Spring SNW 2013, Storage Networking World Recap

April 23, 2013 – 3:52 pm

Storage I/O trends

A couple of weeks ago I attended the spring 2013 Storage Networking World (SNW) in Orlando Florida. Talking with SNIA Chairman Wayne Adams and SNIA Director Leo Legar this was the 28th edition of the US SNW (two shows a year), plus the international ones. While I have not been to all 28 of the US SNWs, I have been to a couple of dozen SNWs in the US, Europe and Brazil going back to around 2001 as an attendee, main stage as well as breakout, and tutorial presenter (see here and here).

SNW image

For the spring 2013 SNW I was there for a mix of meetings, analyst briefings, attending the expo, doing some podcasts (see below), meeting with IT professionals (e.g. customers), VARs, vendors along with presenting three sessions (you can download them and others backup, restore, BC, DR and archiving).

Some of the buzz and themes heard included big data was a little topic at the event, while cloud was in the conversations, dedupe and data footprint reduction (DFR) do matter for some people and applications. However also a common theme with customers including Media and Entertainment (M&E) is that not everything can be duped thus other DFR approaches are needed.

There was some hype in and around hybrid storage along with storage hypervisors, which was also an entertaining panel discussion with HDS (Claus Mikkelsen aka @YoClaus), Datacore, IBM and Virstro.

The theme of that discussion seemed for the most part to gravitate towards realities of storage virtualization and less about the hypervisor hype. Some software defined marketing hype I heard is that it is impossible to spend more than a million dollars on a server today. I guess with the applicable caveats, qualifiers and context that could be true, however I also know some vendors and customers that would say otherwise.

Lunchtime at SNW Spring 2013

Not surprisingly, there was an increase in vendors wanting to jump on the software defined and object storage bandwagons; however, customers tended to be curious at best, confused or concerned otherwise. Speaking of object storage, check out this podcast discussion with Cleversafe customer Justin Stottlemyer of Shutterfly and his 80PB environment.

In addition to Cleversafe, heard from Astute (if you need fast iSCSI storage check them out), Avere has a new NAS for dummies book out, Exablox a storage system startup with emphasis on scalability, ease of use and NAS access and hybrid storage Tegile. Also, check out SwifTest for generating application workloads and measurement that had their customer Go Daddy presenting at the event. A couple of others to keep an eye on include Raxco with their thin provision storage reclamation tool, and Infinio with their NAS acceleration for VMware software tools among others.

backup, restore, BC, DR and archiving

Here are the three presentations that I did while at the event:

Analyst Perspective: Increase Your Return on Innovation (The New ROI) With Data Management and Dedupe
There is no such thing as an information recession with more data to move, process and store, however there are economic challenges. Likewise, people and data are living longer and getting larger which requires leveraging data footprint reduction (DFR) techniques on a broader focus. It is time to move upstream finding and fixing things at the source to reduce the downstream impact of expanding data footprints, enabling more to be done with what you have.

Analyst Perspective: Metrics that Matter – Meritage of Data Management and Data Protection
Not everything in the data center or information factory is the same. This session recaps and builds off the morning increase your ROI with data footprint and data management session while setting the stage for the rethinking data protection (backup, BC and DR). Are you maximizing the return on innovation in how using new tools and technology in new ways, vs. using new tools in old ways? Also discussed performance capacity planning, forecasting analysis in cloud, virtual and physical environments. Without metrics that matter, you are flying blind, or perhaps missing opportunities to further drive your return on innovation and return on investment.

Analyst Perspective: Time to Rethink Data Protection Including BC and DR
When it comes to today’s data centers and information factories including physical, virtual and cloud, everything is not the same, so why treat business continuance (BC), disaster recovery (DR) and data protection in general the same? Simply using new tools, technologies and techniques in the same old ways is no longer a viable option. Since there is no such thing as a data or information recession, yet there are economic and budget challenges, along with new or changing threat risks, now is the time to review data protection including BC and DR including using new technologies in new ways.

You can view the complete SNW USA spring 2013 agenda here.

Podcasts are also available on StorageIO Podcast on Apple iTunes

Here are links to some podcasts from spring 2013 SNW:
Stottlemyer of Shutterfly and object storage discussion
Dave Demming talking tech education from SNW Spring 2013
Farley Flies into SNW Spring 2013
Talking with Tony DiCenzo at SNW Spring 2013
SNIA Spring 2013 update with Wayne Adams
SNIA’s new SPDEcon conference

Also, check out these podcasts from fall 2012 US and Europe SNWs:
Ben Woo on Big Data Buzzword Bingo and Business Benefits
Networking with Bruce Ravid and Bruce Rave
Industry trends and perspectives: Ray Lucchesi on Storage and SNW
Learning with Leo Leger of SNIA
Meeting up with Marty Foltyn of SNIA
Catching up with Quantum CTE David Chapa (Now with Evault)
Chatting with Karl Chen at SNW 2012
SNW 2012 Wayne’s World
SNW Podcast on Cloud Computing
HDS Claus Mikkelsen talking storage from SNW Fall 2012

Storage I/O trends

What this all means?

While busy, I liked this edition of SNW USA in that it had a great agenda with diversity and balance of speaker sessions (some tutorials, some vendors, some IT customers, and some analysts) vs. too many of one specific area.

In addition to the agenda and session length, the venue was good, big enough, however not spread out so much to cause loss of the buzz and energy of the event.

This SNW had some similar buzz or energy as early versions granted without the hype and fanfare of a startup industry or focus area (that would be some of the other events today)

Should SNW go to a once a year event?

While it would be nice to have a twice a year venue for convenience, practicality and budgets say once would be enough given all the other conferences and venues on the agenda (or that could be).

The next SNW USA will be October 15 to 17 2013 in Long Beach California, and Europe in Frankfurt Germany October 29-30 2013.

Thanks again to all the attendees, participants, vendor exhibitors, event organizers and SNIA, SNW/Computerworld staffs for another great event.

Ok, nuff said


Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

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