Continuing my coverage of SNW Spring 2007, Ron and Vincent kicked off Wednesday main tent sessions with more survey questions:
Q1. How secure is your storage network?
- 7% Bulletproof
- 27% Redundant, 100% able to withstand physical failures
- 28% Able to withstand hackers, but not physical failures
- 37% Weak on both fronts
Q2. What was the cause of most downtime in last 12 months?
- 1% Natural disasters
- 13% Network outages
- 14% Server failures
- 9% Telecom provider outage
- 22% IT resource upgrades
- 33% Human error
Thornton May, futurist and columnist for ComputerWorld, presented "Storage 3.0: What Comes After, What Comes Next."I have seen several "futurists" present at conferences like this. They all feel the need to explain what their job is, and what it takes to be one. This time, Thornton indicated he was "ridiculously well-travelled, amazingly well-connected, pathologically observant, and brutally honest." His insights:
- At current rates, in 15 years every molecule on earth will have its own IP address.
- "What's NOT good enough changes." -- Clayton Christensen
- "I am going to hire a lot of lawyers." -- Google
- Storage should be treated as "discounted benefits".
Gabriel Broner, General Manager of the newly created "Storage Solutions" division of Microsoft, presented "The Drive to Unified Storage". The people sitting around me asked "What does Microsoft have to do with storage?" He defined "Unified Storage" the way we use it for IBM Sytstem Storage N series "a storage unit that provides both file and block level protocol support." Microsoft is using "e-mail" as the model for data access, identifying the need to have "off-line" copies on your PC or laptop that are synced up with "on-line" sources. Features that were typically only available for high-end applications are now being made available to the masses, like "Volume Snapshot" capability in Windows Vista. On the home front, Microsoft recognizes that typically one person acts as the "IT manager" for the family.
Their survey of storage spend of Fortune 1000 companies. It was not clear if this was for Windows environments, or how the data was collected. These numbers don't match what we hear from our UNIX or mainframe customers.
- 57% hardware
- 23% software
- 7% services
- 13% staff/other
Microsoft is implementing application changes, such as Office 2007, to simplify storage issues. Storage virtualization is the key for the future, he says, stating that Microsoft's "iSCSI target" software support makes files look like block-oriented volumes. Virtualization is now mainstream, and deploying software on standard hardware is the new storage business model. The end goal is to simplify provisioning, device and resource management, without reducing functionality, narrowing the gap between general IT tasks and specific storage tasks.
Craig Lau, NBC Olympic coverage, presented their success story. Look at the number of "hours" of TV Olympic coverage over the years:
- 1996 Atlanta -- 175 hours
- 2000 Sydney -- 441 hours
- 2004 Athens -- 1210 hours
NBC now is able to deliver 70 hours of TV programs per day, shown across their seven channels (NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Brave, USA Network, Telemundo, and HD-tv). The Olympics in Torino, Italy generated 25,000 tapes in 17 days. Their 100,000 tape Olympic repository is starting to deteriorate, and they need to consider conversion to digital format. Their challenge was that footage was difficult to find and producers needed immediate access to time sensitive/critical content.
Their solution was Digital Asset Management, automating indexing and logging, using an IP-based workflows that reduces the number of people at the Olympics location, and allowing content to be sent back to USA for remote editing.The facilities at Torino involved:
- 2850 people, most hired just the week prior to the Olympic event
- 250TB of disk storage
- 28000 monitors
- 135 High-Definition cameras
- 212 Video Tape Recorders
- 4000 hours of content on 1700 tapes
NBC is frustrated by the lack of compatability and interoperability in the video format industry. They have been testing MPEG-1 (1.5 Mbps) formats, and plan to deploy a new system using 1080i for the upcoming 2008 Olympics in Beijing. With the new system, they can index footage by athlete, by event, and by human emotional reaction. They can review and edit footage within 30-45 seconds of live coverage, allowing rough edits to be documented as "Edit Decision Lists" that can be e-mailed or put on USB key for others to review.
Although I missed Anil Gupta's "Blogger Event" on Monday, several bloggers did stop by to visit me at the IBMbooth.
Robin Harris, Tony Pearson, Clark Hodge
Robin Harris writes StorageMojo, and Clark Hodge writesStorageSwitched!.
The evening finished off with a Gala Dinner, with an award ceremony for Best Practices.Here were the "Honorees":
- Innovation & Promise: Northeast Delta Dental
- Maximizing ROI: Cingular Wireless
- Planning, Designing and Building a Strategic Storage Infrastructure: Shinhan Bank (Korea)
- Storage Reliability and Data Recovery: New York-Presbyterian Hospital
- Systems Implementation: two-way tie between CERN and Standford University
The dinner was finished with Greg Schwem
, a comedian focused on corporate humor.
technorati tags: IBM, SNW, ComputerWorld, SNIA, Microsoft, NBC, Olympics, Robin Harris, Clark Hodge, Greg Schwem, comedy, humor