My Thoughts on DattoCon18 and Why I’m Stoked.
I’m back from DattoCon18 and there’s a lot to discuss.
This year’s 3-day convention in Austin, Texas, was packed with product announcements, but there are a few things I’m particularly excited about. So let’s dive right in …
1) Rapid Rollback is …. Ah-maaazing!
One of Datto’s biggest announcements at DattoCon18 was a new enhancement to its Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) platform, called “Rapid Rollback.”
In short, Rapid rollback is a feature that enables businesses to rapidly restore file systems after major unwanted changes have occurred.
“Wait—didn’t that already exist in Datto’s BCDR systems?”
Yes, but here’s how Rapid Rollback is different:
- In a ransomware attack, for example, major file changes can occur across a broad swath of folders and files.
- For clients with really big file servers, a total file restore can be complex and time-consuming—but a full system re-image may not be necessary either.
- Rapid Rollback will now detect and restore ONLY the changed files from the last backup—without requiring a full restore or re-image.
- It does this by running comparison checks between existing system files and the last backup. Any modified files in the image are automatically restored.
BAM! Files systems are back in working order. And in the case of ransomware, the threat is removed.
This frees up significant time for us and our clients. It means that we can help organizations recover their files even faster, so they can resume business as usual.
2) Advanced Backup Verification (Because, Phew!)
More checks = greater confidence in our backups.
We can all breathe a greater sigh of relief with Datto’s new Advanced Backup Verification, which provides greater assurance that restored applications will boot properly.
A quick background: Screenshot Verification was already an important feature of Datto’s BCDR systems. It’s an automated check that verifies the completion and integrity of backups. Immediately following the completion of a backup, Screenshot Verification virtualizes and test-boots the protected servers to ensure they can be recovered. (In the event of a failure, administrators receive an alert detailing what went wrong.)
At DattoCon18, Datto revealed how the new Advanced Backup Verification builds upon this assurance even further:
- Verification now includes a new series of automated checks designed to give businesses 100% confidence in their backup
- Enhancements include automatic checks for system integrity, volume and VSS checks
- Application and Service Verification ensures that your business-critical applications will run as they should
- Support for custom scripts lets administrators add their own checks
Say it with me: No. More. 3am. Wake-up calls!
3) Direct-to-Cloud Backup: ‘Look, Ma! No appliance!’
At the end of his keynote address, CEO Austin McChord made another big product announcement that clearly piqued the interest of everyone at DattoCon.
Here’s what he said:
“What if we could deliver a product that offers the point-in-time restore capabilities of our continuity products, without the need for an appliance? Well, I’m happy to announce Datto has been able to pull this off with Direct to Cloud.”
In a word: brilliant.
Datto’s Direct to Cloud promises to be a huge breakthrough in the world of BCDR, enabling businesses to have the same backup protection on every computer, no matter where it is, without having the BDR appliance on-site.
Direct to Cloud is currently in beta, but this will undoubtedly be a great, cost-efficient backup solution for remote users and desktops.
It’s no secret that the future of business is decentralized. Companies are increasingly hiring remote workers who don’t need to be on-site to perform their job duties. But just because these workers are off-site doesn’t mean they should sacrifice data protection.
Direct to Cloud will bring the full system restore capabilities of image-based backup to endpoint protection. I’m excited to offer this to my clients and see how the feature develops in the coming months.
Other Exciting Announcements from DattoCon18
So, what else happened at DattoCon18? Plenty.
The product announcements above were only the beginning. Throughout the event, there were lots of other updates and announcements that should be music to the ears of businesses and MSPs like Invenio IT.
Here are some highlights:
New Stuff for Datto Networking
Datto made several announcements about its networking division, which will benefit both MSPs and their clients.
- Datto Networking Mobile App: This will be a big time-saver for MSPs, which means that clients’ networks will receive even faster resolution when things go wrong. Datto’s new mobile app will now enable MSPs to monitor their customers’ network from a smartphone or tablet (Android app is available now; iOS is coming soon). The app lets IT providers monitor their clients’ device health, bandwidth and power usage, among other capabilities.
- Lifetime Warranty on Networking Devices: One big reason why we love Datto is that the company stands by its products. At DattoCon18, Datto announced it will now offer a lifetime warranty on all its networking devices: Wi-Fi Access Points, Network Switches and Managed Power devices.
- Enhanced Web Content Filtering: Keeping malware off your network is one of your best defenses against a major attack. Datto announced it will be combatting malware more aggressively with a new firmware upgrade on its Datto Network Appliance (DNA). The DNA will now feature Enhanced Web Content Filtering for greater protection against malware, ransomware and command-and-control attacks.
- MP60 Managed Power Device: It’s here. With the recent launch of Datto’s Managed Power unit, the company has now released its first device: the MP60. The MP60 allows MSPs to remotely (or automatically) reboot unresponsive electronic devices. It has six outlets, multiple USB ports and integrated Wi-Fi. You can set up ping tests, view historical power usage, power ports on/off—all through the Datto cloud interface. This will eliminate the need for many on-site visits, which is great news for both businesses and MSPs.
- AP62 Wi-Fi Access Point (AP): Datto has released its latest 802.11ac Wave 2 access point, which features three internal radios (two 5GHz and one 2.4GHz) and will offer better performance in high-density environments.
- E24 Network Switch Upgrade: Datto is replacing its previous E24 networking switch with an improved model that offers a higher PoE budget of 410W and two 10Gb SFP uplink ports.
Datto RMM—for the win
This is another MSP-focused development that is great news for SMBs. Previously known as the Autotask remote monitoring and management tool (RMM), the newly named Datto RMM will soon receive several updates to help MSPs provide better, more efficient service to their clients, from anywhere:
- Antivirus and patch status detection: Datto RMM will provide a single source of information for antivirus and patch status on any managed device. Another huge time-saver.
- End-user ticketing: The easier (and more efficient) it is for users to submit tickets, the faster the resolution. This update will allow end users to seamlessly create tickets from the system tray, which will then flow directly into Autotask PSA. This translates into faster ticket response time and better customer satisfaction all around.
- Autotask PSA integration: Autotask users will now be able to manage their Datto Continuity fleet directly from PSA. When Datto merged with Autotask in 2017, we looked forward to seeing how the company’s tools would integrate, and this is a sign of good things to come.
And More …
- Datto Drive: Datto’s file sync and share (FSS) platform continues to get better. The latest release will feature several enhancements, including faster performance, granular password enforcement and better notification management.
- Autotask Endpoint Backup: Autotask end users will see several new updates that will ultimately make it faster and more secure. These performance and security updates will enable faster uploads of large backups, policy driven alerts, and two-factor authentication, among other enhancements.
- Autotask Workplace: The Autotask FSS platform will also see new improvements in functionality and security. An Enhanced Microsoft Office 365 Integration will enable users to collaborate on documents from within Workplace Online. Separately, an “Edit via Public Link” feature will enable third parties to use MS Office Online to securely collaborate with Workplace users in real time.
After this year’s DattoCon, I’m excited about what’s in store from Datto in the months ahead. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the major product announcements, like Rapid Rollback and Direct to Cloud, which promise to be game-changers for businesses of all sizes.
If you missed it, check out CEO Austin McChord’s keynote address here to see his take on these new enhancements.