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Datto Backup Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 2024)

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Dale Shulmistra

Data Protection Specialist @ Invenio IT


datto faq

Datto Backup FAQs

Have questions about Datto? Our Datto FAQ has the answers.

If you’re comparing BCDR solutions, it’s important to evaluate each option carefully to ensure you choose the right fit for your needs. We’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions about Datto backup to help you make an informed decision.

If you have a question you don’t see here, feel free to give us a call at (646) 395-1170.

What is Datto?

Datto is the maker of several data backup and business continuity solutions, including its flagship BCDR product, the Datto SIRIS, and ALTO, which is designed for small businesses. Owned by Kaseya, Datto’s headquarters are in Norwalk, Connecticut, with satellite offices located around the globe.

Datto was founded in 2007. As of 2024, the company had about 2,000 employees worldwide.

What are the benefits of Datto’s backup solutions?

One of the main benefits of Datto’s backup solutions is that they are fully integrated, all-in-one systems. They combine a dedicated on-site backup device with replication in Datto’s immutable cloud, and the ability to recover data instantly from either source with virtualization and numerous other restore methods.

This is unique from other BC/DR solutions which often require configuring third-party clouds and other disparate components to achieve continuity. With Datto, everything is seamlessly unified in one stack, which has several advantages:

  • More resilient backups
  • No messy configurations
  • Faster deployment
  • Easier management
  • Greater control over the entire backup & recovery process

Datto’s solutions are also known for several other benefits, including: backup speed and frequency, reliability of backups, built-in ransomware detection, instant virtualization and smart recovery options like Rapid Rollback.

How is Datto different from other backup solutions?

Datto is unique from other BCDR solutions in the way it creates, stores and secures backups. Datto uses its exclusive Inverse Chain Technology, which eliminates the traditional backup chain by storing each recovery point in an independent, fully constructed state. Backups are stored on a local Datto device and replicated to the Datto cloud.

Datto is also unique in that it is a “channel-only” vendor, meaning that its products are only available through a select group of managed-service providers, such as Invenio IT.

How does Datto’s warranty policy work?

Every Datto device comes with a minimum 3-year warranty, and the Datto SIRIS 5 has a 5-year warranty. Datto devices are fully covered as long as the service is active and is being paid. You do have the option to purchase an extended warranty. After the warranty expires, Datto will continue to support the device and host the data off-site as long as the service continues to be paid, but the device will no longer be covered by warranty. If the device were to fail, you can purchase a new device and Datto can pre-load your data at no charge.

In the event of a disaster and the Datto device is damaged, what happens next?

In the event of a disaster, we will virtualize all of your servers in Datto’s datacenter, and your business will continue with minimum interruption. Datto will send a brand new device with all data and configurations in place at no charge — for all devices currently under service.

In the event of a failure, how fast does Datto ship a new drive or device?

A new drive or device ships same business day or next business day, depending on shipping limitations.

What happens if I stop paying for service?

If you stop paying the service fee, Datto will no longer support the device. We will not provide technical support, and the warranty is void. All data will be removed from our off-site data storage facilities after 30 days of non-payment. Devices will still function as a local NAS.

What kind of security is in place at Datto’s data centers?

Datto’s data centers utilize Security Access and Control Systems (SACS) that use global biometric authentication access methodology to track all authenticated data center employees and prohibit the entry of any unauthorized personnel. Datto data centers are staffed 24/7, in addition to off-site Critical Facilities Management Teams that report and record all access and alarm information to ensure the most comprehensive security possible. This translates to completely secure data centers.

What kind of encryption do Datto backups use?

Each Datto device uses advanced encryption technology to keep data secure. During both transmit and cloud storage, all data is fully encrypted using AES 256 and SSL key-based encryption. You have the option to encrypt backups locally with the Datto SIRIS. AES 256 is certified by the NSA as the encryption used for all Top Secret government data. Datto employees cannot view data.

Where does Datto storage occur?

Datto stores data locally on a designated backup device (SIRIS or ALTO) and in Datto’s private cloud. This enables organizations to restore data from either source based on the circumstances of the data-loss incident. Data in the Datto Cloud is stored in two geographically diverse datacenters as an added failsafe.

Do you have any information about Datto’s datacenters?

Yes, all Datto backups are stored in private datacenters, which are purpose-built to maintain backup integrity and security. You can find out more information about Datto’s datacenters  and Datto storage policies here.

Do you have any information on Datto’s Support Level Agreement (SLA)?

Yes, you can find Datto’s Technical Support Service Level Agreement here.

If I outgrow my Datto device, can I upgrade to a larger device?

Yes, if you do outgrow the storage capacity of your Datto device, you can upgrade your device to a larger unit if your device is currently under service. Depending on the make and model, the upgrade will either be an onsite upgrade, or require a new device if it’s in a different product class (i.e., Professional vs. Enterprise). Please contact us for more information.

How much does Datto cost?

Several variables affect the cost of deploying Datto, including the size of the backup device, the number of systems that it protects and how it’s deployed. Pricing will vary by provider, but typically businesses will pay for the initial installation and then a monthly fee for storage and service.

Datto is sold exclusively through a network of managed service providers (MSPs). With some deployments, businesses will have the option of paying for service monthly or prepaying a few years in advance with cost savings. The best way to get a quote for your specific needs is to request Datto pricing.

Datto SIRIS Commonly Asked Questions and Answers

How do you properly size a Datto SIRIS?

Sizing for the Datto SIRIS is based on a number of factors. First, look at the total data “usage” across the servers and workstations you will be protecting. Datto is an image-based backup system, so the Datto SIRIS will back up the OS, applications, databases, files and folders. The general rule is to size the SIRIS on a 2.5 to 1 basis, of the data used. If you are going to encrypt the local agents, that should extend to 3 to 1 or greater. If you will be protecting servers with large transactional databases, you should increase the ratio to account for this.

The next consideration is the number of servers you will be protecting. The greater the number of servers, the higher the SIRIS product line (example – Enterprise vs. Business). If you have any questions, please contact us, and we’ll help make sure your SIRIS device is sized properly.

What happens in the event of a disaster?

For servers or workstations that are protected, you can recreate or virtualize your servers or workstations locally from your Datto SIRIS device through the device’s web portal.  In the event of a more severe disaster and your Datto SIRIS device is destroyed, your servers/workstations will be recreated at Datto’s data centers via a remote web portal.  You can then connect to the servers or workstations with VPN and RDP connections (public IPs can also be made available).  The backups will continue, even while machines are virtualized, and once you are back to normal at your location, you will seamlessly transition back to physical machines after virtualization.  You will be shipped a new SIRIS device with all data and configurations at no extra charge — for all devices currently under service.

Can Datto SIRIS backup and restore SharePoint to different versions?

Yes, Datto enables you to backup and restore SharePoint, and restore to different versions. There are a few ways to do this, depending on the environment. Datto SIRIS enables you to perform a granular Microsoft SharePoint restore using Ontrack PowerControls. You can also use Datto SaaS Protection to automatically back up SharePoint (and automatically detect new Sites, including Microsoft Teams Sites, in your SharePoint environment).

Can Datto SIRIS backup and restore Microsoft Exchange?

Yes, you can backup and restore Microsoft Exchange. You can restore to the store, mailbox or message level. When using Microsoft 365, Microsoft Exchange can also be backed up with Datto SaaS Protection, which provides cloud-based backup of all data in M365.

Can Datto SIRIS backup and restore Microsoft SQL?

Yes, you can backup and restore SQL with Datto SIRIS (and with Datto ALTO, for small businesses). Datto provides two ways to back up Microsoft SQL servers: 1) with agent-based backups, or 2) using SQL Server’s native backup function to back up to a NAS share hosted on the Datto device.

How many servers or workstations can I protect with Datto SIRIS?

Each Datto SIRIS comes with an unlimited number of server and/or workstation licenses. The only limitation is the amount of data across your servers and workstations, and the Datto SIRIS device.

Is there a monthly service charge for storing my data off-site?

Yes, with each device you have the option to store your data off-site at Datto’s data centers.  You will have a monthly option, or you can prepay 1, 2 or 3 years in advance with cost savings.  With the service, you will be able to virtualize your servers and workstations off-site, receive next day shipping on destroyed devices and archived snapshots of your data, which you can restore from.

Does each Datto SIRIS device come with archiving?

Yes, each device under service has an option for pay-as-you-go pricing, 1 year off-site or infinite cloud storage with no size limits. The archive contains daily snapshots of the device, stored at Datto’s data centers.

Once we have our Datto SIRIS up and configured, is it possible to test our disaster recovery plan?

Yes, we highly recommend documenting your disaster and recovery procedure.  We recommend testing out your DR plan at least once a year, preferably twice.  Our reps are available to help you put together your plan and test it out with you.

Is it possible to see a demo of the SIRIS virtualization process?

Yes, you can view a demo of the local and off-site virtualization process here.  You can also schedule a live technical demo with one of our Technology Strategists here.

How is Datto SIRIS deployed?

The Datto SIRIS is commonly deployed as a dedicated on-premises backup device that stores backups locally and replicates them to the Datto Cloud. However, SIRIS can also be deployed as a virtual machine (Virtual SIRIS), imaged onto existing hardware (SIRIS Imaged) or as a self-contained Private Cloud (SIRIS Private) by deploying two physical SIRIS devices.

Can Datto SIRIS be deployed as a virtual appliance?

Yes, Datto SIRIS can be deployed as a software-only implementation, referred to as Virtual SIRIS or vSIRIS. With this deployment, SIRIS runs as a virtual machine (VM) in either VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V.

Virtual SIRIS offers the same core functionality as the physical SIRIS, but it runs in a virtual machine via existing hardware. VMs can be spun up in seconds from the Datto Cloud or they can be spun up directly on a local device, even in the absence of Internet connectivity. Two key benefits of Virtual SIRIS are its quick remote deployment capability and its ability to support a wide variety of custom configurations.

What is the Datto storage capacity for SIRIS?

Datto SIRIS 5 is available in several models with a max storage capacity of 60TB for the top-end model. The smaller all-Flash SIRIS 5X offers a storage capacity of up to 2TB. The base SIRIS 5 models are 2TB-4TB. The IU rackmount SIRIS offers between 6TB-36TB, while the 2U version offers 48TB-60TB.

Be sure to use the 2-3x multiplier rule when sizing your SIRIS. Your Datto device should have a storage capacity of 2-3 times the space of the machines being protected, at minimum.


Additional Common Questions about Datto

Does Datto use a private cloud or public cloud?

Datto uses its own immutable cloud, consisting of dedicated private data centers around the globe. Unlike a traditional public cloud, which provides all-encompassing data storage for a wide range of organizations, the Datto Cloud is used exclusively for secure storage of data backups from Datto customers and/or their MSPs.

For organizations that require a fully private cloud to comply with federal regulations, this can be achieved with SIRIS Private. This involves the deployment of two Datto SIRIS devices to create a self-contained private cloud.

Can you back up Microsoft 365 with Datto?

Yes, you can back up Microsoft 365 with Datto SaaS Protection for M365. This is a dedicated cloud-to-cloud backup solution that replicates all data in M365 to Datto’s immutable cloud, including data from Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams and more.

Can Datto back up Google Workspace?

Yes, Datto SaaS Protection provides automatic backups of Google Workspace, including Gmail, Calendar, Contacts and Google Drive. Data is stored in the Datto Cloud and can be recovered quickly with flexible recovery options, including point-in-time, granular and non-destructive restore functions.

What is Inverse Chain Technology?

Datto’s Inverse Chain Technology is an incremental backup method that creates fully constructed backups that can be restored without dependency on a chain of previous backups.

With Datto, each new recovery point is stored in an independent, fully constructed state, so that there is no rebuild process when backups are restored. This increases the speed and resiliency of the backups, while also making them quicker to recover.

Does Datto have ransomware protection?

Yes, the Datto SIRIS has built-in ransomware protection, which scans each backup for signs of a ransomware footprint. If ransomware is detected, admins are notified, allowing them to take action much faster and roll back to a clean recovery point.

Additionally, SIRIS has a number of other features that provide inherent protection against ransomware, including the high backup frequency, Rapid Rollback technology, backup virtualization capabilities and cloud backup redundancy.

What is Datto’s Rapid Rollback?

Rapid Rollback is a data recovery method on the Datto SIRIS that allows you to quickly undo widespread unwanted file changes, such as those caused by ransomware. Rapid Rollback enables you to quickly restore only the files that were changed, so that you don’t have to reimage the entire machine.

In addition to reversing the damage from a ransomware attack, Rapid Rollback is also useful for restoring data after an unsuccessful OS update or application failure in which major unwanted changes have occurred.

How do we restore data from our Datto?

Datto offers several different recovery methods to fit the needs of various disaster situations. These methods include file/volume restore, virtualization (local, cloud or hybrid), Rapid Rollback, bare metal restore, ESX upload and image exports, among others.

Use Datto’s Disaster Recovery Guide to determine the right recovery method for your situation and instructions on how to perform each. (If you are a customer of Invenio IT, we will of course handle this data recovery for you.)

What’s the difference between Datto SIRIS and ALTO?

The primary difference between the Datto SIRIS and ALTO is storage capacity. ALTO has a maximum storage capacity of 1TB and is designed to accommodate smaller businesses. SIRIS comes in several models with maximum storage up to 60TB, making it a better fit for larger organizations.

The functionality of SIRIS and ALTO is largely the same. However, one notable difference is that Instant Virtualization on ALTO is available only via the Datto Cloud, whereas SIRIS allows virtualization both locally and in the cloud.

How often are backups with Datto?

Datto SIRIS allows for backups as often as every five minutes, though not every organization will need this frequency. Businesses can schedule their backups to meet their specific operational needs and recovery point objectives (RPOs).

Datto’s high backup frequency is made possible in part by its inverse chain technology, which uses ZFS’s “copy on write” capability for greater speed and efficiency (each unique block of data is saved only once and is referenced by all of the restore points that use it).

Does Datto do backup testing?

Yes, automatic backup testing is available on the Datto SIRIS and ALTO. Referred to as Screenshot Verification, this process automatically builds and boots each backup as a virtual machine and performs context-sensitive tests to confirm that it is working properly.

SIRIS allows you and your MSP to not only see if the protected system is bootable, but also verify that applications are accessible.

What is Cloud Deletion Defense?

Datto’s Cloud Deletion Defense provides an extra layer of protection in case cloud backups are deleted accidentally or maliciously. Similar to the functionality of a Recycle Bin, it provides a limited window for MSPs to retrieve deleted agents directly from Datto. The feature is available for SIRIS, ALTO and NAS.

Does Datto back up endpoints?

Yes, Datto offers a few solutions for protecting endpoint data. Datto Endpoint Backup for PCs provides direct-to-cloud backups of Windows-based computers, without the need for a local backup device. Similarly, for cloud backups of servers, businesses can use Datto Endpoint Backup with Disaster Recovery, which can protect workloads wherever they’re located: local, off-site or in virtual machines.

A lighter-weight option for endpoint backup is Datto File Protection, which is designed to safeguard business-critical files and folders.

What are the three supported backup methods on a Datto device?

The three supported backup methods for Datto backups are:  1) incremental backup, 2) full backup, and 3) differential backup. In addition, Snapshot backup is another method that can be utilized on a Datto device that captures a point-in-time copy of the data.

What companies use Datto?

Thousands of companies, across nearly every sector of business, use Datto to back up their critical data. Although Datto does not publicly share the names of companies using its solutions, it has more than 1 million users globally.

How do you contact Datto Support?

For businesses using Datto, the best way to get Datto Support is to contact the managed service provider who manages your Datto systems. However, in an emergency in which you are unable to reach your MSP, you can try contacting the 24-hour Support Hub that is available to Datto Partners. Businesses and/or their Datto Partners in the United States can call 1-888-294-6312 or email Datto Partners may use Datto’s online Support Hub by logging into their accounts.

Have More Questions about Datto? Give Us a Call

Looking for other information that we didn’t include in our Datto FAQ? We’re happy to answer any other questions you may have! Contact Invenio IT today at (646) 395-1170. You can also email us at or request a free demo to take a closer look at Datto’s backup solutions.

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