4 important concepts for better Datto performance

by Oct 6, 2016Business Continuity

Looking for better Datto performance? Let’s start with the basics.

The Datto SIRIS is an incredible tool to help businesses eliminate downtime. While Datto solutions are fairly user-friendly, there are a few concepts to cover to make sure you are set up for success and have the best Datto performance possible. In this blog, we will cover: file restoration, backing up from a Windows machine, the Datto Roundtrip and Incremental Data Change.

For starters, are you a whiz at file restoration? If not, you will be. We’ll walk you through a success file restoration process in just 6 steps.

1- Make your way to the web interface.

2-  Click on the tab titled Restore. You will notice that you’ve been granted several options. The first being the Agent you would like to restore, then you will need to select the Recovery Type. Here you will click on File Restore.

3- Select the recovery point or the point in time from which you would like to restore. Once you select the appropriate recovery point, you will be asked whether you would like to provide access to this recovery point over the web.

4- Click mount and you will be provided with a Samba Share. This can be copied and pasted into a browser window. You will have access to the file system as well as any files included in that particular point. So, if you had deleted (or lost) a particular file, you can navigate around to recover that data. You will be able to interact with the file after clicking save or right-click to save link as 

5- Voila. The file is now on your local system.

6- When you’re finished, we recommend that you click unmount to remove the particular restore point

Now, that we know how to complete a file restoration. Do you know what happens during a “backup” of a windows machine?

Wonder no more. You can learn more about the backup process on your Datto device right here and be on your way to better Datto performance. Read on and learn about the pre-flight process data transfer, Hardware Independent Restore (HIR), filesystem check as well as snapshot process.

It’s important to understand when you have a Datto, there is process to kick off a backup, regardless of whether it is done manually or on a predetermined schedule.

First, the data device checks to confirm it is ready to accept a backup. This is called the pre-flight. During this time, the device checks to see for three things:

  • if there are any significant changes to the server
  • that the device can communicate with server
  • if there is space on the device to accept the backup

Assuming all is clear, the device is ready to connect with the server.

Moving on, the Datto Devices will create something known as a Samba share. This is a way for the device to communicate as well as issue commands to the server. The Datto with create a .datto file, which will serve as the container for the backup.

The Datto will then tell the server to run a backup. The server will have an agent called Shadowsnap, which runs a backup on the server. Now, the exciting part. . .the backup begins!

After the backup is complete, it is sent through the Samba share through the .datto file. This allows the Datto to check the backup to confirm that it is a good backup. A test is run, called a Hardware Independent Restore Process (or HIR for short). This verifies the backup could be used, if needed. No more guessing!

If the backup meets the necessary criteria, then it passes the HIR test.

Then, the zetabyte file system is used to take a snapshot of the .datto file. Say Cheese! This snapshot is what ultimately gets stored with Datto. It can be used for point-in-time restorations and virtualizations. The snapshot is stored on the local device as well as sent through the internet to The Cloud, in case the local device is destroyed or rendered useless.

Congratulations, your backup is now complete.

The next topic to cover is Datto Roundtrip. Understanding this will definitely aid in your Datto performance.

For starters, the Datto Roundtrip is both a process as well as a device. It is a physical drive that moves data from an onsite appliance to the Datto cloud. Why is this important? Well, your backup plan is only as good as data you have stored locally—as well as in the cloud. And, that is why we are talking about the Datto Roundtrip today. The Roundtrip is the method that Datto uses to physically move the data from your local appliance to the offsite cloud servers.

The sooner you have parity between your local and offsite data, the better. To move that data, there are a bunch of various hardware enclosures. What the Roundtrip team will send you will vary given your specific need as well as your unique Datto hardware configuration.

Now, let’s review the basic Roundtrip models:

First, we have the USB 3.0 Bus powered passport drive. These connect to the Datto via a single USB cable and have the data capacity of 1.86 terabytes.

Next, there is the externally powered Mybook drive. There’s a 4 and 6 terabyte version, which hold 3.72 and 5.59 terabytes respectively. These have an external power adapter, which means they need to be plugged in for the Datto to recognize the drive.

Finally, there’s the Roundtrip Network Attached Storage or NAS units. These are built on the same hardware as the Datto NAS devices you may be more familiar with. These devices need both a power and a network connection. There are both 4 and 8 bay models, which hold up to 11.18 and 35.5 terabytes, respectively.

Lastly, it’s important for you to understand the concept of Incremental Data Change

Have you ever wondered what is Incremental Data Change? If so, look no further for an explanation. There are two different types of backup solutions: file-based and image-based. Incremental data change regarding a file-based solution is very simple. For example, if you change a part of a file—even if it is a minute change—like correcting a typo, the entire file will need to be backed up again. With an image-based backup, it’s actually the change at a block level on disk—and that is important to keep in mind when you think about troubleshooting.

Now, how is incremental image-based data tracked? First, you install a program. On a Windows Agent, we use Shadowsnap, which installs an STC driver and interacts with the kernel of the operating system. The kernel then interacts with the disk to figure out what block level has changed on the disk—the 1’s and 0’s. Once data is moved or changed, the kernel reports back to the STC driver and the STC driver reports back to Shadowsnap to confirm which data needs to be backup up to the Datto device.

Ok, there you have it: 4 concepts to help you achieve better Datto performance. For more tips, tools and expert advice, speak to a Datto Certified Advanced Technician today.

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Tracy Rock is the Director of Marketing at Invenio IT. Tracy is responsible for all media-related initiatives as well as external communications—including, branding, public relations, promotions, advertising and social media. She is one busy lady and we are lucky to have her!

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