February 22, 2017
How to Set up a Datto Networking Appliance
We sit on the precipice of a new disruption for Datto. As Datto’s Technical Evangelist, I need to understand both the technology and the reasoning behind making/deploying products. So, to understand that precipice...I decided to put my money where my mouth was and install a Datto Networking Appliance in my mother-in-law’s Thai restaurant.
The Back Story
With family, you work for free and deal with the problems...like not having Internet because the cable provider went down. Nowadays in a restaurant, you need Internet access to process credit cards and orders. I have personally had to write down orders on small chits only to have to input them in later. I’ve also had to tell customers that we can only take cash. That’s no good...people walk out and go to another restaurant. In one day, we had $2,000 walk out the door for lunch and when you on average do $4,000 a day...that is a HUGE loss! Even if your provider has “five nines certification” aka is up for 99.999% of the year, that still equates to almost nine hours of downtime. A whole business day! Time to make some changes.
Once I unboxed the unit, I had to add all the antennae, there are five of them (three for WiFi and two for 4G LTE failover). If I wanted to, I could rackmount the unit with the extra brackets that come with the system...but my use is not in a datacenter, it is in a restaurant. Time: 3 minutes
Next, I plugged in the internet uplink to Port 1. Currently, the uplink ports are hard coded to Port 1 and Port 2, but in the future, you will be able to pick and choose what ports are the uplinks. Then plug in the other peripherals and power. It’s not rocket science. Time: 1 minute
I directly connected my laptop to the DNA so I can set it up...it can assign DHCP out of the box. I logged into the Datto Partner Portal (partners.dattobackup.com), and clicked on the Network Status section under the Device Tab. This opened a new window called Networking Status listing my DNA…”Datto-DNA Network”. Note to self, change that...I’m thinking HAMMER OF THE GODS Network. Time: 2 minutes
I clicked on the Manage Tab and did, in fact, name my network Hammerofthegods. Nothing changed on WAN Port 1. However, DNA comes with 4G failover INCLUDED in the service cost! I edited the Primary LAN to be the restaurant’s internal network for back of the house, PoS, etc and configured the physical ports I wanted to associate with the internal network. I chose ports 3 and 4. My mother-in-law provides WiFi to people in the restaurant, so I also had to setup a secondary LAN. In the public LAN, I added ports 5 and 6 with a different subnet and a new DHCP Pool, so mobile devices could connect to the public LAN without having a static IP. Time: 4 minutes
I turned on WiFi for the whole device using Wireless-N using 5GHz and auto switching channels, nothing too busy for the restaurant, so I figured that would be adequate. I created a public and private LAN Wifi and then hopped over to the Security Tab on the top right of the page to check “Yes, isolate every LAN to prevent inter-LAN traffic” after clicking EDIT next to “LAN Segregation”. Time: 3 minutes
Then came time to test failover. I didn’t bother to tell anyone that I was going to test and I did it from my desk at work, while across the street at the restaurant they were slammed with the lunch rush. What were they going to do, fire me? The moment of truth...PRESS THE LITTLE BLUE BUTTON! I waited 20 minutes then texted my mother-in-law to see if everything was working. She hadn’t noticed anything...huzzah! I switched it back while the lunch rush was still in full swing...no issues there either. Time: 25 min
When it was all said and done, setup took 13 minutes and testing 25. Depending on the complexity of the network, it could take longer, but we strive to provide products that are easy to set up and manage remotely. I have setup other networks before and they required all sorts of config files and switching protocols that took an hour or more just to set up—not to mention the time that I had to be onsite to test everything. 4G LTE failover, with full cloud management, are just two features built for IT service providers to help many different types of customers. In this case it was a restaurant, but it could be deployed in a grocery store, retail shop, hotel, and more. The possibilities are endless. I am happy to field any question you have about the new product line! Let me know via Twitter or LinkedIn.