Screenshot Verification

Datto’s Screenshot Verification

Datto’s patented Screenshot Backup Verification takes backup monitoring a step further by frequently and automatically validating backup integrity immediately after completion.

Following backups, Datto BDR solutions virtualize and test-boot servers that they are protecting, and detect any backup concerns using a combination of screen recognition and patented CPU register algorithms. This allows large quantities of protected servers, even across a fleet of Datto appliances, to have backup data integrity validated at a scale traditional solutions could never match.

Screenshot Verification provides:

  • Significantly increased frequency of backup verification: Datto’s leading backup frequency (up to every 5 minutes) demands an equally capable backup verification system
  • Smart backup monitoring designed for MSP success: Fully integrated backup monitoring that scales to support enormous fleets, without the added complexity and cost of third party tools
  • The first and most advanced backup verification available: With more backups tested than any other vendor, Datto continues to evolve unrivaled patented verification technology
  • Offload backup and DR testing from production servers: No more impact on production servers, or scheduled downtime, to test backup integrity

Proactive and automated

Nobody enjoys spending time validating backups. Perhaps that is why it is commonplace for backups from traditional solutions to contain data integrity issues that render them useless. Problems are only discovered when it is too late – when that backup data is needed to recover from a disaster.

Datto’s Screenshot Backup Verification allows you to monitor your clients’ backups, verify that restores can be performed, and resolve issues before they develop into bigger problems. Following a backup, the system automatically boots virtual machines from the backup and takes a screenshot of the OS login screen. In the event that the boot fails, details are provided explaining what went wrong to the administrator. Screenshot Backup Verification is completely automated, has no impact on performance and protected systems are completely unaware of the monitoring process.

Screenshot Backup Verification is specifically designed to make Datto the best choice. It is a native feature of SIRIS 2, SIRIS 3, Virtual SIRIS, and ALTO, and available at no additional cost.

Significantly increased frequency of backup verification

Screenshot Backup Verification relies on the capabilities of Datto’s Inverse Chain and Instant Virtualization to quickly virtualize and test boot backups of protected servers. Since each completed backup has no dependencies on other backups, there is never a backup chain to slow down a recovery with reconstruction, which liberates the solution to have more frequent backups – as frequently as every 5 minutes. But without an automated method to verify backups – more backups may mean nothing other than more invalid backups, and this is why Datto’s Screenshot Backup Verification tech is so important.

Go from testing weekly – and probably yearly if at all, to testing hourly. And automatically. More backups tested, no time testing them. Only time testing will be inspecting why they might have not succeeded.

Industry-leading 5-minute backup frequency demands an industry-leading backup verification technology.

Smart backup monitoring

Screenshot Backup Verification’s intuitive user interface is part of Datto’s remote management portal. When the verification process is complete, test results appear in the portal along with everything needed to troubleshoot issues. The system also triggers an email alert, so you can quickly check pass/fail status without logging into the portal. The testing frequency of backups is configurable, along with the frequency of alerts, to meet your specific needs.

Below is an illustration of what remote management of Datto solutions would look like in the portal. Easily view when protected machines were last backed up to the Datto device, or the time that backups were last synchronized with the Datto Cloud. Easily view whether the last local backup was successful (green checkmark) or failed (red X). And if any backups did fail, remember that Inverse Chain Technology means that not only is every backup fully constructed, but any backup can be deleted. Even if an interim backup failed, those backups can be deleted with no rest to a backup chain required.

The first and most advanced backup verification available

Datto developed Screenshot Backup Verification years ago in response to the needs of clients. Today, Datto has over 40,000 systems in production, backing up hundreds of thousands of machines every day, physical and virtual, of multiple OS types, and on multiple hypervisors. Since Datto supports a backup frequency beyond any competitor, it is safe to say more backups have been handled with Datto than any solution by a wide margin. Datto continues to evolve backup verification well beyond just screen recognition (which is where most of Datto’s competitors are just getting to today).

For example, how to monitor the status of systems we don’t have permissions to. Here, Screenshot Verification uses a process typically used for debugging – tracking the CPU register states of protected systems. CPU register states are modes designed to restrict processes being run by the CPU. Operating systems run in the unrestricted mode (often called kernel mode), while applications run in a restricted mode (aka user mode). This allows the operating system to run with more privileges than applications.

Tracking what is happening is challenging because on Windows 8 and above, Microsoft applies sophisticated address space layout randomization (ASLR) to protect against buffer overflow attacks. ASLR randomly arranges the address space positions of key data areas of processes. However, the CPU also has to move real (non-randomized) data. When you mix randomized and non-random data, the result is not perfectly random. This allows Datto systems to perform entropy testing on CPU register states to determine signatures that indicate whether a system is up, which services are running, etc. This information is compiled into a signature library, which is regularly updated using an automated process.


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