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Is backup dead? And other hot topics at ZertoCON 2016

Rob Strechay, Vice President of Product, Zerto

In May, Zerto, a Boston-based startup setting the standard for protection, recovery and migration of data in cloud and virtualized data centers, brought together nearly 400 customers, partners and industry experts to discuss the issues companies face when it comes to disaster recovery during their first annual ZertoCON event. The event featured keynote speeches and breakout sessions all of which explored how organizations can solve their data recovery issues head on, as well as product discussions and real-world examples of how customers use BC/DR software.

After having attendees settle in the first day of the event, ZertoCON kicked off with an opening keynote speech given by Zerto CEO, Ziv Kedem, in which he reflected on the evolution Zerto has gone through over the years. He discussed the growth and plans for company development and shared Zerto’s vision of uninterrupted technology for businesses and people across the world. Following the speech, attendees were given the option of breaking out into a smaller session, which discussed topics such as compliance, and security for Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), what’s next for cloud computing and recovering from ransomware attacks within minutes.

Afternoon activities commenced with a keynote speech by John Morency, Research Vice President at Gartner, in which he discussed the digital business and technology shifts that are driving the end-to-end IT resiliencies business case. The long and short of it is that DR requirements are growing to a point where what we’re really talking about is IT resilience. But what is IT resilience? As John articulated in his talk, IT resilience is “Sustained availability and agile delivery of IT Services as well as integrity, privacy and confidentiality assurance for business information assets”.

Zerto’s CTO Oded Kedem and I started the final day with a keynote on what is coming next from Zerto, sharing the company’s strategies and visions for the company for 2016 and beyond. In my keynote, I posed the question, is traditional backup dead? I believe that indeed it is. While some services have stayed relatively the same over the last 15 years in the backup and recovery space, the changing conditions of technology and the world have made these services more crucial than ever before.

The afternoon welcomed two additional keynote speeches from David Grimes, CTO at Navisite and Story Musgrave, retired NASA astronaut. During his speech, Grimes explained how the standards and expectations of disaster recovery have changed and what it takes to implement disaster recovery solutions in today’s cloud systems. Switching gears, the final keynote of the day starred Story Musgrave. The retired NASA astronaut shared his inspiring life story. -. The final day at ZertoCON also saw a couple additional breakout sessions that surround topics such as stress-free backup storage, a Forrester-led discussion on the total economic impact of disasters and creating the always on, always available data center.

One of the many highlights of ZertoCON was the multiple breakout sessions held each day. One of the most popular sessions was lead by Joshua Stenhouse, technology evangelist at Zerto on multi-target replications. The session showed attendees how multi-target replication works. The future of replication and disaster recovery is in the ability to replicate data simultaneously to multiple target sites ensuring that your data and files are safe and pose no threat to things such as ransomware. Once replication is abstracted from underlying storage and hypervisor technologies, replication is enabled from anything to anything. This concept completely changes the way traditional BC/DR is thought about.

The event culminated in the first-ever ZertoCON awards with customers and partners recognized for their outstanding achievements and usage of Zerto’s software. Those included Partner of the Year, which was awarded to iLand for the Cloud Service Provider category and Sirius Computer Solutions for the Reseller category. KESA was awarded with the Master of Disaster award for using Zerto’s Virtual Replication software to recover from a ransomware attack.

All-in-all, ZertoCON brought together some of the most influential minds in the cloud computing space and provided promoted through-provoking sessions and speeches to get everyone thinking about the future of the industry. We’re already looking forward to next year, and would love to hear from readers on topics for discussion in the quickly evolving disaster recovery world.