ESG Blogs

Technical Optimist

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

  • blogs
    Sep 16, 2014

    HDS bought Sepaton ... now what?

    Sepaton’s technology really is markedly different in a few aspects that do lend it to enterprise environments, but their challenge until now has been gaining penetration into those enterprise accounts – and defending against the other deduplication vendors in those enterprise accounts whose solution portfolio typically includes production storage systems (not just deduplication secondary systems) and other key aspects of the overall IT infrastructure, often with higher relationships and more flexibility in pricing due to the broader portfolio … and that is where this gets interesting for HDS.

  • blogs
    Sep 15, 2014

    Backing up SaaS : an interview with Spanning

    As traditional workloads like file/collaboration and email move from on-premises servers to cloud services like Office365 and GoogleApps and SalesForce, there will likely emerge new dominant innovators that could put all of the legacy solutions on notice.  That dominance has historically been based on two things: 1) early brand awareness in the space and 2) their influence on the platform provider that the rest of the backup ecosystem will eventually depend on. 

    So, I recently took the opportunity to visit with Jeff Erramouspe, CEO of Spanning Cloud to hear his thoughts on SaaS backup.

  • blogs
    Sep 9, 2014

    Riverbed Announces the End to Excuses in Trying D2D2C

    There are many that would benefit from a better data protection infrastructure – with deduplication and fast agility on-prem, but with a scalable and economic tertiary capability in the cloud. And for those folks (and you all know who you are), you may be out of excuses. Riverbed's offer for a free virtual appliance coupled with six months of free Amazon S3 storage may have singlehandedly removed the barrier to evaluation for D2D2C more than any single other announcement in 2014, thus far.

  • blogs
    Sep 8, 2014

    ESG Recap of VMworld 2014

    The ESG analyst team headed into VMworld 2014 with a list of questions and was met with the high energy of the event the moment we all deplaned at SFO. This blog collects each of the individual analysts' key takeaways.

  • blogs
    Sep 3, 2014

    VMWorld 2014 - ESG's Event Video Insights

    In this video blog from the 2014 VMworld event in San Francisco, members of ESG's analyst team give you some key insights - the "Cliff Notes" if you like - from the conference in just about six minutes.  

  • blogs
    Sep 2, 2014

    vBlog on Data Protection Economics -- Why IT Continues to Invest in Better Backups

    Organizations of all sizes continue to seek better ways to protect their data. Its not just because their existing backup solutions are broken (some are broken, some are antiquated/cumbersome, and others just aren’t scaling as their production systems evolve) – but that’s not all of them. In many cases, folks are just trying to improve what they are doing, often based on economics, not technical features. 

    Here’s a video to discuss some of the perhaps less-obvious reasons that IT organizations continue to invest in better data protection solutions (spoiler alert: It isn’t typically for “features”) – and what IT vendors and IT decision makers should be thinking about.

  • blogs
    Sep 1, 2014

    Event Marketing Doesn't Get Enough Credit

    With 25 years of attending tradeshows and launch events, I can attest that the Marketing/Events team does not get enough credit.

    • Booth folks show up and find a massive display ready for them to click their mouse and start talking to customers. And when the show floor closes, the staff leave and the booth magically dismantles itself.
    • Execs show up to private venues that are full of style and ready to ensure that whatever is discussed will be better remembered, because of the atmosphere around them.

    Of course, not all marketing events are awesome (or memorable) – so I wanted to highlight a few recent examples of how to really do a marketing event well.

  • blogs
    Aug 29, 2014

    EMC RecoverPoint for VMs is Another Step Forward in vAdmin Enablement

    This week, EMC released RecoverPoint for VMs (RP4VM). For storage administrators, RecoverPoint has long been seen as the seamless synchronous/asynchronous storage replication of choice for EMC storage, to deliver higher levels of resiliency for enterprise workloads. But for virtualization administrators, it was part of the “magic” that made the storage under the hypervisor surprisingly durable – or perhaps not even recognized at all.

    With RP4VM, any storage that the hypervisor can use (iSCSI, FC, DAS, vSAN) can be replicated – even to heterogeneous storage on another ESX hypervisor. Via its vCenter plugin, this solution is designed to be administered by a virtualization specialist, instead of a storage specialist.

  • blogs
    Aug 20, 2014

    CommVault announces “You Can Have It Your Way”

    There is a famous hamburger chain that used to tout, “You can have it your way,” whereby instead of getting your burger fully-loaded (with all the fixin’s), you can choose whether you wanted pickles, tomatoes, or anything else.

    For the last two decades, CommVault has been offering a fully-loaded data protection solution that encompassed backup, archiving, replication, snapshots, etc. Over the course of time, and based on customer feedback, it continually added features – just like the burger chains that now add bacon, steak-sauce, grilled onions instead of fresh, etc. The challenge was and is that not everyone wants their burger fully-loaded, nor their data protection solution fully-featured.

  • blogs
    Aug 18, 2014

    Backup Alone Just Isn't Enough! (vBlog)

    With average SLAs for all systems (not just “critical” or Tier-One platforms) shrinking to <3 hours or <1 hour, it's really hard to diagnose the problem, restore the data set, and resume business in those timelines. Instead, one should strongly consider combining snapshots, replication, and backup for a comprehensive data protection strategy – ideally using a single management UI to control all of it.

     

  • blogs
    Aug 13, 2014

    vBlog: Everyone Should Archive (period)

    • Even if you aren’t in a highly regulated industry.
    • Even if you aren’t a Fortune 500 enterprise.
    • Even if you don’t keep data over five years.

    Here's a video to talk about why.

  • blogs
    Aug 12, 2014

    What If Cloud-Backup-Storage was Free?

    Not backup-as-a-service, but just cloud storage that could be used to supplement a backup. Sure, there are a lot of STaaS (storage-as-a-service) folks that will give you a small amount of capacity to try their platform, knowing full well that you are going to want more and be willing to pay for it. But there used to be a company that would give you as much storage in the cloud as you wanted – Symform.  Symform was my 2011 “Coolest Disruptive Technology that most folks hadn’t heard of yet” award winner. 

  • blogs
    Aug 7, 2014

    What I Am Looking for at VMworld 2014 … a Data Protection Perspective

    For the past few years, the big data protection trend in virtual environments was simply to ensure reliable backups (and restores) of VMs. That alone hasn’t always been easy, but with the newer Data Protection APIs from VMware (VADP), that is becoming table-stakes – and the real differentiation coming from the agility to restore (speed and granularity), as well as manageability and integration.

    And while there is certainly still a lot of room for many vendors to improve in those areas, the industry overall needs to move past the original question of “Can I back up your VM?” and even past “How quick can I restore your VM?

    Here's what I am looking for at VMworld 2014.

  • blogs
    Jul 29, 2014

    A Replication Feature is NOT a Disaster Recovery Plan

    Without your data, you don’t have BC/DR, you have people looking for jobs.

    But that does not mean that if you have your data remotely, you have a BC/DR plan.  Having “survivable data” means that you have the IT elements necessary to either roll up your sleeves and attempt to persevere, or (preferably) the means by which to invoke a pre-prepared BC/DR set of mitigation and/or resumption activities.

    BC/DR is not a “feature” or a button or a checkbox in a product, unless those elements are part of invoking the orchestrated IT resumption processes that are part of a broader organizational set of cultural and expertise-based approaches to resuming business, not just restarting/rehosting IT

  • blogs
    Jul 14, 2014

    EMC’s 2014 MegaLaunch - a Tour de Force? (includes video)

    July 2014 saw the fourth EMC “MegaLaunch,” featuring a broad swathe of announcements across EMC’s portfolio. While the range of news - and associated materials - to consume can seem daunting, this 8 minute “On Location” video blog (featuring ESG analysts Jason Buffington, Terri McClure and Mark Peters) will give you some key headlines and commentary in a very efficient and easily digested manner….

  • blogs
    Jul 14, 2014

    EMC Announces Another Step Towards Backupless-backups

    Last week, in London, EMC made several announcements – many of which hinged on the VMAX3 platform – but the one of most interest to me was ProtectPoint, where those new VMAX machines will be able to send their backup data directly from production storage to protection storage (EMC Data Domain) without an intermediary backup server. 

    I mentioned this in my blog last week as an example of the fact that, while “backup” is evolving, those kinds of evolutions require that the role of both the Backup Administrator (which should not be thought of as a Data Protection Manager/DPM) and the Storage Administrator (or any other workload manager that is becoming able to protect their own data) need to evolve, as well.

  • blogs
    Jul 8, 2014

    Workload-enabled Data Protection is the Future … and that is a good thing

    When asked “what is the future for data center data protection?” my most frequent answer is that DP becomes less about dedicated backup admins with dedicated backup infrastructure … and more about DP savvy being part of the production workload, co-managed by the DP and workload administrators.

    To be clear, as workload owner enablement continues to evolve, the role of the “Data Protection Manager” (formerly known as the “backup administrator”) also evolves – but it does not and cannot go away. DPMs should be thrilled to be out of some of the mundane aspects of tactical data protection and even more elated that the technology innovations like snap-to-dedupe integration, application-integration, etc. create real partnerships between the workload owners and the data protection professionals. And it does need to be a partnership, because while the technical crossovers are nice, they must be coupled with shared responsibility.

  • blogs
    Jun 16, 2014

    Data Protection Impressions from the Dell Analyst Conference 2014

    I recently had the opportunity to attend the Dell Annual Analyst Conference (DAAC), where Michael Dell and the senior leadership team gave updates on their businesses and cast a very clear strategy around four core pillars: Transform (cloud) ... Connect (mobility) ... Inform (Big Data) ... and Protect.

    Protect?! YAY!!  As a 25-year backup dude who has been waiting to see how the vRanger and NetVault products would be aligned with AppAssure and the Ocarina-accelerated deduplication appliances, I was really jazzed to see “Protect” as a core pillar of the Dell story. But then the dialogue took an interesting turn.


  • blogs
    Jun 9, 2014

    Wrap-Up on Backup from EMC World -- Part II, Strategy

    Last week, I published a video summary of the data protection product news from EMC World 2014, with the help of some of my EMC Data Protection friends. To follow that up, I asked EMC's Rob Emsley to knit the pieces together around the Data Protection strategy from EMC.


  • blogs
    Jun 6, 2014

    Wrap-Up on Backup from EMC World 2014

    During EMC World 2014 in Las Vegas last month, I had the chance to visit with several EMC product managers on what was announced from a product perspective, as well as overall data protection strategy. 


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508-244-4813

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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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