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What’s in store at Storage Networking World

Oct 16, 20033 mins
Data Center

* Showstoppers at Storage Networking World

About 40 years ago, American humorist Art Buchwald wrote a column in which he described a method for seeing the three most famous items at the Louvre in under three minutes, even though they are spread widely apart in that wonderful French museum.  In a less tongue-in-cheek vein, here are some suggestions regarding must-see things at the upcoming Storage Networking World. 

SNW is by most accounts the preeminent industry conference for storage professionals.  It is held twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.  The fall meeting for this year will take place in Orlando Oct. 27-30.

A major focus of each year’s show is the interoperability lab, run by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).  The lab is a showcase for storage and networking vendors, who this year have come together to provide a soup-to-nuts demo that – at least as far as Karp’s crystal fishbowl can see – looks like it’s going to be a winner.

If you are going, here are a few things to look out for at the interop lab:

* Begin with the storage-area network design software, and see just how easy it can (hopefully) be to build a SAN from the ground up.  All flavors of SAN are represented, including iSCSI and storage over both metropolitan-area networks (MAN) and WANs.

* Attention is finally being paid to storage security.  See what the industry provides in terms of data protection via zoning and encryption.

* Storage resource management is coming of age.  Expect to see some useful implementations of policy-based management techniques in the lab.  Make sure each vendor explains to you how the policies have been derived. This is a great opportunity to make sure you understand everything you think you do about how policy-based management actually works.

* If I have succeeded over the years in helping convince you that storage is only useful in the context of how well it supports business processes, check out how some vendors can help you align your storage investment with your business needs.

* Several vendors will be offering methods of either centralizing storage, or centralizing the management of distributed storage.  If you are looking to centralize the way your data is stored, don’t forget to find out what kind of data migration tools are being offered.

* And when it comes to new hardware, make sure you take in both the new switches and the blade servers with storage interconnect blades.

Two other things to do.  SNW has shown a positive trend over the last several years, as the attendance has shifted from being almost exclusively vendors to a situation where we can now expect to see more than half the attendees coming from the user community.  See if you can validate this.

And the other thing to do, of course, is say “Hi” if you see me.  I’ll be the harried looking guy with the glasses.