SNW 2011 Wednesday

The Wednesday started off with 4 keynotes and the Best Practices awards and some of them gave some useful insight of datacentre transformation and how to approach this. It also, again, touched on the subject of organizational challenges that the inevitable change will incur if you want, or need, to adopt new strategies.

After the break I had a good conversation with Greg Schultz of @storagio. (Very nice guy, if you have the chance go look him up some time)We shared some insights, discussed primarily the ongoing discussion of where cloud computing in general can or should reside and how to attack the challenges. After that we both joined the session of J Michel Metz, in short know as J. J is the product manager of FCoE at Cisco and he elaborated on the options you now have with this new technology. I’ve attended a couple of the FCoE sessions and in the end everyone seems to agree that although the technology is there it will be extremely hard to adopt it since it requires an immense amount of organizational change to take away fear, risk, and mindset of the people who have worked on these very different technologies. Well, let me rephrase that, the technologies in itself are not that different w.r.t. packaging frames and switching or routing these though a network but the purpose these technologies serve is totally different. I wrote about this before in the article “Why FCoE will die a silent death”. I very much like the technology and admire Silvano what he has accomplished but it will be up to the customer to decide whether or not he/she wants to adopt this technology. The surprising thing that I got of these sessions is that although most vendors acknowledge Fibre Channel will be around for quite some time, they also hint that the development will slow down significantly. All development efforts these days seem to go into Ethernet so at some point in time customer wont have this choice anymore. Only time will tell if customers will accept that. I think it still requires a lot of engineering effort to fill in  the gaps that are still there to overcome reliability and stability issues.
After lunch I joined a wikibon panel session with FCoE advocates of the different vendors. It’s quite obvious they do want you to adopt this and although they don’t admit it they can’t afford FCoE to fail. It has been on the market now for two years and it looks like the adoption ratio is still extremely low or at least not as good as they wanted it to be. They also have to be very careful not to step on toes so the general sense was start now but do it controlled to protect your current assets and increase over time with natural technology refreshes.

The last breakout session of the day for me was the one with @YoClaus Mickelsen, @virtualheff Mike Heffernan and Jerry Sutton from TSYS who elaborated on the end-to-end server to storage virtualisation and the advantages HDS has to offer. Very good session with good questions and feedback. I also, finally,  met Michael  Jaslowski who works for Northern Trust. I have had the pleasure to analyze and fix some of their issues they’ve had in the past on their SAN infrastructure. Always good to meet up with people who you normally only speak to on the phone.

To close the day Miki Sandorfi had a general session around taking your own pace and look out for good solutions before adopting cloud technologies. Keep an open mind and explore what’s right for your business.

See ya tomorrow.


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