Datto Welcomes MSPs To DattoCon With Major Enhancements To Its Data Protection Technology

Data protection developer Datto on Tuesday introduced a significant expansion of its MSP-focused backup and recovery technology including the addition of flash storage-based appliances, better options for Office 365, and new networking capabilities, such as quality of service control.

The new offerings were unveiled at DattoCon, the company's annual partner conference held this week in Denver.

DattoCon has become North America's second-largest MSP-focused conference, with about 1,000 MSPs expected to attend, said Matt Richards, vice president of product marketing at Norwalk, Conn.-based Datto.

[Related: SMB Networking Land Grab: 10 Things You Need To Know About Datto's Acquisition of Open Mesh]

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"Dato's primary channel is MSPs," Richards told CRN. "Everything we do is built up around them. Our portal and technology are all designed to help MSPs grow to scale while helping their customers grow their revenue."

Datto offers its MSPs three separate product lines, Richards said.

The first is a line of data protection software and appliances backed by the company's own 300-plus-TB cloud based in nine data centers worldwide to provide business continuity, Richards said. This provides business continuity by keeping copies of data on-premises and in the Datto cloud, he said.

The continuity line includes the Siris family, which does failover of applications when a server goes down to virtual machines running in the on-premises appliance for the fastest recovery, Richards said. It also includes the Alto family which spins up applications to run in the Datto cloud in a failover situation, he said.

The second is the company's managed networking line with routers, switches, and Wi-Fi equipment, Richards said. This line was enhanced in January with Datto's acquisition of Open Mesh, he said.

The third is SaaS protection to provide cloud backup for Office 365 and other cloud-based applications, Richards. "These applications have their own cloud backup, but if the applications fail, businesses have to handle recovery on their own," he said. "With our SaaS protection line, we take care of it."

New to Datto's continuity line is the Siris S3X4, a 4-TB all-flash desktop version of the data protection appliance which measures only 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches by 2 inches. The company also introduced a new Siris family, the Siris 3 X Professional line, of three 1U rack-mount models with 4 TBs, 8 TBs, or 12 TBs of capacity, Richards said.

On the Alto side, Datto introduced the Alto 3, a hybrid-flash-storage based appliance with double the performance and capacity of its existing Alto 2 line.

Adding all-flash storage to the Siris data protection appliances will be good news to customers who need to spin up virtual machines after a server goes down, said Patrick Murphy, president of Results Technology, a Lenexa, Kan.-based managed service provider and Datto channel partner.

The hard disk is great for data protection in many cases, but in many cases, customers, especially smaller customers, need the performance of flash, Murphy told CRN.

"Banks, for instance, need to spin up applications immediately after a failure," he said. "The less time to spin up the virtual machines, the more their data is available, and the better it is for their business."

On the SaaS protection line, Datto enhances its offerings with a new faster architecture for managing Office 365 data protection. With the increased performance, customers can do more backups of their Office 365 data, and do them more often, to the Datto cloud, thereby improving the granularity of the data recovery, Richards said.

The company also pre-announced its SaaS Protection Node, a new hardware appliance based on the new Intel Optane high-performance memory-based flash storage technology.

Richards said the new SaaS Protection Node is designed to act as an on-premises cloud for protection Office 365 data for customers such as financial institutions who need to know the physical location of their data.

"This is opposite the point of a traditional cloud, which is to move the data off-premises for protection," he said. "But it will be available for businesses who need that kind of protection."

The SaaS Protection Node will initially be available for Office 365, but a version for Google G Suite will also be available, he said.

Murphy said his customers have not yet taken advantage of Datto's SaaS protection offerings, but that might change with the introduction of the SaaS Protection Node.

"The SaaS Protection Node may change the conversation," Murphy said. "Some people are comfortable with backing up everything including their SaaS applications to a cloud. But some like to touch the data. Some customers feel safer if they can touch the data rather than backing up cloud data to another cloud."

On the networking side, Datto has significantly enhanced its DNA, or Datto Networking Appliance. The DNA, which was introduced early a year ago, is an appliance designed to protect data in transit between customers' data centers and MSPs' clouds. Among its most unique capabilities is a built-in modem that connects to a Verizon 4G LTE network to form a wireless backup in case internet access is lost.

New to the DNA is quality of service, Layer 7 Deep Packet Inspection, expanded VoIP support and cloud management capabilities. "Now customers can see what applications are using what bandwidth and throttle it, which is especially important for voice-over-IP," Richards said.

Datto is also enhancing its access points with mesh routing and the ability to work in temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius.

Datto's MSP partner portal is also being enhanced with a condensed view, which makes it easier for partners to drill into needed information even as their customer deployments increase in size, Richards said.

The company is also adding the ability to view their customer networks using mobile devices, and making it easier for MSPs to develop marketing campaigns to find new customers, he said.