Thursday was the third and final day for the Dell Storage Forum 2012 in London, the morning kicked off bright and early with another keynote, this time Darren Thomas was joined on stage with Stephen Murdoch (VP and GM Large Enterprise, EMEA)
The Thursday keynote was more visionary and looking back at how IT runs today and what we need to be focusing on moving forward. There were some great statistics coming out of the presentation such as those below.
Between the birth of the world and 2003, there were 5 exabytes of information created. Now that much information is generated in just 3 days. Eric Schmidt
In just 60 seconds
- 600+ New Videos are added to YouTube
- 168 Million Emails are Sent
- 1500+ New Blog Posts
- 320+ New Twitter Accounts
Stephen went on to talk about the challenges facing IT departments today including, billions of always connected end points, the consumerisation of corporate IT and the explosion of, going on to say IT is struggling to cope with today’s demands without even focusing on what tomorrow will bring.
Stephen went on to explain some of the ideas and strategies that Dell have used to tackle their own IT, we should all be looking to remove complexity.
“Hiding mess is never a good solution we should be looking for the source”
I really liked the idea of Dell’s Idea Storm website http://www.ideastorm.com that can be used to make suggestions for products and improvements to Dell, the IdeaStorm community can then vote on it and if popular enough and possible will be implemented by Dell.
Stephen went on to explain that IT departments should be looking into more than just the technology and focusing on the people and processes will help lead to success. The slide below gives an overview of where IT departments should be looking to concentrate today, empowering your end users, running IT more efficiently by shifting from maintaining to innovation and effectively managing your organisation by achieving strategic goals.
Stephen went on to explain how Dell is helping and guiding us with our IT missions in 2012 and onwards, first of all became Dell’s point of view on storage. By now we all know about Fluid by Design, but it is clear that this isn’t only want Dell Storage are doing today but what they are focusing their future on. We need to remove the boundaries from the storage and allow it to be ever flexible around the growing needs of storage for the IT industry.
The final slide made recommendations for the IT industry
- Focus on projects with high business value
- Spend on IT, but spend wisely
- Ensure IT is tightly aligned with business strategy
We moved on to a Q&A session from the audience
Finally summing up with a video recorded at the London Storage Forum, with many people in the audience appearing in, including fellow bloggers Hans and Bruno describing what Fluid means to them.
After the keynote, I joined an NDA session (Cant say anything about that!) and sat the Dell DX object storage Hands on Lab, this helped understand how it was administered but not really how it would be used by a business for me. I also sat the Compellent / vSphere integration hands on lab that was very good and gave me a good overview of the functionality available for VMware administrators when using Compellent.
Below is a photo of some of the hardware supporting the conference.
During lunch the solutions hall was open again, giving some of Dell’s partners the opportunity to speak to Dell’s customers and partners about their offerings. During lunch Emulex gave a talk on DCB which was hard work for the poor guy on stage, with everyone eating lunch and talking he managed to get their attention by throwing model aeroplanes at them! I found the contents of the presentation really interesting as DCB is something I wish to learn more about and we will be connecting with Emulex to find out more in the near future.
My final task of the day was to record some interviews for the HandsOnVirtualization.com podcast (Yes the website is still down, never user NetPivotal.com for your hosting, it should be online with a new host soon!) I interviewed Hans De Leenheer fellow blogger regarding his thoughts about the conference, Nick Dyer of Xsigo regarding their product, Andrew Lawrence of Commvault regarding their product and maybe most excitingly Brett Roscoe (General Manager and Executive Director, PowerVault & Data Management Solution) regarding the announcement regarding the DR4000 and about object storage. I’m hoping to get these interview edited asap and online as soon as I can.
The picture above is taken in the solutions hall with Commvault’s Andrew Lawrence talking to a crowd of attendees. I have known Andrew for a number of years and he actually introduced me to EqualLogic as my first EqualLogic SE.
Conslusions regarding the conference
It’s been a busy few days and a lot of information has been packed into those days, for me the standout element to take away from this event was the access to the executives at Dell, I have never attended a conference before where the executives were wandering around during the day and parties in the evening, willing to talk to anyone that was attending. I feel by being able to speak to these people I have learnt things I would never be able to learn any other way and I felt that my opinions and ideas may get taken away back to the states and in some small way maybe able to influence something Dell is working on.
The sessions covered a great amount of content and I hope they are available online after the event for me to review as I didn’t manage to attend as many as I would like. Maybe in the future their maybe an opportunity for community members and regional Dell employees to submit sessions as it would be good to hear a content from a wider audience.
The Hands on Labs were good, they we no where near as busy as the VMworld hands on labs and I would love to have some deeper content in the hands on labs in the future, configuring and replicating a Compellent maybe, command line, using Powershell etc, although I understand these maybe not easy to put together with the nature of the products. I would love to see EqualLogic and Compellent VSA’s be made available to the community for these kind of deeper dive subjects, not only would they help educate a wider community about Dell’s products like EMC do with their VSA but it would help Dell get the word out about their products.
I found the conference extremely useful overall and I am already looking forward to attending the next one.