Datto's SaaS Protection 2.0

August 02, 2018

Datto's SaaS Protection 2.0

By Henry Washburn

Many organizations today are moving to SaaS applications to reduce local overhead. And, just like with on premises applications, backup is the only way to truly combat human error, ransomware, application outages, and other disastrous events. Datto wanted to make sure to stay on the bleeding edge of capabilities for our SaaS Protection offering for Office 365 and G Suite by redesigning the way we store and query SaaS application data. We wanted to make SaaS Protection the most efficient and scalable possible.

At DattoCon17 in Denver and London, Datto unveiled the new SaaS Protection 2.0 architecture for Office 365 and G Suite. SaaS Protection 2.0 was a complete rethinking and redesign of the former Backupify backup architecture. One of the big items we wanted to tackle was to make sure we could build out a robust foundation for future SaaS application backup capabilities outside of Office 365 and G Suite. The next was to make sure that we could improve upon the features that were already present within SaaS Protection, and maintain key functionality for our Partners.

What we developed exceeded our expectations. We were able to achieve restore and export speeds between 6 and 17 times faster than competitors we tested against.  We also opened ourselves to faster and more homogeneous SaaS application backup development than ever before...so how did we do it?

Server Redesign

We moved all compute to the server that houses the data, where previously it was stored in AWS in disparate locations and in small chunks (although in proper geographic locations). Since most instances of O365 and G Suite are small, compared to instances that we run into with our Continuity business, we can have huge storage with huge compute all in one place. The large storage handles many instances of SaaS Applications, where we offer unlimited storage, and the large compute handles ingestion, storage, search and restore quickly.

We also took the opportunity to redesign how data is stored and accessed on the server, borrowing knowledge from our Continuity offering as well as creating completely new procedures to make sure we are building the right tools for the job. SaaS Protection servers use Ubuntu 16.04 along with ZFS to run the OS and storage. This allows us to implement new features that are built as part of ZFS already without having to do a complete redesign of the backup application.

ZFS is considered to be one of the most advanced file systems in the world. In fact, it will automatically check for corruption and reconstruct data that may have been broken. The system checks across all other places data is stored, and if corruption is detected it will automatically heal SaaS backup snapshots on the disk. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing your backed up data is not compromised.

Backing up Data

The way we back up data became more efficient as well. Instead of queuing single jobs over time, we decided to use Scala and Akka as a way to multi-thread backup and restore jobs across all domains on each and every server. Again, because this is all done on the server that stores the data, there is a huge amount of compute to handle those threads.

Search Functionality

Elasticsearch is an open source analytics and search tool that powers many well known SaaS applications. SaaS Protection utilizes Elasticsearch to efficiently scale search volumes and allow the app to return the information that’s most important to users (metadata like subject, to, from) based on a unique algorithm called Relevancy Search.

With more and more companies depending on Office 365 for collaboration and business operations, the risk of potential data loss is impossible to ignore. Best practices like data backup are just as important in the cloud as in traditional on-premises IT systems, but not all backup solutions are built to accommodate the ever changing cloud environment.

The Future of SaaS Protection

We made these changes to be as agnostic to the SaaS application as possible. As we add future applications to the SaaS Protection offering, the features and procedures you are used to will remain the same.  Let us know what would make the most sense for your end users, we have thought about CRMs, cloud accounting software, but want to make sure we are providing a service that directly affects sales/revenue for you the IT service provider.  Let us know where you want to go with the product by checking out a demo.

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