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Direct to Cloud: Getting Started

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This article provides system requirements, compatibility and installation guidance for the Datto Direct to Cloud agent.

The Direct to Cloud beta is currently only available to Datto partners based in the United States and the United Kingdom. Partners can sign up for the beta at http://dat.to/dtc.

Environment

  • Direct to Cloud (DTC) Agent
  • Windows 10

Index

Versioning

The current version of the Direct to Cloud agent is 0.1.22. All Direct to Cloud installations of version 0.1.17 or higher will automatically update to this release. If your agent version is 0.1.16 or below, you will need to manually update. You can check your protected machine's installed version from the agent tray icon.

The Direct to Cloud agent automatically updates itself when a new version becomes available, except when the release includes a driver update. Because a driver update requires an update of the host system, you will need to download and install these versions manually. See the Direct to Cloud Agent Release Notes article for detailed release information.

You can download the latest releases of the Direct to Cloud agent by selecting Check for update option from the agent's tray icon. Upgrading on a regular basis is highly recommended.

Overview

The Direct to Cloud agent allows an operator to back up the operating system drive of a protected Windows 10 system directly to the Datto Cloud without the need of a SIRIS, ALTO, or NAS appliance. Direct to Cloud is designed to be mobile and agile - if your test machine loses connectivity to the Internet or shuts down in the middle of a backup, Direct to Cloud's intelligent agent software will resume the backup where it left off when the test machine restarts or reconnects.

System Requirements

Operating System

  • Windows 10 (all 64-bit versions)
    • Other operating systems are not supported.
  • At least 1 GB of RAM must remain free on the production machine for installation and for and backups to run.

Hardware

  • The Direct to Cloud agent is only capable of backing up a single volume - the protected system's Operating System (OS) volume. The OS volume must be 1 TB or less in size. In this version of the beta, no other drives can be backed up.
  • A minimum of 1 GB of free space must be free on the protected volume at all times for continued Direct to Cloud functionality.

Network

  • All network traffic outbound from the protected machine will be over port 443, and make use of the Websocket protocol (RFC 6455).
    • During the installation, the Direct to Cloud agent's installer will attempt to create an outbound firewall exception for port 443 outbound traffic specific to the backup agent service's executable.

Warnings

  • Datto Direct to Cloud is not for installation or use on systems already protected by the ShadowSnap Agent or the Datto Windows Agent. If your test machine currently uses one of these backup solutions, do not switch to the Direct to Cloud agent.
  • Only file restores and virtualization are available with the Direct to Cloud agent, and only snapshots from the last 10 days will be available for restore.
  • Any restores mounted in the Direct to Cloud Recovery page will only be available for 30 days.
  • Reboots are not required to start a backup, but snapshots will not be available until after the test machine reboots.
  • All Direct to Cloud backups will be deleted at the end of the beta period.

Compatibility

  • Before installing the Direct to Cloud agent, verify that no other backup software is installed on the test machine, and that any VSS providers left behind by the prior installation of backup software are not present. Ensure that the target machine is in good health. It is extremely important to run a virus scan, disk defragmentation, and a disk health check (chkdsk /r) before installation.
  • Datto recommends reviewing the Encryption Compatibility With The Datto Solution Knowledge Base article when deploying the agent to encrypted machines.
  • Connectivity of the protected machine to the Internet is required when installing the agent, during initial agent pairing, and at all times during the backup process. 
  • The Datto Direct to Cloud LoggingDatto Direct to Cloud Service, and DattoProvider services will be installed on the test machine during this process. To ensure continuity of backups, it is extremely important that these processes be allowed to run as an administrator, and that you create exceptions for them in the local antivirus service.
  • Only hard drives physically attached to the protected machine can be backed up. The Direct to Cloud agent cannot back up mapped drives.

Installation

Follow these steps to install the Direct to Cloud Agent. A reboot is required to complete this process.

1. Download and install the DirectToCloudInstaller.exe and launch it. You will see an installation window similar to Figure 1.

Figure 1: Datto Direct to Cloud Setup

2. Click Next to continue. 

Figure 2: License Agreement

3. Review the License Agreement completely. Click I Agree to proceed to the next step.

Figure 3: Confirm Installation

4. Click Install to begin the installation process, and the Direct to Cloud agent will be set up on your computer.

Figure 4: Datto Storage volume shadow copies

5. If you are prompted to install the Datto Storage volume shadow copies, click Install. The Datto Storage service allows the Direct to Cloud agent to perform snapshots of your test machine.

Figure 5: Installation Complete

6. When the installation completes, you will see the message "Setting post install to reboot. Completed" appear in the installer's status window. Click Next.

Figure 6: Completing the Datto Direct to Cloud Wizard

7. Ensure that the Open registration link when Setup completes box is checked, and click Close. Then, proceed to the Registration section of this article.

Uninstallation

Use the Windows Programs and Features panel to run the Direct to Cloud agent's built-in uninstaller. Uninstalling via this method allows you to reinstall the agent and resume backups for it in the future if you choose to do so.

If you wish to completely remove the Direct to Cloud agent from your protected system without the possibility of resuming the existing backup chain at a later date, run the built-in uninstaller, and then manually remove the following directory from the protected machine:

%systemroot%\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Datto\Datto Direct to Cloud

Note that this method of uninstall is irreversible. If you choose to back up the same protected machine with the Direct to Cloud solution in the future, you will be unable to continue the existing backup chain, and a new chain will be created.

Registration

1. A web browser window will open and navigate you to the Datto Partner Portal. If you are prompted for credentials, log in using your partner username and password.

Figure 7: Register Direct to Cloud Agent (click for larger image)

2. After logging in to the portal, you will see the Register Direct to Cloud Agent window. Perform the following steps to register the protected system and link it to a specific client:

A. Agent Pairing Key: This is the unique key identifier for the cloud backups of the protected system. Make note of this key. You will be asked to provide it if you contact Support, or if you need to register a protected system to your partner account manually.

B. Datacenter: Select the offsite storage facility where you would like your cloud backups to be stored. Currently, only the United States and United Kingdom are selectable regions. If you have compliance questions about either of these datacenters, contact your Datto Sales Executive.

C. Select Client or Create Client: Select an existing client from your Partner Portal account to associate the new agent with, or create a new one.

3. When you are finished making configuration changes, click Register.

4. Reboot the protected system to start taking backups.

FAQ

Q: Can I back up my test machine with both a SIRIS and the Direct to Cloud agent at the same time?
A: No. You can only use one type of backup solution at the same time. Attempting to protect your test machine with more than one type of solution simultaneously can cause conflicts and backup failures.

Q: What is the retention policy for my Direct to Cloud offsite backups?
A: For the beta period, retention is infinite. All Direct to Cloud offsite backups will be wiped at the conclusion of the beta program unless you have transferred that data to a paid plan. Contact your Datto Sales Executive if you have any questions about this process.

Q: Can I delete individual backups?
A: Not at this time. Currently, all backups are retained on the cloud server.

Q: How can I set a backup schedule for my Direct to Cloud backups?
A: The Direct to Cloud agent is configured to back up your test machine once per hour. The schedule is not customizable. 

Q: How can I configure Advanced Backup Verification (including Screenshot Verification) for the Direct to Cloud agent, and view the results?
A: At this time, Direct to Cloud backups are not capable of performing Advanced Backup Verification tasks.

Q: Can I configure the Direct to Cloud agent to alert me when a backup has failed?
A: Not at this time. However, you can use the Direct to Cloud Status page to see if one or more backups were captured for a given day. 

Next Steps

To learn more about the Direct to Cloud installation on your test machine and how to interact with your cloud-based backups, see the following articles:


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