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Bolstering Backups: Should You Install A Datto Agent?

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Tracy Rock

Director of Marketing @ Invenio IT



When it comes to making reliable, accessible backup copies of your data, Datto can’t be beat. The disaster recovery company helps organizations in any industry respond quickly to ransomware, hardware destruction, and other information-based threats. Datto is notable for offering some of the most flexible recovery software on the market. Its flagship product, SIRIS 5, for example, works seamlessly with both agent and agentless systems. Nonetheless, whether you have an agent can still impact your efficiency and backup capabilities. With that said, here are a few points to consider when determining if you should run agent or agentless:

Datto Agent Assessment

A Datto agent is a lightweight program that operates at the kernel level. It detects block-level changes and backs them up as they occur. Unlike with agentless systems, you have to install a separate Datto program on each device that uses an agent.

A Datto agent service offers both benefits and drawbacks. Before you install one, make sure to consider:

  • Small Changes– One of the most important benefits that agents provide is the ability to back up small system changes quickly and efficiently. If you make a subtle change, the agent will not have to scan all of the system’s files before backing it up. Companies that make large numbers of small changes can thus boost efficiency by using agents.
  • CPU Space– Although agents save small changes more efficiently than agentless services do, because they make so many changes, they use lots of processing power. While this can slow down companies with limited CPU space, for most companies with properly-sized servers, a Datto agent should not have a noticable impact on processing speed.
  • Data Integrity– A system that has a Datto agent is less likely to suffer from data integrity problems than an agentless system. This is because agentless systems have to install temporary modules before they are able to back up your data, which can compromise integrity under certain conditions.
  • Virtual Environment Use– Agents do not provide protection at the hypervisor level, and thus are not able to protect virtual environments quite as effectively as agentless systems can. This has the potential to reduce efficiency, though it will only be a problem if you rely on virtual environments.

Before you make a decision, consider how important each of these factors is for your company. The better you weigh them against each other, the easier it is to determine if an agent is right for you.

Intuitive Installation

If you decide to use an agent-based system, the Datto agent download process is relatively simple. Before you begin it, however, you must:

  • Ensure Healthy Hardware– Make sure your hardware is in good condition, and if there are problems, perform the necessary repairs before you install the agent. Otherwise, the agent will preserve corrupted systems.
  • Defragment Diligently– Defragment your data before installing an agent. If you wait until after, the agent will have to back up the rearranged data, eating up processing power.
  • Review the Requirements– Make sure your system fits the performance requirements for a Datto agent. These vary based on which type of system you use, but in general, you should have a gigabit connection that the Datto agent can use to link with your network, as well as at least 10 gigabytes of disk space.

Datto agents aren’t for everyone, but if used properly, they can dramatically improve the efficiency and integrity of your backup system. For more information on agents and all other Datto data recovery options, contact Inventio IT today.

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