Tag Archives: Cloud Storage

Cloud Babble: The Jargon of Cloud Storage

Post Syndicated from Andy Klein original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/what-is-cloud-computing/

Cloud Babble

One of the things we in the technology business are good at is coming up with names, phrases, euphemisms, and acronyms for the stuff that we create. The Cloud Storage market is no different, and we’d like to help by illuminating some of the cloud storage related terms that you might come across. We know this is just a start, so please feel free to add in your favorites in the comments section below and we’ll update this post accordingly.

Clouds

The cloud is really just a collection of purpose built servers. In a public cloud the servers are shared between multiple unrelated tenants. In a private cloud, the servers are dedicated to a single tenant or sometimes a group of related tenants. A public cloud is off-site, while a private cloud can be on-site or off-site – or on-prem or off-prem, if you prefer.

Both Sides Now: Hybrid Clouds

Speaking of on-prem and off-prem, there are Hybrid Clouds or Hybrid Data Clouds depending on what you need. Both are based on the idea that you extend your local resources (typically on-prem) to the cloud (typically off-prem) as needed. This extension is controlled by software that decides, based on rules you define, what needs to be done where.

A Hybrid Data Cloud is specific to data. For example, you can set up a rule that says all accounting files that have not been touched in the last year are automatically moved off-prem to cloud storage. The files are still available; they are just no longer stored on your local systems. The rules can be defined to fit an organization’s workflow and data retention policies.

A Hybrid Cloud is similar to a Hybrid Data Cloud except it also extends compute. For example, at the end of the quarter, you can spin up order processing application instances off-prem as needed to add to your on-prem capacity. Of course, determining where the transactional data used and created by these applications resides can be an interesting systems design challenge.

Clouds in my Coffee: Fog

Typically, public and private clouds live in large buildings called data centers. Full of servers, networking equipment, and clean air, data centers need lots of power, lots of networking bandwidth, and lots of space. This often limits where data centers are located. The further away you are from a data center, the longer it generally takes to get your data to and from there. This is known as latency. That’s where “Fog” comes in.

Fog is often referred to as clouds close to the ground. Fog, in our cloud world, is basically having a “little” data center near you. This can make data storage and even cloud based processing faster for everyone nearby. Data, and less so processing, can be transferred to/from the Fog to the Cloud when time is less a factor. Data could also be aggregated in the Fog and sent to the Cloud. For example, your electric meter could report its minute-by-minute status to the Fog for diagnostic purposes. Then once a day the aggregated data could be send to the power company’s Cloud for billing purposes.

Another term used in place of Fog is Edge, as in computing at the Edge. In either case, a given cloud (data center) usually has multiple Edges (little data centers) connected to it. The connection between the Edge and the Cloud is sometimes known as the middle-mile. The network in the middle-mile can be less robust than that required to support a stand-alone data center. For example, the middle-mile can use 1 Gbps lines, versus a data center, which would require multiple 10 Gbps lines.

Heavy Clouds No Rain: Data

We’re all aware that we are creating, processing, and storing data faster than ever before. All of this data is stored in either a structured or more likely an unstructured way. Databases and data warehouses are structured ways to store data, but a vast amount of data is unstructured – meaning the schema and data access requirements are not known until the data is queried. A large pool of unstructured data in a flat architecture can be referred to as a Data Lake.

A Data Lake is often created so we can perform some type of “big data” analysis. In an over simplified example, let’s extend the lake metaphor a bit and ask the question; “how many fish are in our lake?” To get an answer, we take a sufficient sample of our lake’s water (data), count the number of fish we find, and extrapolate based on the size of the lake to get an answer within a given confidence interval.

A Data Lake is usually found in the cloud, an excellent place to store large amounts of non-transactional data. Watch out as this can lead to our data having too much Data Gravity or being locked in the Hotel California. This could also create a Data Silo, thereby making a potential data Lift-and-Shift impossible. Let me explain:

  • Data Gravity — Generally, the more data you collect in one spot, the harder it is to move. When you store data in a public cloud, you have to pay egress and/or network charges to download the data to another public cloud or even to your own on-premise systems. Some public cloud vendors charge a lot more than others, meaning that depending on your public cloud provider, your data could financially have a lot more gravity than you expected.
  • Hotel California — This is like Data Gravity but to a lesser scale. Your data is in the Hotel California if, to paraphrase, “your data can check out any time you want, but it can never leave.” If the cost of downloading your data is limiting the things you want to do with that data, then your data is in the Hotel California. Data is generally most valuable when used, and with cloud storage that can include archived data. This assumes of course that the archived data is readily available, and affordable, to download. When considering a cloud storage project always figure in the cost of using your own data.
  • Data Silo — Over the years, businesses have suffered from organizational silos as information is not shared between different groups, but instead needs to travel up to the top of the silo before it can be transferred to another silo. If your data is “trapped” in a given cloud by the cost it takes to share such data, then you may have a Data Silo, and that’s exactly opposite of what the cloud should do.
  • Lift-and-Shift — This term is used to define the movement of data or applications from one data center to another or from on-prem to off-prem systems. The move generally occurs all at once and once everything is moved, systems are operational and data is available at the new location with few, if any, changes. If your data has too much gravity or is locked in a hotel, a data lift-and-shift may break the bank.

I Can See Clearly Now

Hopefully, the cloudy terms we’ve covered are well, less cloudy. As we mentioned in the beginning, our compilation is just a start, so please feel free to add in your favorite cloud term in the comments section below and we’ll update this post with your contributions. Keep your entries “clean,” and please no words or phrases that are really adverts for your company. Thanks.

The post Cloud Babble: The Jargon of Cloud Storage appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Early Challenges: Managing Cash Flow

Post Syndicated from Gleb Budman original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/managing-cash-flow/

Cash flow projection charts

This post by Backblaze’s CEO and co-founder Gleb Budman is the eighth in a series about entrepreneurship. You can choose posts in the series from the list below:

  1. How Backblaze got Started: The Problem, The Solution, and the Stuff In-Between
  2. Building a Competitive Moat: Turning Challenges Into Advantages
  3. From Idea to Launch: Getting Your First Customers
  4. How to Get Your First 1,000 Customers
  5. Surviving Your First Year
  6. How to Compete with Giants
  7. The Decision on Transparency
  8. Early Challenges: Managing Cash Flow

Use the Join button above to receive notification of new posts in this series.

Running out of cash is one of the quickest ways for a startup to go out of business. When you are starting a company the question of where to get cash is usually the top priority, but managing cash flow is critical for every stage in the lifecycle of a company. As a primarily bootstrapped but capital-intensive business, managing cash flow at Backblaze was and still is a key element of our success and requires continued focus. Let’s look at what we learned over the years.

Raising Your Initial Funding

When starting a tech business in Silicon Valley, the default assumption is that you will immediately try to raise venture funding. There are certainly many advantages to raising funding — not the least of which is that you don’t need to be cash-flow positive since you have cash in the bank and the expectation is that you will have a “burn rate,” i.e. you’ll be spending more than you make.

Note: While you’re not expected to be cash-flow positive, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about cash. Cash-flow management will determine your burn rate. Whether you can get to cash-flow breakeven or need to raise another round of funding is a direct byproduct of your cash flow management.

Also, raising funding takes time (most successful fundraising cycles take 3-6 months start-to-finish), and time at a startup is in short supply. Constantly trying to raise funding can take away from product development and pursuing growth opportunities. If you’re not successful in raising funding, you then have to either shut down or find an alternate method of funding the business.

Sources of Funding

Depending on the stage of the company, type of company, and other factors, you may have access to different sources of funding. Let’s list a number of them:

Customers

Sales — the best kind of funding. It is non-dilutive, doesn’t have to be paid back, and is a direct metric of the success of your company.

Pre-Sales — some customers may be willing to pay you for a product in beta, a test, or pre-pay for a product they’ll receive when finished. Pre-Sales income also is great because it shares the characteristics of cash from sales, but you get the cash early. It also can be a good sign that the product you’re building fills a market need. We started charging for Backblaze computer backup while it was still in private beta, which allowed us to not only collect cash from customers, but also test the billing experience and users’ real desire for the service.

Services — if you’re a service company and customers are paying you for that, great. You can effectively scale for the number of hours available in a day. As demand grows, you can add more employees to increase the total number of billable hours.

Note: If you’re a product company and customers are paying you to consult, that can provide much needed cash, and could provide feedback toward the right product. However, it can also distract from your core business, send you down a path where you’re building a product for a single customer, and addict you to a path that prevents you from building a scalable business.

Investors

Yourself — you likely are putting your time into the business, and deferring salary in the process. You may also put your own cash into the business either as an investment or a loan.

Angels — angels are ideal as early investors since they are used to investing in businesses with little to no traction. AngelList is a good place to find them, though finding people you’re connected with through someone that knows you well is best.

Crowdfunding — a component of the JOBS Act permitted entrepreneurs to raise money from nearly anyone since May 2016. The SEC imposes limits on both investors and the companies. This article goes into some depth on the options and sites available.

VCs — VCs are ideal for companies that need to raise at least a few million dollars and intend to build a business that will be worth over $1 billion.

Debt

Friends & Family — F&F are often the first people to give you money because they are investing in you. It’s great to have some early supporters, but it also can be risky to take money from people who aren’t used to the risks. The key advice here is to only take money from people who won’t mind losing it. If someone is talking about using their children’s college funds or borrowing from their 401k, say ‘no thank you’ — even if they’re sure they want to loan you money.

Bank Loans — a variety of loan types exist, but most either require the company to have been operational for a couple years, be able to borrow against money the company has or is making, or be able to get a personal guarantee from the founders whereby their own credit is on the line. Fundera provides a good overview of loan options and can help secure some, but most will not be an option for a brand new startup.

Grants

Government — in some areas there is the potential for government grants to facilitate research. The SBIR program facilitates some such grants.

At Backblaze, we used a number of these options:

• Investors/Yourself
We loaned a cumulative total of a couple hundred thousand dollars to the company and invested our time by going without a salary for a year and a half.
• Customers/Pre-Sales
We started selling the Backblaze service while it was still in beta.
• Customers/Sales
We launched v1.0 and kept selling.
• Investors/Angels
After a year and a half, we raised $370k from 11 angels. All of them were either people whom we knew personally or were a strong recommendation from a mutual friend.
• Debt/Loans
After a couple years we were able to get equipment leases whereby the Storage Pods and hard drives were used as collateral to secure the lease on them.
• Investors/VCs
Ater five years we raised $5m from TMT Investments to add to the balance sheet and invest in growth.

The variety and quantity of sources we used is by no means uncommon.

GAAP vs. Cash

Most companies start tracking financials based on cash, and as they scale they switch to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Cash is easier to track — we got paid $XXXX and spent $YYY — and as often mentioned, is required for the business to stay alive. GAAP has more subtlety and complexity, but provides a clearer picture of how the business is really doing. Backblaze was on a ‘cash’ system for the first few years, then switched to GAAP. For this post, I’m going to focus on things that help cash flow, not GAAP profitability.

Stages of Cash Flow Management

All-spend

In a pure service business (e.g. solo proprietor law firm), you may have no expenses other than your time, so this stage doesn’t exist. However, in a product business there is a period of time where you are building the product and have nothing to sell. You have zero cash coming in, but have cash going out. Your cash-flow is completely negative and you need funds to cover that.

Sales-generating

Starting to see cash come in from customers is thrilling. I initially had our system set up to email me with every $5 payment we received. You’re making sales, but not covering expenses.

Ramen-profitable

But it takes a lot of $5 payments to pay for servers and salaries, so for a while expenses are likely to outstrip sales. Getting to ramen-profitable is a critical stage where sales cover the business expenses and are “paying enough for the founders to eat ramen.” This extends the runway for a business, but is not completely sustainable, since presumably the founders can’t (or won’t) live forever on a subsistence salary.

Business-profitable

This is the ultimate stage whereby the business is truly profitable, including paying everyone market-rate salaries. A business at this stage is self-sustaining. (Of course, market shifts and plenty of other challenges can kill the business, but cash-flow issues alone will not.)

Note, I’m using the word ‘profitable’ here to mean this is still on a cash-basis.

Backblaze was in the all-spend stage for just over a year, during which time we built the service and hadn’t yet made the service available to customers. Backblaze was in the sales-generating stage for nearly another year before the company was barely ramen-profitable where sales were covering the company expenses and paying the founders minimum wage. (I say ‘barely’ since minimum wage in the SF Bay Area is arguably never subsistence.) It took almost three more years before the company was business-profitable, paying everyone including the founders market-rate.

Cash Flow Forecasting

When raising funding it’s helpful to think of milestones reached. You don’t necessarily need enough cash on day one to last for the next 100 years of the company. Some good milestones to consider are how much cash you need to prove there is a market need, prove you can build a product to meet that need, or get to ramen-profitable.

Two things to consider:

1) Unit Economics (COGS)

If your product is 100% software, this may not be relevant. Once software is built it costs effectively nothing to deliver the product to one customer or one million customers. However, in most businesses there is some incremental cost to provide the product. If you’re selling a hardware device, perhaps you sell it for $100 but it costs you $50 to make it. This is called “COGS” (Cost of Goods Sold).

Many products rely on cloud services where the costs scale with growth. That model works great, but it’s still important to understand what the costs are for the cloud service you use per unit of product you sell.

Support is often done by the founders early-on in a business, but that is another real cost to factor in and estimate on a per-user basis. Taking all of the per unit costs combined, you may charge $10/month/user for your service, but if it costs you $7/month/user in cloud services, you’re only netting $3/month/user.

2) Operating Expenses (OpEx)

These are expenses that don’t scale with the number of product units you sell. Typically this includes research & development, sales & marketing, and general & administrative expenses. Presumably there is a certain level of these functions required to build the product, market it, sell it, and run the organization. You can choose to invest or cut back on these, but you’ll still make the same amount per product unit.

Incremental Net Profit Per Unit

If you’ve calculated your COGS and your unit economics are “upside down,” where the amount you charge is less than that it costs you to provide your service, it’s worth thinking hard about how that’s going to change over time. If it will not change, there is no scale that will make the business work. Presuming you do make money on each unit of product you sell — what is sometimes referred to as “Contribution Margin” — consider how many of those product units you need to sell to cover your operating expenses as described above.

Calculating Your Profit

The math on getting to ramen-profitable is simple:

(Number of Product Units Sold x Contribution Margin) - Operating Expenses = Profit

If your operating expenses include subsistence salaries for the founders and profit > $0, you’re ramen-profitable.

Improving Cash Flow

Having access to sources of cash, whether from selling to customers or other methods, is excellent. But needing less cash gives you more choices and allows you to either dilute less, owe less, or invest more.

There are two ways to improve cash flow:

1) Collect More Cash

The best way to collect more cash is to provide more value to your customers and as a result have them pay you more. Additional features/products/services can allow this. However, you can also collect more cash by changing how you charge for your product. If you have a subscription, changing from charging monthly to yearly dramatically improves your cash flow. If you have a product that customers use up, selling a year’s supply instead of selling them one-by-one can help.

2) Spend Less Cash

Reducing COGS is a fantastic way to spend less cash in a scalable way. If you can do this without harming the product or customer experience, you win. There are a myriad of ways to also reduce operating expenses, including taking sub-market salaries, using your home instead of renting office space, staying focused on your core product, etc.

Ultimately, collecting more and spending less cash dramatically simplifies the process of getting to ramen-profitable and later to business-profitable.

Be Careful (Why GAAP Matters)

A word of caution: while running out of cash will put you out of business immediately, overextending yourself will likely put you out of business not much later. GAAP shows how a business is really doing; cash doesn’t. If you only focus on cash, it is possible to commit yourself to both delivering products and repaying loans in the future in an unsustainable fashion. If you’re taking out loans, watch the total balance and monthly payments you’re committing to. If you’re asking customers for pre-payment, make sure you believe you can deliver on what they’ve paid for.

Summary

There are numerous challenges to building a business, and ensuring you have enough cash is amongst the most important. Having the cash to keep going lets you keep working on all of the other challenges. The frameworks above were critical for maintaining Backblaze’s cash flow and cash balance. Hopefully you can take some of the lessons we learned and apply them to your business. Let us know what works for you in the comments below.

The post Early Challenges: Managing Cash Flow appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Wanted: Junior Support Technician

Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/wanted-junior-support-technician/

Backblaze is growing and as we grow we want to make sure that our customers are very well taken care of! One of the departments that grows along with our customer base is the support department, which is located in our San Mateo, California headquarters. Want to jump start your career? Take a look below and if this sounds like you, apply to join our team!

Responsibilities:

  • Answer questions in the queue commonly found in the FAQ.
  • Ability to install and uninstall programs on Mac and PC.
  • Clear communication via email.
  • Learn and expand your knowledge base to become a Tech Support Agent.
  • Learn how to navigate the Zendesk support tool and create helpful macros and work flow views.
  • Create receipts for users that ask for them, via template.
  • Respond to any tickets that you get a reply to.
  • Ask questions for facilitate learning.
  • Obtain skills and knowledge to move into a Tier 2 position.

Requirements:

  • Excellent communication, time management, problem solving, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to learn quickly.
  • Position based in San Mateo, California.

Backblaze Employees Have:

  • Good attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
  • Strong desire to work for a small, fast-paced company.
  • Desire to learn and adapt to rapidly changing technologies and work environment.
  • Comfortable with well-behaved pets in the office.

Backblaze is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we offer competitive salary and benefits, including our no policy vacation policy.

If This Sounds Like You:
Send an email to jobscontact@backblaze.com with:

  1. The position title in the subject line
  2. Your resume attached
  3. An overview of your relevant experience

The post Wanted: Junior Support Technician appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Connect Veeam to the B2 Cloud: Episode 1 — Using Synology

Post Syndicated from Roderick Bauer original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/backing-up-veeam-cloud-connect-synology-b2/

Veeam Cloud Connect to Backblaze B2

Veeam is well-known for its easy-to-use software for backing up virtual machines from VMware and Microsoft.

Users of Veeam and Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage have asked for a way to back up a Veeam repository to B2. Backblaze’s B2 is an ideal solution for backing up Veeam’s backup repository due to B2’s combination of low-cost and high availability compared to other cloud solutions such as Microsoft Azure.

This is the first in a series of posts on the topic of backing up Veeam to B2. Future posts will cover other methods.

In this post we provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to configure a Synology NAS as a Veeam backup repository, and in turn use Synology’s CloudSync software to back up that repository to the B2 Cloud.

Our guest contributor, Rhys Hammond, is well qualified to author this tutorial. Rhys is a Senior System Engineer for Data#3 in Australia specializing in Veeam and VMware solutions. He is a VMware vExpert and a member of the Veeam Vanguard program.

Rhy’s tutorial is outlined as follows:

Veeam and Backblaze B2 — Introduction

Introduction

Background on B2 and Veeam, and a discussion of various ways to back up a Veeam backup repository to the cloud.

Phase 1 — Create the Backblaze B2 Bucket

How to create the B2 Bucket that will be the destination for mirroring our Veeam backup repository.

Phase 2 — Install and Configure Synology CloudSync

Get CloudSync ready to perform the backup to B2.

Phase 3 — Configure Veeam Backup Repository

Create a new Veeam backup repository in preparation for upload to B2.

Phase 4 — Create the Veeam Backup Job

Configure the Veeam backup job, with two possible scenarios, primary target and secondary backup target.

Phase 5 — Testing and Tuning

Making sure it all works.

Summary

Some thoughts on the process, other options, and tips.

You can read the full tutorial on Rhy’s website by following the link below. To be sure to receive notice of future posts in this series on Veeam, use the Join button at the top of the page.

Beta Testers Needed: Veeam/Starwind/B2

If you back up Veeam using Starwind VTL, we have a BETA program for you. Help us with the Starwind VTL to Backblaze B2 integration Beta and test whether you can automatically back up Veeam to Backblaze B2 via Starwind VTL. Motivated beta testers can email starwind@backblaze.com for details and how to get started.

The post Connect Veeam to the B2 Cloud: Episode 1 — Using Synology appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Wanted: Sales Engineer

Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/wanted-sales-engineer/

At inception, Backblaze was a consumer company. Thousands upon thousands of individuals came to our website and gave us $5/mo to keep their data safe. But, we didn’t sell business solutions. It took us years before we had a sales team. 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 it’s time to hire our first Sales Engineer!

Company Description:
Founded in 2007, Backblaze started with a mission to make backup software elegant and provide complete peace of mind. Over the course of almost a decade, we have become a pioneer in robust, scalable low cost cloud backup. Recently, we launched B2 – robust and reliable object storage at just $0.005/gb/mo. Part of our differentiation is being able to offer the lowest price of any of the big players while still being profitable.

We’ve managed to nurture a team oriented culture with amazingly low turnover. We value our people and their families. Don’t forget to check out our “About Us” page to learn more about the people and some of our perks.

We have built a profitable, high growth business. While we love our investors, we have maintained control over the business. That means our corporate goals are simple – grow sustainably and profitably.

Some Backblaze Perks:

  • Competitive healthcare plans
  • Competitive compensation and 401k
  • All employees receive Option grants
  • Unlimited vacation days
  • Strong coffee
  • Fully stocked Micro kitchen
  • Catered breakfast and lunches
  • Awesome people who work on awesome projects
  • Childcare bonus
  • Normal work hours
  • Get to bring your pets into the office
  • San Mateo Office – located near Caltrain and Highways 101 & 280.

Backblaze B2 cloud storage is a building block for almost any computing service that requires storage. Customers need our help integrating B2 into iOS apps to Docker containers. Some customers integrate directly to the API using the programming language of their choice, others want to solve a specific problem using ready made software, already integrated with B2.

At the same time, our computer backup product is deepening it’s integration into enterprise IT systems. We are commonly asked for how to set Windows policies, integrate with Active Directory, and install the client via remote management tools.

We are looking for a sales engineer who can help our customers navigate the integration of Backblaze into their technical environments.

Are you 1/2” deep into many different technologies, and unafraid to dive deeper?

Can you confidently talk with customers about their technology, even if you have to look up all the acronyms right after the call?

Are you excited to setup complicated software in a lab and write knowledge base articles about your work?

Then Backblaze is the place for you!

Enough about Backblaze already, what’s in it for me?
In this role, you will be given the opportunity to learn about the technologies that drive innovation today; diverse technologies that customers are using day in and out. And more importantly, you’ll learn how to learn new technologies.

Just as an example, in the past 12 months, we’ve had the opportunity to learn and become experts in these diverse technologies:

  • How to setup VM servers for lab environments, both on-prem and using cloud services.
  • Create an automatically “resetting” demo environment for the sales team.
  • Setup Microsoft Domain Controllers with Active Directory and AD Federation Services.
  • Learn the basics of OAUTH and web single sign on (SSO).
  • Archive video workflows from camera to media asset management systems.
  • How upload/download files from Javascript by enabling CORS.
  • How to install and monitor online backup installations using RMM tools, like JAMF.
  • Tape (LTO) systems. (Yes – people still use tape for storage!)

How can I know if I’ll succeed in this role?

You have:

  • Confidence. Be able to ask customers questions about their environments and convey to them your technical acumen.
  • Curiosity. Always want to learn about customers’ situations, how they got there and what problems they are trying to solve.
  • Organization. You’ll work with customers, integration partners, and Backblaze team members on projects of various lengths. You can context switch and either have a great memory or keep copious notes. Your checklists have their own checklists.

You are versed in:

  • The fundamentals of Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems. You shouldn’t be afraid to use a command line.
  • Building, installing, integrating and configuring applications on any operating system.
  • Debugging failures – reading logs, monitoring usage, effective google searching to fix problems excites you.
  • The basics of TCP/IP networking and the HTTP protocol.
  • Novice development skills in any programming/scripting language. Have basic understanding of data structures and program flow.
  • Your background contains:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or the equivalent.
  • 2+ years of experience as a pre or post-sales engineer.
  • The right extra credit:
    There are literally hundreds of previous experiences you can have had that would make you perfect for this job. Some experiences that we know would be helpful for us are below, but make sure you tell us your stories!

  • Experience using or programming against Amazon S3.
  • Experience with large on-prem storage – NAS, SAN, Object. And backing up data on such storage with tools like Veeam, Veritas and others.
  • Experience with photo or video media. Media archiving is a key market for Backblaze B2.
  • Program arduinos to automatically feed your dog.
  • Experience programming against web or REST APIs. (Point us towards your projects, if they are open source and available to link to.)
  • Experience with sales tools like Salesforce.
  • 3D print door stops.
  • Experience with Windows Servers, Active Directory, Group policies and the like.
  • What’s it like working with the Sales team?
    The Backblaze sales team collaborates. We help each other out by sharing ideas, templates, and our customer’s experiences. When we talk about our accomplishments, there is no “I did this,” only “we”. We are truly a team.

    We are honest to each other and our customers and communicate openly. We aim to have fun by embracing crazy ideas and creative solutions. We try to think not outside the box, but with no boxes at all. Customers are the driving force behind the success of the company and we care deeply about their success.

    If this all sounds like you:

    1. Send an email to [email protected] with the position in the subject line.
    2. Tell us a bit about your Sales Engineering experience.
    3. Include your resume.

    The post Wanted: Sales Engineer appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    Wanted: Datacenter Technician

    Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/wanted-datacenter-technician/

    As we shoot way past 400 Petabytes of data under management we need some help scaling up our datacenters! We’re on the lookout for some datacenter technicians that can help us. This role is located near the Sacramento, California area. If you want to join a dynamic team that helps keep our almost 90,000+ hard drives spinning, this might be the job for you!

    Responsibilities

    • Work as Backblaze’s physical presence in Sacramento area datacenter(s).
    • Help maintain physical infrastructure including racking equipment, replacing hard drives and other system components.
    • Repair and troubleshoot defective equipment with minimal supervision.
    • Support datacenter’s 24×7 staff to install new equipment, handle after hours emergencies and other tasks.
    • Help manage onsite inventory of hard drives, cables, rails and other spare parts.
    • RMA defective components.
    • Setup, test and activate new equipment via the Linux command line.
    • Help train new Datacenter Technicians as needed.
    • Help with projects to install new systems and services as time allows.
    • Follow and improve Datacenter best practices and documentation.
    • Maintain a clean and well organized work environment.
    • On-call responsibilities require being within an hour of the SunGard’s Rancho Cordova/Roseville facility and occasional trips onsite 24×7 to resolve issues that can’t be handled remotely.
    • Work days may include Saturday and/or Sunday (e.g. working Tuesday – Saturday).

    Requirements

    • Excellent communication, time management, problem solving and organizational skills.
    • Ability to learn quickly.
    • Ability to lift/move 50-75 lbs and work down near the floor on a daily basis.
    • Position based near Sacramento, California and may require periodic visits to the corporate office in San Mateo.
    • May require travel to other Datacenters to provide coverage and/or to assist
      with new site set-up.

    Backblaze Employees Have:

    • Good attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
    • Strong desire to work for a small, fast-paced company.
    • Desire to learn and adapt to rapidly changing technologies and work environment.
    • Comfortable with well-behaved pets in the office.
    • This position is located near Sacramento, California.

    Backblaze is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we offer competitive salary and benefits, including our no policy vacation policy.

    If This Sounds Like You:
    Send an email to [email protected] with:

    1. Datacenter Tech in the subject line
    2. Your resume attached
    3. An overview of your relevant experience

    The post Wanted: Datacenter Technician appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    12 B2 Power Tips for Experts and Developers

    Post Syndicated from Roderick Bauer original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/advanced-cloud-storage-tips/

    B2 Tips for Pros
    If you’ve been using B2 Cloud Storage for a while, you probably think you know all that you can do with it. But do you?

    We’ve put together a list of blazing power tips for experts and developers that will take you to the next level. Take a look below.

    If you’re new to B2, we have a list of power tips for you, too.
    Visit 12 Power Tips for New B2 Users.
    Backblaze logo

    1    Manage File Versions

    Use Lifecycle Rules on a Bucket to set how many days to keep files that are no longer the current version. This is a great way to manage the amount of space your B2 account is using.

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    2    Easily Stay on Top of Your B2 Account Limits

    Set usage caps and get text/email alerts for your B2 account when you approach limits that you define.

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    3    Bring on Your Big Files

    You can upload files as large as 10TB to B2.

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    4    You Can Use FedEx to Get Your Data into B2

    If you have over 20TB of data, you can use Backblaze’s Fireball hard disk array to load large volumes of data directly into your B2 account. We ship a Fireball to you and you ship it back.

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    5    You Have Command-Line Control of All B2 Functions

    You have complete control over B2 using our command line tool that is available for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux.

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    6    You Can Use Your Own Domain Name To Front a Public B2 Bucket

    You can create a vanity URL for your B2 account.

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    7    See What’s Happening in Your Account with Graphical Reports

    You can view graphical reports summarizing your B2 usage — transactions, downloads, averages, data stored — in your B2 account dashboard.

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    8    Create a B2 SDK

    You can build your own B2 SDK for JVM-based or JVM-compatible languages using our B2 Java SDK on Github.

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    9    B2’s API is Easy to Use

    B2’s API is similar to, but simpler than Amazon’s S3 API, making it super easy for developers to integrate with B2 Cloud Storage.

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    10    View Code Examples To Get Your B2 Project Started

    The B2 API is well documented and has code examples for cURL, Java, Python, Swift, Ruby, C#, and PHP. For example, here’s how to create a B2 Bucket.

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    11    Developers can set the B2 part size as low as 5 MB

    When working with large files, the minimum file part size can be set as low as 5MB or as high as 5GB. This gives developers the ability to maximize the throughput of B2 data uploads and downloads. See Large Files and Downloading for more developer tips.

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    12    Your App or Device Can Work with B2, as well

    Your B2 integration can be listed on Backblaze’s website. Visit Submit an Integration to get started.

    Want to Learn More About B2?

    You can find more information on B2 on our website and in our help pages.

    The post 12 B2 Power Tips for Experts and Developers appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    Wanted: Fixed Assets Accountant

    Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/wanted-fixed-assets-accountant/

    As Backblaze continues to grow, we’re expanding our accounting team! We’re looking for a seasoned Fixed Asset Accountant to help us with fixed assets and equipment leases.

    Job Duties:

    • Maintain and review fixed assets.
    • Record fixed asset acquisitions and dispositions.
    • Review and update the detailed schedule of fixed assets and accumulated depreciation.
    • Calculate depreciation for all fixed assets.
    • Investigate the potential obsolescence of fixed assets.
    • Coordinate with Operations team data center asset dispositions.
    • Conduct periodic physical inventory counts of fixed assets. Work with Operations team on cycle counts.
    • Reconcile the balance in the fixed asset subsidiary ledger to the summary-level account in the general ledger.
    • Track company expenditures for fixed assets in comparison to the capital budget and management authorizations.
    • Prepare audit schedules relating to fixed assets, and assist the auditors in their inquiries.
    • Recommend to management any updates to accounting policies related to fixed assets.
    • Manage equipment leases.
    • Engage and negotiate acquisition of new equipment lease lines.
    • Overall control of original lease documentation and maintenance of master lease files.
    • Facilitate and track routing and execution of various lease related: agreements — documents/forms/lease documents.
    • Establish and maintain proper controls to track expirations, renewal options, and all other critical dates.
    • Perform other duties and special projects as assigned.

    Qualifications:

    • 5-6 years relevant accounting experience.
    • Knowledge of inventory and cycle counting preferred.
    • Quickbooks, Excel, Word experience desired.
    • Organized, with excellent attention to detail, meticulous, quick-learner.
    • Good interpersonal skills and a team player.
    • Flexibility and ability to adapt and wear different hats.

    Backblaze Employees Have:

    • Good attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
    • Strong desire to work for a small, fast-paced company.
    • Desire to learn and adapt to rapidly changing technologies and work environment.
    • Comfortable with well-behaved pets in the office.

    This position is located in San Mateo, California. Regular attendance in the office is expected. Backblaze is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we offer competitive salary and benefits, including our no policy vacation policy.

    If This Sounds Like You:
    Send an email to [email protected] with:

    1. Fixed Asset Accountant in the subject line
    2. Your resume attached
    3. An overview of your relevant experience

    The post Wanted: Fixed Assets Accountant appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    Backblaze Cloud Backup Release 5.2

    Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/backblaze-cloud-backup-release-5-2/

    We’re pleased to start the year off the right way, with an update to Backblaze Cloud Backup, version 5.2! This is a smaller release, but does increase backup speeds, optimizes the backup client, and addresses a few minor bugs that we’re excited to lay to rest.

    What’s New

    • Increased transmission speed of files between 30MB and 400MB+.
    • Optimized indexing to decrease system resource usage and lower the performance impact on computers that are backing up to Backblaze.
    • Adjusted external hard drive monitoring and increased the speed of indexing.
    • Changed copyright to 2018.

    Release Version Number:

    • Mac — 5.2.0
    • PC — 5.2.0

    Clients:
    Backblaze Personal Backup
    Backblaze Business Backup

    Availability:
    January 4, 2018

    Upgrade Methods:

    • Immediately as a download from: files.backblaze.com
    • Rolling out soon when performing a “Check for Updates” (right-click on the Backblaze icon and then select “Check for Updates”).
    • Rolling out soon as a download from: https://secure.backblaze.com/update.htm.
    • Rolling out soon as the default download from: www.backblaze.com.
    • Auto-update will begin in a couple of weeks.

    Cost:
    This is a free update for all Backblaze Cloud Backup consumer and business customers and active trial users.

    The post Backblaze Cloud Backup Release 5.2 appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    12 B2 Power Tips for New Users

    Post Syndicated from Roderick Bauer original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/newbie-cloud-storage-guide/

    B2 Tips for Beginners
    You probably know that B2 is Backblaze’s fast and economical general purpose cloud storage, but do you know everything that you can do with it?

    If you’re a B2 newbie, here are some blazing power tips to help you get the most out of B2 Cloud Storage.

    If you’re a B2 expert or a developer, stay tuned. We’ll be publishing power tips for you in the near future. Enter your email address using the Join button at the top of the page and you won’t miss any upcoming blog posts.
    Backblaze logo

    1    Drag and Drop Files to B2

    Use Backblaze’s drag-and-drop web interface to store, restore, and share B2 files.

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    2    Share Files You Have in B2

    You can designate a B2 bucket as private or public. If the bucket is public and you’d like to share a file with others, you can create and copy a Friendly URL and paste it into an email or message.

    Backblaze logo

    3    Use B2 Just Like Any Other Drive

    Use B2 just as if it were a drive on your computer — drag and drop files and folders, save files to it — using one of a number of integrations that let you mount B2 as a volume in your Windows or Macintosh file system (Mountain Duck, ExpanDrive, odrive). Pick the files you want to save, drop them in a desktop folder, and they are automatically saved to B2.

    Backblaze logo

    4    Drag and Drop To and From B2 from the Desktop, Too

    Use Cyberduck, a B2 integration partner, to drag-and-drop files to and from B2 right from the Windows or Macintosh desktop.

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    5    Determine the Speed of your Connection to B2

    You can check the speed and latency of your internet connection between your location and Backblaze’s data centers, and see how much data you could theoretically transfer in a day, at https://www.backblaze.com/speedtest/.

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    6    No Matter What Type of Data you Have, B2 Can Handle It

    You can transfer any type or amount of data to B2 from any device that can connect to the internet, including Windows, Macintosh, Linux, servers, mobile devices, external drives, and NAS.

    Backblaze logo

    7    Get Your Files from B2 by Mail

    You have a choice of how to receive your data from B2. You can download data directly or request that your data be shipped to you via FedEx.

    Backblaze logo

    8    Back Up Your Backups to B2

    You can automatically back up your Apple Time Machine backup or Windows backup to a NAS and then back that up to B2 to give you both local and cloud backups for a 3-2-1 backup solution.

    Backblaze logo

    9    Protect Your B2 Account with Two-Factor Verification

    You can (and should) protect your Backblaze account with two-factor verification (such as using an app on your smartphone), and you can use backup codes and SMS verification in case you lose access to your smartphone.

    Backblaze logo

    10    Preview Photos Stored on B2 from the Web

    Preview your photos as thumbnails (and optionally download individual photos) in common image formats (including jpg, png, img, tiff, and gif) with the B2 web interface.

    Backblaze logo

    11    B2 Has Group Management, Too

    Backblaze Groups works for B2, too — just like Backblaze Personal Backup and Business Backup. You can manage billing, group membership, and control access using Group Management in your Backblaze account dashboard.

    Backblaze logo

    12    B2 Integrations Make B2 More Powerful and Useful

    There are over 30+ software and hardware integrations that make B2 more powerful. You can visit our integrations page to find a solution that works for you.

    Want to Learn More About B2?

    You can find more information on B2 on our website and in our help pages.

    The post 12 B2 Power Tips for New Users appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    Power Tips for Backblaze Backup

    Post Syndicated from Roderick Bauer original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/data-backup-tips/

    Backup Power Tips

    2017 has been a busy year for Backblaze. We’ve reached a total of over 400 petabytes of data stored for our customers — that’s a lot!, released a major upgrade to our backup product — Backblaze Cloud Backup 5.0, added Groups to our consumer and business backup products, further enhanced account security, and welcomed a whole lot of new customers to Backblaze.

    For all of our new users (and maybe some of you more experienced ones, too), we’d like to share some power tips that will help you get the most out of Backblaze Backup for home and business.

    Blazing Power Tips for Backblaze Backup

    Back Up All of Your Valuable Data

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    Include Directly-Attached External Drives in Your Backup

    Backblaze can back up external drives attached via USB, Thunderbolt, or Firewire.

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    Back Up Virtual Machines Installed on Your Computer

    Virtual machines, such as those created by Parallels, VMware Fusion, VirtualBox, Hyper-V, or other programs, can be backed up with Backblaze.

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    You Can Back Up Your Mobile Phone to Backblaze

    Gain extra peace-of-mind by backing up your iPhone or Android phone to your computer and including that in your computer backup.

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    Bring on Your Big Files

    By default, Backblaze has no restrictions on the size of the files you are backing up, even that large high school reunion video you want to be sure to keep.

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    Rescan Your Hard Drive to Check for Changes

    Backblaze works quietly and continuously in the background to keep you backed up, but you can ask Backblaze to immediately check whether anything needs backing up by holding down the Alt key and clicking on the Restore Options button in the Backblaze client.

    Manage and Restore Your Backed Up Files

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    You Can Share Files You’ve Backed Up

    You can share files with anyone directly from your Backblaze account.

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    Select and Restore Individual Files

    You can restore a single file without zipping it using the Backblaze web interface.

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    Receive Your Restores from Backblaze by Mail

    You have a choice of how to receive your data from Backblaze. You can download individual files, download a ZIP of the files you choose, or request that your data be shipped to you anywhere in the world via FedEx.

    Backblaze logo

    Put Your Account on Hold for Six Months

    As long as your account is current, all the data you’ve backed up is maintained for up to six months if you’re traveling or not using your computer and don’t connect to our servers. (For active accounts, data is maintained up to 30 days.)

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    Groups Make Managing Business or Family Members Easy

    For businesses, families, or organizations, our Groups feature makes it easy to manage billing, group membership, and individual user access to files and accounts — all at no incremental charge.

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    You Can Browse and Restore Previous Versions of a File

    Visit the View/Restore Files page to go back in time to earlier or deleted versions of your files.

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    Mass Deploy Backblaze Remotely to Many Computers

    Companies, organizations, schools, non-profits, and others can deploy Backblaze computer backup remotely across all their computers without any end-user interaction.

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    Move Your Account and Preserve Backups on a New or Restored Computer

    You can move your Backblaze account to a new or restored computer with the same data — and preserve the backups you have already completed — using the Inherit Backup State feature.

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    Reinstall Backblaze under a Different Account

    Backblaze remembers the account information when it is uninstalled and reinstalled. To install Backblaze under a different account, hold down the ALT key and click the Install Now button.

    Keep Your Data Secure

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    Protect Your Account with Two-Factor Verification

    You can (and should) protect your Backblaze account with two-factor verification. You can use backup codes and SMS verification in case you lose access to your smartphone and the authentication app. Sign in to your account to set that up.

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    Add Additional Security to Your Data

    All transmissions of your data between your system and our servers is encrypted. For extra account security, you can add an optional private encryption key (PEK) to the data on our servers. Just be sure to remember your encryption key because it’s required to restore your data.

    Get the Best Data Transfer Speeds

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    How Fast is your Connection to Backblaze?

    You can check the speed and latency of your internet connection between your location and Backblaze’s data centers at https://www.backblaze.com/speedtest/.

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    Fine-Tune Your Upload Speed with Multiple Threads

    Our auto-threading feature adjusts Backblaze’s CPU usage to give you the best upload speeds, but for those of you who like to tinker, the Backblaze client on Windows and Macintosh lets you fine-tune the number of threads our client is using to upload your files to our data centers.

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    Use the Backblaze Downloader To Get Your Restores Faster

    If you are downloading a large ZIP restore, we recommend that you use the Backblaze Downloader application for Macintosh or Windows for maximum speed.

    Want to Learn More About Backblaze Backup?

    You can find more information on Backblaze Backup (including a free trial) on our website, and more tips about backing up in our help pages and in our Backup Guide.

    Do you have a friend who should be backing up, but doesn’t? Why not give the gift of Backblaze?

    The post Power Tips for Backblaze Backup appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    Backing Up More Effective and Less Costly than Data Recovery in NBC News Story

    Post Syndicated from Roderick Bauer original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/data-recovery-vs-cloud-backup/

    Gleb Budman on NBC Bay Area

    David Platt thought that his computer was adequately backed up, but when his hard drive crashed, he was forced to turn to a data recovery company to get back specific files and emails he needed.

    When the company recovered some data — but not the files and emails he wanted — and David was charged $383 anyway, he turned to NBC Bay Area Responds, the consumer action group at the San Francisco Bay area NBC TV affiliate.

    Their investigation showed that even though the firm hadn’t recovered the data he needed, David was obliged to pay them the full data recovery cost anyway. If David had wanted the recovery done in a hurry, his cost could have been as high as $999, and he still wouldn’t have gotten back the files he needed.

    NBC Bay Area Responds contacted 33 data recovery companies around the country and discovered that 24 of the 33 also charge full price even if they only recover one file from the drive — any file.

    Gleb Budman, Backblaze CEO, who was interviewed for the story, advised viewers that it’s far more effective, and less expensive, to be fully backed up with a backup solution like Backblaze. Backblaze backs up everything on your computer, even the files and folders you might not think you need, but might contain valuable data, such as in David’s case. A 3-2-1 backup policy (three copies of your data, two locally, and one in the cloud), is a good policy to follow.

    “On average, one out of every two people lose data every year,” said Gleb Budman, CEO of Backblaze, a San Mateo company that aims to prevent lost files. “In the case of Backblaze, it’s $5 a month and we back up all of the data,” Budman said. “Then… it’s a bummer if your hard drive dies, but you don’t lose any data.”

    David Platt now uses Backblaze and has a full backup of his hard drive stored in the cloud. Every file is there.

    “We’ve kinda upped the game of backing up of our personal data,” he said.

    You can view the full story at NBC KNTV, Man’s Data Recovery Dilemma Costs Hundreds, or watch the video below.

    Note:  Video contains pre-roll advertisement.

    The post Backing Up More Effective and Less Costly than Data Recovery in NBC News Story appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    Lorelei Joins The Operations Crew

    Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/lorelei-joins-operations-crew/

    We’ve eclipsed the 400 Petabyte mark and our data center continues to grow. What does that mean? It means we need more great people working in our data centers making sure that the hard drives keep spinning and that sputtering drives are promptly dealt with. Lorelei is the newest Data Center Technician to join our ranks. Let’s learn a bit more about Lorelei, shall we?

    What is your Backblaze Title?
    DC Tech!! I’m the saucy one.

    Where are you originally from?
    San Francisco/Bowling Green, Ohio. Just moved up to Sacramento this year, and it’s so nice to have four seasons again. I’m drowning in leaves but I’m totally OK with it.

    What attracted you to Backblaze?
    I was a librarian in my previous life, mainly because I believe that information should be open to everyone. I was familiar with Backblaze prior to joining the team, and I’m a huge fan of their fresh approach to sharing information and openness. The interview process was also the coolest one I’ll ever have!

    What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
    A lot about Linux!

    Where else have you worked?
    A chocolate factory and a popular culture library.

    Where did you go to school?
    CSU East Bay, Bowling Green State University (go Falcons), and Clarion.

    Favorite place you’ve traveled?
    Stockholm & Tokyo! I hope to travel more in Asia and Europe.

    Favorite hobby?
    Music is not magic, but music is…
    Come sing with me @ karaoke!

    Favorite food?
    I love trying new food. I love anything that’s acidic, sweet, fresh, salty, flavorful. Fruit is the best food, but everything else is good too. I’m one of those Yelp people: always seeking & giving food recs!

    Why do you like certain things?
    I like things that make me happy and that make other people happy. Have fun & enjoy life. Yeeeeehaw.

    Welcome to the team Lorelei. And thank you very much for leaving Yelp reviews. It’s nice to give back to the community!

    The post Lorelei Joins The Operations Crew appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    What is HAMR and How Does It Enable the High-Capacity Needs of the Future?

    Post Syndicated from Andy Klein original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hamr-hard-drives/

    HAMR drive illustration

    During Q4, Backblaze deployed 100 petabytes worth of Seagate hard drives to our data centers. The newly deployed Seagate 10 and 12 TB drives are doing well and will help us meet our near term storage needs, but we know we’re going to need more drives — with higher capacities. That’s why the success of new hard drive technologies like Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) from Seagate are very relevant to us here at Backblaze and to the storage industry in general. In today’s guest post we are pleased to have Mark Re, CTO at Seagate, give us an insider’s look behind the hard drive curtain to tell us how Seagate engineers are developing the HAMR technology and making it market ready starting in late 2018.

    What is HAMR and How Does It Enable the High-Capacity Needs of the Future?

    Guest Blog Post by Mark Re, Seagate Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

    Earlier this year Seagate announced plans to make the first hard drives using Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording, or HAMR, available by the end of 2018 in pilot volumes. Even as today’s market has embraced 10TB+ drives, the need for 20TB+ drives remains imperative in the relative near term. HAMR is the Seagate research team’s next major advance in hard drive technology.

    HAMR is a technology that over time will enable a big increase in the amount of data that can be stored on a disk. A small laser is attached to a recording head, designed to heat a tiny spot on the disk where the data will be written. This allows a smaller bit cell to be written as either a 0 or a 1. The smaller bit cell size enables more bits to be crammed into a given surface area — increasing the areal density of data, and increasing drive capacity.

    It sounds almost simple, but the science and engineering expertise required, the research, experimentation, lab development and product development to perfect this technology has been enormous. Below is an overview of the HAMR technology and you can dig into the details in our technical brief that provides a point-by-point rundown describing several key advances enabling the HAMR design.

    As much time and resources as have been committed to developing HAMR, the need for its increased data density is indisputable. Demand for data storage keeps increasing. Businesses’ ability to manage and leverage more capacity is a competitive necessity, and IT spending on capacity continues to increase.

    History of Increasing Storage Capacity

    For the last 50 years areal density in the hard disk drive has been growing faster than Moore’s law, which is a very good thing. After all, customers from data centers and cloud service providers to creative professionals and game enthusiasts rarely go shopping looking for a hard drive just like the one they bought two years ago. The demands of increasing data on storage capacities inevitably increase, thus the technology constantly evolves.

    According to the Advanced Storage Technology Consortium, HAMR will be the next significant storage technology innovation to increase the amount of storage in the area available to store data, also called the disk’s “areal density.” We believe this boost in areal density will help fuel hard drive product development and growth through the next decade.

    Why do we Need to Develop Higher-Capacity Hard Drives? Can’t Current Technologies do the Job?

    Why is HAMR’s increased data density so important?

    Data has become critical to all aspects of human life, changing how we’re educated and entertained. It affects and informs the ways we experience each other and interact with businesses and the wider world. IDC research shows the datasphere — all the data generated by the world’s businesses and billions of consumer endpoints — will continue to double in size every two years. IDC forecasts that by 2025 the global datasphere will grow to 163 zettabytes (that is a trillion gigabytes). That’s ten times the 16.1 ZB of data generated in 2016. IDC cites five key trends intensifying the role of data in changing our world: embedded systems and the Internet of Things (IoT), instantly available mobile and real-time data, cognitive artificial intelligence (AI) systems, increased security data requirements, and critically, the evolution of data from playing a business background to playing a life-critical role.

    Consumers use the cloud to manage everything from family photos and videos to data about their health and exercise routines. Real-time data created by connected devices — everything from Fitbit, Alexa and smart phones to home security systems, solar systems and autonomous cars — are fueling the emerging Data Age. On top of the obvious business and consumer data growth, our critical infrastructure like power grids, water systems, hospitals, road infrastructure and public transportation all demand and add to the growth of real-time data. Data is now a vital element in the smooth operation of all aspects of daily life.

    All of this entails a significant infrastructure cost behind the scenes with the insatiable, global appetite for data storage. While a variety of storage technologies will continue to advance in data density (Seagate announced the first 60TB 3.5-inch SSD unit for example), high-capacity hard drives serve as the primary foundational core of our interconnected, cloud and IoT-based dependence on data.

    HAMR Hard Drive Technology

    Seagate has been working on heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) in one form or another since the late 1990s. During this time we’ve made many breakthroughs in making reliable near field transducers, special high capacity HAMR media, and figuring out a way to put a laser on each and every head that is no larger than a grain of salt.

    The development of HAMR has required Seagate to consider and overcome a myriad of scientific and technical challenges including new kinds of magnetic media, nano-plasmonic device design and fabrication, laser integration, high-temperature head-disk interactions, and thermal regulation.

    A typical hard drive inside any computer or server contains one or more rigid disks coated with a magnetically sensitive film consisting of tiny magnetic grains. Data is recorded when a magnetic write-head flies just above the spinning disk; the write head rapidly flips the magnetization of one magnetic region of grains so that its magnetic pole points up or down, to encode a 1 or a 0 in binary code.

    Increasing the amount of data you can store on a disk requires cramming magnetic regions closer together, which means the grains need to be smaller so they won’t interfere with each other.

    Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) is the next step to enable us to increase the density of grains — or bit density. Current projections are that HAMR can achieve 5 Tbpsi (Terabits per square inch) on conventional HAMR media, and in the future will be able to achieve 10 Tbpsi or higher with bit patterned media (in which discrete dots are predefined on the media in regular, efficient, very dense patterns). These technologies will enable hard drives with capacities higher than 100 TB before 2030.

    The major problem with packing bits so closely together is that if you do that on conventional magnetic media, the bits (and the data they represent) become thermally unstable, and may flip. So, to make the grains maintain their stability — their ability to store bits over a long period of time — we need to develop a recording media that has higher coercivity. That means it’s magnetically more stable during storage, but it is more difficult to change the magnetic characteristics of the media when writing (harder to flip a grain from a 0 to a 1 or vice versa).

    That’s why HAMR’s first key hardware advance required developing a new recording media that keeps bits stable — using high anisotropy (or “hard”) magnetic materials such as iron-platinum alloy (FePt), which resist magnetic change at normal temperatures. Over years of HAMR development, Seagate researchers have tested and proven out a variety of FePt granular media films, with varying alloy composition and chemical ordering.

    In fact the new media is so “hard” that conventional recording heads won’t be able to flip the bits, or write new data, under normal temperatures. If you add heat to the tiny spot on which you want to write data, you can make the media’s coercive field lower than the magnetic field provided by the recording head — in other words, enable the write head to flip that bit.

    So, a challenge with HAMR has been to replace conventional perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR), in which the write head operates at room temperature, with a write technology that heats the thin film recording medium on the disk platter to temperatures above 400 °C. The basic principle is to heat a tiny region of several magnetic grains for a very short time (~1 nanoseconds) to a temperature high enough to make the media’s coercive field lower than the write head’s magnetic field. Immediately after the heat pulse, the region quickly cools down and the bit’s magnetic orientation is frozen in place.

    Applying this dynamic nano-heating is where HAMR’s famous “laser” comes in. A plasmonic near-field transducer (NFT) has been integrated into the recording head, to heat the media and enable magnetic change at a specific point. Plasmonic NFTs are used to focus and confine light energy to regions smaller than the wavelength of light. This enables us to heat an extremely small region, measured in nanometers, on the disk media to reduce its magnetic coercivity,

    Moving HAMR Forward

    HAMR write head

    As always in advanced engineering, the devil — or many devils — is in the details. As noted earlier, our technical brief provides a point-by-point short illustrated summary of HAMR’s key changes.

    Although hard work remains, we believe this technology is nearly ready for commercialization. Seagate has the best engineers in the world working towards a goal of a 20 Terabyte drive by 2019. We hope we’ve given you a glimpse into the amount of engineering that goes into a hard drive. Keeping up with the world’s insatiable appetite to create, capture, store, secure, manage, analyze, rapidly access and share data is a challenge we work on every day.

    With thousands of HAMR drives already being made in our manufacturing facilities, our internal and external supply chain is solidly in place, and volume manufacturing tools are online. This year we began shipping initial units for customer tests, and production units will ship to key customers by the end of 2018. Prepare for breakthrough capacities.

    The post What is HAMR and How Does It Enable the High-Capacity Needs of the Future? appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    2017 Holiday Gift Guide — Backblaze Style

    Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/2017-holiday-gift-guide-backblaze-style/


    Here at Backblaze we have a lot of folks who are all about technology. With the holiday season fast approaching, you might have all of your gift buying already finished — but if not, we put together a list of things that the employees here at Backblaze are pretty excited about giving (and/or receiving) this year.

    Smart Homes:

    It’s no secret that having a smart home is the new hotness, and many of the items below can be used to turbocharge your home’s ascent into the future:

    Raspberry Pi
    The holidays are all about eating pie — well why not get a pie of a different type for the DIY fan in your life!

    Wyze Cam
    An inexpensive way to keep a close eye on all your favorite people…and intruders!

    Snooz
    Have trouble falling asleep? Try this portable white noise machine. Also great for the office!

    Amazon Echo Dot
    Need a cheap way to keep track of your schedule or play music? The Echo Dot is a great entry into the smart home of your dreams!

    Google Wifi
    These little fellows make it easy to Wifi-ify your entire home, even if it’s larger than the average shoe box here in Silicon Valley. Google Wifi acts as a mesh router and seamlessly covers your whole dwelling. Have a mansion? Buy more!

    Google Home
    Like the Amazon Echo Dot, this is the Google variant. It’s more expensive (similar to the Amazon Echo) but has better sound quality and is tied into the Google ecosystem.

    Nest Thermostat
    This is a smart thermostat. What better way to score points with the in-laws than installing one of these bad boys in their home — and then making it freezing cold randomly in the middle of winter from the comfort of your couch!

    Wearables:

    Homes aren’t the only things that should be smart. Your body should also get the chance to be all that it can be:

    Apple AirPods
    You’ve seen these all over the place, and the truth is they do a pretty good job of making sounds appear in your ears.

    Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones
    If you like over-the-ear headphones, these noise canceling ones work great, are wireless and lovely. There’s no better way to ignore people this holiday season!

    Garmin Fenix 5 Watch
    This watch is all about fitness. If you enjoy fitness. This watch is the fitness watch for your fitness needs.

    Apple Watch
    The Apple Watch is a wonderful gadget that will light up any movie theater this holiday season.

    Nokia Steel Health Watch
    If you’re into mixing analogue and digital, this is a pretty neat little gadget.

    Fossil Smart Watch
    This stylish watch is a pretty neat way to dip your toe into smartwatches and activity trackers.

    Pebble Time Steel Smart Watch
    Some people call this the greatest smartwatch of all time. Those people might be named Yev. This watch is great at sending you notifications from your phone, and not needing to be charged every day. Bellissimo!

    Random Goods:

    A few of the holiday gift suggestions that we got were a bit off-kilter, but we do have a lot of interesting folks in the office. Hopefully, you might find some of these as interesting as they do:

    Wireless Qi Charger
    Wireless chargers are pretty great in that you don’t have to deal with dongles. There are even kits to make your electronics “wirelessly chargeable” which is pretty great!

    Self-Heating Coffee Mug
    Love coffee? Hate lukewarm coffee? What if your coffee cup heated itself? Brilliant!

    Yeast Stirrer
    Yeast. It makes beer. And bread! Sometimes you need to stir it. What cooler way to stir your yeast than with this industrial stirrer?

    Toto Washlet
    This one is self explanatory. You know the old rhyme: happy butts, everyone’s happy!

    Good luck out there this holiday season!

    blog-giftguide-present

    The post 2017 Holiday Gift Guide — Backblaze Style appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    The Operations Team Just Got Rich-er!

    Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/operations-team-just-got-rich-er/

    We’re growing at a pretty rapid clip, and as we add more customers, we need people to help keep all of our hard drive spinning. Along with support, the other department that grows linearly with the number of customers that join us is the operations team, and they’ve just added a new member to their team, Rich! He joins us as a Network Systems Administrator! Lets take a moment to learn more about Rich, shall we?

    What is your Backblaze Title?
    Network Systems Administrator

    Where are you originally from?
    The Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Da UP, eh!

    What attracted you to Backblaze?
    The fact that it is a small tech company packed with highly intelligent people and a place where I can also be friends with my peers. I am also huge on cloud storage and backing up your past!

    What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
    I look forward to expanding my Networking skills and System Administration skills while helping build the best Cloud Storage and Backup Company there is!

    Where else have you worked?
    I first started working in Data Centers at Viawest. I was previously an Infrastructure Engineer at Twitter and a Production Engineer at Groupon.

    Where did you go to school?
    I started at Finlandia University in Norther Michigan, carried onto Northwest Florida State and graduated with my A.S. from North Lake College in Dallas, TX. I then completed my B.S. Degree online at WGU.

    What’s your dream job?
    Sr. Network Engineer

    Favorite place you’ve traveled?
    I have traveled around a bit in my life. I really liked Dublin, Ireland but I have to say favorite has to be Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! Which is actually where I am getting married in 2019!

    Favorite hobby?
    Water is my life. I like to wakeboard and wakesurf. I also enjoy biking, hunting, fishing, camping, and anything that has to do with the great outdoors!

    Of what achievement are you most proud?
    I’m proud of moving up in my career as quickly as I have been. I am also very proud of being able to wakesurf behind a boat without a rope! Lol!

    Star Trek or Star Wars?
    Star Trek! I grew up on it!

    Coke or Pepsi?
    H2O 😀

    Favorite food?
    Mexican Food and Pizza!

    Why do you like certain things?
    Hmm…. because certain things make other certain things particularly certain!

    Anything else you’d like you’d like to tell us?
    Nope 😀

    Who can say no to high quality H2O? Welcome to the team Rich!

    The post The Operations Team Just Got Rich-er! appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    Zach Joins The Support Team

    Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/zach-joins-support-team/

    As Backblaze continues to grow, one thing that runs linearly with our growth is the number of folks we need in support. We believe strongly that people writing in to get a helping hand should be quickly and kindly take care of. To help us with that, we’d like to welcome Zach, our latest Support Tech to the Backblaze team! Lets take a minute to learn a bit more about Zach shall we?

    What is your Backblaze Title?
    Jr. Support Technician

    Where are you originally from?
    I was born in Pasadena, CA, but I’ve spent most of my life in the Bay Area.

    What attracted you to Backblaze?
    I have a few friends that have been with the company for some time who would do nothing but gush about the respect that Backblaze has for its employees. More than anything I was drawn to the loyalty and faith the company has for its staff.

    Where else have you worked?
    Previously I have worked support roles for other tech companies as well as general IT and computer hardware repair.

    What’s your dream job?
    Somewhere that I feel I can grow within the company and find success in a role that makes me feel satisfied. Or a touring musician. That would be cool, too.

    Favorite place you’ve traveled?
    Canada! Everyone was so nice!

    Favorite hobby?
    In my spare time I like to write sad songs.

    Of what achievement are you most proud?
    One of my favorite singers told me that I have a really nice voice. So I suppose my proudest achievement is being born with a nice voice.

    Star Trek or Star Wars?
    I cried during Episode VII.

    Coke or Pepsi?
    Coke, obviously.

    Favorite food?
    Is bread an acceptable answer?

    Anything else you’d like you’d like to tell us?
    I’m also a big Disney fan like so many other people who work here. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    We certainly do have a lot of Disney fans on staff — there must be something in the air. Welcome aboard Zach!

    The post Zach Joins The Support Team appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

    EU Court: Cloud-Based TV Recorder Requires Rightsholder Permission

    Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/eu-court-cloud-based-tv-recorder-requires-rightsholder-permission-171130/

    Over the years, many useful devices have come along which enable the public to make copies of copyright works, the VCR (video cassette recorder) being a prime example.

    But while many such devices have been consumed by history, their modern equivalents still pose tricky questions for copyright law. One such service is VCAST, which markets itself as a Video Cloud Recorder. It functions in a notionally similar way to its older cousin but substitutes cassette storage for that in the cloud.

    VCAST targets the Italian market, allowing users to sign up in order to gain access to more than 50 digital terrestrial TV channels. However, rather than simply watching live, the user can tell VCAST to receive TV shows (via its own antenna system) while recording them to private cloud storage (such as Google Drive) for subsequent viewing over the Internet.

    VCAST attracted the negative interests of rightsholders, including Mediaset-owned RTI, who doubted the legality of the service. So, in response, VCAST sued RTI at the Turin Court of First Instance, seeking a judgment confirming the legality of its operations. The company believed that since the recordings are placed in users’ own cloud storage, the Italian private copying exception would apply and rightsholders would be compensated.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly given the complexity of the case, the Turin Court decided to refer questions to the European Court of Justice. It essentially asked whether the private copying exception is applicable when the copying requires a service like VCAST and whether such a service is allowed to operate without permission from copyright holders.

    In September, Advocate General Szpunar published his opinion, concluding that EU law prohibits this kind of service when copyright holders haven’t given their permission. Today, the ECJ handed down its decision, broadly agreeing with Szpunar’s conclusion.

    “By today’s judgment, the Court finds that the service provided by VCAST has a dual functionality, consisting in ensuring both the reproduction and the making available of protected works. To the extent that the service offered by VCAST consists in the making available of protected works, it falls within communication to the public,” the ECJ announced.

    “In that regard, the Court recalls that, according to the directive, any communication to the public, including the making available of a protected work or subject-matter, requires the rightholder’s consent, given that the right of communication of works to the public should be understood, in a broad sense, as covering any transmission or retransmission of a work to the public by wire or wireless means, including broadcasting.”

    The ECJ notes that the original transmission made by RTI was intended for one audience. In turn, the transmission by VCAST was intended for another. In this respect, the subsequent VCAST transmission was made to a “new public”, which means that copyright holder permission is required under EU law.

    “Accordingly, such a remote recording service cannot fall within the private copying exception,” the ECJ concludes.

    The full text of the judgment can be found here.

    The key ruling reads as follows:

    Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society, in particular Article 5(2)(b) thereof, must be interpreted as precluding national legislation which permits a commercial undertaking to provide private individuals with a cloud service for the remote recording of private copies of works protected by copyright, by means of a computer system, by actively involving itself in the recording, without the rightholder’s consent.

    Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

    What’s the Best Solution for Managing Digital Photos and Videos?

    Post Syndicated from Roderick Bauer original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/discovering-best-solution-for-photo-video-backup/

    Digital Asset Management (DAM)

    If you have spent any time, as we have, talking to photographers and videographers about how they back up and archive their digital photos and videos, then you know that there’s no one answer or solution that users have discovered to meet their needs.

    Based on what we’ve heard, visual media artists are still searching for the best combination of software, hardware, and cloud storage to preserve their media, and to be able to search, retrieve, and reuse that media as easily as possible.

    Yes, there are a number of solutions out there, and some users have created combinations of hardware, software, and services to meet their needs, but we have met few who claim to be satisfied with their solution for digital asset management (DAM), or expect that they will be using the same solution in just a year or two.

    We’d like to open a dialog with professionals and serious amateurs to learn more about what you’re doing, what you’d like to do, and how Backblaze might fit into that solution.

    We have a bit of cred in this field, as we currently have hundreds of petabytes of digital media files in our data centers from users of Backblaze Backup and Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage. We want to make our cloud services as useful as possible for photographers and videographers.

    Tell Us Both Your Current Solution and Your Dream Solution

    To get started, we’d love to hear from you about how you’re managing your photos and videos. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, your experiences are valuable and will help us understand how to provide the best cloud component of a digital asset management solution.

    Here are some questions to consider:

    • Are you using direct-attached drives, NAS (Network-Attached Storage), or offline storage for your media?
    • Do you use the cloud for media you’re actively working on?
    • Do you back up or archive to the cloud?
    • Did you have a catalog or record of the media that you’ve archived that you use to search and retrieve media?
    • What’s different about how you work in the field (or traveling) versus how you work in a studio (or at home)?
    • What software and/or hardware currently works for you?
    • What’s the biggest impediment to working in the way you’d really like to?
    • How could the cloud work better for you?

    Please Contribute Your Ideas

    To contribute, please answer the following two questions in the comments below or send an email to [email protected]. Please comment or email your response by December 22, 2017.

    1. How are you currently backing up your digital photos, video files, and/or file libraries/catalogs? Do you have a backup system that uses attached drives, a local network, the cloud, or offline storage media? Does it work well for you?
    2. Imagine your ideal digital asset backup setup. What would it look like? Don’t be constrained by current products, technologies, brands, or solutions. Invent a technology or product if you wish. Describe an ideal system that would work the way you want it to.

    We know you have opinions about managing photos and videos. Bring them on!

    We’re soliciting answers far and wide from amateurs and experts, weekend video makers and well-known professional photographers. We have a few amateur and professional photographers and videographers here at Backblaze, and they are contributing their comments, as well.

    Once we have gathered all the responses, we’ll write a post on what we learned about how people are currently working and what they would do if anything were possible. Look for that post after the beginning of the year.

    Don’t Miss Future Posts on Media Management

    We don’t want you to miss our future posts on photography, videography, and digital asset management. To receive email notices of blog updates (and no spam, we promise), enter your email address above using the Join button at the top of the page.

    Come Back on Thursday for our Photography Post (and a Special Giveaway, too)

    This coming Thursday we’ll have a blog post about the different ways that photographers and videographers are currently managing their digital media assets.

    Plus, you’ll have the chance to win a valuable hardware/software combination for digital media management that I am sure you will appreciate. (You’ll have to wait until Thursday to find out what the prize is, but it has a total value of over $700.)

    Past Posts on Photography, Videography, and Digital Asset Management

    We’ve written a number of blog posts about photos, videos, and managing digital assets. We’ve posted links to some of them below.

    Four Tips To Help Photographers and Videographers Get The Most From B2

    Four Tips To Help Photographers and Videographers Get The Most From B2

    How to Back Up Your Mac’s Photos Library

    How to Back Up Your Mac’s Photos Library

    How To Back Up Your Flickr Library

    How To Back Up Your Flickr Library

    Getting Video Archives Out of Your Closet

    Getting Video Archives Out of Your Closet

    B2 Cloud Storage Roundup

    B2 Cloud Storage Roundup

    Backing Up Photos While Traveling

    Backing up photos while traveling – feedback

    Should I Use an External Drive for Backup?

    Should I use an external drive for backup?

    How to Connect your Synology NAS to B2

    How to Connect your Synology NAS to B2

    The post What’s the Best Solution for Managing Digital Photos and Videos? appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.