ESG Blogs

Technical Optimist

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

  • 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. 

  • blogs
    May 19, 2014

    vBlog: How to Ensure the Availability of the Modern Data Center

    When you really boil down the core of IT -- it's to deliver the services and access to data that the business requires. That includes understanding the needs of the business, its dependencies on things like its data, and then ensuring the availability of that data.

    "Availability" can be achieved in two ways = Resilience and Recoverability.

    • Resilience are the clustering/mirroring technologies that many of us think of as "traditional high availability.”
    • Recoverability are the myriad methods of rapidly restoring functionality through the use of technologies like near-instantaneous VM restoration or leveraging snapshots.
  • blogs
    May 12, 2014

    EMC World 2014 – Initial ESG Analyst Impressions (Video)

    As usual ESG had a strong analyst representation at this year’s EMC World, held last week in Las Vegas. Watch this 6 minute video blog, to get a flavor of the event and to hear the key “takeaways” and initial high level insights from a broad spectrum of ESG experts – on the storage ‘beat,’ there’s Terri McClure and myself, for data protection there is Jason Buffington, and you can also see and hear from Kevin Rhone (channels/partners) and Kerry Dolan (ESG Lab).

  • blogs
    Apr 17, 2014

    How do you back up Big Data? Or SaaS? Who will be the next Veeam?

    It seems that every time a new major IT platform is delivered, backing it up is an afterthought – often exacerbated by the fact that the platform vendor didn’t create the APIs or plumbing to enable a backup ecosystem. Each time, there is a gap where the legacy folks aren’t able to adapt quickly enough and a new vendor (or small subset) start from scratch to figure it out. And for a while, perhaps a long while, they are the defacto solution until the need becomes so great that the platform vendor creates the APIs, and then everyone feverishly tries to catch up. Sometimes they do, other times, not so much.

  • blogs
    Mar 19, 2014

    How to Plan your Data Protection Spectrum [video]

    Continuing on the theme that we started last year that “Data Protection” is the umbrella theme that encompasses a broad range (spectrum) of IT behaviors, including “Backup, Snapshots, Replication, etc.”.  Here is a video that talks puts some color on those ideas (pun intended).

  • blogs
    Feb 25, 2014

    What's New in Data Protection from the Cube at IBM Pulse 2014

    While at IBM Pulse 2014, I was invited to sit in at ‘the Cube’ to talk about what’s new in Data Protection.  We had the chance to talk about:

    • Virtualization Protection
    • Endpoint Protection
    • How the Cloud is changing Data Protection Options
    • And how IBM is evolving its data protection offerings to meet those demands.


  • blogs
    Feb 18, 2014

    D2D2C is like 1 box of Legos and 2 manuals [VIDEO]

    Even with something as simple as “Disk to Disk to Cloud” as a way to first recover locally from disk and then extend that protection to a cloud-repository, every answer just brings up more questions.  In fact, even D2D2C has at least two configurations – similar to having one box of Legos and two instruction manuals; meaning different ways to assemble the same pieces and end up with (at least) two very different results.

    Here is a video of some of the questions that you should be asking – and my suggested ideas for coming up with what will best fit you.

  • blogs
    Feb 10, 2014

    8 Suggestions that Every Data Protection Strategy Should Have

    For all of the IT Pros who are now into the fray of 2014 and asking “What else should I be doing to ensure my organization’s recover-ability?” – this video includes eight suggestions to consider as part of your data protection strategy (including the ESG data that supports those suggestions).

  • blogs
    Jan 30, 2014

    Virtualization Protection re-cap of 2013

    “Backing up and recovering VMs” is not solved.

    There are lots of options in market, and the dynamics seem to shift by the day. So, as IT organizations of all sizes continue their maturation from simply “consolidation” to the “private cloud” and the “software-defined-whatever,” 2014 promises to be even more interesting.

    To celebrate that, here is a list of some of my virtualization protection posts, just from the 2nd half of 2013.

    My first advise = virtualize everything. After that, you have lots of options.

  • blogs
    Jan 21, 2014

    BaaS and OFS -- companies need both, period.

    At first glance, the services can be easily confused:  a small consumer-like application, transparently sending data updates to a cloud-storage service.  

    Yes, it’s very easy to see how OFS and BaaS are similar:

    • If the cloud-service retains multiple versions of your data, is it BaaS?
    • If the cloud-service allows other devices to access your data, is it OFS?

    To better explain the differences, and to really understand what is going on in both spaces, Terri McClure to join me to discuss the topic.

  • blogs
    Dec 6, 2013

    New Math: Virtualization plus DPaaS = BC/DR!

    Maybe that is overly-simplified, but not by much. Virtualization makes servers (and their associated storage) portable, while Data Protection Services provide alternate locations and expertise that many organizations of all sizes have been desperate for. In 2013, ESG published complete research reports on both Virtualization and Data Protection as a Service. In each survey, we were careful to dig in for extra insights related to BC/DR.

    Here is a new ESG Infographic discussing the latest BC/DR trends that are empowered through the intersection of two transformational IT mechanisms.

  • blogs
    Dec 3, 2013

    Every Data Protection Architecture should be "Hybrid"

    Maybe not “every” – but certainly more than “most” – data protection architecture should be “hybrid,” meaning that it should include disk-, cloud-, and yes tape-based recovery components. Why? Because each has a legitimate set of use-case scenarios and attributes that lend each medium type to different data protection goals.

    Check out this 7m video to hear why I think so.

  • blogs
    Nov 25, 2013

    What to look for in Virtualization Protection in 2014

    So, as we start thinking about how we will do things smarter and more effectively in 2014, here is a short (6m) video to hopefully get you thinking about what to plan for in your 2014 Data Protection Strategy.  If your virtualization-protection solution already meets the four directives in this video of “what to look for” … then you have one more thing to be thankful for during this holiday season.  If not, then your virtualization protection is not as good as it could/should be.

  • blogs
    Nov 13, 2013

    vBlog: You Too Can be a Data Protection Super Hero

    While enterprises often have experts that are ready to throw on their capes to save the day (or your data), midsized organizations IT heroics are often just in keeping things running without budgets, gear, or advanced specialty training. But you too can be a data protection “hero”:

  • blogs
    Oct 17, 2013

    Spectra “Deep Storage”: Disk "Pales" in Comparison to Tape Buckets?! - includes video

    Spectra's latest announcements could really shake up the long-term-inexpensive-persistent-storage world. Indeed, its RESTful approach could lead to lots of new activity! In addition to the high level written blog summary, there's a video blog included, with insights from my colleague Jason Buffington, commentary from Molly Rector of Spectra, and my overall key 'takeaway.'    

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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.

Full Biography


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