DattoCon 2017: The future of disaster recovery and backup

Anyone who knows anything about Datto will know that it specialises in innovation and as a result has reinvented the concept of backup and disaster recovery (DR).

You’ll also know that founder Austin McChord is very much the driving force and is still right at the heart of the business.

More importantly, he’s not only a techie hero, he’s also great at identifying what matters, how to deliver it and where to go next.

In his keynote he was open about the issues Datto has experienced around false positive failed screen verification on the SIRIS product.

By using telemetry, they’ve been able to make huge improvements and identified that they needed to get everyone on to the latest version of the product. (He described version 12.04 as the XP of the Datto world – a version that really needs to be wiped out). It’s all about consistency and the benefits of maintaining and supporting just one version.

Of course, as a business that promotes uptime and availability, he acknowledged that upgrades can be disruptive and so Datto made the modifications ‘under the hood’ so that no-one would actually be aware the upgrades had taken place.

As with everything Datto, the demonstrations are remarkable but sometimes it can be difficult to appreciate that what they’re showing is genuinely revolutionary.

If you’ve seen them spin up a server and recover or failover from a disaster in a matter of seconds, you’ll understand how impressive the technology is.

A key innovation described this morning showed how it’s now possible to massively reduce the time it takes to move from failover back to a bare metal restore of the production environment.

The only downtime in the process is a server reboot. That’s vs. an estimated 6 – 8 hours to recover traditionally, depending on the amount of data being recovered.

During his keynote, Austin owned up to a million dollar mistake he’d made when he was originally coding the product that’s now been resolved. I think we’ll let him off – and he can probably afford it!

Other innovations included a demonstration of a new technology that allows any server to be turned into a SIRIS device in just five minutes.

And SIRIS is now in beta on Azure – only beta because they haven’t quite replicated all of the device features yet but it looks like it won’t be long.

However, probably the most significant announcement and demo was Datto Networking.

Austin described the networking market as pretty much the same as the backup and DR market before Datto came along.

Typically, it’s either commodity or enterprise – i.e. the products and solutions available are either a bit sh*t or they’re way too complicated.