ESG Blogs

Technical Optimist

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

  • blogs
    Dec 11, 2014

    SaaS Backup ... Hunger Games style

    There is a great scene in the first Hunger Games movie where the 24 combatants are just about to start fighting. In front of them is a small stash of weapons. Some of the combatants charge toward the weapons, knowing that if they get one, they will gain a huge advantage—but if they don’t, they will be prime targets for being immediately “defeated.” Other combatants choose to ignore the premade weapons and run for the forest, presuming that they will be able to forage and somehow make a weapon themselves.
  • blogs
    Dec 9, 2014

    Why Change Control Matters: What Not To Do in E-mail Protection – part 2 of 5 (Tuesday)

    All this week, I am dissecting an IT horror story from a friend of mine, whose IT team turned on archaic archiving for their cloud-based mail service … and hopefully gleaning lessons from it.
  • blogs
    Dec 8, 2014

    What Not To Do in E-mail Protection – part 1 of 5 (Monday)

    John (not his real name) logged in Monday morning to find that several of his mail folders had far less stuff in them. In fact, in very small font, he discovered his Outlook now showing “Global Retention Policy = 6 months” … and yes, everything older than six months was now in a very archaic e-mail archiving service that was long since presumed retired.

  • blogs
    Nov 25, 2014

    Hyperconverged Infrastructure for BC/DR using EVO Rail

    Shortly after VMware announced its EVO Rail initiative, whereby hardware partners could start delivering a very dense compute, storage, and networking solution within a wholly-contained appliance – I started exploring the data protection aspects of an EVO Rail solution. The nice folks in ESG’s video studio have produced a whole series on this … in two-minute increments.
  • blogs
    Oct 28, 2014

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

    Today, EMC announced its acquisition of one of the leading SaaS-backup products, Spanning Cloud. 

  • blogs
    Oct 21, 2014

    Better Catalogs Make for Better Data Restores (video)

    It really is just that simple: backup products without robust catalogs are just that, backup products – not restore products.

    There are lots of reasons that just maintaining a browse-able file list is not enough today, including not only a lack of search-ability but also because the catalog is the key to really leveraging primary storage snapshots and replication capabilities with traditional backup for a modern recovery capability.

    Check out this video for more details.

  • blogs
    Oct 13, 2014

    How to Protect an EVO RAIL (video series)

    VMware’s EVO RAIL is an architecture for a hyper-converged, software-defined data center in a single appliance form-factor … to be delivered by various hardware partners.  But how do you protect that all-in-one solution?

    For the next several weeks, ESG will be releasing a seven-part series of ESG Capsules, 2 minute video segments, where I’ll talk more about some of the protection possibilities and caveats in an EVO world.

    Here’s part 1 on ideas for protecting an EVO RAIL.  Check back here for updated hyperlinks … or follow @JBuff on twitter to see more of this series.

  • blogs
    Oct 6, 2014

    Data Protection Appliances are better than PBBAs (video blog)

    Too many folks categorize every blinky-light box that can be part of a data protection solution as a "Purpose Built Backup Appliance" or PBBA.  

    But the market isn't just a bunch of apples with an orange or two mixed in, data protection appliances (DPAs) can be apples, oranges, bananas, or cherries -- but if you lump them all together, all you have is a fruit salad.

    So, let's reset the term to understand the market.

  • blogs
    Oct 6, 2014

    Could VeeamON be the next MMS?

    This week is the first VeeamON, Availability for the Modern Data Center, conference in Las Vegas.

    As I listened to the side conversations and such, I was reminded of the special-ness of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS). Not MMS 2010+, when Microsoft started shoe-horning everything in the Server & Tools line-up, before eventually killing it and Tech-Ed behind it … but MMS 1995-2005, which was as much about "community" as it was "technology."

  • blogs
    Sep 17, 2014

    Why Doesn't IT Back Up BYOD?!

    So, why doesn’t IT back up BYOD endpoints?! It isn’t a rhetorical question.

    I have always been confounded why IT, the custodian of corporate data, doesn’t feel obliged to protect that corporate data when it resides on an endpoint device, and more particularly when the corporate data resides on a BYOD endpoint device. I understand the excuses – it's hard to do well, the solutions are expensive, and it's difficult to quantify the business impact and therefore the ROI of the solution. In fact, in ESG’s Data Protection-as-a-service (DPaaS) Trends report, we saw several excuses (not reasons) to not back up endpoint devices.

  • 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.

     


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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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