Most Recent Blogs

The gold standard for data protection keeps evolving

Posted: July 20, 2016   /   By: Jason Buffington   /   Tags: Snapshots, Replication, Data Protection, SaaS, Virtualization, backup-to-cloud, backup-to-tape

gold standardYes, of course, data protection has to evolve to keep up with how production platforms are evolving, but I would offer that the presumptive ‘gold standard’ for what is the norm for those on the front lines of proactive data protection is evolving in at least three different directions at the same time. 

Here is a 3-minute video on what we are seeing and what you should be thinking about as the evolutions continue.

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Cloud-Powered Data Protection — Definitions and Clarifications

Posted: February 10, 2016   /   By: Jason Buffington   /   Tags: Data Protection, Information and Risk Management, SaaS, IaaS, disaster recovery, BaaS, cloud-backup, cloud storage, DRaaS, software-as-a-service (SaaS), Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS)

We continue to see a great amount of interest in combining “data protection” and “the cloud” – but also a great deal of confusion, in that there isn’t such thing as “the cloud.”

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Your SaaS Application needs to be Backed Up!

Posted: May 14, 2015   /   By: Jason Buffington   /   Tags: SaaS, software-as-a-service (SaaS), Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS)

As I mentioned in my Data Protection Predictions for 2015 video, SaaS backup should be on the top of anyone's mind who is running for the clouds: namely Office 365, SalesForce, or GoogleApps. According to ESG’s 2015 IT Spending Intentions Survey's five-year outlook for SaaS, over half of IT organizations will move from on-premises Exchange servers and File/Collab platforms to cloud-based SaaS services, with many already on their way:


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Amazon and SaaS are winning IT hearts and minds

Posted: March 20, 2015   /   By: ESG   /   Tags: Cloud Computing, SaaS, cloud service provider, Amazon AWS

CloudsAmazon Web Services (AWS) seems to be winning more than just IaaS business lately, they seem to also be winning the hearts and minds of the client base they serve. What’s more, these Amazon devotees aren't just limited to newer, “Internet age” companies; they also seem to be making serious inroads with older, more traditional corporations as well. As evidence, ESG conducted a recent survey of existing AWS clients and found that nearly 80% of those Amazon customers that have been in business between 1-10 years and 10-50 years, cite Amazon as either their most strategic technology vendor or one of their most strategic vendors. Even some percentage of older and more established companies (i.e., those 50 years old and up) that otherwise might be considered more conservative and risk averse, identify Amazon as either a strategic partner or valued technology partner.

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EMC’s Data Protection Portfolio Now “Spans” Cloud-based Workloads

Posted: October 28, 2014   /   By: Jason Buffington   /   Tags: EMC, cloud, Data Protection, SaaS

There are several “disruptive” trends in IT.  And when vendors talk about disruptive, it's usually in regard to some new feature/service that does things differently. But from my perspective, one of the most disruptive trends in data protection is that traditional workloads are leaving the data center.  According to ESG’s 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey research report, traditional workloads like “file/collaboration” and “e-mail” are moving from data centers to cloud-providers, e.g., Office365 and GoogleApps.


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HP Acquires Eucalyptus

Posted: September 12, 2014   /   By: ESG   /   Tags: Cloud Computing, Private Cloud Infrastructure, HP, Application Development & Deployment, Enterprise Software, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, Public Cloud Service

HP announced on September 11, 2014 that they had entered into an agreement to acquire Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is a vendor of private IaaS services. Eucalyptus is a startup with fewer than 100 employees and around $55 million in venture funding. Eucalyptus doesn’t have an application development and deployment (AD&D) play but could certainly provide the foundation for a private PaaS. HP, despite their unusual acquisition of Mercury Interactive back in 2006, is otherwise not in the AD&D business. However, Eucalyptus does put HP a partnership or acquisition away from PaaS, so let’s look at the potential motivation of the deal.

The Eucalyptus acquisition is about helping HP customers gain better leverage from their investments. Eucalyptus is a way to show material value to HP’s installed back of server, storage, and networking customers and show that HP can be forward-looking. This is also a low risk acquisition for HP for two reasons. First the acquisition didn’t cost HP that much (less than $100 million, it is rumored) and second, the Eucalyptus technology will help build out HP’s Helion brand, which will enhance its private IaaS appeal.

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Do you need an Oracle to see the Cloud?

Posted: March 10, 2014   /   By: ESG   /   Tags: Cloud Computing, cloud, Private Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, Public Cloud Service

Last week was an interesting week where I started out in New Hampshire in single digit weather with promise of 2 new snow storms and ended it in Palm Springs, CA where the temperatures were "unseasonably" warm in the 90s. Personally, I’ll take unseasonably warm anytime anywhere. The reason I was in Palm Springs was for an Oracle Cloud Summit. The summit happened to be right in the thick of the BnP Paribas Open – a pro tennis event held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden that has two large stadiums, a ½ dozen small ones and several dozen courts. Needless to say – about as 180 degrees in every way from freezing, snowy New England.

And speaking of 180 degrees – Oracle has come a long way since their CEO’s 2008 proclamation about the cloud. Take Oracle’s acquisition of assets like Nimbula, which they are leveraging to help them manage and orchestrate cloud resources – public and private.

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Gravitating to the Cloud

Posted: February 07, 2013   /   By: ESG   /   Tags: Cloud Computing, cloud, Private Cloud Infrastructure, SaaS, Enterprise, ITaaS, Gravitant, Public Cloud Service

If you are a CIO/IT manager at an enterprise there seems to be a lot of promise but also hype when it comes to the cloud. And god forbid you get a real and consistent definition of what cloud is. That said, there are so many people talking about it and so many great ideas and offerings, there just has to be some reality in it all. Right?

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How do you back up SaaS? I'd like to know

Posted: December 21, 2012   /   By: Jason Buffington   /   Tags: Cloud Computing, Backup, Data Protection, Information and Risk Management, SaaS, Jason Buffington, business continuity, disaster recovery, BaaS, DRaaS, Public Cloud Service

You can’t have an IT “modernization” discussion without bringing up the cloud. And in the realm of data protection, that comes in a few obvious flavors:

Backup as a Service (BaaS) – where your data is backed up either directly to a cloud provider or first to a local appliance and then to that provider. The latter gives you faster restore and other performance-related benefits, but the end result is the same.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) – where entire parts of your infrastructure, usually whole VMs, are replicated to a cloud provider, with the ability for you to bring those VMs online and resume business services from the provider’s infrastructure after a crisis. Some DRaaS solutions even provide BaaS as a side benefit.

Cloud-Storage for your On-Premises Backup – where your existing backup solution is working fine, but you’d like another copy of your data outside of the building – and cloud economics are interesting. Great, add cloud-based storage as a target to your on-premises backup server …or back up (BaaS) your backup server to the cloud. Either way is okay.

But instead of talking about data protection AS a service … what about data protection OF a service?

Many of us put our data into SaaS (software as a service) solutions today – e.g. SalesForce. We assume that SalesForce (or any other SaaS solution) has multiple points of presence on the Internet, and that they have resiliency between sites. The assumption is that if a site were to have a crisis, the other site(s) would still be available. For some large SaaS solutions, that may be enough – though it can still be hard to document (or test) when doing a BC/DR audit.

But what about if the SaaS provider goes dark?

Maybe out of business? Perhaps a victim of Denial of Service attacks or broad data corruption (that is then replicated between sites). What is your plan?

Do you back up the data from your SaaS provider?

In what format(s) is the backup in?

Is the data readable or importable into a platform that you own?

How would you bring the functionality back online for your local users? for your remote users?

Most importantly, have you tested that recovery?

This is not a blog post where I offer you answers, but one that I wanted to pose some questions for discussion.

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Riverbed and Akamai Haulin' SaaS

Posted: February 28, 2012   /   By: ESG   /   Tags: IT Infrastructure, Networking, Riverbed, SaaS, Akamai, WAN Optimization

I just spent an afternoon with Riverbed and Akamai in Cambridge MA, listening to how some of the best and brightest from their respective fields have teamed up to jointly develop a solution to accelerate SaaS traffic over the internet. They refer to their joint solution as the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator and the initial results are impressive. An oversubscribed beta program, testimonials from users wanting to deploy enterprise-wide before it was GA, and an end-user that flew over from Norway to talk about his results are all indications that they may be on to something here.

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