The most interesting products and companies at Interop Las Vegas 2011 were found around the edges of the show floor. Companies like NEC, Synology, Ciphertex, and Endace may have gone unnoticed in the shadows of towering booths of the industry titans but deserve attention. One such pairing was two Wi-Fi analysis companies, MetaGeek and Ekahau. Both work together to enable spectrum analysis and site surveying on portable devices – smart phones and tablets.
Although I am a big believer in personal face-to-face meetings, it often seems like a waste of energy to attend big tech conferences. I’m certainly making the rounds this year, having already made multiple trips to the West Coast and even the UK, and heading out again three times next month. That’s why I was pleased to see that one of the conferences I’m speaking at is trying to do some good for the local community: Interop will donate to math and science related projects in Las Vegas, and I encourage others to do the same.
Why do we care about thin provisioning? Because storage is not getting cheaper. If you went to buy a disk ten years ago, you’re going to spend about the same as would today, but you’re going to get a lot more capacity – a lot more capacity! The fact that we have terrible utilization of enterprise resources is really not helping us, and it’s not getting any better. It hasn’t improved because they are “doing storage” the same way.
As a community service, I decided to put together a calendar of enterprise IT events. My friend Matt Simmons has a similar calendar for SysAdmins, but mine is a little different. Where he focuses more on user groups and the like, I’m focusing on big events like Interop, EMC World, and Cisco Live.
I was at Interop Las Vegas this week, and the Expo floor was alive with gimmicks. We had a talking robot, a boxing ring, a GT40, and two Mythbusters lookalikes. But what’s the point of a gimmick without a tie-in?
I’m pleased to be heading back to Interop this spring with two sessions on enterprise storage. Although significantly changed from the old “Networld + Interop” days, the event is enjoyable and technical, with many interesting sessions and speakers. And the New York show at least had plenty of end user attendees!
Predictions are perilous: Get it right and you look like a mere trend-watcher; get it wrong and you look like a fool. So I’m doing something different this year: I’m going to make predictions for 2009 now that it’s over, and reflect on just how smart I am (not) to have made them.