Sessions in Detail

Decision Tree: Storage (and Storage Networking) for Virtual Environments

Presenter
Howard Marks, Founder and Chief Scientist, DeepStorage.net

You know your current storage system is struggling to support your VMs, but what's the fix – 15K HDD arrays, hybrid SSD-HDD, all flash arrays, flash cache appliances, caching software? We'll describe when and where each of these approaches works best for cost-effective performance. We'll also look at how arrays specifically designed for virtual environments differ from traditional arrays. Other issues addressed in this session include hypervisor vs. array management (when hypervisors and arrays conflict); and what you should consider when evaluating how well a storage system integrates with hypervisors.

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Getting Storage Right for VDI: How to Not Tick Off Your Desktop Folks!

Presenter(s)
Brian Madden, Independent Industry Analyst, Blogger & Author, BrianMadden.com

Last year, Brian gave a session at Storage Decisions called, "Why storage is killing VDI projects." But what a difference a year makes! In the past twelve months, we've gone from being able to count the number of large (>10,000 seats) VDI deployments on one hand, but so far in 2013 we've already seen dozens of new larges VDI projects. (In other words more large VDI projects have kicked off in the first nine months of 2013 than the past seven or eight years combined!)

Why is this? Believe it or not, one of the biggest reasons is due to storage. We finally have the storage technologies that enable VDI and desktop virtualization to be done in the way that desktop architects actually want to do them. (This is different than the past years when the Desktop People said, "We need storage to support X, Y, and Z," and the Storage People responded, "Hahahaha! In your dreams! I'll give you X and I can do half of Y if you get me another $300 per user.")

So what exactly has changed? This is what "Desktop Guy" Brian Madden will explore into in this high-energy and lively session. He'll run through why storage failed, including why you can't just throw SSDs at the problem or why you counting on some mythological "IOPS economies of scale" doesn't work. Then he'll look at which of dozens of storage trends actually matter to Desktop People and why these huge VDI projects are actually working out. (By the end of this session you'll understand why his 2013 update to his 2012 best-selling book "The VDI Delusion" is called "The New VDI Reality.") Finally, Brian will explore an unintended (yet wonderful) side effect of these technologies—the fact that they also scale down and that we're seeing successful and cost-effective VDI projects in the 200-500 user range. (Something that was unfathomable a year ago.)

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Solid-State Storage is Everywhere - But Where Does it Work Best?

Presenter
Dennis Martin, Founder & President, Demartek

In this session, we look at the many options for deploying solid-state storage – server-based, server-based but shared, in a hybrid array, all-flash arrays, caching appliances, etc. We'll describe where it's most beneficial for the particular types of apps you're running and how to evaluate solid-state storage products (specs, controller tech, etc.).

Attendees will:

  • Understand the reasons for, and benefits of deploying solid-state storage in each part of the infrastructure
  • Learn how to compare solid-state product specifications and things to know when conducting evaluations

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Remote & Mobile Backup in a Cloud World

Presenter(s)
W. Curtis Preston, Founder, Truth in IT, Inc & BackupCentral.com

Remember when you had to locate employees somewhere near a major data center?  The only way to give them enough bandwidth between their computer and the servers they were using was to put them in a building where you had a LAN.  Now everyone works everywhere.  Now they have powerful laptops and high-speed Internet connections at home, making it increasingly possible that a knowledge worker will be working from anywhere but a centralized data center.  But since the Internet isn’t perfect, it’s also possible that you geographically locate some services, such as email, near where they live.  How do you back up these remote servers, laptops and desktops?  The good news is that solutions to this problem exist.

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File Share and Sync - Commercial, Roll Your Own or Avoid at All Costs?

Presenter
Marc Staimer, Founder and CDS, Dragon Slayer Consulting

Share and sync services are elbowing their way into corporate data centers, riding on the coattails of the BYOD phenomena. We'll take a look at using commercially available services vs. creating an internal share 'n sync service; what you need to know about these systems, and how to manage them properly and stay out of trouble (security, protecting IP, compliance, etc.).

                Attendees will learn:

  • How to determine internal requirements
  • Key requirements to look for
  • Differences and definitions for consumer, business, and Enterprise class products
  • Available products in each category
  • DIY vs. packaged software vs. service providers.

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Storage Virtualization - It's Baaack!

Presenter
Randy Kerns, Senior Strategist, Evaluator GRoup

After being overshadowed for several years by server virtualization, it may seem that storage virtualization simply disappeared. Actually it never left, but it always seemed complicated. Now it's easier than ever to pool storage behind a single management interface. Today's storage virtualization technologies are easier to use and more attuned to operating in the virtual data center. Perhaps adding some unneeded confusion, there's been a lot of talk recently about software-defined storage--but is that just a new name for virtualized storage, or a completely new technology?

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Healthcare Lunch: Harnessing Patient Data in 2013

Presenter(s)
Joseph Marion, Principal, Healthcare Integration Strategies LLC

The HITECH Act and the HIPAA omnibus law going into effect this year are forcing health care organizations to implement electronic health record (EHR) technology and carefully think how patient health information is protected within those EHR systems. This means that healthcare information technology managers will need to address a strategy for how to manage terabytes worth of patient records, test results, medical images, and procedure documentation electronically. The challenge will be how to enable a number of disparate systems to interoperate, or replace them, to address an environment moving toward greater regional information sharing.

In this special lunch presentation, listen to expert Joe Marion discuss a variety of clinical content management strategies and policies and engage in a deep-dive Q&A.

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Stories from the Storage Beat: A Q&A discussion

Presenter(s)
Rich Castagna & Dave Raffo, Storage Media Group

With a combined 20-plus years of experience covering data storage, Dave Raffo—senior news director for TechTarget's storage media group—and Rich Castagna, the group's editorial director, have seen a lot of storage technologies (and products) come and go, have watched tiny startups battle the storage industry goliaths and have interviewed countless CEOs, CTOs, product developers, engineers and marketers.

They've also spent time with thousands of end users, hearing tales of woe and words of wisdom, and learning how storage pros have leveraged technologies ranging from data deduplication to solid-state drives to virtualization to build better data centers and boost their companies' business profiles.

In this session, Dave and Rich will briefly present the tech topics that are likely to be on most storage managers top ten list for implementation or evaluation. While they'll also share a few statistics from our research, most of the session will be dedicated to Q&A and an open discussion among attendees, with Dave and Rich adding some "local color" to the conversation.

So, jot down your questions about emerging storage techs, vendors to watch and implementation issues and join Dave, Rich and your peers in a lively discussion.

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Cloud Storage On-Ramps

Presenter
George Crump, President & Founder, Storage Switzerland

Cloud storage services are good alternatives to add a tier to your current storage setup for nearline, archive or even active data. But the cloud service needs to integrate as seamlessly as possible with on-premises systems. A new class of hardware and software products has emerged that can provide transparent access to cloud services. They look and act like normal file or block storage but they link to cloud storage services to move data off premise per defined policies. We'll look at how these products work, where they fit best and any downsides to using them.

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Solid-State Technology - What's New?

Presenter
Dennis Martin, Founder & President, Demartek

Solid-state technology has had the greatest impact on storage systems since the hard disk arrived. Despite its relatively high cost, solid-state has been adopted quickly and the technology is evolving at an even faster pace. In this session, we'll survey the current state of the art technologies, as well as describe and put into context the most recent developments like TLC, high-capacity SSD, NVMe, etc.  This session will also discuss how solid-state is affecting the storage management software market, with emerging products like data cache managers and apps that allow sharing of server-based SSD. We'll tell you what's available now, what's coming soon and what's on the drawing board.

Attendees will:

  • Learn about the different types of technology that go into today’s solid-state storage products and what to expect in the future.
  • Discover the world of server-side SSD caching and where best to deploy it.

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Critical Decisions for Improving the Economics of Storage

Presenter(s)
Ron Riffe, Storage Softward Business Strategist, IBM

2013 has been a fast paced year for storage innovation with little signs of a slow down on the horizon. Technologies such as software-defined, flash, auto-tiering, cloud, copy data, among others are forcing IT and storage leaders to re-examine their approaches to increase storage efficiency. Join this session to explore these advances and the impact they can have on improving the economics of storage.

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How HP Converged Storage is Separating from the Pack in Software-Defined Storage and All Flash Arrays

Presenter(s)
Roger Javens, Director, Technical Marketing, HP Storage

Learn how HP’s Converged Storage strategy delivers simple, efficient, and agile data storage and eliminates the physical, logical and management boundaries that separate data storage from the rest of IT. Get more in-depth technical information about the recent HP StoreVirtual VSA and All Flash Array announcements.

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Executive Keynote Address: Sharks in the Storage Pool: 10 Ways to Cut Your Storage Costs Now

Presenter(s)
Jon William Toigo, CEO & Managing Principal, Toigo Partners International

The situation in storage today is simple:  take mostly unmanaged data, stand it up on mostly unmanaged storage arrays that are sold by a shrinking number of highly competitive and self-interested vendors.  The result is extraordinarily expensive and dangerous storage infrastructure that promises to do damage to even the most generous IT budgets.  Add in the ravenous appetites for capacity posed by server virtualization, desktop virtualization, big data, and the other great white sharks of IT marketecture, and pretty soon it will no longer be safe to jump into the storage pool. 

Jon Toigo continues his investigation of the storage infrastruggle by looking at the state of storage management tools and innovative storage architectures in an effort to identify ways to cut storage spending while streamlining the delivery of storage services and resources to application workload.

By the end of this session, attendees will have

  • Several practical ideas for reducing the cost of storage infrastructure
  • Useful criteria for vetting storage hardware and software solutions to better provision capacity without sacrificing performance
  • Actionable information to support a fact-based discussion with vendors regarding what storage “solutions” – whether terrestrial or cloud-based – can and cannot deliver in terms of improved application performance

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Executive Keynote Address: Stop Backing Up, But Restore Instantly: How "Non-Backup" Data Protection Methods Are the Future

Presenter(s)
W. Curtis Preston, Founder, Truth in IT, Inc. & BackupCentral.com

Backups – at least as the industry has known them for the last several decades – are now the least efficient way to ensure that you can recover in any kind of outage.  The problem that most people think about when discussing traditional backups is that they take too long, creating what we call the “Backup Window” – a unit of time that IT departments keep trying to shrink as the volume of data keeps going up.  The real problem with traditional backups, however, is that restores take even longer.  Even at many TBs per hour, restoring a 20TB server is going to take a really long time.  This is why IT departments of all sizes have started embracing non-traditional backup methods such as CDP and Near-CDP (snapshots & replication).   You never “backup,” and yet you can restore instantly; how awesome is that?

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Converged Systems - IT in a Box?

Presenters
Howard Marks, Founder & Chief Scientist, DeepStorage.net

One of the major trends in computing over the past couple of years has been the emergence of converged stacks that integrate computing, storage and/or networking into a single package. As vendors promise, ordering one converged package simplifies ordering and gets the gear up and running in your data center faster. Does that convenience come at a cost? Are you really getting a combination of best of breed products?

In this session we’ll look at the range of converged solutions from reference designs and prepackaged systems to the latest in hyper-converged systems that actually combine storage and compute into a standard “brick” that scales out to serve many applications.


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21st Century NAS - And Other Ways to Survive in A Sea of Data

Presenter
George Crump, President & Founder, Storage Switzerland

File data at most companies has been growing at an unprecedented rate, and the days of just throwing more big iron at the problem are a distant memory. Storage shops are overwhelmed by burgeoning NAS silos and are looking for better, more cost-effective ways to store unstructured data. Many storage vendors offer scalable NAS systems that can grow as requirements evolve, but there are some caveats to consider when implementing scale-out NAS. And traditional may not be the best way to address your companies growing file stores--newer alternatives like object-base storage or cloud storage may be a better fit for some storage environments. In this session, we will look at the scope of the problem, the current status of file storage in most companies and the alternatives that are available to cope with the new demands.

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Archiving - Protect and Preserve Your Company's Data (And Reclaim Valuable Disk Capacity in the Process)

Presenter
Randy Kerns, Senior Strategist, Evaluator Group

If data archiving is not part of your information management toolkit, it should be. Archiving can help free up expensive primary disk capacity while moving data to a safe repository. We'll cover the benefits of archiving; the types of data you should consider archiving; deep archives vs. active archives; integrating archiving with other data protection processes; archive media choices; and new archiving tools such as cloud-based repositories.

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Exposing Storage Application Integration Dirty Little Secrets & How to Fix

Presenter(s)
Marc Staimer, President & CDS, Dragon Slayer Consulting

Marc Staimer will expose the rarely talked about problems with application and hypervisor integration with SAN, NAS, and Unified Storage. Problems exposed will include:

  • The sequential handoff of processor intensive tasks.
  • Wasted duplicated processing between the application and the storage.
  • Unnecessary manually labor-intensive administrator tasks.
  • Wasted redundant application and storage processing.
  • How all of this is exacerbated with databases and the mission critical applications based on them.
  • And IT pros reluctant acceptance of the situation.

Oracle will then demonstrate examples of how their technologies can resolve these types of issues and support your current operations.

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Back to the Future: How the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) and Other Innovations Are Returning Tape to a Production Storage Role in the Data Center

Presenter
Jon William Toigo, CEO & Managing Principal, Toigo Partners International

Arguably, the most important news in data storage in 2013 will have nothing to do with hard disks or Flash SSDs or cloud storage.  With (1) a free file system technology from IBM, (2) partitioned media from nearly all tape vendors, and (3) Barium-Ferrite (BaFe) coating plus Type II Perpendicular Recording enabling a 32TB tape cartridge within 18 months, tape is making a comeback that most analysts once deemed impossible. In this session Jon will: 

  • Examine LTFS technology and how you can use it to build a mass capacity file server based on tape 
  • Look at the productization of Tape NAS for those who prefer to buy rather than build. 
  • Explore at the markets and workloads that this innovative kit appears poised to support. 

As always, Jon Toigo separates the marketecture from the architecture in this important session. 


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Internal Cloud Toolkit (How You Can Build a Cloud Storage Service in Your Data Center)

Presenter
Marc Staimer, Founder & CDS, Dragon Slayer Consulting

Cloud storage services offer economy, flexibility and low capex expenditures. Some of those benefits - among others can be realized by building an internal cloud storage service. We'll look at how internal cloud storage differs from traditional shared storage systems, how it may be a beneficial alternative for your company and what you need to build and manage one.

Attendees will learn:

  • 3 Different cloud storage methodologies
    • DIY
      • Open Source
      • Packaged Software
      • Tools required
      • Resources available
    • Turnkey
      • Software shrink wrapped in hardware
    • Hybrid
      • Cloud integrated storage
      • Public cloud storage brought on site

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Geek Out Game Show

Presenter(s)
Brian Madden, Independent Analyst, Blogger and Author, BrianMadden.com

For the first time ever - Brian Madden is bringing his famous Geek Out Game Show to Storage Decisions New York. Hosted by Brian himself - Independent Analyst, Blogger, Author and host of BriForum, this light-hearted "geek" jeopardy style game show will feature participants chosen from the audience. Participants will be asked a variety of technical, objective questions about conference-related storage topics and battle their peers and Brian alike for points. When all is said and done, one lucky winner will be named our "Storage Decisions New York 2013 Geek Out Champion." Will it be you? Match your wits and test your skills during this special (and entertaining) event!

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