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Behind the Scenes at Datto's Backup Centre

Datto is a provider of backup services for businesses. Their aim is to back up anything and allow their managed services provider to achieve the same for their customers.

With around 400 employees, Datto is a company that serves more than 8000 resellers globally, who in turn provide their backup and disaster recovery services to around 5 million customers. Datto sells the use of its powerful data centres across the globe, allowing their customers to benefit from a data centre infrastructure without the costs of setting up their own.

Having recently acquired Backupify and currently holding more than 100 perabytes of data, Datto is a large company that is only going to continue to grow.

Datto has data centres all over the world, including Pennsylvannia and Utah in the States and Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia elsewhere on the map. One of its largest is in Utah at its C7 Data Centres.

Due to its location near popular West Coast markets and a geography that is fairly free of natural disasters, Utah is a great place for Datto to have a main data centre. George Bedocs, Datto’s vice president of infrastructure engineering, also notes that they do a lot of environmental operations, like using recycled cold air and a design specifically set up for optimal energy consumption.

Datto prefers using smaller data centre providers due to the customer service benefits they offer over some of the bigger companies. They look for compliance, room for expansion, redundancy, availability of fibre and security when hunting for a great data centre.

“From my experience, at smaller hosting facilities you have more preferential treatment in terms of on-the-ground support,” said Bedocs. “At the larger global providers you get your standard wire pluggers and rack-and-stack, but no one seems to have a personal investment. Smaller providers step up and have ownership; they’re right on the floor and receptive to all kinds of ideas.”

In looking to run the most optimal data centres, Datto has begun looking at bringing in hot and cold row isolation and customising the fans. Each chassis has seven fans in it, but these are a huge consumption of electricity. Datto are hoping they can become so energy and heat efficient that they’ll only need two of these fans.

Not only would less fans mean a reduced cost, but it’d also cut down on drive failure from the vibrations that these fans cause. In order to implement these changes, Datto’s engineers are experimenting with new chassis designs.

While some of the bigger cloud storage firms are moving from the personal to the enterprise market, Datto believes they have a unique position. Datto provides for a local market and looks after all of the data within SaaS applications; for Datto CEO and founder Austin McChord, keeping all the data in one stream and protecting businesses data no matter where it is makes their company valuable.

“We’re also excited about all the new technology we’ll be learning about on the backend. Google and Facebook are doing interesting things in the data center (open rack designs etc.), so we’re interested in examining that,” said Bedocs.


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