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What is Datto?

Datto protects business data and provides secure connectivity for tens of thousands of the world’s fastest growing companies. Datto’s Total Data Protection solutions deliver uninterrupted access to business data on site, in transit and in the cloud. Thousands of IT service providers globally rely on Datto’s combination of pioneering technology and dedicated services to ensure businesses are always on, no matter what.

Benefit for Business

Datto uniquely empowers MSPs to meet the growing needs of SMBs for economical and effective backup, disaster recovery and business continuity. Datto’s Total Data Protection Platform uses a hybrid cloud architecture because it offers the best value for SMBs and the best business model for the MSPs that serve them.

This white paper offers seven reasons every MSP—and every SMB—should embrace hybrid cloud for this critical purpose.

Superior Business Continuity

For SMBs, data protection is no longer merely a “nice-to-have.” It is a must. There are two reasons for this. First, SMBs are more dependent on technology than ever. If they can’t access their customer, operational or supply-chain data, they can’t do business. So every minute of downtime costs them money. And if they permanently lose any data, the cost could be even higher.

Second, in a market environment where customers can easily take their business elsewhere at the drop of a hat, even a relatively brief IT outage can cost an SMB relationships it may have taken years to develop. An extended period of downtime can actually put an SMB out of business. The ability to keep critical IT systems up and running regardless of a hardware failure, an extreme weather event or other contingency is thus essential.

A hybrid cloud solution like Datto’s Total Data Protection Platform safeguards business continuity for SMBs in two important ways:

  1. It ensures that all data, applications and server images are safely stored off-site. Local backups aren’t much good in the event of a building fire or extreme local weather. With a hybrid solution, those contingencies won’t threaten an SMB—because everything of business value is safely ensconced in three locations: on-premise and in two remote cloud datacenters.
  2. It allows data, applications and server images to be accessed from any failover location. Business continuity isn’t just about storing backups. It’s about spinning up failover systems as quickly as possible. With hybrid cloud backups, those failover systems can start running instantly on on-premise hardware if the problem is just a device failure. But if a real disaster strikes, hybrid cloud allows an SMB to run its critical applications off virtual machines in the cloud—which users can access from branch offices, home PCs, laptops or any other authorized systems—until such time as normal IT operations can be restored.

True SMB-Friendliness

The greatest data protection technology in the world won’t do an SMB any good if no one at that SMB buys it. MSPs therefore don’t just have to consider the technical virtues of a solution. They have to consider its marketability to SMB decision-makers.

Hybrid cloud makes it easier for SMB decision-makers to greenlight enterprise-class data protection in several ways:

  • It doesn’t demand capital investment. As with other cloud-based solutions, hybrid cloud data backup allows SMBs to avoid large upfront capital investment. This is critical for closing deals with customers who would rather spend their limited cash on something that tangibly contributes to business growth—such as marketing or the purchase of new equipment—than on what they may think of as merely an “IT cost.”
  • It isn’t difficult or disruptive. Running an SMB day-to-day is hard enough. That’s why SMB decision-makers tend to be very leery about saying “yes” to anything that might make more work for their already overburdened employees. A sufficiently simple hybrid cloud solution can neutralize this common SMB objection—especially if it is implemented by a sufficiently capable and service-oriented MSP.
  • It can be readily cost-justified. SMBs already plunk down insurance premiums to cover facilities, vehicles, key employees and other valued assets. The mathematical ratio between these premiums and the assets they protect can be objectively calculated. To cost-justify a monthly backup subscription, MSPs simply have to demonstrate that the ratio between the cost of that subscription and the value of the assets being protected—or, more importantly, the quantifiable negative impact on the business should a data loss or interruption of critical IT services occur—is similar to or better than an insurance premium. This can be done with relative ease.
  • It’s something “everybody is doing.” SMB decision-makers tend to be conformists when it comes to technology, because they perceive anything out-of-ordinary as entailing risk. Thanks to services such as Apple’s iCloud, however, cloud-based backup has become part of everyday life. MSPs can use these examples to assure SMB decisionmakers that they are not going out on a limb by adopting hybrid cloud— and that the greater risk is not to implement a solution that fully protects them against business interruption and data loss.

Adaptable Capacity

SMB backup capacity requirements are notoriously difficult to predict. After all, in a large enterprise, a new application or data source only has minimal impact on overall backup volume requirements. In an SMB environment, on the other hand, even a single new IT system or resource can dramatically affect backup volume if it’s used intensively enough.

That unpredictability—combined with the fact that business data as a whole is growing at a rate of 60% or more annually—presents a quandary for MSPs and their SMB customers alike. Underestimate volume requirements, and you’ll have to scramble to increase infrastructure capacity and ratchet up your costs. Overestimate volume requirements, and you’ll overspend and reduce your ROI.

Hybrid cloud enables MSPs and SMBs to cope with this unpredictability in several ways. On-premise, it allows for the use of virtualization in order to adaptively and incrementally add capacity as needed for the local staging of the most current backups of the most current data, applications and server images. Off-premise, it gives SMBs access to as much capacity as they need—while also not locking them into excess capacity if they don’t need it.

Also, as explained below, MSPs and SMBs can take advantage of retention-based pricing to keep monthly cloud backup costs predictable—even though the actual volume of data being protected in the cloud may not be.

Optimized Economics

For SMBs, excessive reliance on on-premise only backup capabilities can lead to both high capital costs for infrastructure and high operating costs for ongoing infrastructure management. MSPs can likewise wind up burdened with high capex and opex if they try to build their own backup cloud environments. MSPs who take this approach also face the problem of having to size their initial investment appropriately so that they don’t build more capacity than they can sell.

A hybrid cloud approach offers far superior economics for several reasons:

  • Capex is minimized, because on-premise capacity can be limited to just what is necessary to stage the most current incremental backup. Earlier backups and large files can be recovered from the cloud.
  • Economies of scale enable a dedicated cloud backup solution provider like Datto to achieve a much lower cost-per-GB than any SMB or MSP could individually.
  • The combination of economies of scale and technical specialization also enable a dedicated cloud solution provider like Datto to achieve much lower operational costs while achieving better results.

Datto’s Total Data Protection Platform offers the further economic benefit of Time-Based Cloud Retention (TBCR). With TBCR, monthly costs for cloud-based storage of SMB customer data are fixed based on the required retention period—rather than varying according to volume.

This fixed-price model simplifies data protection decisions and shortens MSPs sales cycles. It also eliminates unexpected spikes in monthly cloud costs, which are a common cause of customer dissatisfaction with cloudbased backup services. And it reduces administrative costs for MSPs, since it eliminates the need to constantly sort through cloud provider invoices and volume reports to make sure customers are billed accurately.

More Confident Compliance

Many SMBs are subject to regulatory mandates such as HIPAA and PCI that require them to:

  • Protect specified data from loss or corruption
  • Retain specified records for a specified period of time
  • Document successful testing of data recovery mechanisms

Hybrid cloud—especially as delivered by Datto—offers SMBs the best means of fulfilling these regulatory requirements. To remediate data corruption, for example, an SMB needs to roll back to the most recent possible uncorrupted version of the data. However, data corruption events often escape immediate detection. That means that an SMB depending exclusively on local backup would have to maintain numerous incremental versions of every file under such regulatory mandates. This would obviously add to the cost of data protection. An off-premise cloud solution is much more practical for this type of multi-increment protection.

Datto’s Total Data Protection Platform goes a step further by automatically checking backups for application integrity—and by automatically alerting MSPs if a data integrity issue has been detected. This provides three important benefits. First, it allows MSPs to take immediate action if application data is corrupted. These actions can include both restoration of the most recent uncorrupted and investigation of the root-cause of that corruption in order to keep it from happening again.

Second, this automatic alerting protects both the SMB and the MSP from the data corruption that can occur in the backup process itself. This is a non-trivial risk that can be especially problematic when it involves data covered by regulatory mandates.

Third, it provides a means of tangibly demonstrating to regulatory auditors that appropriate mechanisms have been put in place to fulfill the requirements of those mandates.

Sustainable Recurring Revenue Streams for MSPs

Recurring revenue is central to any viable MSP business model. Product sales and projects can also provide income and profits—but an MSP’s predictable monthly revenues come from ongoing services.

Hybrid cloud backup services are obviously a great source of such predictable recurring revenue. All SMBs need to continuously protect their data, applications and server images. And that need typically grows over time. So by working with the right backup cloud service provider, MSPs can reap recurring revenue without having to shoulder the financial and operational burdens associated with direct ownership of multi-tenant backup environments.

MSPs can also reap revenue from the on-premise component of hybrid cloud. For example, an MSP can retain ownership of the on-premise device and add to the recurring monthly fee. Alternatively, implementation of the on-premise component can complement the recurring revenue of the cloud service with a one-time upfront revenue event.

MSPs can also leverage hybrid cloud backup to generate related recurring revenues for services such as monitoring the SMB’s environment for new backup needs (i.e. new devices, applications and data sources) or executing periodic business continuity “drills.”

Better SMB Account Engagement

SMBs don’t typically engage with multiple MSPs. The complexity of managing multiple relationships can be counter-productive for them, and SMB decision-makers often have the sense that spreading their spend too thinly across too many vendors reduces their negotiating leverage. Also, once such decision-makers find an MSP they trust, that trust usually extends to all their IT needs.

A hybrid cloud solution supports this kind of engagement by giving an MSP control of a central aspect of the SMB’s IT environment and a critical aspect of their business. Having a device situated on the customer’s premises also promotes a more “high-touch” relationship than a pure public cloud service would by itself.

By introducing SMB customers to hybrid cloud in the form of a backup solution, MSPs can also position themselves as a trusted advisor for other types of cloud and hybrid cloud implementations. This is a strategically important position for any MSP planning to participate in the many cloud-related market opportunities likely to emerge in the coming years.

Main Features

IRIS

This is Datto’s onboard OS and Application stack used on ALTO, SIRIS, and NAS devices, providing all of the functionality of our award-winning Backup and Disaster Recovery solution. This allows us to clarify the distinctions between our hardware and software offerings, and ensures the best support of both. Further, IRIS adds new image based updates to the software stack, signifcantly reducing errors in the update process.

Hardware Independent Restore on Virtualization

With this powerful approach, a recovery point image is created only upon restore, rather than as a part of the backup process. Because this process also requires fewer compute resources, more concurrent backups can be completed on a given set of hardware. These benefts are particularly important on larger devices with frequent backups and/or a large number of protected machines. Inverse Chain Technology™ – This exclusive technology eliminates broken backup chains. Each time a backup occurs, data is converted directly into a virtual machine fle, and the most recent backup image becomes the base image.

Instant Virtualization

Server images can be booted locally on Datto device* or in the secure Datto Cloud, instantly, with the click of a button. Should a local disaster occur, business can continue as usual in the Datto Cloud. During Instant Virtualization, backups continue as scheduled to both the Datto device and to the Datto Cloud. Hybrid Virtualization – Hybrid virtualization is the combination of instant off-site virtualization and the single click connectivity of instant local virtualization. On-prem servers are protected on Datto appliances and mirrored automatically to the Datto Cloud, improving fault tolerance while reducing the reliance on bandwidth speed.

Backup Insights

Backup Insights is an exclusive technology which enables users to identify fle or application changes between any two backup points. MSPs can easily fnd a deleted folder or determine which fles ransomware or a virus has affected.

Advanced Screenshot Verifcation

Advanced Screenshot Verifcation test boots server images and provides disk integrity checking and script execution to ensure backups are viable. With Advanced Screenshot Verifcation, MSPs can be certain restores will be successful.

Ransomware Detection

Datto rocked the industry when it announced the frst  ransomware detection feature as part of the SIRIS Total Data Protection platform. Ransomware, like most illicit software, leaves an identifable footprint as it takes over a server, PC or laptop. Even from the very frst backup, Datto uses several proprietary methods for detecting the presence of ransomware. If ransomware is detected, SIRIS notifes admins that they have a likely ransomware attack on their hands. From there, recovery is simply a matter of restoring from a previous backup. Stop worrying about ransomware and get back to business fast with SIRIS, the total data protection platform.

Direct Restore Utility

Direct Restore Utility enables users to pull fles from any Windows device using iSCSI. iSCSI fle transfers are fast and preserve ACLs, maintaining permissions in the fle transfer when the fles are restored.

Geo Replication

When users select geo redundancy, backus are automatically sent to a secondary datacenter within the same region. (US, Canada, and EMEA) If something happens in a disaster scenario and the primary data center is not available, the backup is recoverable from the secondary data center.

Infnite Cloud Retention

MSPs can keep data in the Datto Cloud indefnitely. Infnite Cloud Retention is perfect for long term archiving and organizations subject to regulatory requirements.

What should you use Datto?

Datto Continuity solutions offer automated local backup on robust hardware purpose-built for data protection and replication to the secure Datto Cloud. In the event of an outage, users can boot virtual machines directly from the Datto device or in the cloud, allowing businesses to return to operations quickly. Datto’s innovative technology and commitment to excellent tech support makes delivering disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) easier than ever. Datto is Total Data Protection.

Ransomware Protection and Recovery Solution

Datto is pleased to announce the industry’s first Ransomware Protection and Recovery Solution (RPRS). Built on top of innovative new features in the Datto SIRIS, NAS, Backupify and Datto Drive product lines, this solution will detect a ransomware attack, and roll back systems to a point in time before the attack happened. This includes protecting files and folders anywhere on the network, on mobile devices, workstations, and in the cloud.

Difference between Datto and other NAS

 Datto NAS (3)QNAP/Synology($) Enterprise NAS
Standard network share protocols(NFS/CIFS)(NFS/CIFS)(NFS/CIFS)
AFP (Apple File Protocol)YESMostly NONO
iSCSI (IP SAN)YESYESYES
Integrated FC (Fibre Channel) SANNOMostly NOYES
Ethernet (w/10Gbps options)YESYESYES
Dual controllers AvailableNOMostly NOCOMMON
Protection against “Silent data loss” and bad drivesYESNOMostly NO
Avoid complex RAID provisioningYESMostly NOVARIES
Thin provisioningYESVARIESCOMMON
Block-level data deduplicationYESNOYES
Built-in data compressionYESVARIESYES
Hybrid flashYESMostly NOYES
All-flash models (w/wear leveling)YESYou can build one
with own drives,
but no wear leveling
VARIES
Capacity expansionAdd or swap drivesAdd drives or expansion shelves
Drive FW management and compatibilityYESNOYES
Integrated, automatic off site backupYESNO – Need to buy 2nd system, AND backup software
Unified backup and archiveYESNONO
Fleet monitoring+auditing for MSPsYESNOMostly NO
Automated firmware updatesYESNOMostly NO
Application Framework on NASNOYESNO
TRADITIONAL BACKUPDATTO – INTELLIGENT BUSINESS CONTINUITY
Can take weeks to recover data after a disaster occurs, if the data is recoverableDowntime after a disaster is reduced to hours, minutes, or even seconds
High risk of failure due to heavy manual administration:
58% of downtime is due to human error
Fully automated backup process—very little manual management required
Difficult to test if a backup is working properlyAutomated screenshots are taken of each image-based backup, to verify a successful backup
Time consuming and expensive to make a copy of, and store, backups in multiple locations.
61% of SMBs still ship tapes to an off-site location
Each image-based backup is automatically saved in multiple locations for redundancy; local appliance and secure data centers
Backup speeds are slowerQuick and efficient transfer of files to off-site data centers, even with low bandwidth or busy networks
Difficult to prioritize important data, files and applicationsCritical data can be prioritized, to be transferred offsite first
Physical to virtual conversions can be time consuming and have a high failure rateInstant virtualization in mere seconds, due to both proprietary technology and already saved VMDKs
Data and backups are at risk when based in only one location, either local OR in the cloudAvoid risk of downtime from a local disaster, as backups are stored in both local device AND secure cloud
Limited options for encrypting data, may not pass industry regulations (i.e., HIPAA, SOX)AES 256 and SSL key-based encryption ensures data is safe both at rest and in transit, to meet industry regulations (ie. HIPAA, SOX)
Tape failure rates can exceed 50%Minimal risk of corrupted backups or data loss
Potential for theft of loss of mediaOff-site backups stored in SSAE16 Type II data centers, ensuring security
Perceived cost savings are deceiving–average cost of downtime is $163,674 per hourThe ability to keep your business running in the event of disaster has immeasurable value
SIRIS 3,
X1 / X2
SIRIS
Virtual
SIRIS
Imaged
ALTO
XL
ALTO 2Datto
NAS 3
Business SizeAnyMedium – EnterpriceAnySmall – MediumSmallAny
Instant On-site Virtualization
Instant On-site Virtualization
Hybrid Virtualization
Local and Off Site File Leel Restore
VMDK/VHD Export
Inverse Chain
Technology
All Backup Fully Constructed
5-10 Minute Backup Frequency
Ransomware Detection
RoundTrip Device Seeding
Advanced Screenshot Verification with Scripts
Bare Metal Restore
Granular Exchange and SharePoint Recovery
End-to-End Encryption
Unlimited Cloud Storage Capabilities
Backup Insights
Datto Drive local
Unlimited Agent Licensing
Agentless and Agent-based
24/7/365 Direct-to-Tech Support
Run as Guest on paid VMware vSphere
Run as Guest on VMware vSphere Free
Run as Guest on Microsoft Hyper-V
Run as Guest on Citrix XenServer
Linux Backup Support w/Agent
Mac (OSX) Backup Support w/Agent
CIFS & NFS Shares w/Restore (+Cloud Protected)
iSCSI Logical Unit w/Restore (+Cloud Protected)
Storage Efficiencies (Compression)
SSD Acceleration
Drive Failure Protection
Datto Device Portal Fleet Management
Diskless Restore (via iSCSI target)