Defending against data loss

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backups BCDR cloud data Datto msp

Datto shines the spotlight on data safety for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in this piece outlining the importance on dependable backups and a purpose-built cloud.

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When a large-scale data loss recently occurred at a backup provider, it shone a new spotlight on data safety. Managed service providers (MSPs) that were directly affected, as well as those that weren’t, had to re-evaluate their approach to client data protection.

When you place top priority on dependable backup, you position yourself to maintain long-term customer trust. This safeguards your own reputation and MSP business in the process.

At Datto, reliability of data safety eclipses all other considerations in the design of their business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions including SIRISALTO and Datto Continuity for Microsoft Azure. This approach is also central to their backup and restore solutions Cloud Continuity for PCs and SaaS Protection +.

The resilience of a purpose-built cloud

The Datto Cloud, purpose-built for backup and recovery, is immutable cloud storage made for MSPs. It provides the highest level of data protection, minimising downtime for both MSP business and their clients.

Datto currently operates the Datto Cloud with more than 1.5 Exabyte (1500 petabytes) of data stored. As that number continues to increase, Datto has no plans to move their data backup and recovery storage to a third-party cloud. In fact, with the exponential growth of their partner MSPs’ businesses, Datto has performed eight data center migrations since 2018 to keep pace – and they have never lost a single byte of customer data, HDD, or server in the process.

MSPs that choose the predictable Datto Cloud are safeguarding more than their clients’ data — their own services, MSP practices and reputation all have maximum protection. There are revenue benefits too, as the scalable Datto Cloud allows MSPs to keep growing their business. Datto invests heavily into scaling the cloud, to exceed the requirements of the fastest-growing MSPs and eliminate those unwelcome “no space” surprises.

Redundant and reliable

What makes the Datto Cloud highly reliable? Industry-best multi-tier resiliency and redundancy are present on every level, from HDDs to servers to data centers. If any major component of the Datto Cloud malfunctions, the data remains safe so MSPs can keep providing predictable services to their clients.

Best practices have been applied at each stage to strengthen the Datto Cloud. In the Americas and EU, all data is replicated geographically from one data center to another that is in a distant location. Datto’s abundance of caution extends to the server racks, where everything is redundant including:

  • Power sources
  • Power distribution units (PDU)
  • Power supply units (PSU)
  • Network interface cards (NIC)
  • HDDs are in RAID configurations and more.

As a result, the Datto Cloud is well equipped to minimise outages and the risk of data loss. When MSPs choose Datto they can be sure of being able to fully recover client systems after any disaster, winning the trust of customers and accelerating business growth.

Do not deduplicate in the cloud

There’s another key factor that contributes to data safety: the file storage techniques used once files or workloads are backed up to the data center. A cornerstone of Datto’s commitment to MSP success is minimising risk – a mindset that informs their strategic technology decisions.

One example of this is their design of the Datto Cloud. To increase the resilience of backups and diminish the risk of data loss, Datto intentionally decided not to use deduplication in the cloud. Deduplication is a storage method used by backup providers to reduce their storage resource consumption and associated costs. Its tradeoff is an increased risk of sprawling data loss that can have a disastrous impact on MSPs and their customers.

Deduplication works by storing identical blocks of data just once and then leveraging metadata to point to the actual data block content. For example, imagine one 20 MB PDF is stored in five folders for five different salespeople — the result is 100 MB of disk space maintaining one 20 MB file. With deduplication, only one complete copy is stored, and others are simply references pointing to that one saved copy. Users still see their files in place, but only 1/5th of the necessary storage is being consumed.

Sounds great? Not necessarily.

The downside of deduplication

The downside of deduplication emerges if the metadata or the stored block become corrupted or lost. That’s when multiple backups, customers, and MSPs can be affected. In the example above, if the stored data is corrupt, all five files would be gone forever. With lost or corrupt metadata, it would be even worse — it would be nearly impossible to know which backups or salespeople have lost the file. Without the metadata, it becomes extremely difficult to determine which backups, customers or MSPs are affected.

Datto eliminates this hazard by using Inverse Chain Technology instead of deduplication. This is an elegant solution for issues associated with traditional backup chains, as while it transfers and stores only the differences between backups, each backup is seen as full and independent of other backup points, whether they come from the same machine, different machines, different users, or different MSPs.

Not only is there no deduplication metadata involved in the Datto Cloud, their Inverse Chain Technology eliminates the need for rehydration (the reconstruction of previously deduplicated data) or incremental backup chain reconstruction, which can be a very slow process. As a result, MSPs can easily tune and adjust backup parameters, and instantly restore to any point in time. This strategic design decision is one more reason why Datto assures confidence in the safety of MSP backups, as well as their ability to recover client systems quickly after a disaster.

As MSPs evaluate options for backup, being certain about data safety must take top priority. With the purpose-built and secure Datto Cloud at the core, the reliability of Datto solutions provide protection built specifically for you.

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As the world’s leading provider of cloud-based software and security solutions purpose-built for delivery by MSPs, Datto believes there is no limit to what SMBs can achieve with the right technology.


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Umbrellar Connect is the leading multi-media hub for New Zealand's tech innovations. We keep you informed on the need-to-know impact stories, the trends shaping our world, and the tech enabling us to go further.


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At Datto, we create the roadmap for Managed Service Providers. We constantly innovate and experiment to empower our partners and drive the industry forward. Datto’s proven Unified Continuity, Networking, and Business Management solutions drive cyber resilience, efficiency, and growth for MSPs. Delivered via an integrated platform, Datto’s solutions help its global ecosystem of channel partners serve over one million businesses around the world. We’re open and down-to-earth by nature and we always advocate for MSPs.

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