Long Term Care Group Deploys Zerto for Data Protection and Recovery for Virtual Environments

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1 BUYER CASE STUDY Long Term Care Group Deploys Zerto for Data Protection and Recovery for Virtual Environments Iris Feng Eric Sheppard IDC OPINION Today's datacenter is dominated by virtualized workloads as storage systems have undergone a major transformation to support server virtualization. Consequently, hypervisor-based software replication has become an increasingly popular replication deployment model. The advent of 3rd Platform computing driven by greater integration with cloud; the convergence of compute, storage, and networking; and software-defined storage are also driving new IT infrastructure deployments. As a result, replication requirements are changing, with increasing demand on: Ease of use. The replication software should be simple to install and easy to integrate into existing database environment. Hardware agnostic. The capability of software-based storage to work with any commodity hardware with no restrictions on a particular proprietary infrastructure. Storage software should act as an abstraction layer that is content aware regardless of what hardware it runs on underneath. Simplified management. Enterprises will need to accommodate not only the performance, scalability, and agility requirements of virtual infrastructure but also the heterogeneous support requirements of physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructures for their replication solutions. Hypervisor-based replication solutions such as Zerto use a dedicated VM on each host to provide replication for all VMs on that host. With the replication done at a VM level (instead of at LUN level), it is easier to administer and maintain. Migration capabilities. With the growing adoption of cloud and new IT infrastructure deployments, the ability to migrate data between on-premise datacenters, as well as between on-premise and off-premise public cloud environments, has become increasingly important. IN THIS BUYER CASE STUDY This IDC Buyer Case Study examines the challenges of a large healthcare organization faced in meeting desired replication and recovery objectives. Based on the discussion with the firm's IT systems engineer, this document provides an overview of the firm's experience in addressing its issues and selecting Zerto for its replication and disaster recovery (DR) solution. April 2015, IDC #255502

2 SITUATION OVERVIEW Organization Overview Long Term Care Group (LTCG) is a leading provider of business process outsourcing for the insurance industry. The firm provides insurers with expertise to help manage their complex long-term care portfolios and maximize financial performance. LTCG has over 1,100 employees and focuses the majority of its business in the United States. The firm serves 65 customers, including 4 Fortune 100, and a total of 9 insurance and healthcare companies in the top Fortune 400. LTCG has more than 1.4 million long-term care policies currently under its management, representing nearly 20% of all active policies. The intricacies of the insurance and healthcare market required LTCG to have a robust disaster recovery strategy to support the highlevel service demands and near-zero downtime requirements. In 2008, Univita acquired LTCG and acted as the primary company until LTCG got spun off again in Today, LTCG has two datacenters, both located in Minnesota. The company's business is supported by 120 physical servers that are running 1,100 VMs, 46 of which run VDI making the datacenter nearly 90% virtualized. The company is a heavy VMware shop with 3 Hyper-V systems running in its remote offices for less mission-critical workloads. LTCG leverages 10 different pairs of storage controllers, with over 1PB storage. Multiple storage topologies are leveraged across the two datacenters 80% of LTCG's storage uses storage area network (SAN), while the rest 20% utilizes network-attached storage (NAS). Challenges and Solution Because of the nature of the healthcare industry, guaranteed uptime, data integrity, and business continuity are critical to LTCG's business and the healthcare organizations it is serving. To LTCG, an unexpected datacenter downtime not only results in financial penalty for not meeting guaranteed SLAs, but it may also put business operations in jeopardy and patient data unsafe. Thus having a robust data protection and recovery plan in place is crucial for LTCG. In 2013, LTCG was utilizing VMware's array-based Site Recovery Manager (SRM) as the company's primary disaster recovery solution in conjunction with external storage arrays. SRM was used to protect the company's internal applications and data. These applications were used for imaging, records management, and Web servers including IIS, Apache, and Microsoft SQL. The challenges that LTCG experienced with SRM was the replication of critical VMs in a disaster recovery. A great proportion of LTCG's VMs, especially its virtualized SQL and file servers, had virtual disks that would come from multiple external storage controllers. However, SRM was not built for that type of the distributed setup it requires all drives and disks to come from one single external storage controller. To perform a backup for disaster recovery with SRM, LTCG had to take all its server data of an application down and remap those drives to one external storage controller. This translated to a lot of additional work and created many raw map devices that need to be redone. Not only did this make the disaster recovery preparation time much longer, it also caused twice the outage of the application: the apps needed to be taken down first for the preparation, and then taken down again afterward when the actual disaster recovery takes place. In addition, the requirement for constant management and maintenance also triggered LTCG to look for a new solution IDC #

3 Zerto Virtual Replication and another third-party backup and replication solution were evaluated as potential alternatives to VMware SRM. Zerto was considered to be a better fit for LTCG's workloads based on the following key factors: Results Ease of use. Zerto's hypervisor based replication software requires simple installation and is easy to integrate into existing database environment. Hardware agnostic. It is the capability of software-based storage to work with any commodity hardware with no restrictions on a particular proprietary infrastructure. Storage software should act as an abstraction layer that is content aware, regardless of what hardware it runs on underneath. One of the key factors that LTCG chose Zerto over other solutions is that it protects VMs regardless of which SAN vendors the VM is running on underneath. With SRM, this avoids the problem of the need to take the application down and remap all the drives to one controller in preparation for a DR test. Simplified management. Zerto's hypervisor-based replication solutions use a dedicated VM on each host to provide replication for all VMs on that host. The replication product is installed on the host and will replicate at the block level between source and target hosts running the same operating system. With the replication done at a VM level (instead of at LUN level), it is easier to administer and maintain. Migration capabilities. It is the ability to migrate between on-premise datacenters, as well as between on-premise and off-premise public cloud environments. One of the factors that LTCG took into consideration was that, at the time, Zerto already supported vcloud director as a platform to replicate to. Although LTCG is not utilizing any private or hybrid cloud today, it is on the long-term road map, and having the capability to migrate to cloud platforms is an important enablement functionality. DR testing with HIPAA compliance support and minimal impact on production workloads. Zerto offers failover testing with no impact on the production environment. Testing occurs without interrupting production workloads and business operations. After running POC on Zerto Virtual Replication for a month, LTCG was very pleased with the performance and ease of use of the product. As a result, LTCG moved Zerto to protect all production workloads within a three-month period. The RTO and RPO that LTCG publishes to clients are 40 hours and 24 hours, respectively. Zerto Virtual Replication helped LTCG to achieve tighter RPO: the time to get servers down was reduced from 15 minutes using VMware SRM to 5 minutes using Zerto's Virtual Replication. Data Replication LTCG used Zerto to replicate and protect workloads scattered in multiple controllers for its production workloads, which solves that issue LTCG previously had with VMware SRM. Between LTCG's two Minnesota datacenters, Zerto runs across production workloads including most of the company's SQL servers, file servers, Web servers, and application servers, with an exception for exchange servers where the built-in replication in exchange was used as the main data recovery solution. By avoiding the need to take down the application and remap all the raw devices to one controller, Zerto helped LTCG to increase DR functionality by replicating VMs without requiring changes to server or storage configurations and provided automatic failback of replicated VMs IDC #

4 Data Migration and Offsite Clone In addition to replication, LTCG also leveraged Zerto for data migration throughout the separation process from Univita. During the spun-off transition period, data migration was one of the many separation activities that has to take place. Besides LTCG's two datacenters in Minnesota, Univita also had a datacenter in Miami, Florida. A total of 160 servers were migrated utilizing the Zerto replication tool from LTCG's Minnesota datacenters to Univita's Miami datacenter during the spun off in For data that needs to be kept in both the Univita and LTCG datacenters, Zerto was used to create offsite clone for data copies that were needed in both the Florida and Minnesota datacenters. Because Zerto adopts a per-protected-workload pricing mechanism, each license is not tied to a specific machine but to the number of active replications at one time. This pricing method was very flexible and allowed LTCG to utilize existing licenses purchased to cover the entire data migration across multiple datacenters. Disaster Recovery LTCG provides annual DR test to its clients on a regular basis between the two Minnesota datacenters. After deploying Zerto, LTCG was able to run failover testing with no impact on the production environment. This means that LTCG can fail over all its database servers, application servers, and Web servers in sequence without interrupting any production workload and business operations. There were no application outage or DR outages required for DR testing with Zerto, which helped LTCG to cut DR testing preparation time from weeks to hours. ESSENTIAL GUIDANCE The success that LTCG had with Zerto is a demonstration of the benefits deploying hypervisor-based replication software. As storage in virtualized environment continues to make inroads into the datacenter, together with the drive from software-defined storage and the adoption of cloud, the datacenter will continue to transform and will find hypervisor-based replication software like Zerto Virtual Replication appealing. Buyers should factor in hardware agnostic capabilities, hypervisor support, cloud support, the ability to migrate, scalability based on the rate of data change, and ease of management when choosing the right replication and DR solution. Suppliers like Zerto should continue to build their ecosystem and expand footprints into more use cases and verticals. At the same time, they should continue to add support to multiple hypervisors and cloud environments. On the hypervisor side, while VMware dominates the market today, other hypervisors such as Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM are growing in adoption. On the cloud side, as more and more customers begin to adopt cloud into their environments, the enablement to replicate to various private and public cloud platforms such as OpenStack, AWS, and Azure becomes an increasingly important enablement capability to support heterogenous environments. LEARN MORE Related Research Newmarket Implements Actifio: Gains Faster Recovery and Time to Market for SaaS Customers (IDC #252281, November 2014) 2015 IDC #

5 Worldwide Storage Software Forecast for and 2013 Vendor Shares (IDC #250499, August 2014) Evolving Replication Strategies (IDC #250020, July 2014) Worldwide Data Protection and Recovery Software Forecast and 2013 Vendor Shares (IDC #248823, June 2014) Frameworks for Building IT Disaster Recovery Plans (IDC #246728, February 2014) Measuring Cost of Downtime and Recovery Objectives Among U.S. Firms (IDC #245125, December 2013) 2015 IDC #

6 About IDC International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make factbased decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Global Headquarters 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA idc-insights-community.com Copyright Notice This IDC research document was published as part of an IDC continuous intelligence service, providing written research, analyst interactions, telebriefings, and conferences. Visit to learn more about IDC subscription and consulting services. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit Please contact the IDC Hotline at , ext (or ) or for information on applying the price of this document toward the purchase of an IDC service or for information on additional copies or Web rights. Copyright 2015 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved.

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