Datto Upgrades SMB Disaster Recovery Families, Adds NAS With Cloud Backup

Storage vendor Datto on Monday expanded its data protection line with new versions of its hybrid on-premise and cloud solution, as well its first NAS appliance with cloud backup capabilities.

The new solutions are aimed at helping Datto expand its SMB channel business, Datto CEO Austin McChord told CRN in a recent interview.

Datto currently protects over 75 petabytes of customer data in its own cloud via a hybrid solution that includes an on-side appliance with backup to the cloud, McChord said. Should a customer experience a server failure, the Datto technology tries to do an instant recovery to the local appliance, followed by recovery in the cloud if needed, he said.

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On Monday at the XChange Solution Provider conference in Los Angeles, Datto, Norwalk, Conn., unveiled Snap NAS, an SMB-focused appliance that provides all the capabilities of other NAS solutions with Datto's offsite backup component.

"Customers get primary storage with built-in versioning and so on, combined with cloud backup and disaster recovery," McChord said. "It's really fast and powerful. We think we're the first to combine primary storage with the cloud for the SMB space, and to take it to market."

The Snap NAS offers snapshots to allow users to recover older versions of and changes to data, and features VMware integration. Included with Snap NAS is Datto's compression technology, as well as SSD cache acceleration to improve performance.

The new Snap NAS should help Datto and its channel partners attract more small business customers, particularly ones with five to ten users, said Mark Calzone, president of Ash Creek Enterprises, a Stratford, Conn.-based solution provider and Datto partner.

"It's a market we couldn't hit before for pricing reasons," Calzone said.

Even though customers cannot run virtual machines directly on the Snap NAS in the case of a server failure, it is still a good solution for SMBs, Calzone said.

"It acts like a standard NAS appliance, and stores virtual machines and files like any NAS," he said. "And it will do local and cloud snapshots."

Datto is also updating its SIRIS business continuity appliances for instant on-site and off-site virtualization and image-based backups of servers and workstations, McChord said.

The SIRIS 2 line, with capacities of up to 36 TBs, now offers SSD caching, hot-swap bays for upgrading in the field, and rack mount capabilities, and includes upgraded Intel processors and SSDs to increase disaster recovery performance by up to eight times, he said.

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There are three basic models. The SIRIS 2 Business provides instant local virtualization of failed servers and workstations for small businesses, with capacity of up to 2 TBs. The midsize SIRIS 2 Professional provides faster file and full disk restore in addition to local instant failover and cloud failover, with capacity of up to 5 TBs.

The SIRIS 2 Enterprise uses dual Intel Xeon E5 processors, up to 1 TB of RAM, and up to 36 TBs of capacity to synchronize data protection to the cloud with no performance degradation, Datto said.

Datto also enhanced its Alto line of small business appliances which can failover a server or workstation to the cloud and connect the cloud-based virtual machine to the customer's network via VPN.

The new Alto 2 features quad-core AMD processors and dual Gigabit Ethernet controllers in a box about the size of the Apple TV, McChord said. It features on-board SSDs for fast performance and fast encryption, and expands to 26 TBs of local storage for use in backups, he said.

Datto also introduced a complete refresh of its storage operating system with a new Linux distribution base which will make it easier to upgrade in the future, McChord said.

Eric Torres, strategies and initiatives manager at River Run Computers, a Milwaukee-based solution provider and MSP which partners with Datto, is happy with what he's seen so far.

"Datto has always been good at updating its software," Torres said. "But the new hardware platforms are especially good news for us as a reseller."

Torres said the new Datto appliances feature new levels of scalability that will help partners open new customer doors.

"With the larger units, we can focus more on midsized customers with 100 or 200 users," he said. "And with the Alto2, we can now do more with smaller customers in the 5-user to 15-user range."

River Run Computers has been a Datto partner for about three years, and the vendor's product refresh is coming at the right time, Torres said.

"We're at the point where customers will need to upgrade their solutions," he said. "Having hot-swap capabilities is big for us. And having a NAS appliance for smaller businesses is what a lot of our customers have been asking for."

Calzone said Datto has done a good job with its new product lines, and with streamlining its pricing as well.

"They're making it much easier for us to sell the solutions and bill for services," he said. "And that makes for a more profitable partnership."