Conference Recap: DattoCon ’17

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Last week I attended my first (and Datto’s fifth) DattoCon, a conference designed for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) like Kraft Kennedy. Datto, which provides the primary backup and disaster recovery solution for our small and mid-size clients, has been hosting a conference in a different city each year. This year it was in Denver, Colorado.

My wife and I had never been to Denver, so she decided to tag along too. Everyone warned us about the altitude. For the most part, we were fine. Then I decided to swim in the hotel pool. I got about 1.5 lengths in before I felt like a two-pack-a-day smoker. I blamed the altitude, my wife said I was just out of shape.  She’s a peach.

Anyway, back to the conference.  The conference itself was very impressive. There were about 1000 attendees, which is impressive because the company is only ten years old. Each year, the conference keeps getting larger. Attendance was up 25% from last year.

The perks were also nice.  They even gave all attendees one of their new cloud managed wireless access points with lifetime service.  Hello upgraded home WiFi!

Lots of announcements were made at this year’s conference.  Datto has expanded its lineup of all flash storage appliances. There is now a range of options going up to 12TB for all flash storage.  Having flash storage will make running systems off of the appliance in a local disaster much faster. Datto has also announced an overhaul of its cloud backup solution, which is used to backup Office 365 and Google Apps. The result will be a much faster product with extra features, such as point-in-time backups and legal discovery search capabilities.

Datto has also made a serious commitment to expanding its offerings outside of the backup and disaster recovery space. With the acquisition of OpenMesh earlier this year, Datto now has a line of cloud managed wired and wireless networking equipment. At the conference, they also announced the upcoming release of a cloud managed power strip, a power strip that lets you remotely switch the power on or off on individual outlets in the strip. For example, if you have a problem switch or device, you can power cycle it remotely without having to physically go to the device. There’s even going to be local scripting built in to address things like Internet connectivity issues where you may not be able to access the power strip from the Internet. For example, you’ll be able to configure the device to ping your firewall or an Internet IP address. If the ping fails, you can program the power strip to automatically cycle the power for the Internet router and then the firewall to address the issue.  To top it all off, there’s a built in cloud managed wireless access point built in. We’ll want to get our hands on one of these to see how they work once released.

I also met a lot of great people at the conference. I got to spend time and form relationships with several Datto employees, vendors and other IT professionals like myself. Some folks from Auvik even took my wife and me out to dinner. They were a lot of fun! Overall, I had a great time at the conference and look forward to going again next year. Austin, here we come!

By the way, we have more fun planned with Datto this month in NYC. If you’re in the area please plan to join us on June 22 for cocktails on the terrace!