A sting in the tale

Dubai’s Storage World exhibition and conference has come and gone. As in the past, the event did not attract throngs of visitors. By the second day it could justifiably be called a trickle. But the organisers and some of the exhibitors claim that it’s the quality of visitor not the quantity that counts in a niche event like this.

  • E-Mail
By  Colin Edwards Published  May 21, 2006

|~||~||~|Well, Dubai’s Storage World exhibition and conference has come and gone. As in the past, the event did not attract throngs of visitors. By the second day it could justifiably be called a trickle. But the organisers and some of the exhibitors claim that it’s the quality of visitor not the quantity that counts in a niche event like this.

It is a pity that the quality stand was not also applied to some of the presentations given at the event. While some speakers failed to address the subjects they had been allocated, many of the vendors ignored the topics completely and then proceeded to give a 40-minute product pitch.

Free these seminars might have been, but I’m sure those delegates that attended would argue that their time certainly is not free and could have been better-spent reading catalogues. A focused event such as this on a critical sector of IT has an important communications role to play to keep IT and line managers abreast of trends and new developments. I’m not sure Storage World succeeded in doing so.

Also, what was noticeable this year was the airy feel of the exhibition room. Several of last year’s vendors decided to give this year a miss. These included HP and IBM and some major distributors.

While some of those vendors that exhibited joked that the exhibition was for ‘real’ storage vendors – a rather barbed comment considering IBM’s and HP’s position among the leaders of the storage world – their input was missed by any visitor looking for a more comprehensive picture of what’s happening in storage today and, more importantly, tomorrow.

Take IBM, for example. Just about at the time when everyone was making their way to the event, Big Blue rolled out a few more details of its upcoming Viper version of its DB2 database. What is particularly significant about the development is that IBM is talking about storage-compression technology in the Viper data server that will enable its VARs to cut end-user storage hardware costs by up to 80%.

The compression software has been code-named Venom and the company says that no other database vendor can offer that sort of storage reduction. Venom is due for release later this year, and is expected to not only give DB2 a market boost, but also to enable Big Blue to compete more aggressively with EMC.

Of course, like everything in the IT world, focus is being paid to the best-case scenario. Venom’s typical storage savings range from between 35% to 80% depending on the data being compressed. In particular, there are special facilities for SAP built into the release, so that the savings in SAP environments should be at the higher end of these expectations.

Anyone getting the feeling that IBM and SAP are ganging up on Oracle?

IBM is not the only vendor working on reducing storage overheads. Hitachi Data Systems, Sun, and EMC - to name but a few - are all working on containing storage hardware costs through better storage management software. If this carries on, perhaps a dedicated storage exhibition might not be necessary next year.

||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code