ESG Blogs

Technical Optimist

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

  • blogs
    Mar 31, 2015

    World Backup Day

    Every day should be Backup Day, just like every day should be Mothers’ Day. Yes, there is one day per year when we absolutely have to say “thank you” to our moms, but they’ve done so much for us that we really should be that thankful and sentimental with them every day. Similarly, while our data protection infrastructure yields a variety of benefits for us throughout the year, Backup Day is our one day to be especially mindful of it – though in reality, many of us don’t even think about the big picture around backups even once per year. We only think of backups when A) something breaks or B) something new comes in that the old backup solution won’t cover.

  • blogs
    Mar 20, 2015

    Why Google Cloud Storage Nearline is Super Interesting for Data Protection

    You can’t have a conversation about IT transformation or data protection modernization that doesn’t include “the cloud” somewhere in it. And today, there are a wide range of cloud services that offer data protection capabilities...
  • blogs
    Mar 6, 2015

    A Few of the Backup Appliances Examined by ESG Lab

    This week, I offered some perspectives on What Makes a Good Backup Appliance, and I'd like to offer some further perspective on these types of products.

  • blogs
    Mar 5, 2015

    What Makes a Good Backup Appliance - Part 3 of 3

    In my earlier posts from this series, I discussed adoption rates and rationales for purpose-built backup appliances (PBBAs) over do-it-yourself (DIY) backup servers and then explored some top-level DIY vs PBBA determinants and non-determinants.

  • blogs
    Mar 4, 2015

    What Makes a Good Backup Appliance - Part 2 of 3

    In my earlier post about the characteristics of good backup appliances, I discussed the increasing usage rates of purpose-built backup appliances (PBBAs) by those organizations that embrace them. But after listening to several sessions at IBM Interconnect last week, including discussing our upcoming research report on data protection appliances (DPAs), I started thinking about, what makes up a good backup appliance over simply installing backup software onto a physical server?

  • blogs
    Mar 3, 2015

    What Makes a Good Backup Appliance - Part 1 of 3

    In general, I am a fan of data protection appliances (DPAs), noting that purpose-built backup appliances (PBBAs) are just one of four categories of DPAs that are in market today.

  • blogs
    Feb 25, 2015

    What’s New in Data Protection from IBM Interconnect 2015

    Every time that I take a close look at IBM’s data protection portfolio, veiled under its storage solutions umbrella, I am happily surprised by the technology—and my guess is that you would be too.
  • blogs
    Feb 13, 2015

    Why Copy Data Management Matters

    In ESG’s Archive & Backup Convergence research, we found that a majority of IT organizations are either using or looking at solutions that managed the “copy data” within their environment:
  • blogs
    Feb 10, 2015

    The Challenges and Benefits of Virtualization Protection

    Last week, my article in Windows IT Pro on “Virtualize Everything” stimulated a rather wide range of banter:

  • blogs
    Feb 5, 2015

    Data Protection Predictions for 2015

    Last month, I sat down with my colleague, John McKnight, in an ESG 360 video to share my predictions on how data protection will or should change in 2015 … in five minutes or less:

  • blogs
    Jan 28, 2015

    Welcome Back, Veritas! The Truth Is Still the Truth

    Today, Symantec announced that the Information Management (Data Protection) side of Symantec will be called Veritas Technologies Corporation. Frankly, if they had chosen anything else, I would have been disappointed.
  • blogs
    Jan 26, 2015

    You Can Prepare for Tomorrow's IT Disaster Today

    This week, many of my colleagues are preparing for Winter Storm Juno. One of my compatriots actually warned his friends on Facebook that he was going to run around supermarket aisles telling folks “We’re all going to die!!”
  • 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.


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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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