Valiant and Datto: A Great Partnership, Part II

Valiant and Datto - a great partnership

Join us as Valiant’s President, Georg Dauterman, and I resume our conversation about our expanding partnership with Datto.

If you would like to start with our conversation from the beginning, please click here for Part I.

Matt:
Thanks for sitting back down, Georg! Last time, we ended the conversation by summing up Datto’s technical capabilities and how they can make the difference between a disaster temporarily slowing business operations vs. causing a business to close its doors.

The losses a business can experience, even from a short amount of downtime, can be staggering. I’ve experienced downtime issues in the past, and the downtime calculator we created puts a dollar value to an outage and can be a real eye opener! I’d like to hear what you think our existing clients, and anyone who uses the calculator, can do with the information they learn from it.

What’s the cost of downtime vs. the expense of a service like Datto? That’s really the core question to ask as a business leader or owner.

Georg:
The idea of the calculator is to educate anyone who uses it and make sure they understand the business risks involved when you do not have a proper backup plan in place. Based on what your needs are – the type of business, amount of data and other factors, you need to make a determination as a leader if you need a very comprehensive solution.

While Datto may not be the low-cost option, it is very comprehensive for this price point. If a business has very simple data protection needs, there are a lot of other options out there. We even work with file-based options that are a part of Datto’s product line.

M:
Thank you for that answer, and thank you for accommodating my shameless plug of our downtime calculator! It’s something that I’m proud of; not just because it’s a great tool, but because we’re offering an educational resource and a resource that is uncommon to see from other service providers.

G:
Exactly. Disasters can strike in many ways – just look at the natural disasters experienced over the past several months. We’ve seen hurricanes, crippling wildfires, and snowstorms. According to FEMA, almost 40% of business don’t reopen after a serious natural disaster. This isn’t because of a loss in revenue, but the loss of data and critical assets. Disasters come in many forms. Not just natural disasters, but security issues, attacks like Cryptolocker, or even just human error.

M:
Security issues are becoming increasingly prevalent. The usage of IoT devices, increased usage of mobile devices on business networks that aren’t properly managed, and so on. Each one of these devices present an attack vector that can be exploited, and when you’re using Datto a statement like this is easy to make – you can undo a lot of security situations with a proper backup strategy. It’s a rewind button.

G:
We haven’t encountered many issues where we couldn’t restore from a backup. Using Valiant’s own solutions, we haven’t experienced any kind of loss, and we’ve been performing disaster recovery-focused backups for over 5 years now. It became a critical component of our approach after Superstorm Sandy. It changed the way we view backups, and how we approach data protection for our clients. Disaster recovery and continuity services became a core operating part of our business. It’s a principal of how we engage every client and our own internal systems and solutions.

M:
That’s a fantastic way to approach data protection. Experiencing a single disaster scenario can completely change your idea of how backups should be managed. From the perspective of a former IT Director, I can say that a properly managed backup plan is absolutely critical and should be a top priority. After all, there’s no point in doing work that would not exist should a disaster occur, something that anyone managing a network can relate to.

G:
Correct. Think of it this way – if your data isn’t stored in 3 places, treat it like it doesn’t exist because it can be wiped out instantly.

M:
And thanks to Datto’s sites and geographic diversity when it comes to their data centers, your data is located in multiple locations at the same time, correct?

G:
Yes, that’s correct.

M:
These data canters are in different parts of the US and I’d have to assume that they can’t all be in, say, the Northeast. That would be self-defeating if we were to get hit with a major disaster, and at the rate we’re experiencing events as of late I’m sure that’s on the mind of a lot of businesses.

G:
It’s on my mind. It’s not going to go away, and it’s something we need to keep an eye on. The Datto cloud component is offered too, and allows you to back up cloud services. I consider it to be critical since it provides a full spectrum of protection for our clients.

M:
I performed some research before we first sat down to talk about Datto, for post related to security tips, and there was a statistic that initially seemed minor, but gave me a bit of anxiety as I began to think about it. Did you know that the average office worker clicks their mouse 5,000 times daily? Now, I see that as 5,000 opportunities for a security issue to occur.

G:
We’ve seen it happen a lot, and we continue to develop security training programs for our clients as part of our basic MSP offering to deliver awareness of the threats that exist. That’s easily one of the biggest reasons for a comprehensive backup strategy.

M:
Absolutely. That’s the kind of statement that nobody can disagree with. It’s necessary and that’s all there is to it. If you own a business and store data, it must be backed up.

We’ve talked about how disasters can’t be scheduled; they’re going to happen and it’s important that we get in front of them, be proactive, and have plans to handle situations when they occur. When – not if. How does Valiant’s team of techs respond to client issues around data protection when something like this happens?

G:
We haven’t had an issue where we’ve had to restore data after a major event, but we’ve experienced situations where we’ve had to perform a server restoration, and that’s been powerful.

One situation that comes to mind is related to a RAID array while replacing some old disks with new ones. The process can be delicate, and we experienced a server failure in the middle of the task which destroyed the the data across the entire array. We rebuilt the server from a backup, virtualized the machine, and the client was back up and running without experiencing any operational downtime. To me, that’s the most powerful statement I can make.

M:
I’ve been there before. This may sound a bit funny, but I think that an unaware user is a happy user, at least within the context of day to day network administration. Let me explain – working in technology over the past 18 years, there have been many times where I’ve heard of techs as being the unsung heroes, meaning that as long as things are working, nobody has any idea of what we are doing.

G:
We’re seen as really good plumbers, but sure – unsung heroes works too.

M:
I feel like a folk song could about unsung heroes could work better than plumbers.

G:
Ok, sure. I’ll go with that.

It’s a solution we trust, and it allows us and our clients to rest easy and know that they can be operational in the case of any event. I’m really happy to expand our partnership with Datto and look forward to what’s next.

M:
It’s clear that a considerable amount of time was put in to this initiative – not only to expand our partnership with Datto, but to ensure that their products are the proper choice for Valiant and our clients. I’m sure that this involved several trials, as I’ve seen many Datto appliances around the office lately.

It’s great to see that the work is very hands-on, not just by our techs but by our account management team and other team members that are exposed to Datto.

As we come to a close, do you have any other thoughts on Datto or data protection that you’d like to share?

G:
Backups have been such a core part of our business for so long that when we were looking to make a change in our preferred platform, Datto was the forerunner and the natural choice. We performed our tests, reviewed nearly every available solution, and in the end Datto was the right choice.

It’s a solution we trust, and it allows us and our clients to rest easy and know that they can be operational in the case of any event. I’m really happy to expand our partnership with Datto and look forward to what’s next.

M:
That sounds great. I’m excited to be a part of it and look forward to seeing what happens over the coming weeks and months as we dive further in to this partnership. Thank you for taking the time to give some insight in to Valiant’s partnership with Datto and all of the benefits our clients will receive as a result. I look forward to sitting down and doing this again!

If you have any questions about Datto and other services Valiant’s provides, please get in touch via our contact form or leave a comment below!

Related Posts

Valiant and Datto - a great partnership