Datto Kicks Off Annual Partner Conference with New Suite of Products and Services

Datto kicked off the event with a flurry of product announcements and technology demonstrations. Not every one went smoothly but the overall effect had the crowd applauding enthusiastically.


June 21, 2016

3 Min Read
Datto CEO Austin McChord unveils company39s new partner portal at DattoCon16 in Nashville
Datto CEO Austin McChord unveils company's new partner portal at DattoCon16 in Nashville.

Run anywhere. Protect anything. And restore anytime.

That’s the message here in Nashville at DattoCon16, Datto’s annual conference for managed services providers (MSPs). This week, the company is playing host to more than 700 MSPs from around the globe who have gathered for a three-day celebration of backup disaster recover (BDR) technology and partnership.

Datto kicked off the event with a flurry of product announcements and technology demonstrations. Not every one went smoothly but the overall effect had the crowd applauding enthusiastically.

The big news was a peek at the Datto Networking Appliance (DNA), the not-quite-ready-for-primetime technology that has big promise. The DNA appliance is a single device with 4G services that protects data in transit, according to the company. It integrates several different technologies to provide seamless failover and always-on availability: a router, a network firewall and 4G LTE failover. When discussed at the event, several attendees wondered aloud if Datto was encroaching on the business of providers of Unified Threat Management (UTM) technology, including WatchGuard, SonicWALL and Sophos. (The latter is a silver sponsor of DattoCon16.)

DNA is “the best of the future,” touted Datto CEO and founder Austin McChord. After fits and starts as a young company, Datto now crystalizes the future of BDR technology, McChord said. DNA Tech Beta is available today and the final product will be released later in the year.

Also unveiled today, a new partner portal designed to help partners manage the “fleets” of Datto installations they oversee. McChord created the first partner portal himself in the “basement era” of Datto’s history – the company’s nascent years. But since then, partner needs have outstripped basic capabilities.

Today’s portal, McChord said, looks like a “bag of Skittles that were dumped onto a Web page.” Over the years, the company has tried various efforts to improve the portal, including adding an Instagram-like feed a year ago. Despite its best efforts, nothing truly solved the elegance and ease of use challenge. Then the company heard of an outside engineer, Sergio Espinosa, who developed his own user interface while working at Flexible Business Systems, a Datto partner with 180 Datto drives under management.

McChord liked Espinosa’s work so much that he had the company recruit and then hire him. At the event, Espinosa, whom McChord called Datto’s “secret weapon,” took the stage and walked the enthusiastic crowd through his creation. (Just five years ago, Espinosa was working for Best Buy in the company’s Geek Squad.)

Afterwards, the company walked attendees through Siris 3, the next generation of the company’s BDR software platform. It will ship with latest Ubunto kernel and an improved version of KVM technology, which can be sold into more demanding environments and comply with more sophisticated standards. Also new: Datto has replaced Cherokee software with the more robust and mature Apache in the new Siris 3.

Siris 3’s design goal was “run anywhere, protect anything and restore anytime.” This includes physical, virtual and imaged data running on Windows, Macs, Linux and more. No other company can do this, McChord insists, not even the biggest storage companies in the business. It will ship later this year in versions for Business, Professional and Enterprise customers. And the new Siris 3 will also get a five-year warranty.

“Of all the things announced today, the warranty alone will put real money into my company’s pocket and help avoid difficult conversations with customers over warranty support,” said Datto partner and advisory board member Jay Strickland, founder and CEO of WingSwept, of Garner, N.C.

Then there’s the Datto Agent for Mac. No one else in the world does a true image-based backup, McChord said; the rest are just file back-up capable, including Apple.

After unveiling Siris 3, McChord turned his attention to time-based retention. The challenge is customers want data for more than a year. So his tasked his team to develop a solution indefinitely stored at an affordable price point. The product is Infinite Cloud Retention.

Finally Datto unveiled the Siris 3 X1, a cool box with a bright future. In an “Oprah-style” moment, McChord announced that the company will give an X1, which Datto bills as the industry’s first all-flash backup appliance, to every attendee for free. Applause? You bet.

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