Thursday, October 16, 2008

Storage Expo – What happened in 2008?

In 2007 the UK's large exhibition focussed on the storage industry found itself parroting all things “green”, frankly often flying in the face of any or all material evidence to the contrary. This year the exhibitors at Storage Expo spent a lot of time concentrating on explaining how various solution stacks can help address the item that, whilst it has always held a degree of prominence in solution acquisition planning, over the course of the last three weeks has raced ahead of the field. Of course, I am talking about efforts to save money.

Now whilst there was no shortage of platforms, both tape and disk, promising to save on the consumption of electricity to host data unlike last year this characteristic was not front and centre during the show. Instead a broad range of solutions were being promoted, many offering different potential to save many to organisations in the short or medium terms. Equally, many solutions considering the very many facets of “protecting” data and information, and its security were equally visible. Similarly the subject, or more accurately the very many subjects of storage virtualisation had many opportunities to shine.

Areas such as data de-duplication and data compression, quite rightly, received considerable coverage. It was interesting to see that some of these solutions are also now being promoted as suitable for use by small and mid-sized organisations, not just large enterprises.

I was further encouraged to note that management tools were finally being talked about as offering capabilities that should be better exploited across the board. Chief amongst these are those that seek to help automatically “discover” data and then to, at least to some degree, help classify said data and then move it around the various layers of the data storage tiers.

So all in all there was a lot on offer. Alas some vendors still succumb to over marketing and seek to position fundamentally sound tools as the answer, in the immortal words of Douglas Adams, as the answer to life, the universe and everything. The good news is there are solutions out there. The difficulty is going to be finding the identifying which offerings will work for you and then getting them to work. I hope you can find the time to look around. Good Luck.

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