VM only used when Zerto is used to recover vSphere VMs as Azure Native IaaS VMs. The ZCA is composed of:
  • ZVM: A Windows service that hosts the UI and integrates with the native APIs of Azure for management and orchestration.
  • VRA: A Windows service that replicates the data from or to Azure.
The ZCA integrates natively with the platform it's deployed on, allowing you to use Azure Blob storage within a storage account on Microsoft Azure. As a result, it ensures the most cost-efficient deployment on each of these platforms.
Virtual Protection Group (VPG) Logical group of VMs created on the ZVM. Zerto allows configuring disaster recovery, Backup, and Mobility policies on a VPG. This mechanism enables a consistent set of policies to be applied to a group of VMs.

To learn more about Zerto platform architecture, see the Zerto Platform Architecture Guide.

Supported Zerto scenarios

You can use Zerto with Azure VMware Solution for the following three scenarios.

Scenario 1: On-premises VMware to Azure VMware Solution disaster recovery

In this scenario, the primary site is an on-premises vSphere-based environment. The disaster recovery site is an Azure VMware Solution private cloud.

Diagram showing Scenario 1 for the Zerto disaster recovery solution on Azure VMware Solution.

Scenario 2: Azure VMware Solution to Azure VMware Solution cloud disaster recovery

In this scenario, the primary site is an Azure VMware Solution private cloud in one Azure Region. The disaster recovery site is an Azure VMware Solution private cloud in a different Azure Region.

Diagram showing scenario 2 for the Zerto disaster recovery solution on Azure VMware Solution.

Scenario 3: Azure VMware Solution to IaaS VMs cloud disaster recovery

In this scenario, the primary site is an Azure VMware Solution private cloud in one Azure Region. Azure Blobs and Azure IaaS (Hyper-V based) VMs are used in times of Disaster.

Diagram showing Scenario 3 for the Zerto disaster recovery solution on Azure VMware Solution.

Prerequisites

On-premises VMware to Azure VMware Solution disaster recovery

  • Azure VMware Solution private cloud deployed as a secondary region.

  • VPN or ExpressRoute connectivity between on-premises and Azure VMware Solution.

Azure VMware Solution to Azure VMware Solution cloud disaster recovery

  • Azure VMware Solution private cloud must be deployed in the primary and secondary regions.

    Diagram shows the first prerequisite for Scenario 2 of the Zerto disaster recovery solution on Azure VMware Solution.

  • Connectivity, like ExpressRoute Global Reach, between the source and target Azure VMware Solution private cloud.

Azure VMware Solution IaaS VMs cloud disaster recovery

Install Zerto on Azure VMware Solution

Currently, Zerto disaster recovery on Azure VMware Solution is in an Initial Availability (IA) phase. In the IA phase, you must contact Microsoft to request and qualify for IA support.

To request IA support for Zerto on Azure VMware Solution, send an email request to zertoonavs@microsoft.com. In the IA phase, Azure VMware Solution only supports manual installation and onboarding of Zerto. However, Microsoft will work with you to ensure that you can manually install Zerto on your private cloud.

Note

As part of the manual installation, Microsoft creates a new vCenter user account for Zerto. This user account is only for Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) to perform operations on the Azure VMware Solution vCenter. When installing ZVM on Azure VMware Solution, don’t select the “Select to enforce roles and permissions using Zerto vCenter privileges” option.

After the ZVM installation, select the options below from the Zerto Virtual Manager Site Settings.

Screenshot of the Workload Automation section that shows to select all of the options listed for the blue checkboxes.

Note

General Availability of Azure VMware Solution will enable self-service installation and Day 2 operations of Zerto on Azure VMware Solution.

Configure Zerto for disaster recovery

To configure Zerto for the on-premises VMware to Azure VMware Solution disaster recovery and Azure VMware Solution to Azure VMware Solution Cloud disaster recovery scenarios, see the Zerto Virtual Manager Administration Guide vSphere Environment.

For more information, see the Zerto technical documentation. Alternatively, you can download all the Zerto guides part of the v8.5 Search Tool for Zerto Software PDFs documentation bundle.

Ongoing management of Zerto

  • As you scale your Azure VMware Solution private cloud operations, you might need to add new Azure VMware Solution hosts for Zerto protection or configure Zerto disaster recovery to new Azure VMware Solution vSphere Clusters. In both these scenarios, you'll be required to open a Support Request with the Azure VMware Solution team in the Initial Availability phase. You can open the support ticket from the Azure portal for these Day 2 configurations.

    Screenshot that shows the support request for Day 2 Zerto disaster recovery configurations.

  • In the GA phase, all the above operations will be enabled in an automated self-service fashion.

FAQs

Can I use a pre-existing Zerto product license on Azure VMware Solution?

You can reuse pre-existing Zerto product licenses for Azure VMware Solution environments. If you need new Zerto licenses, email Zerto at info@zerto.com to acquire new licenses.

How is Zerto supported?

Zerto disaster recovery is a solution that is sold and supported by Zerto. For any support issue with Zerto disaster recovery, always contact Zerto support.

Zerto and Microsoft support teams will engage each other as needed to troubleshoot Zerto disaster recovery issues on Azure VMware Solution.