Every year around this time, the marketing department gets together to plan a strategy for April Fools—we say “strategy” because we take it seriously. And every year, some questionable ideas inevitably arise (someone invariably brings up illogical data center locations and has to be shot down). Patrick’s wife has been going on about a Cloud-Enabled Pizza Delivery joke (thanks to Lebron James’s pizza exploits at “Blaze Pizza”—nice name by the way). We’ve kindly had to let her down as well.
But this year, obviously, is different. And, given that there’s already more than enough confusion going on in the news when it comes to COVID-19, we all agreed that it was not the best time to add any more by making you wonder, “Did they really replace their Fireball service with cats?” No, this isn’t the time for April Fools posts and shenanigans, but that doesn’t mean you, our faithful blog readers, can’t have a little fun at our expense.
We’re completely focused on ensuring that our services deliver for you all, and part of that effort involves keeping up morale across our team and among you, our community.
We hope you and yours are doing well, and in lieu of spending a lot of time creating something new to help folks chuckle, we wanted to share some of our April Fools posts from years past—which we hope will help you crack a smile in case you missed them.
One of the first things Andy did when he joined Backblaze was come up with an excuse to put on his Blues Brothers outfit and hum a few bars. He didn’t think this video was still online; we want to assure him that it is.
Following in Andy’s tradition, I sometimes like to vocalize, though, unless you follow Critical Role (a live streamed DnD campaign), the context of my song will likely be lost upon you. But how could I promote Andy’s singing without subjecting you to my own?
Sure, cat data storage writes itself, but how do you migrate cat storage? What if you have too many feline photos on your computer and need to upload them quickly? Why not send us a Furball to expedite that cloud storage!
Sometimes people think our service is too inexpensive. We welcome them to try Bling 2 Cloud Storage. It’s the same thing as Backblaze B2, but brings the pricing in line with our competition at four times our usual price—perfection!
I went for a run this weekend (while our area is under a shelter-in-place order, physical activity and outdoor time while maintaining social distancing have been, thankfully, deemed essential) and ran by sign-after-sign on the doors and windows of restaurants and other businesses and one in particular caught my attention:
I think this is where we are today: everyone trying to do the best they can, and trying to be together while apart. At Backblaze, we’ve started having “Brewtiful Mornings”—15 minutes on a video conference in the morning where everyone can jump in with their coffee or tea to just have a few minutes of togetherness.
As the world struggles with the COVID-19 outbreak, I wanted to take a moment to share what Backblaze is doing for our team and community, and for you: our customers.
Protecting Our Team and Community
On March 6th, we stopped all business travel, cancelled in-person events, and moved the majority of our workforce to working from home. Where job functions necessitate being in one of our physical environments, we have taken a number of precautions to reduce work to essential tasks and to ensure the safety of our people.
We’ve always worked in a partially remote/distributed fashion but our ability to move to an almost completely remote model and spending more time in our homes—which in many cases rightfully weren’t set up for productivity—while managing our business has been a real testament to the people we have at Backblaze, and I’m very proud of the whole team working through it.
Ensuring the Quality of Our Services to You
We’ve worked with our suppliers to ensure availability of equipment, made large pre-purchases, and reviewed all key aspects of team safety and our business. We built Backblaze as a sustainable business over the last 13 years, and while we’ve never seen anything quite like this, we continue to be ready to serve and scale with your needs, especially now.
Helpful Tips for Using Backblaze During This Time
As many of you are adjusting and working to maintain health and morale, you may have found yourself spending more time at home, and in some cases were asked to leave the office on short (or no) notice. You may no longer have access to your computers or external drives, have servers that are running out of space, or have other storage challenges. To you in that position, and I sincerely hope this comes across in the way intended, we’re here to help if you need it.
If you no longer have access to your backed up equipment: You can use Backblaze to access any files from a web browser or your iOS/Android device. You can download a single file, select multiple files or folders, or recover all your data.
If you need to share files with co-workers or friends and family: You can share files directly without having access to your computer.
If you are running out of space on your server: Managing physical servers on-site is challenging in the best circumstances and may be even more so now. Our solutions engineering team can help explore options with you. Please reach out to them here: email@example.com and they will try to help you find a solution.
Again, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact our Support team. Also, our team, including myself, will be answering questions in the comment section below.
We want to do everything we can to make this situation just that little bit easier for those affected. We’re in the fortunate position to be able to keep all of our employees and contractors at full salary. We’re also trying to be a good corporate citizen by encouraging our workforce to be socially responsible in their social distancing practices, donating to the World Health Organization, and generally trying to find ways to contribute.
The next few months are going to be hard on most people, but we can get through this, together while apart.
We’re looking for someone who loves to go deep on making marketing technology actually work: process oriented campaign execution, implementing and interpreting actionable analytics, and—ultimately—blending all of the above together to understand and improve the customer journey. Most importantly, we’re looking for someone who is ready to achieve this alongside a team that shows genuine care for each other.
Backblaze is an extraordinary place to work. With a great reputation for service built over the last 13 years, we are entrusted with nearly an exabyte of customer data, placing us among the largest cloud storage providers on the planet. And we’ve built a significantly profitable business with a total of just $3M in outside investment, empowering us to set our own course and live by our own ideals. Our approach is guided by honesty, transparency, and a commitment to doing the right thing for our customers and coworkers. Importantly, we’ve created an environment that makes us both happy and proud enough to recruit our friends to the team.
And it’s working quite nicely! Our business lines have achieved sustainable, double-digit growth—with some approaching triple digits. And we’ve accomplished these results without running any significant paid acquisition programs. Our customers are happy, and so are our coworkers: In the most recent “Great Place to Work” survey, 99% of our team rated Backblaze as “a great place to work.”
But while there is a lot to celebrate in our past, there is almost as much opportunity ahead of us: Our marketing systems and processes are functional, but relatively basic. We seek a Director of Marketing Operations who can help build, operate, and evolve our approach to executing and understanding our marketing efforts.
More About Backblaze
Backblaze provides cloud storage that’s astonishingly easy to use and low cost. Our customers use our services so they can pursue dreams like curing cancer (genome mapping is data-intensive), archive the work of some of the greatest artists on the planet (learn more about how Austin City Limits uses B2), or simply sleep well at night (anyone that’s spilled a cup of coffee on a laptop knows the relief that comes with complete, secure backups).
How Marketing at Backblaze Works
Our business is almost entirely driven by inbound customer interest. We have a blog that will attract more than 3M visits this year, with zero paid audience acquisition. Our team creates compelling, if slightly wonky, content on how data storage actually works. Our secret is writing enlightening, useful stories about customer problems and the solutions they might employ to succeed. The result is a highly engaged readership that yields a significant number of new customers. Approximately half of our customer base is “self-serve” while the other half works with our sales team to help them get started.
We operate across multiple verticals and sell 2 different SaaS products. To do so, our Marketing team organizes around the following team concepts:
Product Marketing: For any given vertical, we have at least one Product Marketer acting as the General Manager for her business. The Product Marketers identify their customer personas and expected buyer journeys. They also define the go-to-market activities for their verticals.
Editorial: Helps refine and polish the messaging for internal and external audiences.
Design: Brings the messages to life.
Brand: When you have a question about how our audience will react to thing X, we have a good answer. In addition, the “Brand” team owns our social presence.
Growth: Acts as both our CRO and SEO functions. We use Optimizely and have dedicated resources to help within Front End Engineering.
Marketing Ops: Owns our “stack,” processes, and analytics. Given content and strategy, enables elegant execution and provides actionable insights on results.
The Role: Director of Marketing Ops
Reporting directly to the VP of Marketing, you will build out our Marketing Ops function.
We think of Marketing Ops as having 5 key areas of ownership:
Marketing Technology (aka “the Marketing Stack”): Strategy, evaluation, implementation and operation of our marketing tools.
Today, the key pieces of our stack are Hubspot, Optimizely, BrightTalk, AdRoll, Google Adwords (brand terms), JustUno, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager.
Our company uses Tableau for visualization and Salesforce for Sales Ops.
Data: Create and implement the strategy for what our systems collect and how they are connected.
Team Alignment: Collaborate with team leads to establish processes and training for long-term success.
Campaign Management: Enable our various go-to-market activities by creating processes that are both predictable and scalable; establish clear priorities for Front End Engineering to ensure quality launches.
Insights: Analytics and analysis of all aspects of funnel with the goal of providing actionable intelligence for the other Marketing teams.
The Roadmap for Marketing Ops
As mentioned at the start of this post, our Marketing Operations are evolving. We believe there is a clear roadmap ahead of us, but one that will take a couple years to execute well. Here are some milestones that we’re looking forward to:
Grow understanding of the existing funnels. In your first 12 months, the majority of the work will be collaborating with the VP of Marketing, the Business Intelligence team, and the Sales Operations team to create a quantifiable understanding of our funnels. We have the right pieces in place and a company willing to invest in making them work together, but we need to solidify our fundamental systems.
Optimize existing funnels. Once we refine the understanding of our business drivers, we should create and execute against deliberate tests to identify new opportunities for growth.
Example: Once we have insights on what types of content are leading to what types of customers, provide that intelligence to the Product Marketers & Editorial team so they can create more of the desired content. They will create the incremental content, you will be responsible for measuring the results of the experiment.
Identify new growth initiatives (aka: find the rocket fuel). Understand the existing business, prove we understand it by optimizing it, and then start working on new streams of demand generation.
Tailor systems and tools to the most effective growth initiatives. Today, we have all the pieces for a functional marketing stack. Let’s get everything working, prove out areas for growth, and then invest in more specialized tools/operations for the areas of growth we want to pursue.
The Right Fit for our Director of Marketing Operations
We take a lot of pride in the culture we’ve built and are looking for team members that are a good fit. For a better understanding of who we are, check out this About Us video. Beyond “cultural fit,” for this specific role, we’re looking for an experienced operator that has a customer-journey-focused understanding of marketing. Here are the role-specific characteristics we’ll be looking for:
Possess the right amount of experience. You’ve probably been doing Marketing Operations in some form or another for 6-10 years. We don’t need someone with a specific degree or certification. We do need someone that will come in and take control of the existing systems and immediately start moving us forward on the envisioned roadmap.
Expertise in at least one of the major Marketing Automation systems is required, with a strong preference for Hubspot experience and/or mastery.
Skilled at figuring how the puzzle pieces fit together. Different tools in different configurations do different things. We need someone that can work with the larger Marketing team to understand what we’re trying to achieve, design a stack and processes for achieving those outcomes, and then implement and execute with precision.
Ability to work cross-functionally. The role of Marketing Ops engages with a variety of teams across our company. Beyond the Marketing team, our ideal candidate excels in interactions with:
Front End Engineering: Determine the prioritization of what gets worked on when as well as be the “business owner” for questions they might have.
Business Intelligence: Collaborate with the BI team to get answers from non-marketing systems, facilitate their requests for access into the marketing systems.
Sales Operations: Work with our Sales Ops teams to ensure precision in lead management, seamless systemic handoff, and generally find solutions to challenges as they arise.
Executive Team: Provide distilled, big picture takeaways on what’s happening because of your granular understanding of the little things.
Knows Demand Gen Mechanics for SaaS. Our ideal candidate is focused on generating incremental revenue and understands how to activate/optimize the different stages of the customer journey to achieve that goal.
Some of Our More Popular Perks
Backblaze offers an unlimited vacation policy; generous health/dental/vision/childcare benefits; fully stocked kitchens, twice a week catered breakfast and lunch, and superior coffee; and a generous skills training policy to continue your professional development. Our office in San Mateo is easily accessible from CalTrain, 280, and 101.
If This Sounds Interesting To You
We’d love to learn more about you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume. All applications are reviewed by our team. If we think there might be a good fit, our recruiting lead, Michele, will schedule time to chat, answer any questions you might have, and outline our process.
Gift giving time is rapidly approaching and we at Backblaze are always interested to see what cool new things we can give our loved ones. This year we’ve rounded up a ton of games, watches, and streaming devices. Whether you’re planning for countless family gatherings over the coming months, or are just participating in the Reddit Gift exchange—these are sure to delight!
HDD Watch (A blast from the past…) This was in our 2014 holiday gift guide, but we wanted to revisit it because it’s left the crowd-funding space and is now readily available for purchase. We love this watch for obvious reasons.
Garmin Venu We have a lot of athletes at the Backblaze office and this watch is becoming a favorite of theirs. If you want smart-watch capabilities, but with a fitness-first approach, this is a great watch to get started with. It’s ambidextrous, so both iOS and Android users can enjoy it.
Apple Watch 5 It’s hard to mention watches without talking about the Apple Watch 5. The latest version of the Apple Watch is feature-rich and the go-to for Apple fans. It’s faster, it has more storage space, but the most revolutionary improvement from this version? It actually functions as a watch with the new always-on display. Crazy.
Fossil Hybrid This is the watch for everyone out there who misses their Pebble. I had each iteration of the Pebble and this looks like something that could have been the “next step”—but with analog watch hands. The cool thing is, they move away when you’re reading messages, which is pretty slick!
Aero Plant If you don’t have a backyard but want to flex your green thumb, this is a great way to start your own indoor garden. This is perfect for folks in dense urban areas (like the Bay) with tiny apartments!
Scooter Luggage Do you travel a lot? Need to zip through airports quickly? This luggage-scooter combo has you covered. We can’t speak for the quality, but the idea of watching someone zip along on their luggage makes us giggle.
Scooting too much work? Ride it! If you can’t be bothered to scoot yourself forward, you can even get a riding piece of luggage. Granted this is still being crowd-funded so your mileage may vary, but this luggage can also follow you around like a well-known bassinet in a popular Disney+ show!
Smarten Up Your TV
Chromecast Ultra The Chromecast Ultra is a great way to get 4K content from your phone, tablet, or computer onto your TV. All you need is the Chrome browser and this dongle, and you’re good to go. A side-benefit of this is that you can have party guests queue up their own favorite music. Though, that might be a downside as well…
Roku Ultra 4K A great benefit of the Roku is that you can plug your headphones (3.5mm) into the remote and watch TV all night long without bothering your partner.
Fire Stick 4K This is the easiest way to bring Smart TV capabilities with you when you’re on the go. A few years ago when I traveled more often, I would toss one of these into my suitcase to make hotel-room viewing less of a drag.
Board Games (bored games) Tip: Go to your local game store for these!
Terraforming Mars The Backblaze folks play this game at least once a week in the office. It’s one of the better designed games we’ve had a chance to play in recent memory—we highly recommend it! Don’t miss the expansions offered, they add a lot to the game. We highly recommend playing with the Prelude and Colonies expansions!
Dune We haven’t had a chance to dive into this game as frequently as we’d like, but we have it in the office and it’s on standby for when we’re done Terraforming Mars. Early indicators are that it’s a very well designed game and we are excited to dive deeper into it. The spice must flow!
Dutch Blitz Family trips are made better by having a deck of cards or an easily transportable card game in your suitcase. Dutch Blitz is easy to learn and fun to play, though it does require some lightning quick reflexes from time to time!
Firefly Fluxx Fluxx is a game that’s been around for a while, and we have both Math Fluxx and Firefly Fluxx in the office, both of which we enjoy playing from time to time. The rules are simple, but ever-changing, which makes for some dynamic game-play that can range from 5 to 25 minutes!
Monopoly Deal Similar to Dutch Blitz, this is a great card game to bring with you when you’re traveling. It’s simple, has the same elements of Monopoly that you know and love, but only takes about 20 minutes instead of the table-flipping 4-hour Monopoly marathons that you grew up with.
Dungeons and Dragons We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention D&D! It’s never too early to start or teach your children how to play. D&D is having a bit of a resurgence and it’s an incredible way to teach creativity, problem solving, math, and interpersonal skills. If you’re just starting out and the thought of creating your own adventure is too daunting, check out Dungeon Masters Guild for some smaller modules that you can use to dip your toes in! If you do buy the handbooks, we recommend showing your local game store some love and purchasing it there!
For That One Friend
What do you get the person who has everything? The ability to make their own stuff! The Prusa Mini should keep them occupied for a while—and might result in them making some gifts for you as a thanks!
And, of course… Backblaze You know it. You love it. Now gift it!
We hope that some of these ideas spark a little joy or creativity in your gift buying this season. We wish you the best! What are you most looking forward to your loved ones (or enemies?) unwrapping this year?
November 8th marks the celebration of National STEM day, calling attention to the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in young peoples’ education. Without these programs encouraging young minds to enter STEM fields, we would be hard-pressed to find the Backblaze staffers of the future. As such, a day like this is something we have to celebrate here in our office.
Many of our teammates missed out on the educational initiatives around tech that exist today, but they did not let age, gender, or socioeconomic status stop them from reaching the top of their respective fields. So in honor of the day, we decided to share some of their STEM-related stories with an eye toward inspiring you. Whether they rouse you to dig into your own mid-career shift, or to encourage your kids to consider STEM, or to send an application our way, we hope these stories add to your understanding of how helpful STEM can be in any life.
The STEMs of Backblaze
From Crash Bandicoot to Front End Developer
Steven, a front end developer at Backblaze, started out as a bellman at the Greenwich Hotel in New York City, but his love for digital media—beginning with games like Naughty Dog’s work of art, “Crash Bandicoot”—encouraged him to sign up for a boot camp for web development called Bloc. After 6 months, Steven launched into the work force with one mission: To make the world a better place, one product at a time.
“That love for video games became a love for technology and software,” said Steven, reflecting on his early years in tech. “As I grew older, played more games, discovered the joys of dial-up internet and witnessed cable TV move into the high definition era, my interest for what powered all of these sources of entertainment peaked.”
Taking the Leap to Director of Engineering
Not everyone is as confident as Steven, though. Would you just walk into a coding bootcamp with no experience? Intimidation can be a big reason why someone shies away from working in a STEM related field. Our Vice President of Engineering, Tina, believes that you should not shy away from intimidation. She believes that embracing your jump into the unknown will help you find the fun in your field of work.
“Never think that you are not good enough or smart enough to learn anything,” said Tina, when asked what advice she would give to young engineers. “I feel like there is a misconception that engineering is boring or for geeks or whatever and that’s not true at all. And also, just because it is a male dominated industry doesn’t mean other women shouldn’t just go for it. It’s actually really fun once you start doing it. Essentially, just don’t let the intimidation get to you. Anyone can learn it.”
And she speaks from experience: Tina was the only woman in her Electronic and Computer Engineering classes at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, but now she’s running Backblaze’s engineering efforts. Without her, our engineering team would not run as smoothly and efficiently or have projects like extending your version history release on time!
From Microbiology to Backblaze Sales Operations and Enablement Manager
Tina makes a good point that most people tend to miss: the difference between the impossible and something that just makes you uncomfortable. Sona, our Sales Operations and Enablement Manager, spent her undergrad years preparing to attend med school. But when it came around to applying for post-grad programs or applying for jobs, she realized that her biological sciences degree qualified her for a range of different positions beyond the medical field.
“Do something that makes you uncomfortable,” said Sona, reflecting on what she would tell her younger self when starting out. “Because if you fail you fail, but if you don’t fail you might be opening up a door to something that you didn’t even know you wanted to do.” Embracing her discomfort allowed Sona to explore other careers, like working as a microbiologist at Shasta Beverages, Inc. and, now, being our go-to person for implementing software to supercharge our sales efforts here at Backblaze.
Experimenting with Technical Operations
This is true for our Director of Technical Operations, Chris, who started as a system administrator after stepping away from the college path because he felt more comfortable with a hands-on learning experience. Chris had always tinkered with computers and software during his summer breaks from school so he felt confident that this field was the right place for him.
“Try things. Experiment. The sooner you get plugged into a social network of some kind in your field, like a group or a club or an open-source project, the sooner the world will open up for you,” said Chris. “Because the people you meet will come from all different walks of life you will see all the different things they do and some of them might be interesting and different than what you initially thought of doing.”
Whether it’s toying with computer motherboards like Chris did, stargazing, app building, or even setting up your shot in basketball, chances are that your hobbies have roots in STEM. The average person indulges in these related activities without even knowing it.
Art, Dance, and Programming Sequences
Amanda is our Senior Accountant and her father, Brian, is our Distinguished Engineer. When she was younger her hobbies were art, dance, and… learning about programming sequences.
“I feel like [doing math] came very naturally,” said Amanda. “I grew up in a very math-friendly household. My dad started teaching me algebra really early. They were excited about it so they both did software engineering and programming. They would, ‘just for fun,’ teach me programming problems and I would be asking them about matrices and things like that.”
Of course, we don’t all have brilliant engineers for parents, but that doesn’t mean that Amanda’s experience isn’t useful. STEM programming is all about giving young people exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math in ways they can relate to. With Amanda, that was programming problems. But school systems all over have adapted STEM programs to their curriculum to build enthusiasm for kids who like to tinker with robots or treat math problems like a competition. You can even bring it home for your own family. The trick is to find fun, science-related activities that help kids continue to expand their excitement for these fields.
It might seem hokey, but it can be fun. For instance, at Backblaze, we still do STEM style experiments, like the day we used bubbles and a fog machine to test the air flow in the office (as seen in the video below).
Do you have an interesting story of how you came to be in the STEM field of work? Or resources for how you passed your enthusiasm on? Share them in the comments below!
Growing into the Role: A Tuberspective into the Greenest Member of Support
We’d like to introduce you to the newest member of the Tech Support crew, KC3. (To be clear, his name is KC, but we already have two Casey’s!)
This lil’ spud is a real go-getter. Although not yet answering tickets or eye deep in support chats, he brings a real spark of life to the team. Brought on by an existing Support Tech, Dan Mote, with a recommendation from one of our Physical Media Techs, JC Castaneda, we knew KC3 would dig right in and get dirty, working alongside everyone else.
To be candid, he did have to be carried initially, but once he’d been with us a couple of weeks, he really set down roots. Since then, he has been invaluable to other teams as well!
As is customary for all new hires, he had to do “The Questionnaire”!
Backblaze: What is your Backblaze title?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: How Prestigious. For entry-level? Wow. Where are you originally from?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: Real strong roots there. Nice! What attracted you to Backblaze?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: We appreciate that. What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: Lofty goals indeed. Where else have you worked?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: Started at ground level, how industrious! Where did you go to school?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: Ivy league, neat! What’s your dream job?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: Such noble aspirations. Of what achievements are you most proud?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: That’s so sweet. Why do you like certain things?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: How insightful! Favorite place you’ve traveled?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: That’s fairly far afield, sounds fun. Favorite hobby?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: That’s a hot scene, I could see hopping from place to place. Favorite food?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: Sorry, we won’t bring it up again. Star Trek or Star Wars?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: Wise choice, considering the split in the office already. Coke or Pepsi?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: No, no, vodka is an acceptable answer. Anything else you’d like to tell us?
KC3: “ . . . ”
B: Deep. We look forward to you applying that salt-of-the-earth wisdom to your tasks!
Although not a-peeling during his first few days, he has unequivocally grown over the last few weeks. So much so that he has even risen to a spudvisory role—keeping an even tone and demeanor, even when engaged in difficult conversations.
Thanks for joining the team, KC3. We look forward to you continually rising to the challenge, reaching higher and higher with your perfectly starched attire!
In the last couple of years, we’ve released products that businesses of all sizes love: Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage and Backblaze for Business Computer Backup. Those businesses want to integrate Backblaze deeply into their infrastructure so in comes Pavritha, Sales Engineer! Let’s learn a little more about her, shall we?
What is your Backblaze Title? Sales Engineer.
Where are you originally from? India.
What attracted you to Backblaze? The exciting opportunity and the work culture.
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze? I will try to learn everything possible and focus a lot on my role.
Where else have you worked? Yotascale Inc. worked for a year.
Where did you go to school? California State University -East Bay.
What’s your dream job? I would love to do travel journalism at some point in time.
Of what achievements are you most proud of? Flying all the way from India to the US achieving my master’s degree and now to land in a job as a Solutions Engineer.
Favorite place you’ve traveled? Florida.
Favorite hobby? Traveling and trying out different food.
Favorite food? I am basically foodie so I enjoy food and if it has to specific then it will be Asian and Italian cuisine.
Anything else you’d like to tell us? So I am a person who likes to experiment a lot with food whenever I get a chance I will try out some new place or a new cuisine and I also love to recreate those dishes at home. One more thing which I am sort of good at is giving good choices when it comes to food based on what the occasion is also based on the food.
You’re in luck Pavritha! We just started a blog post series about how to become a digital nomad. Welcome aboard to the team!
In order to increase system-wide performance, we’ve undertaken a journey to upgrade some of our core infrastructure. We are scheduling maintenance between 5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, October 21st, and likely during the same time period on Monday, October 28th.
Creating Backup restores and B2 Cloud Storage Snapshots
Starting to download newly created restores (restores already downloading should continue)
Uploading to Computer Backup (Personal and Business) will pause (data will continue to be scanned and uploads will resume automatically after the maintenance)
Accessing and downloading data via the Backblaze Mobile Apps
B2 Cloud Storage users may not be able to upload files or authorize accounts (if upload authorization was already given, those uploads will continue)
B2 Cloud Storage users may not be able to create, delete, or update buckets during the maintenance window
Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage will continue to serve files. Not all Backblaze customers will be affected during the following maintenance window, but if you are experiencing issues, you are likely in the subset of users affected.
All Backblaze services are expected to resume once maintenance is complete.
We will be updating this post with information as we go through the system maintenance, as well as updating our Twitter feed for more information.
Backblaze is growing quickly and we need good folks to help keep this well-oiled machine well oiled. We also keep buying more and more stuff. We needed help! Enter Griffin to support our purchasing team. We’re glad to have him on board full time to help us with our very large piles of purchases! Let’s learn a bit more about Griffin, shall we?
Where are you originally from?
What attracted you to Backblaze?
I immediately fell in love with the we’re all in this together team-driven feeling here. Everyone contributes to ensuring the success of all employees and the company as a whole.
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
I hope to learn how a company that believes in its product and trusts its employees grows and thrives in the ever-changing data management/security market.
Where else have you worked?
In the last few years I have worked at Oracle, CheckPoint, and Snowflake.
Where did you go to school?
UC Santa Cruz, graduating with a B.A. in Economics.
What’s your dream job?
I want to be a music producer. Figuring out how to fine-tune a song to perfection is my jam. Music is in the details, the pauses… and accents. Some day I’ll be the next George Martin, Rick Rubin, or Timbaland. See you in the Top 40!
Of what achievements are you most proud of?
I am proud that I was able to graduate from college in only four years despite changing my major after three semesters. I started as a physics major but transitioned to economics as I wanted to have a more usable and marketable skill set.
Why do you like certain things?
They bring me joy. If the music sounds good to you, it is good. If a movie was good for you, it is good. Find things you enjoy and enjoy them!
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Barcelona. The food, the weather, the people. Perfect. I was only there for the final days of a trip, but I could have easily spent the entire time there.
Making music or cooking. Both are artistic outlets to me, allowing me to showcase my style and tastes with others.
Anything grilled or smoked.
Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Trek. It is just the future we will live in soon.
Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. But, let’s not kid ourselves, water is the best beverage.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I’m thrilled to be a part of this wonderful company and I can’t wait to see where we go together!
We are very excited you joined the team too, Griffin! And if we need help producing the next Backblaze song we will be sure to ask you first!
Start spreading the news, we’re leaving next week. We’re going to be a part of it, NAB New York!
Did you know that NAB Show — the premiere technology expo for media & entertainment held every year in Las Vegas — also offers a fall show in New York City? They do. And yes, we’ll be there. We couldn’t turn down an event in the media capital of the nation, if not the world.
New York City is home to the Big Four broadcast networks, and is a global center for newspaper, book, and magazine publishing, the music industry, independent filmmaking, and online media. That makes New York a great place to visit existing customers and to meet new ones.
New York Customers That Backblaze
A number of New York-based creative agencies are B2 customers, including Baron & Baron, the agency that’s the driving force behind some of the world’s most celebrated luxury fashion and beauty brands. Our creative director and co-founder, Casey, got a big kick out of laying out their case study. It’s not every day that he gets to work with eye-catching imagery from the likes of Coach, Dior, and Armani. But that’s just one agency of many long-term B2 customers based in New York City. That’s not surprising since seven of the top eight global advertising agencies are headquartered in NYC. (Cue the theme music to Mad Men.)
New York City is also ground central for the growing number of online media companies, from online-only news outlets like Huffpost, Business Insider, Vox, and Vice, to digital-first brands and online instructional sites like B2 customer Panna Cooking. Being digital natives, it’s no surprise that online media companies have been quick to adopt cloud storage.
Finally, one-third of all American independent films are produced in New York City. (Don’t tell Hollywood!) At NAB New York we will be debuting a new case study for a documentary filmmaker whose craft has him riding the waves all over the world. Watching his films, you can almost feel the spray on your face and the waves beneath your feet.
Visit Backblaze at NAB New York
If you’ll be in New York on October 16-17, please stop by our booth #N756 at the Javits Center. We’ll be celebrating 10 years of our Backblaze Storage Pod, so we’ll have our latest pod in our booth for you to get up close and personal with one of Silicon Valley’s first open source hardware projects. If you want to spend more time exploring how B2 could fit into your workflow, our calendars are open for you to schedule an appointment and we’ll have a special gift waiting for you.
Our distributor PVT will also offer live demos across the aisle in their booth #N757, showing B2 in action with integrated workflow applications from Archiware and iconik. You can also visit other integrated application partners at their own booths, including CatDV #N660, EditShare #N345, Facilis #N136, FileCatalyst #N159, GB Labs #N359, and GrayMeta #N1120.
Finally, if you don’t have a pass to the show, register using our code NY9776 and the expo hall, on-floor sessions, and select networking events are completely FREE.
Only in New YorkTop Picks from Backblaze Staff
Of course, a trip to New York City isn’t all business. The Backblaze folks attending the show make a point of carving out time for some of their favorite things you can only experience in New York. And we’d like to share some of our faves with you.
Nilay Patel, Vice President of Sales When Nilay can squeeze it in, he heads to the Upper East Side for a real gentleman’s haircut at Paul Molé barber shop, New York City’s first. After that, he’ll be ready to stroll in style down the High Line park and up to the rooftop bar at the Standard Hotel.
Terry LoBianco, Director of Sales Terry feels inspired by the grand architecture of New York City, and Grand Central Terminal’s Beaux Arts design is among her favorites. Her plan is to stop in for cocktails at the Campbell Bar inside the station. She’ll be having a Manhattan of course!
Skip Levens, Director of Product Marketing I don’t know if it qualifies as traditional New York pizza, but Skip is salivating just remembering the pizza the team had at Tappo Thin Crust Pizza last year. Like a good native Californian, Skip craves the salads at Tappo too. And after he tears down our booth, he hopes to catch the opening of the Chelsea Film Festival that’s a hop, skip, and a jump from Javits.
Elton Carneiro, Director of Partnerships Poor Elton. He’s been craving Goa-style food at Bombay Bread Bar. But alas, celebrity Chef Floyd Cardoz closed up shop just two weeks before his arrival. He’s crossing his fingers that it will reopen somewhere else in the city. Anyone know? If not, Elton will have to wait for a trip to Mumbai.
Vincent Montez, Business Development Representative Vincent was quick to report that the Flat Iron Room was his top pick. His dream is to splurge for the pricey Ultimate Japanese whisky flight, but given his budget, he’ll probably settle on the more reasonably priced and geographically appropriate New York flight.
Pavithra Hari, Senior Sales Engineer Pavithra has it all planned. First she’ll hit the Halal Guys original food truck on 53rd & 6th, then take the subway to the Empire State Building for the long elevator ride to the top. She’s well aware that there’s a Halal Guys restaurant a few blocks from Backblaze headquarters, but it’s just not the same.
Patrick Thomas, Head of Publishing Leave it to Patrick to find the most healthy and introspective activities of the team: jogging on the Hudson River Greenway, sipping Japanese matcha tea at Ippodo, and if he’s lucky, catching an event at the New York City Poetry Society.
Janet Lafleur, Senior Product Marketing Manager Sadly, Janet won’t be joining the crew in New York this year — someone has to hold down the fort. But she already has a plan for NAB New York 2020: jazz and soul food at Red Rooster in Harlem. Red Rooster comes highly recommended by Shaneika, a Backblaze account executive and native New Yorker. The seafood jambalaya will have to wait.
Over the past 11 years, Veeam has become a wildly popular solution for companies that need to back up their VMs, servers, Office 365, and other hosts. The only problem is, with the great amounts of data involved in VM computing, comes great responsibility: While Veeam’s Backup & Replication engine manages full restores of customers’ VMs, based on a retention period defined by you, the amount of on-prem storage this requires is high and acutely expensive for many companies. So what happens when something comes up — like new compliance guidelines or document retention rules — that require you to hold more data from your VMs than your on-prem storage can handle?
“Many of our customers use Veeam and they want a way to extend their recovery points, but don’t have the budget or desire to change their on-prem infrastructure and workflows.” — Nilay Patel, VP Product, Backblaze
You sized your on-prem storage to handle the number of backups you wished to retain when you launched your Veeam instance. If the number of backups you retain is seven days, then your backups have seven days worth of data. By tiering to the cloud, you can extend your backups further in time. This enables you to pull down subsets of files beyond the period of time your on-prem backups cover.
But before today, your options weren’t all that attractive. You could upgrade to a higher (and more expensive) license with Veeam…and then pay the expensive storage costs of Amazon S3. Or, you could purchase and configure more on-prem hardware. But now you have a new, affordable, seamless option: the B2 Cloud Storage partnership with Tiger Bridge! The solution allows you to back up your VMs in the cloud and easily restore files as far back as you’d like to go, for ⅓ of the price of using S3. This all occurs on a single pane of glass with no interruptions to your workflow — all backup copy jobs and restores are controlled directly from your Veeam Backup and Replication Console.
“Anyone looking to optimize their storage usage will love the integration between Backblaze and Tiger Bridge. Intelligent and automatic data tiering to Backblaze B2 helps increase the number of backups, reduce costs, and increase storage flexibility and agility, without additional, expensive on-premise hardware.” — Lance Kelson, Executive Vice President, Tiger Technology
Here’s how it works.
Tiger Bridge is a software-only solution that expands Windows NTFS capabilities to include tiering to cloud, other storage, or tape. Once the files are tiered, they are replaced with zero-byte stub files in the NTFS. These stub files are placeholders that allow users and applications to work normally, as if the data exists in its original location. Simply opening or calling for the file triggers a restore. In this way, it is possible to have access to petabytes of data while using a modestly sized local volume.
As the most affordable and scalable public cloud storage platform available — with a robust REST API that is being consumed by 100’s of integrations — Backblaze B2 is the perfect tiering solution for Tiger Bridge customers, allowing for infinite copies of their backups in the cloud.
The key benefit with this solution is that you do not have to change your backup job. Instead, you can make a copy of the job and have it executed once the existing backup completes. This is excellent news for anyone who needs for their backup process to be invisible to end-users or for teams that need to create separate retention policies that allow for VM backup storage for any period of time.
Deploying a proof of concept for this solution is simple and takes about 30 minutes:
Spin up a new VM and install Tiger Bridge, then configure it to use your B2 bucket.
Create a Tiger Bridge repository within Veeam and configure it as a backup location.
Create a backup copy job for each of your backup jobs.
After each backup job is completed, the backup copy job copies the backup to the Tiger Bridge repository. As soon as that happens, Tiger Bridge will upload these files to B2 and replace the files on disk with zero-byte stub files. When you need to restore a file, use the Veeam Backup and Replication console’s restore feature. Tiger Bridge will automatically bring back the files you need in a transparent way. You won’t even know the backups being restored are from B2 via Tiger Bridge!
While this solution will have your entire VM backed up in the cloud, you don’t need to download your entire VM to find a file. Using Veeam and Tiger Bridge partial restore, you can search your backed up copies for the file you want and just download that file. If the VM is 100GB and the file you want is 10MB, you only pay to download the 10MB.
Here is a price comparison:
Download Price per GB
B2 + Tiger Bridge*
* B2 Cloud Storage is $5/TB/month & Tiger Bridge is $2/TB/month. Tiger Bridge is free for the first 5 TB in any given month. ** Amazon’s S3 has tiered pricing. This comparison uses Amazon’s lowest published price. To create a more detailed pricing comparison, please use our price comparison calculator.
New versions of Apple’s operating systems are coming to your iOS devices and Mac. iOS 13 for iPhones and iPads will be available today, September 19, and macOS 10.15, aka Catalina, will be available in October for Macintosh computers. If you’re planning to upgrade your Mac or iOS devices with Apple’s newest software, you should make it a point to back up before you install these new versions.
We first heard about these new releases this past June at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which gathers thousands of Apple developers each year from around the world. It’s a yearly ritual: Apple introduces new versions of both the Mac and iOS operating systems and then they’re tested by developers and the public throughout the summer and released to everyone in the fall.
Remember to Back up Early and Often
Changing your Mac or iPhone’s operating system isn’t like installing a new version of an app, even though Apple has tried to make it a relatively simple process. Operating system software is essential software for these devices, and how it works has a cascading effect on all the other apps and services you depend on.
Backblaze wants you to keep all your data safe and secure. If you’re not currently backing up, it’s easy to get started using our 3-2-1 Backup Strategy. The idea behind the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy is that there should be three copies of your data: the main one you use, a local backup copy, and a remote copy, stored at a secure offsite data center like one of Backblaze’s (we just launched a data center in the European Union, as well. The 3-2-1 practice has served us and thousands of our customers very well over the years, so we recommend it unabashedly. Also check out our Mac Backup Guide.
Our advice is to make sure to back up all of your systems before installing operating system software, even final released software. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry, especially where the safety and security of your data are concerned.
Backblaze is coming in hot to Austin, Texas for SpiceWorld 2019, from September 23rd through the 25th at the convention center, and hundreds of bottles of Backblaze brand hot sauce is just the beginning. If you’re attending, we hope you’ll visit us at booth #26 to say hello and join us for a little of what we’ve got going on:
Our very own Andy Klein will be joining us. He’s the “real deal” at Spiceworks, according to credible sources:
Known for his love of our Backblaze Storage Pod and famous for his authorship of our Drive Stats series, Andy will be at the booth to talk in depth about hard drive failure rates, the current drive populations of our four data centers, and:
The Storage Pod! We’ll have a sixth generation production storage pod for you to take a gander inside of. Sure, we’ve open sourced our pod design since 2009, so you shouldn’t be surprised by what you see, but it’s always good to take a look under the hood of the real thing, even if you’ve already built your own. Come for a chat with Andy and the Storage Pod, stay for…
…a complimentary bottle of Backblaze hot sauce, a chance to win a drone (for participants of the Passports to Prizes raffle), and, for just a handful of visitors, the chance of mystery swag for any current customers willing to talk to us about their experience with our services.
Come for the backup, stay for the blazing flavor. We hope you can join us at SpiceWorld!
As Backblaze continues to grow, so does our physical media support team. Our latest physical media technician to join the team is Lisa. She will be helping to fulfill our customers’ needs when it comes to restores and hard drive returns. Let’s learn a little more about Lisa, shall we?
What is your Backblaze Title? Physical Media Technician.
Where are you originally from? Bred, born, and raised in San Jose, CA.
What attracted you to Backblaze? A new, and exciting atmosphere, as well as a place I felt I could grow with.
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze? New skills, as well as what it’s like to work with such a blooming company.
Where else have you worked? For the last nine years, I’ve worked for a small family (not my family) owned winery in Morgan Hill, called Morgan Hill Cellars.
What’s your dream job? I dream to one day own a small cafe that sells sweets, cakes, and serves tea. Then I shall retire to my upstairs apartment, where I can sit and read beneath the warmth of my fat cat.
Of what achievements are you most proud of? I was, and might still be a hot topic on Yelp on the winery’s (Morgan Hill Cellars) page. I also achieved the greatest honor of being referred to as “my favorite aunt.”
Why do you like certain things? Well, to be honest, I often wonder about this question myself. What is it about a ticking clock that fills me with an unexplainable joy? Why do I find the color green so especially pleasing? Why does rain soaking into my hair, give me such an overwhelmingly peaceful feeling? Truly, what IS it about almonds that makes them so great!? Who are we to question the largest mysteries of the universe? We are merely but dandelion fluff upon a spoon, and as such we shall continue to float along in this world and enjoy all it has to offer us.
Favorite place you’ve traveled? Scotland. There’s nothing like the fresh air of the great northern isle to make one feel calm and invigorated all at once.
Favorite hobby? Kissing my cat’s head — she’d be so angry to hear I told you that. Maybe we’ll say crafting instead. Yes, crafting! I own far too much paper to be considered healthy.
Favorite food? Takoyaki!!
Star Trek or Star Wars? To boldly go — and earl grey, hot.
Coke or Pepsi? Sprite?
Anything else you’d like to tell us? I am a weaver of tales, a drinker of tea. I am an avid reader, as well as a passionate feeder of friends. By far I am full of flowery words, and lofty ideas, all mixed together with a fervent need to be useful. And above all, I am always, always happy to chat.
Lisa has the best book recommendations for anyone looking for a new, good read! Welcome to the Backblaze team, Lisa!
I never considered myself to be extremely techy. My family and friends would occasionally come to me with computer problems that I could solve with the help of Google and FAQ pages, but I would not go much further than that.
When I came across Backblaze’s job posting for a marketing position, I applied mostly on a lark. My background looked similar to the job description, but I never expected to hear anything from them. When I received the email that I had gotten an interview with Backblaze, my initial thought was, how? Backblaze was the type of company I feared when first arriving in the Bay Area from Ohio. Worry began to bubble up in me about being in a room filled with people who were all smarter or more experienced than me. My family teased me that I would walk into my first day and it would be an episode of Punk’d.
Silicon Valley has a stigma for most everyone who isn’t located in the Bay Area. We assume it will be filled with competitive geniuses and be too expensive to survive. “You may be Ohio smart, but that’s a different kind of smart,” is something I have heard in actual conversations. And I, too, had similar thoughts as I considered trying to fit in at a startup.
Having watched the HBO show, Silicon Valley, my perspective of how my future coworkers would act could not have been more different from reality. The show portrays Silicon Valley workers as smug, arrogant, anti-social coders who are ready to backstab their coworkers on their way to the top of the industry. At Backblaze, I have found the opposite to be true: everyone has been supportive, fun to be around, and team-oriented.
Now that I live in Silicon Valley, rather than watching it, I have to say I let the intimidation get to me. One of my favorite quotes that helps me during times of high stress is by the Co-Founder of Lumi Labs, Marissa Mayer, in reference to how she’s succeeded in her career, “I always did something I was not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow.” That’s an important thing to remember when you are starting a new job, adventure, or experience: On the other side of the challenge, no matter how it goes, you’ll have grown. Here are some of the things that I have learned during my first few weeks of growth at Backblaze and living in the Bay Area. Hopefully, they’ll help you to try something you’re not ready for, too.
Nine Lessons Learned
Don’t be Thrown by Big Words
Write them down. Google is your best friend. There may be words, companies, software, acronyms, and a bunch of other things that come up in meetings that you have never heard before. Take notes. Research them and do research on how they apply to your company or work position. Most of the time it’s something you might have known about but didn’t know the correct word or phrase for.
No One Understands Your Thought Process
Show your work. Something that’s hard when it comes to talking to your boss or your team is that they cannot see inside your brain. Talk them through how you got to where you are with your thoughts and conclusions. There are plenty of times where I have had to remind myself to over-explain an idea or a thought so the people around me could understand and help.
You Don’t Have to Know Everything
Own up to your lack of knowledge. This one is tough because when you are new to a position you have the inclination to not lift the veil and reveal yourself as someone who does not know something. This could be something as big as not knowing how a core feature works or as small as not knowing how the coffee machine works. When you are new to a company you are never going to walk in and know exactly how everything works. At the moment you don’t understand something, admit it and most people you work with will help or at least point you in the direction of where and how to learn.
Living in Someone’s Backyard in an In-Law Suite is Normal
Look everywhere before choosing where to live. Moving to Silicon Valley while trying to establish a stable income sounds impossible, and indeed it is very hard. When talking to people before my move everyone would say, “ugh, the housing payments!” This was not encouraging to hear. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t creative ways to lower your housing costs. While living with roommates to drive housing costs down, I found a family that wanted to make a little extra money and had an unused in-law suite . While it’s not owning your own home or having a full-size apartment to yourself, it’s different and that can be fun! Plus, like with roommates, you never know what connections you will make.
Not Understanding the Software Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Get It
You have the experience, use it. I came to Backblaze with a very surface-level idea of coding, no idea about the different ways to back up my computer, and no knowledge of how the cloud actually works, but I did understand that it was important to have backups. Just because you don’t understand how something works initially doesn’t mean you don’t understand the value it has. You can use that understanding to pitch ideas and bring an outside perspective to the group.
Talk to People with Important Titles
They all have been in your shoes. The CEOs, presidents, directors, and managers of the world all have been in your position at one point. Now they hold those titles, so obviously they did something right. Get to know them and what they enjoy. They are human and they would love to share their wisdom with you, whether it’s about the company, their favorite food places nearby, or where they go to relax.
Don’t Let Things Slip
Follow up. If someone said they were going to show you something in a meeting or in the hallway, send them a note and see if you should schedule a chat. Have a question during an important meeting that you didn’t want to ask? Follow up! Someone mentioned they knew of a class that could teach something you wanted to learn? Make sure they send you a link! All work environments can feel busy but most people would rather you follow up with them rather than let them forget about something that might be important later on.
Soak In the Environment
Be a fly on the wall. Watch how the office operates and how people talk to each other. Get an idea of when people leave for lunch, when to put your headphones on, and what’s normal to wear around the office. Also, pay attention to who talks in meetings and what it is like to pitch an idea. Observing before fully immersing yourself helps you figure out where your experience fits in and how you can best contribute.
Know Yourself and Know Your Worth
You can figure it out. It may take time, patience, research, and understanding to stand confidently in a room full of experts in the field and pitch ideas. You’ve done it before. Maybe when you were little and asked your parents to take the training wheels off your bicycle? It took a few falls but you figured it out and you can do it again.
We hope that this was a little bit helpful or informative or at least entertaining to read! Have you ever joined a company in an industry you weren’t familiar with? What are some tips or hints that you wish you had known? Share them in the comments below!
“Think of compressing all the information on the accessible Internet into a shoebox. With DNA data storage, that’s possible.”
Just one gram of DNA can store 215 petabytes, or 215 million gigabytes, of data. The interdisciplinary Microsoft and University of Washington team working on this technology believes that it’s conceivable that we will see DNA storage as a form of archival for the general public within the decade.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on developments in this area of research.
Should Ransomware Attack Victims Pay the Ransoms?
Unfortunately, there continues to be a lot of news about ransomware attacks, from security consulting firms paying the ransom in an attempt to recover their clients’ data, or, as in this case, the decision to fire an IT director after a ransomware attack. Lake City, Florida paid the $460,000 Bitcoin ransom following a hacking attack this summer, which resulted in the IT director responsible for the decision losing his job.
Generally, experts and law enforcement agencies don’t recommend paying ransoms in a ransomware attack. The concern is that doing so will encourage more attacks and paying doesn’t guarantee that the hackers will supply the information necessary to decrypt the ransomed data. In some cases, it just encourages the hackers to come back and ask for more money after the initial ransom payment is made.
Big O Gaming Rig Combines PS4, Xbox, Nintendo, and PC In One Chassis
“While Time Machine is good for carrying out local backups, it’s also a good idea to have an up-to-date offsite backup, and I’ve found that Backblaze offers the best combination of value, storage space, and performance.”
— Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
The last thing those of us trying to diet needed was a world-class German bakery opening near our office. We are happy, though, that Anne Moser decided to move from Germany to California and eventually open her amazing bakery, Backhaus, in San Mateo. Her breads and pastries are irresistible.
Anne further tempted Backblaze employees by telling us we can take a shortcut to the bakery through Backhaus’s patio back gate, which is right next door to our office. @BackhausBread
Have a story of backup or recovery you think people would like to hear, or an idea for a topic you’d like us to write about on the blog? Send your ideas to email@example.com.
Joining to help manage our amazing, ever-growing team of engineers is Kim. Kim’s background with companies like Microsoft and Salesforce.com makes her a great addition to the team. Let’s learn a little more about Kim, shall we?
What is your Backblaze title? Senior engineering manager.
Where are you originally from? I was born in Vietnam and came to the United States when I was 11 years old.
What attracted you to Backblaze? I worked with Tina Cessna back in Salesforce.com and she told me this is a great company to work for, surrounded by smart and friendly people.
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze? I expect to learn more about backup and restore business and technologies.
Where else have you worked? I worked for Salesforce.com for 7 years and prior to that at Microsoft for 10 years.
Where did you go to school? I graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S in Business Accounting.
Of what achievements are you most proud of? Having two beautiful kids.
Favorite place you’ve traveled? I have too many places. To name a few: Italy, Croatia, and Japan.
Favorite hobby? Racquetball.
Favorite food? Good food! I work for food.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Wars.
Coke or Pepsi? Water and coffee.
In an office full of foodies, we feel like you will fit in great here at Backblaze Kim! Welcome aboard!
We’re looking for a graphic designer who understands and loves focusing on the customer. As importantly, we’re looking for someone that wants to be on a team that shows genuine care for each other. Put more plainly, we’re looking for a teammate.
Backblaze provides cloud storage that’s astonishingly easy to use and low cost. Our customers use our services so they can pursue dreams like curing cancer (genome mapping is data intensive), archiving the work of some of the greatest artists on the planet (learn more about how Austin City Limits uses B2), or simply sleeping well at night (anyone that’s spilled a cup of coffee on a laptop knows the relief that comes with complete, secure backups). We are entrusted with over 750 PB of data from customers in more than 150 countries. From a storage standpoint, our platform is on the scale of Dropbox & Facebook.
More importantly, we’ve earned the trust and support of our customers. When we raised our prices, we got hundreds of tweets like this.
We’re proud (and humbled) to have such strong relationships with our customers that they root for our success.
More About The Opportunity
Our customer base is diverse (from consumer to SMB to developer) and our design approach represents our need to connect with a wide audience while maintaining a consistent brand identity.
Backblaze has five co-founders (all of whom are still working at Backblaze today). One of our founders, Casey, is the VP of design. As our team and business has grown, one person simply cannot serve all of our needs. We have created the role of graphic designer to be a dedicated member of the Marketing department, reporting to the VP of marketing (Ahin). Casey will be focusing full time on our UX needs. As such, our graphic designer is empowered to enable the needs of the Marketing team.
The Ideal Candidate
Is a designer who is ready to jump in at every stage of the creative process, from brainstorming fresh concepts to fine-tuning pixel perfect campaign assets. The ideal person understands how to work with internal customers (members of the Marketing team) to breathe life into our messaging and ensure a consistent brand experience.
The ideal candidate cares about quality, craft, and producing to fixed deadlines.
What you’ll be doing:
Webpage design for A/B testing: In conjunction with Marketing leads, create tests to optimize onsite conversion
Imagery selection and creation for blog posts
Case study layout for print & web
Trade show booth design
Creating illustrations for print and web
Webpage creation/redesign for product launches, marketing campaigns, etc.
The qualities/background we’re looking for:
Outstanding portfolio. We love to see your work and all submissions are reviewed. We’re looking for someone with ~ 5 years of professional experience that includes at least 3 years with web enabled businesses (SaaS or eCommerce).
Experience with industry standard design tools (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.). Familiarity with HTML, CSS.
Creativity to generate multiple solutions to problems. The best designers work with the business leads to understand what the objective is and then collaborates on the best way to bring it to life.
Capable of juggling multiple projects simultaneously, staying organized, and meeting deadlines.
Ability to present your work to other members of the team and communicate conceptual ideas and detailed design rationale both verbally and visually. We are a collaborative team that asks everyone to have openness to take direction when it’s given, and confidence to take the lead when it’s not.
Some nice to haves:
Experience working with user interface design, typography, iconography, information layout, color, space, and texture.
Experience with print, web, and mobile design.
There’s a saying about good deeds and punishment. What started out as an interesting idea to give away decommissioned Storage Pods to some of our blog readers and fans turned into a mad logistical scramble to get ready for caravans that were forming across the Western US! We get into the details of how this all came together along with some entertaining pictures from the day below, but first, a quick apology! As the person running this madness, I should have done a better job at making sure we were prepared for the amount of interest we’d receive — I apologize and hope that we get a chance to do this again sometime so we can do a better job. Now, back to the fun!
How did this whole thing start? We have a lot of equipment. A lot. Sometimes that equipment enters the end of its useful life for us. When that happens, we decommission it and the parts get recycled (or fed to robots). This time we decided to remove the data components and give away the entire chassis along with most of the internals. The hope was that these pods, which had performed so dutifully for us at Backblaze, would find a happy home somewhere and bring joy to others in their second life. It turns out that a lot of people were interested in fostering the pods, and we had a lot more demand than we had storage pods. We had about 200 to give away, and it became very clear that we needed to create an RSVP system to make sure people didn’t drive to Sacramento and leave empty-handed. After a few false starts we had a plan, and a great day of pickups!
We enjoyed meeting all of our fans, and were floored by how many different types of people had different use-cases for these pods. We had a lot of people drive in from out of state, from as far as Washington, and one person even flew in from Florida to pick up and ship a few pods home (we can’t quite figure that one out since the cost of the flight and shipping the pod home would have eclipsed the cost of the pod — so if you’re out there Florida Man, please let us know how the trip went!).
We took some pictures and recorded some videos while we were there. We hope you enjoy them and can join us if we ever get to do this again!
We Interviewed Some of the Recipients To See How They Would Use Our Storage Pods
The Backblaze Teams Gets Ready to Hand Out The Pods
Lugging Storage Pods Around Is Hard Work
Some Fans Showed Their Appreciation With Cookies
A Timelapse Video of the Action Throughout The Day
Thanks to everyone that could join us, and we hope to do this again sometime!
We love systems administrators and in honor of the 20th annual Sysadmin Day (today, July 26th), we wanted Chris, our sysadmin captain, to write out a few blurbs as an introduction to some of the job postings we have available in his department!
Take it away Chris:
Yev asked me for a few blurbs, and while it was tempting to try and craft some kind of snarky mad lib script to mix and match for him, I’m assured this is worth the time to compose the old-fashioned way. That said, I will leave it to Yev to pay the cat/dog tax on this post.
To avoid prattling on for too long, I’ll jump right into it. Here at Backblaze, we do a lot of building, a lot of fixing, and a lot of running things down. We don’t have an alphabet soup of acronyms doing all of our work for us, we’re building our own infrastructure and picking what we want to run on it. We like open-source, we like innovation, and we like people who have the ability to discern when they’re discovering fire versus reinventing the wheel. I’m Chris, and if any of that sounds like the sort of thing you like, and the sort of person you are, then perhaps after finishing your Sysadmin Day celebrations you should hit us up about some of our open positions.
TechOps Engineer Some folks are Neil Armstrong, some folks are Margaret Hamilton, but Apollo 11 wouldn’t have made it to the moon without both. We’re looking for talented engineers to help us with the day-to-day, the moonshots, and everything in-between. Job description: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/1091591321/
Thank you Chris! If you’re interested in joining the team, the links above contain the job descriptions and application details.
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