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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
As our company grows in customers, team members, and projects we find ourselves hiring like mad to keep up. When I created the job description for our first-ever marketing associate, one of the responsibilities was: Miscellaneous — our favorite category!
Backblaze may have been around for almost 13 years now, but we still operate like a startup. That means a fast-paced environment where we’ll be moving quickly with lots of interesting projects to work on every week. This is lovingly internally referred to as the Spec Ops team! That’s because we tend to do whatever is needed to get things done and out the door. We had a great search for candidates who could help me as projects started stacking up, and we found Nicole. She’ll be joining the marketing team and will be taking on some newsletter, churn analysis, and podcast sponsorship functions, in addition to all the various tasks that always come up.
Let’s learn a bit more about Nicole, shall we?
What is your Backblaze title? Marketing associate
Where are you originally from? Columbus, Ohio
What attracted you to Backblaze? The way they engage with their customers on social media is unique. Backblaze treats its customers as friends.
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze? Innovative marketing techniques that are exciting and new!
Where else have you worked? I previously worked at a staffing company in Columbus as a social media and advertising coordinator. During my time at college, I interned as a development intern at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and a social media summer intern at a non-profit that is called Together We Rise.
Where did you go to school? West Virginia University to study journalism at the Reed College of Media.
What’s your dream job? Ocean Life Photographer to take photos of beluga whales, sea otters and more!
Of what achievements are you most proud of? Graduating from college, visiting 37/50 states in America, and teaching my dog how to give a hug.
Why do you like certain things? I like things that catch me off guard.
Favorite place you’ve traveled? El Paso, Texas — it’s a beautiful city with a lot of kind people.
Favorite hobby? Planning dream vacations to fun, new places, investigating new areas and taking my dog to the dog park.
Favorite food? Pickles from the jar.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Wars! Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia is my inspiration.
Coke or Pepsi? Coke Zero
Anything else you’d like to tell us? I can talk for hours about Harry Potter, Gilmore Girls, Bob’s Burgers, Ellen Degeneres, and Michael Buble!
Luckily we have a ton of Coke Zero in the office and a few Gilmore Girls fans in the office so you’ll have plenty of company. Welcome aboard Nicole!
Backblaze business backup continues to grow and so does the department. Vincent has recently joined the team to help bring new clients to Backblaze! Let’s learn a little more about Vincent, shall we?
What is your Backblaze Title? Business development representative
Where are you originally from? Born and raised in San Jose, CA
What attracted you to Backblaze? The solution, the culture of the company, and the great opportunity for growth with a company that is still growing.
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze? I expect to perfect my sales skills, become better at prospecting, and eventually move to a closing role. Beyond that; I would like to pursue a leadership role.
Where else have you worked? I was previously a business development representative at Panzura, selling their Hybrid-Cloud NAS solution. Before that, I was a renewal specialist at Barracuda Networks renewing a wide range of networking solutions.
Why do you like certain things? I like things that force me to be creative.
Favorite hobby? I’ve been boxing for the past 8 years. I’m hoping to compete soon. My dad has been playing lead guitar in a band since his high school days, so naturally music has always been a part of my life. I’ve been producing music since 2005/2006: everything from hip-hop, R & B, to smooth jazz. I’ve been DJing for a number of years and am always looking for my next gig.
Favorite food? Too many to name.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Haven’t seen either. I know, I know. You can’t believe it.
Coke or Pepsi? Whiskey
Anything else you’d like to tell us? Hard work. Dedication. Everyone wants to be successful; no one wants to put the work in.
Welcome to the team, Vincent! We may need your DJing skills at our next event!
We will be having a planned maintenance period today between 2:00pm – 4:00pm Pacific Time. Unfortunately this work needs to be done before our regular maintenance which typically occurs on Thursdays from 2-4pm.
During this time the following may be affected for a small subset of users:
Create Backup restores and B2 Cloud Storage Snapshots
Start downloading newly created restores (restores already downloading should continue)
Uploads will pause (data will continue to be scanned and uploads will resume automatically after the maintenance)
Access and download data via the Backblaze Mobile Apps
B2 users may not be able to upload files or authorize accounts
Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage will continue to serve files. Not all Backblaze customers will be affected during the 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 feeds for more information.
The data center keeps growing, with well over 500 petabytes of data under management, so we need more systems administrators to help us keep track of all the systems as our operation expands. Our latest systems administrator is Mike! Let’s learn a bit more about him, shall we?
What is your Backblaze title? Sr. systems administrator.
Where are you originally from? San Francisco.
What attracted you to Backblaze? The culture of the company.
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze? Speed and reliability of the Backblaze products, and how to make beer.
Where else have you worked? Yahoo, Google, Dialpad, GrandCentral, Standard & Poors, Care2.
Where did you go to school? Mission College/San Jose State.
What’s your dream job? To watch and report the daily surf forecast on the south side of Maui.
Of what achievements are you most proud of? Being the best dad in the world.
Why do you like certain things? If it makes me smile then I will like it.
Favorite place you’ve traveled? Japan.
Favorite hobby? Dreaming.
Favorite food? Pizza.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Wars.
Coke or Pepsi? Neither.
Anything else you’d like to tell us? I don’t sleep.
Welcome to the Backblaze team, Mike! We are excited for you to learn about the speed and reliability of our products and how to make beer — both are very great skills to have working here!
Since 2007, Backblaze has earned our reputation as a leader in data storage. Our products are astonishingly easy to use and affordable. In a market that includes some of the biggest corporations of our time, we have differentiated ourselves by being cleverly unconventional in how we do things.
Our success is tied to the principles of being open and fair. This approach extends to our marketing and, by extension, content efforts. We like to share the stories (and facts) behind what we’re doing. As an example, we open sourced (and promoted) our storage platform that provides the lowest cost of cloud storage on the planet. It explains how we can offer cloud storage at ¼ of the price of Amazon. This storytelling is the fuel of a content marketing machine that drives our top of funnel growth.
We have created a new role, our head of publishing, because as our team has grown, the opportunity to share stories about how people solve problems is getting bigger. Beyond our team of outstanding marketers, we have an organization (from Ops/Engineering/Support etc.) that believes in the spirit of storytelling. Our new head of publishing role has the mandate to act as the chief storytelling coach for all of our writers (substantive editing) as well as ensuring ruthless precision in our execution. In empowering this role, we hope to continually invest in Backblaze’s storytelling strength as fuel for our content marketing efforts.
The head of publishing reports to the VP of marketing and has one direct report, the content director.
The Primary Responsibilities for the Head of Publishing:
Editing: Nurture our tradition of creating widely loved and consumed content, with a primary focus on our blog.
Every piece of content that ships should be reviewed by the head of publishing. A representative monthly cadence involves the editing of eight blog posts, one case study, one to two webinar presentations and various web pages/knowledge base articles.
Drive the effort to create new content franchises — a topic area that can be revisited on a regular cadence (anywhere between quarterly and annual) told as a story that appeals to an audience that will then share it on Reddit, HackerNews, or similar social network. A franchise is unlikely to make a directly commercial pitch. Rather, its goal is brand awareness for Backblaze — create engagement amongst an audience that would plausibly use our products. We measure success through blog comments and social sharing.
Our product marketers are tasked with attempting to create one franchise effort each per quarter, our content director should be creating two per quarter. Given these resources, your job is to be a partner and editor for these efforts. We can’t control things that do and do not go viral, we do control our resource allocation and effort.
Empower our content director: Create clear processes and standards to enable our content director to do his best work as a writer and copy editor.
Our content director is responsible for our blog operations, writing four to six posts per month, and copy editing. You help make the content director successful through coaching, partnership, and creating clarity on standards.
Define & execute Corporate Communications: Given customer segments and key messaging from Product Marketing, the head of publishing is responsible for ensuring a compelling corporate communications cadence that meets our strategic requirements.
Maintenance of our 90 day content calendar.
Running our weekly content meeting so as to ensure that our storytelling is excellent, the content calendar meets the needs of our business lines, and that deliverables are being met.
Promote the blog content: Through a combination of your own efforts, and coordinating with the efforts of our social media team, SEO Team, and PR firm.
Be the day to day contact with our PR firm — make sure they are aware of our calendar and progress against agreed upon deliverables.
Where our PR firm’s mandate does not include blog content that is otherwise pitchable, directly reach out to journalists for coverage.
Partner with our social lead to make sure content is promoted.
Partner with our SEO lead to make sure content is optimized.
Be the storytelling coach for our company: Be a company-wide editorial resource for making our internal and external communications compelling.
The first priority of this role is enabling Marketing efforts. In the long run, we want to create a center of excellence inside of Marketing that the entire company can turn to for better storytelling.
Key Measurements of Success
Our activities, ultimately, should contribute to profitable revenue growth for Backblaze. The leading indicators of success, owned by our head of publishing, include:
Growth in our blog audience:
Increase in email subscribers → Measures the long term engagement with our stories (love of the content). Achieved through a balance of low unsubscribes and new emails collected from blogs and webinars.
Increase in blog pageviews → A reflection of the transactional consumption of our content.
Organic engagement/syndication of blog posts:
Blog post comments → Shows a readership engaged in the conversation.
Reddit/HackerNews shares → Measurement of the community finding our content noteworthy. This is the metric to measure the success of our attempts to create franchises.
Sales team utilization of content:
Qualitative → Does the team feel they have what is needed to succeed?
Quantitative → Do they utilize new content in their efforts?
The Traits of Our Perfect Head of Publishing:
Excels in digital publishing for both literary and commercial contexts.
Comfortable driving and delivering to deadlines.
Demonstrates a honed approach to the craft of storytelling.
Embraces the interpersonal dynamics of being an editor (coach, cajoler, armchair psychologist, etc.).
Held roles that included the dual responsibilities of substantive editing and copy editing.
Has innate intellectual curiosity with technical matters. Experience with storage is not a requirement, but we need to have a mutual belief that the subject matter will be interesting for you.
A Little Bit More About Backblaze
In over a decade of operations, we have taken in a total of $3m in invested capital. This bootstrapped approach has helped to create a culture where we’re able to focus on our team. We’re proud to have created a place where people actually like to come to work. Please check out our Careers page to learn a little more and for a quick video of our team talking about our culture.
In fewer than 500 words, describe an interaction you had with an author to help bring out the author’s best work. Our internal screening scorecard is the bullet points articulated under our traits section. We think someone with that kind of background will be successful in the role and a happy member of our team (read: cultural fit).
Our process is to look at the combination homework and your resume to try and understand how many of the traits you possess and, of the ones that you may not obviously possess, try to determine if there’s a plausible translation of your background to what we’re looking for.
As the Backblaze team and products continue to expand we found that we needed more engineers to help us keep up with existing systems and build out news ones (and we’re always hiring, by the way). To help us, we hired a veteran from Minneapolis, John, to join our team as a senior software engineer. Let’s learn a bit more about John, shall we?
What is your Backblaze Title? Senior software engineer.
Where are you originally from? A small town in East Central Minnesota called Bock. Think of a small town. Bock is smaller. Now I live in Minneapolis and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What attracted you to Backblaze? I have been impressed with Backblaze’s engineering blog.
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze? How to work effectively as a remote employee.
Where else have you worked? Lots of places, but I suppose you are not wondering about washing dishes or selling tickets at a movie theater. Well, I worked at a place called the Nerdery. I made many websites for ad agencies. I worked at a Backblaze competitor, Code42, working on backup software. Most recently, I worked at Target.
Where did you go to school? Remember that tiny town? They didn’t have a school. Too small. I went to Milaca, which was five miles away. That is another tiny town, but much bigger than Bock. A while later, I ended up at a community college close to Minneapolis, then MN State, Mankato. Years later, like right now, I am at the UofMN for my Masters.
What’s your dream job? This one, I hope!
Favorite place you’ve traveled? Osaka, Japan. I have been to Japan three times. Once to Osaka, twice to Okinawa, with a couple extra days in Tokyo. Osaka was the only place I have visited that I wanted to just move to.
Favorite hobby? Playing video games. Currently, I love Overwatch, though I suck. I am perpetually in bronze. Other than that, I also currently am obsessed with Dead Cell on the Switch (and everything). It is an amazing Rogue-lite/Metroidvania style game.
Of what achievement are you most proud? Oh, that’s tough. Probably fining the person to spend my life with.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Firefly!
Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke.
Favorite food? Pizza. Has to be pizza.
Why do you like certain things? Because they are awesome!
Anything else you’d like to tell us? Nothing that I can think of. Something on your mind to tell me?
Thanks John and welcome aboard! You’re a leaf on the wind!
Like any tech company, all of us at Backblaze pay attention to the news and what’s happening in Silicon Valley and other tech communities. We comment on items posted to Slack, debate the latest items sent around via email, or discuss topics around lunchroom tables and in the snack rooms.
If you’re interested in what interests us, then take a look at some of the latest items that have been heard around Backblaze.
New Mac Pros Announced and Ready This Fall — But Will it Fit in Your Carry On?
We were excited to read the specs on the new Apple Mac Pro and some of us daydreamed about how fast it will compile or render, and what our favorite flight simulator will look like with 28 cores.
How would you use all that horsepower? And what’s with that $999 monitor stand?
Legendary Ramen House to Land in Silicon Valley (next door to us!
Backblaze famously launched in 2007 because friends of the company couldn’t find a backup solution that worked for them. Well after 12 years, and more than 750PB of customer data stored, we still love and work our tails off to keep it the best service for you.
Still, we’re floored when people take the time to let us know what the service means to them. Jeff Meyer, @soundman1024, was in the path of a tornado in the Midwest recently and what did he do?
Grabbed the important papers and a change of clothes…and didn’t bother with hard drives because Backblaze has my back(ups)!
Grabbed the important papers and a change of clothes and evacuated from the path of a mile wide tornado earlier this evening. Didn’t bother with hard drives because Backblaze has my back(ups). Thanks for the peace of mind, @backblaze.
We use Salesforce at Backblaze for CRM and Tableau for business intelligence and analytics and wondered how the acquisition of Tableau by Salesforce will affect how we use the software. Will Tableau continue to work with other CRM software vendors and how will Salesforce’s “No Software” cloud-only approach affect on-site installations of Tableau?
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