SIRIS, ALTO, and NAS: How virtualizations work



This article explains how virtualizations function on Datto devices, and how they relate to screenshots.


  • Datto SIRIS
  • Datto ALTO
  • Datto NAS
  • Datto Cloud Continuity


A virtualization is a software emulation of a complete computer system. Datto builds virtualizations from snapshots of the production system during the backup process.

You can virtualize snapshots locally on your device, or on a Datto cloud server, depending on your configuration.

Datto devices running Ubuntu 16.04 use KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) to drive virtualizations. Devices with Ubuntu 12.04 distributions use VirtualBox.

You can create a virtualization through the Restore tab of the GUI.

Local Virtualizations

Datto appliances go through the following process when a local virtualization created through the GUI:

  • The device creates a ZFS clone from the backup date selected.
  • Once the point is cloned, HIR (hardware independent restore) runs.
    • HIR detects and loads the drivers needed to boot the restored system in the new environment.
  • The Datto device builds a virtual machine template in KVM or VirtualBox.
  • The system image from the cloned point attaches to the VM template, and the virtual machine starts.

Hybrid Virtualizations

Hybrid virtualizations work similarly to local virtualizations, except that they are hosted on a Datto cloud server, and work through a bridge between the Datto and the remote server to connect the VM to your network.

Cloud (Offsite) Virtualizations

Cloud virtualizations are hosted on Datto's offsite servers, and do not interact with your local Datto device. You can manage these types of restores through the Recovery Launchpad.

Screenshot Verification

Datto devices perform automatic screenshot verification using the same method described in the Local Virtualizations section of this article. Screenshot VMs run with the lowest amount of RAM and CPU cores needed to boot to the Windows login screen.

By default, the verification process waits five minutes for the VM to boot, and then attempts to capture a screenshot. You can add wait time if the virtualization takes longer to boot, and force a screenshot backup verification to test the results.

When the wait time has elapsed, the Datto device takes a screenshot of the VM . Then, it runs a verification process against the screenshot to ensure a successful boot.  It reports the result as a FAILED or SUCCESS flag on the Protect tab of the GUI, and a red or green symbol on the Manage Recovery Points page.

In the case of an ESXi Virtualization, the same process applies, but the Datto device runs the VMs on your hypervisor.

Was this article helpful?

1 out of 1 found this helpful

You must sign in before voting on this article.

Want to talk about it? Have a feature request?

Head on over to our Datto Community Forum or the Datto Community Online.

For more Business Management resources, see the Datto RMM Online Help and the Autotask PSA Online Help .

Still have questions? Get live help.

Datto Homepage