Let’s all go back to the vRetreat

It wasn’t that kind of retreat……honest !!!

Not quite the event I imagined due to the current climate but I was lucky enough to attend the next instalment of vRetreat as organised by my good friend Patrick Redknap. Essentially it’s a community event designed to highlight various technology vendors with a panel of bloggers (me included) including some light fun. The event was originally planned for a day in Gloucester followed by some afternoon off roading but unfortunately we had to switch to a virtual event. What can you do……

I was joined but quite a few delegates including Ather Beg, Barry Coombs, Marco van Broeken, Ibrahim Quraishi and many others from the vCommunity. It was interesting doing this via Zoom for the first time but we all took the advantage of using video and this made the experience a whole more interactive instead of voice only.

We had both Zerto and Kemp on the podium presenting their latest updates and educating the audience into their value propositions. Let’s start with Zerto.


They’ve been around for a number of years and focused on Disaster recovery of virtual environments using replication with the added benefits of journalling to roll back to any point in time. They’ve now reinvented themselves to tackle the ever growing data protection landscape, embraced cloud and expanded their offerings. Of note on this occassion was the release of Zerto 8 which brings a lot more to the table.

Google Cloud is the next cloud where Zerto are able to offer their protection service moving on from AWS and Azure only previously. It’s good to see the story developing from a cloud standpoint.

Steve Blow also took us mentioned some of the on demand labs that are now available here – https://www.zerto.com/page/labs/

I’d say that the business proposition has certainly moved on from days of old and at the end of the day each software company now has to assess how they build on their value to customers by offering and leveraging other services that are in demand. For now the container strategy is something that is being investigated as data protection in container land is something that is required but as yet Zerto do not have an offering around this. I do expect something to address this as other vendors have already released offerings.

On the whole it is a robust and proven service offering that Zerto cater to although it must be remembered that the company is purely focused on virtual workloads and not physicals.

If you’d like to find out more then visit their website where they go deeper into their IT resilience platform – https://www.zerto.com/


Next up were Kemp who also focus on what they do best…..Load Balancing….

Now I’m profess that I’m not a load balancing expert but Kemp have been around a long time and their focus on load balancing has meant they do offer a lot in this space. The presenter – Frank Yue – was keen to point out that this is where they win the market as they don’t aim to tackle other features that other vendors seem to do. So think of Kemp as more of a specialist at load balancing than a generalist.

We were taken through several scenarios where Kemp works with the Horizon UAG (Unified Access Gateway) and how different scenarios can be adopted using Kemp as the front end for traffic. The reasons why Kemp suggest having a load balancer for Horizon are clear – High Availability & Scalability are key advantages here to having a solution like Kemp routing traffic to your UAGs as the last thing you’d want is an outage where users couldn’t get to their remote desktop. A typical deployment is shown below.

Kemp can take the physical or virtual form but Frank was keen to focus on the virtual platform as this is where the industry is moving. When you can deploy a virtual appliance in minutes instead of a hardware appliance over days then I know what I’d opt for. By the way Kemp also have a trial of their virtual appliance which you can access here – https://kemptechnologies.com/vlm-download/

I liked the fact that Kemp had template files which can be downloaded and applied to the VLB to make the deployment and configuration a lot quicker than manually filling out fields. They also support a wide variety of use cases and partners including Dell EMC – https://support.kemptechnologies.com/hc/en-us/sections/200428856-Templates-

Wrap Up

It was nice to see and hear from passionate presenters about how their technology can make a difference. Couple this with an excellent panel and moderator and what else would you want from an event like this. Let’s hope that next time we get outdoors and have something face to face where we can interact a lot more with the presenters but for now making use of collaboration tools helped to make this a successful event.

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