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During the past VMworld US 2015, I’ve also attend at the last Tech Field Day extra day and got the opportunity to know Datto.

Datto is an innovative provider of comprehensive backup, recovery and business continuity solutions used by thousands of managed service providers worldwide. This is the description from their web site, but honestly was not so easy understand what they really during the first part of the presentation.

Datto Introduction and Overview from Austin McChord, Founder and CEO, was probably too much at high level rather on the specific solutions, the issues and how they really can handle and solve them.

The Datto Screenshot Verification Deep Dive and Q&A session was much better but again not so much details on how problems are solved.

The Datto product line consists in several products and familes with different propositions:

  • Datto SIRIS Family, with SIRIS2 and virtual SIRIS similar to other D2D backup appliances
  • Datto ALTO Family, with ALTO2, ALTOXL and virtual ALTO, still backup appliances, but really small and “embedded” suitable for remote and branch offices
  • Datto NAS, a smart, scalable storage that connects to the secure Datto cloud.
  • Datto Backupify Family, a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution for software-as-a-service applications, including Google Apps, Office 365, and Salesforce. So not a backup appliance but a service to backup specific SaaS solutions.
  • Datto Network Appliance (DNA), a router for WAN connection with several high level functions included remote assistance, backup line and a central management.

Some confusion during the presentation was also on those products, because not all of them are for the backup or data protection (like the DNA product). But maybe are the most innovative!

Also the position was not clear, because you see several form factor (some quite similar to QNap appliance) and you don’t really catch the target and the user cases.

Yes, for sure the ROBO scenario, but not only.

The Canadian web site seems a lot better and make possible understand better they products and the unique features.

First to all: compared to most of other backup solutions is an image based backup solution, so not specific to the virtualized environment, but general for also physical system. With image-based backup a picture of the workstation or server is taken and stored as a place in time for that machine. This isn’t a new approach (Acronis and Dell AppAssure are historical example), but is an interesting and general way to handle backup.

More interesting how the backup chain is managed: Datto developed a smarter backup process, with Inverse Chain Technology™. This proprietary technology eliminates problems in the backup chain, where most problems occur in the backup process. This feature is included in Datto SIRIS 2, Datto SIRIS, Datto ALTO 2 and Datto ALTO XL. Again not completly new because other vendor may have similar technologies.

More unique is how data are stored, because it’s a special way: each time a backup occurs data is saved in a universal virtual file format (similar to the VMware VMDK, but much general). These backups are not dependent on previous snapshots allowing for freedom over changing retention and deleting snapshots without reseting the chain or dropping a new base image. This is useful for a instant recovery, as other solutions may also have, but here the backup file it’s already “ready” to run.

Since each backup is a fully bootable virtual machine (with drivers both for VMware and Hyper-V), there is no need for a conversion to occur before performing a restore. With no complicated rollup or restore processes, data is always available immediately both on-site and off-site.

With Datto, backups can be virtualized either locally on the Datto appliance or remotely in Datto’s secure cloud, in mere seconds, with the click of a button. The advanced web interface allows for configuration of CPU and memory resources. Network resources can also be configured dynamically, allowing for changes to be made without restarting the virtual machine. Even while virtualized, systems can continue a normal backup schedule to both the Datto appliance and Datto’s secure cloud.

This could be interesting not only for the restore of single data, but also for a DR scenario!

And you can automatically verify that the virtualized data can boot properly: Screenshot Backup Verification™ technology delivers proof that your backup is successful. By taking a “screenshot” of each completed boot process virtually, Datto tests the backup integrity and proactively identifies boot-ability issues. A screenshot alert can then be sent directly to the solution provider, and client if desired, to confirm the backup.

And finally Datto utilizes Hybrid Cloud Technology to improve redundancy and allow users greater protection of their systems and data. Hybrid Cloud continuity is simple in concept yet robust in feature set; it leverages the advantages of local backup and the security of the cloud.

So lot of interesting features, with an interesting price, and more targeted (in my opition) for the SMB segment. Another interesting player with specific solutions for the total data protection.


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.