Zerto 5.0 – 30 Day Journal

This article is part of a series of posts that deep dive into the new Zerto Virtual Replication 5.0 feature set. To view the other posts check out the index post here.


With the 5.0 release of Zerto Virtual Replication, the maximum journal history has been increased from 14 days to 30 days. In a typical disaster recovery situation, being able to rewind time all the way back to 30 days in the past is not that useful. I mean come on, who would really give up an entire month of data to recover from a datacenter fire? No one.

However, if you pair a 30-day journal with Zerto’s Journal File-Level Recovery, introduced in version 4.5, you can see where we think the value is. There certainly is a use case for being able to quickly recover individual files as old as 30 days in the past.

Is there value in an extended journal?

You might be saying, well I have backup software for file restores, and I wouldn’t argue with you if you did. However, Zerto gives you granularity that you will never find in backup software.

Because Zerto is “always-on” and essentially streaming data changes to the other side, you literally can recover data from almost any point in time during the previous 30 days. If you don’t think there is value in any point in time recovery, I would ask you to talk to your accounting person. Ask them how upset them would be if they had worked on a document from 8 am until 4:30 pm, and then a virus encrypted the file. Essentially causing their entire day to be lost. If you told them that your backup software had a copy from yesterday, but all of their work today was gone, they might be upset. (Probably not as upset as if you told them that you didn’t have a backup, but still upset).

Data Protection with Snapshots and Backups
Data Protection with Snapshots and Backups

Zerto, on the other hand, would have a BUNCH of restore points that have that file in it. In fact, if you have sufficient bandwidth you can have checkpoints as often as every few seconds. So if your data gets encrypted at 4:30 pm, you could recover a copy from 4:29:50 pm.

Zerto's Journal Technology - now with 30 days of history
Zerto’s Journal Technology – now with 30 days of history

With a 30 day journal, you can now offer similar recovery all the way back to 30 days ago.

Do I still need backup software?

In my opinion yes. Zerto is meant for disaster recovery and for file recovery from points as late as 2 seconds ago or as old as 30 days ago.

If you need something from day 31 you would have to be using the Zerto Offsite Backup function. The downside to Zerto’s Offsite backup is that it’s done on a VPG basis. So if you want a single file or a single VM from a VPG with many VM’s, you would need to recover an entire VPG to grab a single item.

So for granular recovery older than 30 days, you will probably want something that looks more like “backup” software.

Zerto also has no intention (that I know of) to go to tape or to protect physical servers, so backup software is still a must in certain situations.

Bottom line, Zerto can now augment your backup strategy and may reduce your dependence on your regular backup software. But having multiple copies of your data, grabbed by multiple technologies is NEVER a bad thing.

How do I get started?

Getting started with Zerto’s 30-day journal is super easy. All you do is edit your VPG and change your Journal SLA to a new value, up to 30 days.

It will then automatically be available for both file restores as well as moves, failovers, and test failovers.

The only requirement is to be running ZVR 5.0 code.

Leave some feedback

Zerto is always looking for customer feedback. Please, feel free to leave a comment here, or shoot me an email, or open a support ticket. We want to improve constantly, and the best way to do that it to understand your real world use cases.


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