Best-Practices for Backup Maintenance Plans

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Scope

This article discusses best-practices and tools when using a SIRIS and/or ALTO Datto device.

Background

Your Datto appliance has a variety of features that we recommend you use and check on a regular basis to ensure its ongoing reliability and performance.

These features include:

  • Device Audit
  • Alerts
  • Remote Web / Local Web Interface
  • Local Virtualization
  • Offsite Virtualization
  • Disaster Recovery Plans

Device Audit

The device audit is found in the Partner Portal listed under the Devices tab.

This program provides a high-level overview of the backup jobs. It lists the last backups were taken, whether or not they were successful, and the status of screenshots.

Alerts

Alerts can be sent from both the Partner Portal and the web interface. The Partner Portal alerts consist of mostly hardware alerts such as temperature and device not seen. The web interface alerts consist mostly about the device such as backup and screenshot alerts.  

You can configure and receive all alerts in case something goes wrong with the device. For more information, see the following knowledge bases:

Remote Web Alerts

Partner Portal Alerts

Remote/Local Web Interface

This shows you the status of the backups at a more granular level. You can access the status of screenshots from the access recovery points page.

  • You should mount a recent recovery point at least once per week. Once mounted, browse the restore via the web interface.
  • Find a file that's been modified very recently (Database file, regularly modified worksheets, user profiles, etc.)
    • A file that can be checked is ShadowSnap's log file: C:\Program Files x86)\StorageCraft\ShadowProtect\ShadowSnap\endptconfig.sqlite3
    • For data volumes, determine a known modified file, and record it as the reference file.
  • Check the last modified date on that file and make sure that it is within expected parameters.
  • Check databases to ensure that the modification dates have a good timestamp of last modification.
  • If a file restore fails to mount, see the following article:

Local Virtualization

Once a month, perform a local virtualization on the device. This can be done through the web interface.  

  • With the network disconnected, spin up the VMs, and then login to the machine.
  • With the VM networking disconnected, test essential services. Some services (Exchange, certain database applications) may not be able to start with networking disconnected.
  • Check for critical files and applications to verify that they are in a functional and updated state relevant to the backup date.
  • To verify that accounts work correctly, login and logout of the machine as a different user.
  • By doing this, it tests and ensures that if ever in a crisis, the local VM works properly. For more information how to spin up a VM, please see the following article:

Offsite Virtualizations

Bi-annually, verify that the Protected Machines can virtualize in the cloud.

  • This can be done by following the steps outlined in this knowledge base:
  • If necessary, Datto Technical Support can assist with more involved virtualization tests. Please find the form in the Partner Portal, under the Resources tab. The off-site virtualization e-form automatically submits a ticket to support.

Disaster Recovery Plans

When in a disaster situation, there should be a pre-planned, through DR plan set up. For guidance on how to deal with disasters, review the following knowledge base:

Recommended Timetables for Testing

  • Device Audit: Every Day - 2 Days
  • Web Interface: Every 3 - 5 Days
  • File Restores: Every Week
  • Virtual Machines: Every Month (Especially after patch cycles, Microsoft Updates are released every 2nd Tuesday)
  • Offsite Virtualization: Bi-annually - yearly

Additional Resources


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