On The Road Again: An Update

February 14, 2009 – 5:05 pm

A while back, I posted about a busy upcoming spring schedule of activity and events, and then a few weeks ago, posted an update, so this can be considered the latest "On The Road Again" update. While the economy continues to be in rough condition and job reductions or layoffs continuing, or, reduction in hours or employees being asked to take time off without pay or to take sabbaticals, not to mention the race to get the economic stimulus bill passed, for many people, business and life goes on.

Airport parking lots have plenty of cars in them, airplanes while not always full, are not empty (granted there has been some fleet optimization aka aligning capacity to best suited tier of aircraft and other consolidation or capacity improvements). Many organizations cutting back on travel and entertainment (T&E) spending, either to watch the top and bottom line, avoid being perceived or seen on the news as having employees going on junkets when they may in fact being going to conferences, seminars, conventions or other educational and related events to boost skills and seek out ways to improve business productivity.

One of the reason that I have a busy travel schedule in addition to my normal analyst and consulting activities is that many events and seminars are being scheduled close to, or in the cities where IT professionals are located who might otherwise have T&E restrictions or other constraints from traveling to industry events, some of which are or will be impacted by recent economic and business conditions.

Last week I was invited to attend and speak at the FujiFilm Executive Seminar, no private jets were used or seen, travel was via scheduled air carriers (coach air-fare). FujiFilm has a nice program for those interested in or involved with tape whether for disk to tape backup, disk to disk to tape, long term archive, bulk storage and other scenarios involving the continued use and changing roles of tape as a green data storage medium for in-active or off-line data. Check out FujiFilm TapePower Center portal.

This past week I was in the big "D", that’s Dallas Texas to do another TechTarget Dinner event around the theme of BC/DR, Virtualization and IT optimization. The session was well attended by a diverse audience of IT professionals from around the DFW metroplex. Common themes included discussions about business and economic activity as well as the need to keep business and IT running even when budgets are being stretched further and further. Technology conversations included server and storage virtualization, tiered storage including SSD, fast FC and SAS disk drives, lower performance high capacity "fat" disk drives as well as tape not to mention tiered data protection, tiered servers and other related items.

The Green Gap continues to manifest itself in that when asked, most people do not have Green IT initiatives, however, when asked they do have power, cooling, floor-space, environmental (PCFE) or business economic sustainability concerns, aka, the rest of the Green story.

While some attendees have started to use some new technologies including dedupe technology, most I find are still using a combination of disk and tape with some considering dedupe for the future for certain applications. Other technologies and trends being watched, however also ones with concerns as to their stability and viability for enterprise use include FLASH based SSD, Cloud computing and thin provisioning among others. Common themes I hear from IT professionals are that these are technologies and tools to keep an eye on, or, use on a selective basis and are essentially tiered resources to have in a tool box of technologies to apply to different tasks to meet various service requirements. Hopefully the Cowboys can put a fraction of the amount of energy and interest into and improving their environment that the Dallas area IT folks are applying to their environments, especially given the strained IT budgets vs. the budget that the Cowboys have to work with for their player personal.

I always find it interesting when talking to groups of IT professionals which tend to be enterprise, SME and SMB hearing what they are doing and looking at or considering which often is in stark contrast to some of the survey results on technology adoption trends one commonly reads or hears about. Hummm, nuff said, what say you?

Hope to see you at one of the many upcoming events perhaps coming to a venue near you.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

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