RoundTrip Overview



This article describes the procedure and best practices for using RoundTrip drives to seed your data in the Datto Cloud.


  • Datto RoundTrip 



Your Datto appliance must have completed at least one successful local backup, and the backup must be present on the device, to sync snapshots to a RoundTrip drive.

RoundTrip Basics

What are RoundTrip drives?

RoundTrip drives are external hard drives provided by Datto to expedite the transfer of larger data sets to the Datto Cloud. They also update the cloud chain for an agent if it's too far behind from the Datto Cloud.

Datto offers the RoundTrip Drives as a complimentary service once per quarter. Extra RoundTrips are available for an extra fee. For further information, refer to Datto’s RoundTrip Policy.

EMEA partners can also order RoundTrip drives from the Partner Portal. See the How to Order a RoundTrip Knowledge Base article for more information.

What do RoundTrip drives do?

The default operation of RoundTrip drives is as follows:

  1. The Datto device takes a zfs snapshot of the entire data storage array. This captures all of the snapshots on the device.
  2. This snapshot is used to create a send-file on the attached RoundTrip drive.
  3. Once the send-file has finished transferring, the device dismounts the drive.
  4. The device notifies you that the sync is complete.
  5. You send the drive back to Datto.
  6. When we receive the drive, we synchronize it with our cloud.
  7. You receive a notification when the synchronization is complete.

What can't RoundTrip drives do?

  • RoundTrip drives cannot act as a temporary storage medium to get free space back.
  • They cannot be used to make local snapshots eligible for retention pruning immediately after they are synchronized.
  • The process requires that the snapshots be created in the cloud before the local snapshots can be destroyed.

How secure are RoundTrip drives?

  • When the RoundTrip Wizard is used to synchronize the data on your Datto appliance to a RoundTrip drive, it will format the enclosure, and encrypt the filesystem with AES256 encryption. At that point, only the local Datto appliance and the offsite (receiving) server can read the data on the drive.

Do you need a RoundTrip?

We recommend that you follow these steps to determine whether you truly need a RoundTrip drive, or if a synchronization over the internet would be faster:

1. Check your local and offsite backup chains. Determine how long the chains have been out of sync.

2. Determine the allocated off-site syncing speed, and determine the average amount of data that can be sent offsite through the internet.

  • The Datto speed test, available in the Remote Web interface for the device, is a quick method of determining what can be sent off-site at 50% of the current network speeds. In addition, we suggest doing a sustained test (there are many free tools on the web) to better gauge how much bandwidth that you can use.
  • If you need more bandwidth, consider optimizing your LAN for more throughput.

3. Determine the timetable for performing the RoundTrip:

  • Datto provides one complimentary RoundTrip drives per quarter. The drive is shipped by ground from Connecticut. Additional drives are available for an extra fee.
  • Determine your location and the turnaround time.
  • Express shipping is available for an extra fee.

4. Determine the cost and delivery time for a drive:

  • Consider the shipping time for the drives.
  • Consider the cost of both the drives and the shipping. You can determine the cost of shipping by staging a RoundTrip order on the Partner Portal, but not submitting it. The portal will display device and shipping costs in the order drop-downs, as shown in Figure 3.
  • Expedited service is available for an extra fee.
  • Datto exclusively uses UPS as the RoundTrip shipping service.
  • Figure 1 shows the time table for the default ground delivery.

5. Once the drive arrives, consider set up time and on-site travel time.

  • Drives will sync to the Datto device at about a terabyte of data per day.
  • Determine how much space is being protected locally.
  • The RoundTrip drive will attempt to capture all snapshots stored on the device, even those that have been replicated off-site.

Figure 1: United States UPS Ground delivery timeline from Pennsylvania 

Canadian Partners: UPS Canada works with several third-party logistics companies to coordinate delivery to Canadian customers. As a result, a transit time shipping map for Canada is not available. To estimate transit times for Canada, use the Transit Time Calculator tool available on Use Scarborough, Ontario, Canada M1B 5X7 as the origin address.

Figure 3: RoundTrip order wizard

From the data you collected in the previous steps, calculate whether the RoundTrip drive will truly be faster than offsite synchronization over the internet.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Why hasn't my NAS started synchronizing yet?
Every RoundTrip drive begins synchronizing the same day that it arrives at the datacenter. However, due to the manual sync process, the RoundTrip pages do not update until the initial transfer completes.
For specific drive status updates, please contact Technical Support.

I lost my return label. Can you send me a replacement?
Yes. Please e-mail with your device information. Datto will e-mail you a printable PDF return label.

Does Datto provide return labels for partner-provided RoundTrip drives?
No. Per the RoundTrip policy, partners are responsible for shipping the drive to Datto. Partner-provided drives are returned to the partner via UPS Ground shipping at Datto's expense.

Next Steps

Additional Resources

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