One of the things that I always pay attention to is the perception of storage both in the information technology industry and with customers. How critical storage is for successful IT is evident to me but that understanding seems to wax and wane with others. A very positive indicator of the importance was seen at the recent IBM Pulse event.
The IBM Pulse event is focused on service management and covers a broad area. Most of the service management is focused on software solutions that provide services for IT. These services include the major areas of data center, security, facilities, and asset management. To create focus on different areas, streams with different tracks provided the opportunity to attend a succession of sessions on topical areas. That made it easy to gauge the coverage of storage in this service management conference.
In the Service Management for the Data Center stream, one track was dedicated to storage management. In an area related to storage, another stream covered Security and Compliance Management. Attending sessions in the storage management track, there were many speakers with presentations on storage management, data protection, and storage systems. The product presentations were given at the level of what a systems administrator and an IT manager would need to know. I was surprised by this: both in the quantity of storage related presentations and the level of information provided.
In addition to the speakers on the topics for storage, there were exhibits and labs for discussions and demonstrations. I had a number of interesting and lively discussions with technical people that were there.
Obviously storage, both the systems and management, are opportunity areas for vendors. The fact that a conference that was not perceived to be about storage covered so much of the management software and the storage systems positions storage as being critically viewed. Even the GM of the IBM storage business, Doug Balog and the vice of marketing for storage, Dan Galvan were attending the event.
The importance of storage is very clear among all vendors today – so much so that the discussions cross many areas that may not have included storage in the past. Storage is not just necessary for IT, it’s critical. For vendors, it’s an opportunity.