Where do you go when you need to learn about a new technology such as software defined storage? How about Hyper-converged infrastructure? Or all-flash arrays? Where do you get information on a technology? One place to start is with the vendors themselves.
Storage Vendors’ Websites
It’s true many technologies like software defined storage are being offered by a number of vendors and most will have some interesting material on their websites. But is that the most efficient way to get the info you need? You might have to visit a half dozen or more websites before you felt like you got the gist of the topic. And even then, with all the ‘marketechture’ you’d have to sift through it still might not be all that clear.
Storage Vendor Show
Like their websites, most of the big storage vendors present quite a bit of technical content at the shows they host for users and industry people. These are great places to get firsthand information about use-cases from real customers and to learn about the roadmaps that these companies are planning for their products. But as with the website, you may not feel like you’ve really gotten the whole story by talking with just one company.
Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), the standards body and a clearing house for information on storage technology for the last fifteen years, has a new show called Data Storage Innovation (DSI). This conference is an event where end users can learn about a range of technologies and the companies offering them in one place. This year it’s at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency/Convention Center April 22-24.
Unlike vendor sponsored shows, DSI is bringing together multiple companies in each of the primary storage-related technology areas. Instead of looking at a product demo and wondering how it would stack up against the competition, you can see multiple vendors in a single space and ask them directly how they compare with their industry peers. There’s a lot more at DSI too.
One of the more popular functions at vendor-sponsored shows are the discussions with the executive management team. The CEO always has some great insights and often will talk about road map items they’re about to release – as well as the things they’re not going to release (and why). But what if you could hear from the CEOs of several companies, not just the sponsor’s event? What if you could get these people to talk about how their technology came about and how they broke from the pack and launched a successful company. At DSI, there will be presentations and discussions from many C-Level Execs, as well as founders and key influencers from established companies and start ups.
On the DSI agenda, I counted over a dozen speakers whose titles included the word “Architect”, “Fellow” or “Technologist”. There’s a good chance you won’t see any marketing slides in their decks. But you will probably hear something you didn’t know. These people drive the product directions for their respective companies and always offer keen insights into the direction of technology. DSI is a great way to see a lot of these thought leaders in one place.
Of course SNIA is also known for education. The DSI agenda has tutorials on Cloud Architecture, Using Flash in the Enterprise, Parallel File Systems, Massively Scalable File Storage, Optimizing Hadoop Storage and SAS Networking, just to name a few. SNIA is still the best place to get unbiased, ‘deep-dive’ education on a wide range of topics and DSI has the tutorials to prove it.
What about standards, like iSCSI, SAS or Encryption? If you’re a developer your products obviously need to ‘play nice’ with other components in the stack or other products in the data center ecosystem. SNIA is THE standards organization for storage and they’ll be available at DSI.
DSI is SNIA’s new show that brings together the major companies in storage and many of the up and coming players as well. It’s the one event where you can get your questions answered and see more real technology in action from the people who design it, build it and use it.