ESG Blogs

Technical Optimist

"Opinions on how to keep your data up and your admin sane" - Jason Buffington

  • blogs
    Feb 10, 2016

    Cloud-Powered Data Protection — Definitions and Clarifications

    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.”

  • blogs
    Feb 2, 2016

    The first thing to agree on in data protection modernization

    There truly is only one argument that really does require definitive alignment and consensus on when discussing data protection modernization: “what are we solving for?” But as it turns out, even that simple question is often in stark disagreement, depending on who you talk to in the organization between IT professionals responsible for data protection, IT professionals responsible for production workloads, and IT and corporate leadership executives.

  • blogs
    Jan 21, 2016

    Data Protection Predictions for 2016

    'Tis the time of year to re-think how you did things before and what you might want to do differently in the future - in life, in IT and in Data Protection. To help you with those considerations, I'd like to share a short video on what we expect the more interesting trends will be in Data Protection in 2016.

  • blogs
    Jan 12, 2016

    Plan for Hybrid Data Protection Media in 2016

    More and more folks are first protecting their data (backups, archives, etc.) to disk — for several good reasons, including SLAs for data retrieval/restoration/recovery, deduplication efficiencies, etc. But as definitively as disk is the preferred “protection storage” as a second tier, the third tier is far less defined.

  • blogs
    Jan 5, 2016

    New Year’s Resolution – Talk to More People about Data Protection

    For 2016, one of my hopes for IT professionals is that you’ll talk with a wider variety of stakeholders within your organizations about data protection and the myriad methods for data retention and recovery that should be part of one holistic strategy in ensuring the protection and preservation of corporate data, regardless of where the data resides or who manages it.

  • blogs
    Nov 17, 2015

    The Decentralization of Data Protection Continues

    For the past few years, we’ve continued to watch workload-administrators and IT Operations folks raise their influence in regard to which data protection product(s) are in use today. It’s actually quite reasonable: those IT professionals are responsible for the usability of their platforms and have unique understandings of how and which data should be protected – so their opinions matter!

  • blogs
    Nov 2, 2015

    Wrap-up on Backup from VeeamON 2015 (Video)

    If your Director of IT came and told you that you needed to "Look for a backup/replication product that was built-for VMs," you’d obviously look at Veeam. But what if your Director of IT asked you for ‘more’...
  • blogs
    Oct 21, 2015

    More data protection thoughts on Dell and EMC [video]

    Last week, I blogged on the combined Data Protection portfolios of Dell and EMC.

  • blogs
    Oct 19, 2015

    Your Data Is a Strategic Asset – Treat It That Way!

    Improving data backup and recovery was the second most commonly cited IT priority for 2015 among respondents surveyed by ESG for its 2015 IT spending intentions report.

  • blogs
    Oct 15, 2015

    Wrap-up on Backup from NetApp Insight 2015 (Video)

    Candidly, whenever I spend a good bit of time looking closely at the breadth of NetApp data protection capabilities, I usually leave with the same two impressions...
  • blogs
    Oct 12, 2015

    Data Protection in a Dell-plus-EMC World

    Earlier today, Dell announced it was acquiring EMC. While there is still much to be decided and most of this will not substantively occur until mid-2016, the scenario raises several interesting ramifications regarding data protection as each of the vendors already had an interesting road ahead into next year.
  • blogs
    Sep 23, 2015

    Wrapup on Backup from VMworld 2015

    It's taken me a while to catch up after VMworld, but I did want to share some observations on what was interesting at the show from a data protection perspective. Thankfully, nearly gone are the days of asking “How do I get a good backup of my VMs?”

  • blogs
    Sep 23, 2015

    VMworld 2015 Had Some Great Marketing

    There was some great marketing execution at VMworld 2015. As a sequel to my blog last year that “Event Marketing Doesn’t Get Enough Credit,” here is my tip of the hat to some of the unsung heroes of tradeshows: the events planners and marketing leaders that ensure that the technology experts and sales folks have compelling venues and leave a strong impression on the attendees, who are hyper-stimulated for four straight days.
  • blogs
    Aug 31, 2015

    VMware DRaaS Announcements are a Good Thing!

    Today, VMware announced enhancements to both its vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and vCloud Air Disaster Recovery. In both cases, VMware is essentially asking, “Why just BaaS when you can DRaaS?”
  • blogs
    Aug 6, 2015

    What I Want to Talk About at VMworld 2015

    In 2015, the question is no longer “Can I get a reliable backup of a VM?” With vStorage APIs for data protection (VADP) now being mature since 5.5, through 5.8 and up and coming in 6.0, shame on any backup solution that cannot reliably back up VMs using host-based APIs. Shame on vendors who only back up VMware and not Hyper-V with parity--but that is for a different blog, after VMworld. Today, here are the questions that folks should be asking on the topic of “How agile can my restore of those VMs be?”

  • blogs
    Jul 6, 2015

    Why is There So Much Desire to Change Data Protection Solutions?

    In a recent ESG research survey, respondents were asked “If they could start from scratch, what would they do from a data protection solution perspective?” with less than half of respondents stating that they would use their existing vendor/solution.

  • blogs
    Jun 9, 2015

    Data Protection Perspectives from HP Discover 2015

    My colleague Mark Peters and I attended HP Discover 2015 last week to get an updated view of the storage and data protection innovations being announced at the event. What was heartening for me was that one of HP’s core four pillars was “Protect” where the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise company talks about its converged approach to information security and data protection (backup), which includes backup and archival software, as well as the HP StoreOnce deduplication storage solutions.

  • blogs
    Jun 8, 2015

    Vendors Need to Rethink Their Channel Programs

    In recent ESG research on data protection personas, methods, and channels, ESG looked at ‘who’ is affecting data protection, including IT operations, DBAs, vAdmins, file/storage admins, non-technical stakeholders, and channel partners. While data protection has historically been very channel-driven, or at least channel-accelerated, recent data shows that there are disconnects between how IT decision makers use channel partners and how vendors hope that channel partners are being used (e.g., pre-sales advocates of their products/services).

  • blogs
    May 28, 2015

    Data Protection Perspectives from Dell Analyst Conference 2015

    Is 'Backup' a four-letter word at Dell? Maybe, depending on who you talk to. If you watched my video summary from Dell’s Analyst Conference in 2014, I was initially excited about their four pillar story being around three platforms [Transform], [Connect], and [Inform] being underpinned by [Protect] that are expanded as Security and Data Protection. That is especially poignant considering ESG’s 2015 IT Spending Intentions' top two priorities for organizations of all sizes is Information Security and Improve Data Backup and Recovery.

  • blogs
    May 27, 2015

    NetApp Announces Next Gen Cloud Gateway for Data Protection in AltaVault

    This morning, NetApp announced AltaVault—the next iteration of what was Riverbed SteelStore, which was acquired in 2014.


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Jason Buffington focuses primarily on data protection, along with Windows Server infrastructure, management and virtualization. He has concentrated on data protection and availability technologies since 1989 and has been a Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP), a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Trainer (MSCE/MCT), and a Microsoft MVP in file system and storage solutions.

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