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Mr. Backup Mr. Backup

Who is W. Curtis Preston?

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It all started in a little house in Jacksonville, Florida.  My father loved my mother very much, and...  Oh.  Too far back?

I'm an expert in backup & recovery systems and have been working with them since 1993 and a consultant in the space in 1996.  I've used everything from dump, tar, & cpio to enterpise-level backup software, and most tape drives from a 9-track reel to today's terabyte drives.  I've written three books on the subject, Backup & Recovery, Using SANs and NAS, and Unix Backup & Recovery (which is now out of print, having been replaced by the more recent Backup & Recovery). I'm working on a new book, but at my current rate it may be a while.  I'm also a frequent conference speaker and writer technical publications.

History

I started my career in backups as "the backup guy" for MBNA, who was at that time the second largest credit card company.  I managed the backups as we grew from 15 to 250 servers, and from 2 operating systems to 5 operating systems, running Informix, Oracle, Sybase & other applications.  Windows was just beginning to grow in the datacenter.

I left MBNA to join Collective Technologies in 1996, which was a large consulting company that made a lot of money in the .com days, but didn't quite make it through them.  (Technically, they did, but with less than 1/4th of its employees.)  I owe a lot to my time at that company, and to the support of some incredible people that I still stay in contact with to this day.

In February of 2001 I started my own company called The Storage Group, and we specialized in backup & recovery system design, implementation, and management.  Things grew for three years, at which point the competition offered to buy me out.  Who was I to say no?

For over four years, I was the VP of Data Protection at GlassHouse Technologies, the largest independent provider of professional services in the infrastructure space.  My position there was eliminated on Dec 19, 2008.

I also spent two years as a part-time employee of Tech Target. During those two years there I conducted over 100 seminars and tradeshows, along with many articles and tips for various Tech Target properties.

As of 1/1/11 I am running my own company again.  Truth in IT, Inc has a variety of ventures described below.

What I am doing now (AKA FCC Disclosure)

I am an independent writer, speaker, and consultant. I am not a "blogger for hire." None of the articles on this site are in any way sponsored by vendors.  Some vendors do decide to place banner ads on the site, but I have a separate person managing those relationships, and she knows better than to ask me to add or subtract from my blog in order to get or keep a sponsor.  If they were to ask for such concessions, she knows exactly what to say to them -- no thank you.

I also provide independent consulting for end user companies, helping them make decisions about what products are best for their environment.  My vehicle for doing this is now a website called TruthinIT.com.  If you're interested in totally unbiased product and strategy advise, that's the place to go.

In addition, I now put on a series of seminars in various cities.  You can read all about them on BackupCentral.com's sister site, BackupCentralLive.com.  Like this site, these seminars generate advertising revenue from sponsors, but I continue to give unbiased product and strategy advice from the stage at every show.

Outside of these sites, I do occasionally speak, write and consult with vendors.  You will not see a whitepaper with my name on it that is extolling the virtues of any particular vendor or product, nor will you see me giving speeches to that effect either.  Vendors do like to use my name as a draw, so you may occasionally see a whitepaper or a speech from me that says things like "it's good to do backups," or "dedupe/CDP/replication is a good thing," all of which I believe, and if it's got my name and their brand on it, then that paper was obviously sponsored by that vendor, but the contents are from my heart and will not contain an endorsement of their product.  I also consult with vendors privately about a number of things, including product strategy, internal evaluation of their own product, internal competitive comparison of their product to others, etc.  But, again, if any of them say anything that sounds like "if we do this deal, then you've got to lighten up on us in the press," that's the surest way for the deal to end.  I'm just not for sale.

I hope you enjoy the site.

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