The Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) market is often overlooked by storage hardware and software vendors. Some vendors focus only on the enterprise customers who need many petabytes of data while other vendors focus only on individuals and the SMB market. Products designed for the SMB market often cannot scale to meet the capacity and throughput needs of the SME market, and products designed only for the enterprise are not affordable by the SME market.
Consider, for example, disaster recovery services. On one hand we have cloud-only vendors that offer backup directly to the public cloud – with no ability to recover locally or run VMs in the cloud. Such configurations are very limited in the number of terabytes they can protect. If all data must be restored over the wire before it can be used, that number of terabytes is actually quite small. There are also a number of disaster recovery as a service (DRAAS) vendors that build the system around recovering from a disaster by running a VM in at cloud service provider.
Zetta’s product is designed with the middle enterprise in mind, as it claims that the product is optimized for data sets of 500 TB and up. Zetta claims that customers can fail over to a VM in the public or private cloud in less than five minutes, and the product currently offers a six-hour RPO. We do think it is important that Zetta eventually supports tighter RPO demands, and the company says say that that is its goal.
Since a lot of the complications associated with DR come from network and VPN complications, Zetta’s works out all of these complications in advance. The company fully configures all customer’s systems for a DR failover as part of the onboarding process. That way, if a disaster actually happens, it should be a simple matter of pushing a button and failing over. Zetta also supports automating the failback process, unlike many of their competitors.
It’s good to see a vendor addressing the needs of the SME market. Flexibility is the key to doing so. Customers need to be able to start as small as possible and scale to much larger systems as their needs grow. Zetta’s offering seems to be doing all the right things.